Justin Guitar Community

Competition + Performance Area (Audio / Video of Your Playing) => Monthly Competition => Rules, Discussion etc => Topic started by: close2u on November 15, 2017, 11:17:43 am

Title: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on November 15, 2017, 11:17:43 am
A thread for competition winners to offer the story of their experience having had a SKYPE with Justin.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Garfield on November 15, 2017, 12:34:59 pm
I had a skype lesson with Justin on Saturday. Close2u has asked me to post a bit of a summary which I'm very happy to do. 

Prior to the lesson Justin asked me to think of subjects that I wanted help with and these are the subjects that we covered. I may have forgotten bits and bobs.

Holding the Pick
I wanted Justin to check my basic strumming technique and to look at how I’m holding the pick. I hold the pick with thumb the side(ish) of my forefinger but it’s mainly the pad of my forefinger. I have been concerned that I should be holding it on the side of the first knuckle on my forefinger. Justin took a look and said he often holds it like that depending on what he’s playing. The key thing is the make sure the tip of the pick is coming out the side of the thumb – which it is. He asked why I was asking about this and I have two reasons; firstly, pick noise. On this he asked what pick I was using which is a Jim Dunlop nylon 0.6mm. He said these were good for beginners but do give a flappy percussive sound, to get a clearer sound he recommended I try a red tortex pick. Which I shall do. He also said to give it a few weeks with the new pick as it can take a bit of time to become accustomed. My second reason for asking about this was that I feel like I struggle with palm muting, I can do it on down strums but I’ve been struggling to mute up strums on a song I’ve been practising.  Justin wasn’t sure if he could mute up strums and said it’s not commonly done. It turns out he can do it but said it felt a bit weird, he helped me to do it by softening the strum quite a lot and moving my hand position.     

A Minor Barre Chord Changes
I then said I’d been struggling with changing to A minor shape barre chords. He took a look at me doing a few changes and said “nothing wrong you just need to do more one minute changes”, I guess I knew that but I was hoping for a miracle cure.

I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.
I wanted him to help me on the turnaround section of “I hope that I don’t fall in love with you”. I learnt this a while ago but I always get a bit stuck in this section as there are a few choices. He walked me through this bit showing me the basic version and the fancy version. He showed me the correct fingering for the “walk” bit which goes C,G,AM7,G/B. This bit was very helpful and I think I’m making progress on this now.

Guitar and Piano
Next I asked him about how best my girlfriend and I could play together, she’s a beginner pianist. She can sight read music but knows no chords, I can’t read music and only really know chords. Justin said that if she learned some basic guitar chords and their inversions then we could play our way through the beginner songbook. I’m now looking for a good piano teacher on youtube that teaches basic chords, I seem to be struggling but I’ll keep looking. The other thing he recommended for a jam was to put a capo on the 6th fret and to play the blues in A, my girlfriend can then solo over this by just using the black keys – sounds simple but we’ve not tried it yet.

12 bar blues
Lastly as we’d been talking about playing the blues I asked him why my chunka chunka 12 bar blues doesn’t sound quite right. He had a listen and said that my time feel is a bit out. He highly recommended playing along with the original to get in the groove of the song and then to “lock in”. At this stage Justin became quite animated as he emphasised the importance of time feel and groove. I’ve heard him talk about this in lessons before and he’s dead right you can muck up chords and get away with it if the groove is there, alternately you can play the chords/notes perfectly but it won’t sound good if the timing is out.   

I thanked him at the time but I’d like to do it again here in case he reads this. He’s an excellent teacher, since I’ve been learning I’ve done a lot of youtubing and watched a lot of lessons but there is something about the way that Justin teaches that really speaks to the student, it’s like he understands why it’s hard and he’s on the journey with you. I’m probably not expressing myself very well. Maybe it’s just that he’s a good guy and it’s nice to hang out with him on youtube.


Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on November 15, 2017, 12:41:06 pm
A wonderful story of your SKYPE Garfield. Thanks so much for sharing that.  :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Garfield on November 15, 2017, 12:45:08 pm
A wonderful story of your SKYPE Garfield. Thanks so much for sharing that.  :)
It's a pleasure and thanks for all your help in setting it up and generally looking after us all on the forum.

Sent from my SM-G900F using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=93296)

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: embishop on November 15, 2017, 01:38:27 pm
This thread is right up there with the best ones on this Forum! Thanks for posting, @Garfield, very interesting to go through your lesson. :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on November 15, 2017, 02:24:27 pm
Thanks so much for sharing, Gareth.

Being a stage or so "behind" you in the BC, I found the lesson most interesting.

And I think you expressed yourself in a most eloquent and articulate manner, both in the final paragraph and in the lesson summary.

Thanks again and look forward to your next posting !!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Amelie on November 15, 2017, 05:00:23 pm
I had my Skype lesson with Justin about 10 months ago. It was a lot of fun.  We talked mostly about rhythm and tempo. Because I usually play without a band sometimes it is hard to keep a steady tempo.  Justin suggested I listen to guitar players who have really good rhythm, like Kurt Cobain. He mentioned that people have been banging drums for 4,000 years but have only been playing melodies for a few hundred years, so rhythm is really important. He also told me to download a drum app to use when I practice called Drumgenius. This app has been really helpful. Justin also suggested I listen to BBC Radio 6 to discover new music.

Since the Skype lessons I have been performing a lot. I played a few big shows at the San Diego County Fair this summer and I got the chance to play with San Francisco jazz drummer Myron Cohen a few times.  I also had my first official paid gig a few weeks ago, when I played at the anniversary of a local restaurant.

Thanks again to Justin and everyone who organized the competition and helped make the Skype session possible.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Omar on November 15, 2017, 05:24:01 pm
@Garfield / @Amelie

Thank you for sharing your stories. I'm happy for your for spending time with Justin, talking over interesting subjects and having your questions fulfilled :) Again, congratulations for both of you on winning the competition.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: glpguitar on November 15, 2017, 10:17:59 pm
Thank you for the stories guys! This actually gave me a motivation to get back and start posting my playing here (I am on the forum for 5 or 6 years now but mainly an observer). I am really happy for you and maybe one day I also get a chance to speak with Justin.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: michaal246 on November 16, 2017, 11:03:57 am
First of all I feel like I could spend that hour better so here is some tip for future winners. I have so much respect and gratitude towards Justin that when I asked him questions instead of exchanging my thoughts with him I was just listening in silence most of the time. Guess I didn't want to be rude and that resulted in me being too passive. He is very straightforward guy and open for conversation so don't make the same mistake.

 Before lesson I wrote e-mail with topics that I want to cover and those were:

- What/how to practice
- Transcribing melody, making my own arrangements
- Money. Related to teaching and selling music online as copyright law is very confusing

LESSON

 I had guitar during the whole lesson ready to play but it turned out that we were just talking whole time :) I told Justin about what I do and what I want to achieve. From there we started lesson. My goals are:

- Make arrangements of popular songs
- Build repertoire and YT channel. This will have 2 purposes. I can start to busk/playing live. This YT thing does not need views/likes etc. It will serve me as my "Guitar CV". For example it might be useful for finding new students.
- Composing original songs. It's very long term goal so I don't think too much about it right now. It might happen it might not.

OUTCOME

 I do not follow religiously practice routine that Justin made. Althought it gave me some nice ideas so I tweaked it and do almost everything that I was advised except theory because it's still confusing and I feel like I should concentrate on other things BUT I'm still willing to learn that just not at this moment. My main focus is now on strength excercises, ear training, arranging, building repertoire and "easy" songs that I could teach in the future.

 I had 2 students for about 2 months and the best part is that I didn't even looked for them. They found me somehow. "Hey, I heard that you play guitar. Would like to give me a couple of lessons?" It was fun, I learned more about myself/teaching and hopefully they also learned something from me. I tried to do some video lessons for them with simple exercises and OH MY GOD this is suprisingly very difficult :D Reviews were good though, so it turned out all right. hehe

 So far so good but I had one fail in the meantime. I decided to participate in fingerstyle competition and sadly I didn't make it. Maybe next year.
 
 There were few more minor things that happened but for now I will keep it to myself. If someone is interested in more details from my lesson with Justin please ask questions and I will try to answer them.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on November 16, 2017, 12:25:01 pm
@ Garfield

It's early here, and I'm a bit sleep deprived, so that's my excuse for thinking you told Justin "I hope that I don't fall in love with you." Haha. I was thinking that must have been some great lesson! Then I got it.

Sent from my Life One X using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Laila on November 16, 2017, 12:53:31 pm
I was thinking the same thing. That ... wow, that escalated quickly!  ;D
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Fourtwo on November 25, 2017, 09:40:06 pm
Hi all, I'm reporting back on the Skype session I had with Justin a couple of weeks ago. I haven't called it a lesson, because anyone that's had a session with Justin will know it's not like a teacher/student thing it's more like spending time with your mate, having a chat whilst learning stuff at the same time. I've been lucky enough to have a session in person with Justin, so I knew what to expect and as always he didn't disappoint. He asked me to share the Garage band file of my winning recording of the song "And then the rain" so that we could go through remixing it in the skype session, so that's what we did. Having got into mixing and layering tracks in songs with no prior knowledge or experience I knew there would be areas where Justin would be able to redirect me into a more organized and structured approach. So it proved - even in basic areas, which, having spoken to Justin became rather obvious. Here's a summary of the things that we covered in the remix of the song:
1) Drum & bass - It seems rather obvious now in retrospect that drum and bass are the underpinning of the song and should work together complement each other, but I'd never really mixed my tracks like that, just treated them individually without regard to the context of each with the other. Justin stripped back the drum sound, eased off on the reverb (the latter became a common strategy with all of the tracks he looked at!) and left a much clearer track for the basic beat of the song. He then remixed the bass to fit perfectly with the drums, again easing off on the reverb.
2) rhythm guitar - there are a couple of rhythm guitar tracks on my recording so Justin tweaked both, but particularly one that had a grungy sound. He took off some reverb and also some gain then added a little tremolo, which separated the sound from the other guitar tracks nicely. 
3) He then moved on to one of the lead guitar tracks that contained fills that accompanied the vocals. Unfortunately I'd mixed them so that the guitar was drowning out and competing with my voice in parts so he tidied that up and made a big improvement on the overall clarity of the recording.

All through the process he referred back to the frequency range that each instrument occupied and showed me how to use the sound envelope in Garage Band to place that instrument in the appropriate range so that it would complement the other instruments without competing with them.
At the end of it I'd learned a lot which I will use in my future recordings, and many thanks to Justin for taking the time to go through this stuff with me.

For those interested I've posted the remixed recording on my Soundcloud page. You'll find the remix and the original here, in case you want to do a comparison yourself:

https://soundcloud.com/fourtwo42/and-then-the-rain-remix
https://soundcloud.com/fourtwo42/and-then-the-rain

Neil
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on November 26, 2017, 05:50:43 am
Thanks for sharing, Neil.

I could hear some of the improvements coming through in the remix, particularly the reduced gain on the grungy rhythm guitar...much clearer so sound.

Listening on my tablet ... definitely not the best quality playback ... I thought the overall "loudness" of the remix was lower than the original.  Is that right? If so maybe a last move to make the most effective comparison would be to boost the remix up a little on the master?

What a great song, good to listen to it again!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DarrellW on November 26, 2017, 06:26:20 am
It's amazing how much improvement you can get from subtle changes!!!
It's made what was a nice song amazing!!!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Fourtwo on November 26, 2017, 09:57:56 pm
One more thing I forgot.....

Justin and I had a conversation early in the session which I thought I would share as I found it really interesting and counter-intuitive. We were talking about vocal style - each of us has a unique voice and we have to find our own vocal style. I try to copy the artists that I'm recording in order to (eventually!) find my own style - haven't succeeded yet, but will keep trying. Justin then explained that he went through a period of vocal training from some top voice coaches to try to improve his vocals. After a sustained period of this he happened to be jamming with a friend of his who's in the music business, who made the comment that Justin was not singing with his own voice any longer, rather, all of the traditional vocal coaching had him singing in a traditional, coached manner. Justin asked the friend how he thought Justin should be singing and the friend said that it should be in Justin's own voice - however he wanted it to sound. Justin took this advice and started to sing in a more natural, but rougher manner, rather than the professional, coached manner and had much more authentic sounding results. Whilst I'm sure Justin would not downplay the benefits of receiving proper musical training, whether for voice or instrument, I think his point was that it is not always the best way forward. I hope I've explained this properly if not, perhaps Justin can jump in and recap in his words as I think it's an interesting point worth sharing.
Neil
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: glpguitar on November 27, 2017, 10:52:55 am
This is an awesome piece of information! Really useful to hear real life experience. Thanks for sharing. And I am sure you will find your own voice soon(er or larer :) )
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: MrBumble on November 27, 2017, 11:46:10 am
Yes, it is good to hear these sort of experiences.

The point about voice training is an interesting one. From personal experience, I sang in choirs when I was young (boy soprano) at school and in church. I was lucky to have had training in how to sing. In other words, how to breathe and how to preserve my vocal cords. That was all. There was no question of shaping my voice to be something it wasn't.

In later life I sang in folk groups and developed my own sound for that - harmony singing is huge fun. I still sing in church and enjoy it. While I don't have the vocal range I used to I can still enjoy singing by myself and with others.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on February 11, 2018, 06:20:18 pm
I'm too chicken to collect my Skype lesson. Haha.

I'm a scaredy cat.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on February 11, 2018, 09:09:39 pm
I'm too chicken to collect my Skype lesson. Haha.

I'm a scaredy cat.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk
Come on, Lynn, you write songs that sound good, with interesting lyrics, you sing well and you play pretty well also. Your abilities have been recognised in every contest by Justin. Just go hang out and talk about song writing, album making, music marketing and maybe a little about playing. And if it gets awkward just pretend to struggle to be hearing and drop the call  ;)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on February 12, 2018, 12:05:37 am
Love in ... as Mrs adoyle might say ...
Go on go on go on go on go on. :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: phx1973 on February 12, 2018, 02:16:33 am
I'm too chicken to collect my Skype lesson. Haha.

I'm a scaredy cat.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Now that’s hilarious. You can do it!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on March 02, 2018, 01:06:15 pm
Okay, I did it. I got up the nerve. I had my lesson yesterday. It was awesome.

I had a bit of anxiety before hand, mostly because I had never used Skype and couldn't test it out beforehand. Connecting worked, but it was several minutes into my lesson before I realized that although I could see Justin, he couldn't see me. Haha. Oops. He thought I was being shy. I just didn't know I had to hit the video button.

But for anyone who is shy, Justin was very understanding of that, and you don't have to put yourself on video to have your lesson. You can still see him. I would not recommend this, though, because then he can't see if there's a physical issue going on, like mine, which was lifting my hand too far off the strings, and hitting some strings I shouldn't.

Before the lesson, I emailed him a list of things I wanted to talk about, and that's what we did. He was very kind and helpful. We mostly chatted about songwriting, engineering and mastering an LP.

We also talked about guitar practice. He said the most important thing to practice is rhythm. He suggested playing along with songs I like the rhythm of, with muted strings.

Then we worked on one of my problems. Bm is my nemesis, especially when coming from G. I knew the answer was to practice, but he gave me a really specific prescription of 5 minutes of changes from G to Bm really slowly, with strum pick out strum to make sure every note rings out, followed by 5 -1 minute changes. I will do it.

At that point, he had answered all my emailed questions, and there was still time left. I told him that I was happy, and we could end early, but he would have none of that, and started asking about my weather. Luckily I quickly thought of something else to talk about. Making small talk is not my forte. That would have been awkward. Haha.

So, then we talked about stage fright. I told him my physical symptoms, and he assured me it's really normal to have them. He told me if I want to perform, I should start in front of a small group of friends and then maybe do an open mic, working my way up incrementally until I was playing arenas. Haha.

He pointed out the worst thing that could happen would be forgetting the words, singing off key, or forgetting the chords, and even if those things happen, and even if I get booed off stage, it really isn't a big deal. But he told me how to write a cheat sheet so I'd be less likely to forget things in the heat of the moment.

That's about it. I didn't cry, even at the end when I told him how much he changed my life.

Thanks again Justin. That was fun!
Lynn



Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on March 02, 2018, 01:27:00 pm
Ace! :)
So glad you did it.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: embishop on March 02, 2018, 05:52:40 pm
Lynn that certainly does sound like an awesome lesson! Thanks for putting in all the detail. I'm not surprised at all that Justin teaches so much for the individual, in my books he's the best guitar teacher ever and my experience is just from his videos! :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on March 02, 2018, 07:21:11 pm
So thrilled to hear you overcame the nerves and had your lesson, Lynn. And thanks for sharing all the details. What a wonderful experience.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Fox Cunning on March 03, 2018, 10:25:14 am
Awesome, Lynn! Good to see that all went well, but really I had no doubt :)
I'm booking my session now, so I will have something to post soon too.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on March 03, 2018, 02:32:11 pm
Awesome, Lynn! Good to see that all went well, but really I had no doubt :)
I'm booking my session now, so I will have something to post soon too.
Can't wait to read about it. Be prepared with more questions than you think he can answer in an hour. Have fun!

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: justinguitar on March 09, 2018, 07:01:22 pm
Cool thread idea :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Fox Cunning on March 17, 2018, 10:06:42 pm
Well I have had my Skype session in the end :)

I was quite nervous, hands shaking, my skill level instantly went from beginner to newborn sloth with no arms... but Justin was just as cool and encouraging as you all can imagine.
He is such a positive person, and always points out what you're doing well first, and then makes you focus on the issues you should work on.

He gave me sound advice on all the topics I enquired about, and all he said made sense in such a way that I was left pondering: "How did I not think about this myself, it's obvious!".

For example, in order to improve my bends, he advised me to play on an actual backing track -- I most often play on just a drum beat so I am not limited to a particular key/range of modes, but it's a lot easier to notice if I am bending out of key when there is a backing track in that specific key!

Now I'm working on what I promised to do this year: a first-take A/V of an improv, where I will try to incorporate what I've just learnt.

Thanks again Justin, it was a rare pleasure and a honour!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on March 17, 2018, 11:01:26 pm
Cool, fox! I found my nerves calmed right down in his presence. He's a pretty soothing person. And a great teacher. Sounds like you had fun.

I've noticed my playing is getting better since my lesson. I was kind of stalled at the same place for a long time, mostly because I lack ambition and am just happy writing the kind of songs I write. But somehow he broke through and I think I'm seeing an improvement.

Also, I got a new (used) acoustic guitar yesterday, and was not too shy to play in front of people at Guitar center. Justin said to start small! Haha. It used to be a big deal for me to even play in a guitar store, and yesterday I wasn't even nervous. Dave said I was even singing, which I don't remember. I must've been in a zone. Haha.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on March 17, 2018, 11:09:42 pm
Good stuff.
These stories are great and inspirational for many I'm sure.
 8)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on March 18, 2018, 04:38:30 am
Well I have had my Skype session in the end :

Now I'm working on what I promised to do this year: a first-take A/V of an improv, where I will try to incorporate what I've just learnt.

Thanks again Justin, it was a rare pleasure and a honour!
Thanks for sharing, Fox.

As I read each post lesson feedback, I am further convinced that this works well and the gift of feedback plus the reward of the lesson is good for the monthly contest.

Looking forward to the a/v of an improv !!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: ToneBender on March 27, 2018, 03:49:55 pm
Hi everyone, hope everything's going well in the justinguitar community ...

Haven't been on the forum in a while but i thought i'd swing by and share my experience with Justin. Close2u asked me to do it a while back and I completely forgot about it

The skype lesson wasn't really a lesson I guess, more like a conversation.
We didn't actually talk about how to play the guitar that much because I wanted his advice on teaching. I've been playing for ten years and started teaching two years ago, so I figured I needed more help in that area.
 He gave me some advice on teaching rythm and we both agreed on the fact that rythm is key when you're a musician, but it's also very tricky to explain and teach. You can teach the mathematical theory behind it like how to divide a bar and how to ''remove'' or ''add'' notes in a rythm pattern but the ''groove'' is hard to describe, and you can't teach something that you're having trouble defining yourself. It's more absctract and personal than mathematical I guess... I've spent more and more time on rythm with my students since then but now i feel comforted by the fact that I'm not the only one struggling with this aspect of teaching music ;)

One of the main advice that Justin gave me during the session was that it is really important to define stages in the student's progression and he suggested that i went on his website to see which songs he taught for each stage, especially in the beginner's section. He said I could use the website as a reference, and I thank him for that. The website is great for learning how to play but I also find it great as a teacher because it's well organised. It's like a roadmap for me now.

Anyway, thank you Justin for your dedication as a teacher, I've been using the website for ten years now and will continue to do so, as long as you keep teaching Neil Young tunes :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: pkboo3 on April 11, 2018, 07:45:52 pm
Hey all!  Such interesting feedback in all the Skype lessons. Lynn, I didn’t know you were shy. Same here. Terrifies me. And the pointer on the Bm chord is perfect timing in my learning process.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar.com Forum
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: pkboo3 on June 09, 2018, 04:07:11 am
Hey all!  I had a very successful Skype meeting with Justin this month.  As others have said, he is very relatable and I felt very comfortable with him. 
Topics I had for him:
•   We discussed the pros/cons of audio vs video uploads to the forum.  How a video can show the viewer what you are doing right or wrong.  The viewer can then help you improve your form or whatever needs improvement.  Also, he said there are software programs out there that can help you sync your video with your vocals.  So I plan on doing a little research on that.  I enjoy video’s myself, but also realize that uploading an audio is much easier.  I have done both and will continue doing both most likely but will try to upload videos more often now, hopefully.
•   I told him that I have issues with memory – poor cognitive skills, I guess.  He gave me a few tips.  He said it could help if I put my repertoire of songs in a book; put the ones I know in the front and the ones I’m working on in the back.  And at least once a week, go back over all of them to keep them fresh in my memory.  He suggested having a printout to help remember the visual quality of the page.  It can actually help to remember what the page looked like in your memory.  He suggested to simplify the song I’m learning into the most basic chunks.  He also gave me the name of a man who has written books on memory and has a website that can help with that.  (http://www.tonybuzan.com).  But also, he said it’s OK to make a little cheat sheet if absolutely necessary.  Just put the basic chords on it, maybe the beginning lines of the verses and/or chorus.  Make it large enough to see, but not so large that it is so obvious. 
•   I brought up the dreaded Bm Chord.  He told me about the “air change” technique.  I used to have that in my practice routine in the beginning stages, but had stopped doing it.  So I’m going to add that back in along with the Strum/Pick/Strum practice.  I also played a little of “Thank You” by Dido for him which has the Bm Chord, so he could see how I was playing it.  I was a little nervous, playing and singing, but he gave me some good suggestions.  So that was pretty neat.  Yeah, I messed up and sang a little nervous.  Hehe!  But it wasn’t too bad.
•   We discussed the use of the Capo.  The Capo can be moved up and down the fret board, according to a person’s own vocals.  It doesn’t have to be exactly where it’s placed in the lessons. 
•   I had seen a video of his way back when, about an ergonomic seat.  But I couldn’t find it, so he told me what it is.  It’s called Sitfit by Sissal.  I’m probably going to get me one.  I believe it will help relieve my back discomfort I have while sitting on my low futon when I’m practicing every night.
•   I showed him my daily practice routine.  He said I was probably doing too much at a time.  (I practice about 50 minutes, plus about 20 minutes of the songs I’m currently learning and rotating the songs I’m trying to keep in memory.  He helped me break it down into more manageable chunks.  He said I should do half of them one month and the other half in the second month. 
To summarize it all, I felt like it was a great session and I really appreciate Justin for all his hard work and commitment to all of us.  I think the advice he gave me about toning down my practice routine will help a lot.  Oh yeah!  He challenged me to perform in front of real people, because I had told him that I’ve never played in front of anybody before except for my grandkids, and that I will sit out on my back porch and play, but that’s all.  So he said in six months to get the family together and play a Christmas song for them.  So I told him I would.  Yikes!  He said everybody gets nervous and that it’s not as bad after you’ve done it once.  So we will see – MAYBE!  I think actually, I would be more inclined to find a place where people are just walking by, that I don’t know, and see if they will stop to listen.  Is that called Busking?! ;)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on June 09, 2018, 08:28:43 am
@ pkboo

Wonderful. Thanks for a great update and sharing how the tips and learning that Justin offered is going to help you - and hopefully others too. :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: embishop on June 09, 2018, 02:52:49 pm
Thanks for sharing your lesson with us Pam - it sounds excellent! It sounds like you got a ton out of it, some good feedback and directions, and it also sounds like it was good fun. Thanks for writing up all the details for us.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on June 09, 2018, 09:38:34 pm
Yay Pam! I'm so glad that worked out after our not so helpful Skype practice run. Haha. I was worried. It sounds like you're going to benefit a lot from that lesson. I don't know what it is about Justin, but he really made a huge difference in my playing. I feel like my strumming and rhythm is much more confident. I can't wait to hear you put his advice to use!

Lynn

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: pkboo3 on June 10, 2018, 09:04:02 pm
Richard, embishop, & Lynn. You’re welcome. I was glad to do it. Helps me also to write down what I learned. Lynn, the video and audio worked fine. Justin also got to meet my husband, & grandson; and he saw my two dogs.  I had everybody outside my bedroom, but they all slipped in & out at some point.  It was fun to let Justin see them all.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar.com Forum
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on June 10, 2018, 10:22:44 pm
Haha, I had mine when no one was home. But that sounds really sweet. I'm so glad it worked!
Richard, embishop, & Lynn. You’re welcome. I was glad to do it. Helps me also to write down what I learned. Lynn, the video and audio worked fine. Justin also got to meet my husband, & grandson; and he saw my two dogs.  I had everybody outside my bedroom, but they all slipped in & out at some point.  It was fun to let Justin see them all.


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Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on October 23, 2018, 08:36:51 pm
Had my session with Justin this afternoon.  What a great guy to hang out with, kinda felt just like it does when I am chatting music and guitar with my mates at work who also play. 

A few people suggested I prepare a list of questions and after some thought I wasn't able to do that.  As I said to Justin, it is testament to his teaching and this Community that whatever questions I have in mind are either answered in lessons as I progress or here in the Community.

So over and above just being able to thank him in person, my goal was to get a good sense check as to where I am, if I have picked up any bad habits or flaws.  Mission accomplished !!

So here the pointers ...

When playing E-shape bar chords my pinky and ring finger tend to separate from each other.  Good practice is to ensure they are touching when making that shape.  Drill is to start with F and slide to G and back again, slowly, while making sure to maintain the correct shape.  He also suggested speaking to the hand, to correct when necessary and encourage when doing it right.  Sounds weird but I buy this.

Second point was talking about the way in which I make E and Am shapes. I naturally put my index, middle and ring fingers on strings 3,4,5 respectively for E.  Suggestion is to rather go 3, 5, 4.  Reason being is that it allows the middle finger to sit more on top of the ring finger and get closer to the fret. But rather than saying the other way is wrong, just a different option and useful to be able to play these chords both ways, since depending on the song sometimes one may make for an easier change.

Another interesting point after doing some bass note down up strum playing, suggested I work on getting a little more of a shuffle/triplet feel into that rhythm and accent the higher strings on the strum.  I think I was playing it quite straight ie on the count and &.

After watching my finger-picking and playing some scales, he suggested I also use the pinky as an anchor when playing scales as I do when finger-picking.  And on electric that will help with adding some natural palm mute.

Net result, feedback is to confirm I am doing well, both in terms of my approach and level of play developed.  My E and A shape barre chords (the latter played with the mini-barre with ring finger) also looking good (other than the gap in the fingers). 

We had a good laugh over my wide range of ambitions going forward ... folk finger style + blues lead + slide on open tunings, electric and acoustic.  While loads and loads of fun lies ahead, Justin suggested being focussed in my learning going ahead ... focus on gaps in BC (next up then a look at slash chords), start on IM and then pick either folk/finger style or blues lead style modules.  He suggest focus for 3-4 months then review and either continue or target differently, to avoid trying to work on too many things at the same time.

I expressed a concern about not doing the ear-training yet and seeing it as necessary to get stuck into bends and he said not really.

He talked about how the BC is a good structure but shouldn't be followed to rigidly.  For example, I mentioned that I was still due to work on power chords, I'd put them off.  To which he said "no worries" you're playing the full barres, just concentrate on the low strings.  Reckon time to explore some hard rocking riffs on the LP :)

And lots more general chat about learning and playing.  He was also incredibly encouraging and complimentary, which was good to hear.  It is all well and good to think yourself that you are doing well, are following sound approaches to learning and to receive the positive feedback about songs posted, but to have Justin give what I am doing a once over and thumbs up as well as be well-pleased with my approach and thinking was an absolute bonus.

I could now gush on and on about the session, but I think you get the idea. I can't say I am any more inspired or motivated, that would be hard but do feel my confidence has been boosted as I continue on.

In closing, I can only amplify again my experience, that if you want to learn to play then Justin's Programmes backed up by the Community is the business.  Thinking about it I realised that during my years and years of dreaming and not really learning, that what was missing (for me) was an effective structure and a place to play, so as not to be on my own.  Now I have both!

Work the lessons, learn songs, record and share as soon as you can play songs, and in my experience you'll do well.

Huge thanks to Justin, Richard and Lieven who maintain the Community and each and every one of you, my friends in music here, who continue to offer encouragement and feedback every time I share some music.

   
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: sdd56 on October 23, 2018, 09:01:21 pm
Interesting read David, thanks for posting it.

I must admit I've never seen E played the way you describe. I play it the way Justin taught me  :D

Well done on winning the Skype session, thoroughly deserved!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on October 23, 2018, 09:07:56 pm
Interesting read David, thanks for posting it.

I must admit I've never seen E played the way you describe. I play it the way Justin taught me  :D

Well done on winning the Skype session, thoroughly deserved!

Thanks, SDD.  I guess I taught myself E that way when somebody showed me the chord fingering diagram without being explicit as to which fingers to use.

And Justin said James Taylor plays the E and Am this way which helped him think how wrong can it be :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on October 23, 2018, 09:17:05 pm
Great SKYPE story David.
Glad that you found so much positive affirmation of what you are doing / can do / want to do.
 May your story, and all the skype stories, help inspire others too.

:)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on October 23, 2018, 09:27:30 pm
Great SKYPE story David.
Glad that you found so much positive affirmation of what you are doing / can do / want to do.
 May your story, and all the skype stories, help inspire others too.

:)

 ;D

As LBro would say

ROCK ON

 8)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: hilts17 on October 23, 2018, 10:01:08 pm
Thanks for sharing the experience with the rest of us David. Sounds like a thoroughly enjoyable time and nothing less than what I would expect from Justin.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on October 23, 2018, 10:10:27 pm
Thanks for sharing the experience with the rest of us David. Sounds like a thoroughly enjoyable time and nothing less than what I would expect from Justin.

Absolute pleasure, Hilts, and Justin was just as I observed him to be in those interactive videos with Lee (RutBusters and Captains Privates).  One of those moments that one wishes would never end  ;D
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on October 23, 2018, 10:42:51 pm
Nice one David! Makes me want to win a competition now! :) The E shape though. It is difficult probably because I'm not used to it. But I'm guessing it makes moves to C or Fmaj7 easier? Keep rockin'! ;) (LBro intended)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on October 24, 2018, 01:18:25 am
Yay! I'm glad you finally met him and had fun.

I can't wait to see how it affects your playing.

Sent from my Moto G (5S) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: batwoman on October 24, 2018, 04:24:19 am
Huge thanks to Justin, Richard and Lieven who maintain the Community and each and every one of you, my friends in music here, who continue to offer encouragement and feedback every time I share some music. 

Well said David.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: CT on October 24, 2018, 05:03:46 am
@DavidP, great story! Thanks for sharing and I'm sure it's a shot in the arm for you. Looking forward to hearing more great music from you moving forward.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DarrellW on October 24, 2018, 09:15:31 am
Really glad you had such a positive experience David, you definitely deserve it; you are a STAR ⭐️ Pupil after all 👍👍👍
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: PilgrimPod on October 24, 2018, 09:39:12 am
you are a STAR ⭐️ Pupil after all 👍👍👍

Teacher's pet...  :P

Thanks for sharing the experience of your one to one. As a newbie only two months into BC it's encouraging to hear your experiences of the course and with Justin; he really does seem genuinely invested in those who are invested in his courses.

The cynic in me had reservations about starting an online guitar course that whilst was free had loads of additional bolt on material for a price. I guess the concern was it was a scheme to hook you and coerce you to part with cash to truly progress. Any doubts have disappeared these past few weeks.

That's not to say I want everything given to me for free. If something works I'll happily pay to support it, starting with Justin's amazing mobile app. :)

Justin has truly created something remarkable here with his courses, support and the online community he has nurtured. You guys rock too!  :D
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: embishop on October 25, 2018, 01:01:16 pm
I just saw this, David, it sounds like an awesome lesson! Thanks for sharing so many details, it’s very inspiring. Re the specifics -

...
Justin suggested being focussed in my learning going ahead ... He suggest focus for 3-4 months then review and either continue or target differently, to avoid trying to work on too many things at the same time.
...

This is such great advice - for me! Lol


...  Thinking about it I realised that during my years and years of dreaming and not really learning, that what was missing (for me) was an effective structure and a place to play, so as not to be on my own.  Now I have both! ...

So very true 😃


... Huge thanks to Justin, Richard and Lieven who maintain the Community and each and every one of you, my friends in music here, who continue to offer encouragement and feedback every time I share some music.

I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for sharing with the Community, David.

Mari
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Barend on October 25, 2018, 02:12:58 pm
Hi David.

I was looking fwd to this post as I was curious to see what advice you will receive directly from Justin.

I am also working currently on the E shaped barre chords and struggle with keeping the pinky close to the ring finger. I broke my pinky in rugby, so my pinky skews away from the ring. It is not too bad, but have to focus on controlling the pinky.

Using the pinky as anchor when fingerpicking is also good advice for me, I know about it but find it restrictive and get lazy..., so wil bring that in as well.

I can also identify with having to maintain focus on a few areas of learning.

These posts summarising the lessons are great as it highlights areas of improvement for all of us.

Tx for your effort.

Cheers
B



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Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Garfield on October 25, 2018, 08:54:10 pm
Thanks for posting this DavidP a really interesting read with some excellent advice. I'm glad you had such a good lesson.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on October 25, 2018, 09:45:49 pm
My pleasure to share what I picked up and delighted if some points have been helpful. Certainly was great fun, a memorable experience. I feel ever so blessed to have been given the opportunity.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: oldhead49 on October 25, 2018, 10:40:12 pm
Thanks for sharing all of that David. Sounds like you had a very enlightening session.  No doubt, it is well deserved. Congratulations again on this accomplishment in your journey.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar.com Forum
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: brianlarsen on October 27, 2018, 12:33:26 pm
Thanks for the Skype update, David.
I'm glad you had a fruitful and enjoyable session  :)

We all dream, but I had exactly the same thoughts as you, if my number came up-
What would I want to ask or get out of the session?

whatever questions I have in mind are either answered in lessons as I progress or here in the Community.
I pretty quickly decided that a chat about learning guitar and what music means to us would be the main focus and my excitement and experience would just boost my enthusiasm even more.
These descriptions of the skype sessions just confirm my impression of what comes across in his videos:
a really talented, sound guy with a positive attitude.

Cheers again for the review
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on October 28, 2018, 06:48:17 am
Thanks for sharing all of that David. Sounds like you had a very enlightening session.  No doubt, it is well deserved. Congratulations again on this accomplishment in your journey.

Thanks very much, Dave ... it was a real blessing, for sure

Thanks for the Skype update, David.
I'm glad you had a fruitful and enjoyable session  :)

We all dream, but I had exactly the same thoughts as you, if my number came up-
What would I want to ask or get out of the session?
I pretty quickly decided that a chat about learning guitar and what music means to us would be the main focus and my excitement and experience would just boost my enthusiasm even more.
These descriptions of the skype sessions just confirm my impression of what comes across in his videos:
a really talented, sound guy with a positive attitude.

Cheers again for the review

My pleasure, Brian.  And in addition to all you say, just such an easy guy to hang out with.  I felt we'd been mates for ages.

Keep at your learning, playing, writing and entering and no reason why you won't be Justin's Pick sometime down the line.  Perhaps in some way the moment comes at just the right time, when the session can be most valuable...worked that way for me.

   
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: max_mue on November 20, 2018, 11:18:59 am
Hey there - it's time for my update of this thread ;)
I had to postpone the lesson in July because of a spontaneous trip to Italy, but we caught up today :)

First of all: Justin is a great guy and it's a pleasure to spend time with him - I enjoyed every moment of it. I struggled sometimes with my English skills (I'm way better at reading/understanding than talking unfortunately^^), but it was no problem. We talked a lot about music theory, because it's a lot on my mind due to my Bachelor's thesis.

Here's a summary:
In the end we talked a bit about the next things I'm going to work on (Jazz introduction, Fingerstyle, Ear Training, Transcribing) and if I'm going to participate in a collaboration for the next contest.

Please excuse my short summary, I'm not a wordsmith like David when it comes to writing in English :P ^^
It was a great experience to meet the person that actually taught me to play guitar. 'Never meet your idol/heroes' certainly doesn't apply to meeting Justin ;)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on November 20, 2018, 01:01:12 pm
Nice Max! I was just thinking yesterday if I had read aboutyour skype session experience. Didn’t know it was postponed. A lesson with Justin sounds like a lot of fun. Something to work for ;) Thanks for sharing your experience. Some good stuff you discussed there! :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on November 20, 2018, 03:14:07 pm
Thanks for sharing, Max.

Certainly no reason for being apologetic about your English and the feedback you've provided.  Hell, many probably cheering you own, for being more brief than my typical wall of text :)

Sounded interesting, even if a bit beyond my current play-grade.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on November 20, 2018, 08:21:42 pm
Hi Max. It looks like you packed a lot in to your session.

CAGED is such a wonderful tool imho. Any different perspective on how it applies, what it can reveal, what it connects to is a good thing. :) Glad that you got an explanation that made sense to you.


And good news that you have found others to make music with.
 8) 8)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: brianlarsen on February 28, 2019, 12:59:48 pm
When I was a nine year old boy in Beirut, I recall being transported to another world, reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved chocolate (still my favourite food) and Roald Dahl tells a riveting yarn. At about the same time I received the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper which opened a wormhole to yet another universe for me.

When I came across Justin’s website nearly a year ago, I felt like I had discovered a secret doorway into the chocolate factory of how music is made. I’ve been running around the factory ever since, flitting from room to room, sniffing different chords, having a taste of this strumming or that picking, as well as leafing through some of the recipe books of music theory.

I even had a go at making some chocolatey music inventions myself, which some of you have kindly tasted.

You can imagine my surprise and excitement when one of the chief Oompa Loompas (sorry Richard :P) informed me that I had received a Christmas present of a GOLDEN TICKET to meet Willy Wonka himself- a Skype session!

What would I like to ask the great man?

Only having commenced my journey, I am painfully aware of what I need to work on; and between the excellent lessons and helpful forum, I had serious difficulty thinking of what I wanted to ask Justin that I didn’t know already, or at least know where to find it.
For me, the answer to most questions lies behind that door named ‘Practice’.

Out of respect for him as a teacher, I did prepare some questions/areas to go over. But as in the above book, it’s all about the relationships. I wanted to meet this man, thank him for the enjoyment he has brought me and if I’m honest, feel like he got to know me. (Self-centred yes, but there you go)

The lesson began by me serenading him with a slight re-write of one of my previous competition entries, ‘Just a minute Justin’ (now ‘just an hour’), to give him a general idea of my playing abilities.
We then had a longish session of general chit-chat about his recent ski-holiday and I gave him a bit of my background, explaining how I ended up learning late in life. Lots of fan-boy praise from my side.
I think he was a bit taken aback when I told him about my brother having a heart attack just as I was launching into the Christmas competition and how helpful I found having an enjoyable distraction at an emotional time. He was half-expecting a funny punchline- not a personal story ending in death, so maybe I over-shared there…

We moved on to discussing how to go about writing simple fingerpicking style for songs. He noticed I had drifted off the alternate base plucking, which he stressed was of utmost importance. I hadn’t realised the thumb takes care of all three lower strings so the other fingers don’t have to shift.

We talked about the minor pentatonic scale and how it relates to major scales. He talked about using notes like words and putting them together in licks to make sense to others.

He suggested it was time for me to move on to barre chords (which I have just recently started practising).
He seemed happy enough with what I was doing. I find my index finger often protrudes way beyond the fretboard, but he was less concerned with what it looked like as long as the sound was clean.
I wasn’t sure the A-shape barre chord was for acoustic guitar, but he assured me again-  just more practice.

We finished up talking about two Aussie gigs I’m going to in the coming months: Nick Cave in Liverpool in June and Tommy Emmanuel in Manchester at the end of March. I told him I’m thinking of bringing my guitar with me to see if I can get it signed by Tommy. If I’m not going down the GAS route yet, I might just pimp my current 6-string.

Are you still here?
Well, in summary: Believe the hype. Justin is a really engaging, sound and chilled dude.
Even if he thinks I’m a plonker- mission accomplished:
Mr. Wonka is aware of this plonker now!

Thank you all

(p.s. In playing terms, I had already benefited immensely before the lesson, as I had been practising much more to reduce embarrassment levels. See- practice! ;))
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: glpguitar on February 28, 2019, 01:14:46 pm
Congrats mate! Very glad you had a good chat with J himself. Keep playing!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: redrhodie on February 28, 2019, 01:48:39 pm
Really great summary, Brian! Sounds like a hoot. I also felt like I overshared with him. I think the issue might be we watched all his videos, so we feel like we know him.

Look forward to seeing your progress!

Lynn

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on February 28, 2019, 04:59:52 pm
Thanks for sharing,  Brian. I think my experience was similar, though not shared with your wonderful flair for telling a story. Keep at it ... you are doing great
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DarrellW on February 28, 2019, 07:16:42 pm
Sounds like you've been inspired Brian, glad you enjoyed it you deserved it!

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Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Garfield on February 28, 2019, 08:13:19 pm
Excellent Brian glad you enjoyed the lesson. Nick cave in Manchester sounds great. I'm a big fan and i've seen him live quite a bit. Have a great time.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Fourtwo on February 28, 2019, 09:10:13 pm
After having the great pleasure (and fun) of working with Brian I can safely say that this guy can make reading the shopping list appear both interesting and funny!
Brian, you're a star mate!
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on February 28, 2019, 09:29:09 pm
Whoo-hoo

(https://i.imgur.com/OEV35re.jpg)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: batwoman on March 01, 2019, 12:46:08 am
Well, in summary: Believe the hype. Justin is a really engaging, sound and chilled dude.
Even if he thinks I’m a plonker- mission accomplished:
Mr. Wonka is aware of this plonker now!

I'm so glad you've stuck around. Opening your posts is like going to a treasure chest, never knowing what I'll find. I'm never disappointed. I do hope that you are coming to terms with the passing of your brother. Hope it's not too personal an observation and it may be incorrect, but I thought your eyes looked sad in your last video. Be gentle with your good self, mate.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: brianlarsen on March 01, 2019, 03:00:38 pm
Congrats mate! Very glad you had a good chat with J himself. Keep playing!
Thanks  :)

Sounds like a hoot. I also felt like I overshared with him. 
Thanks Lynn,
It was and I'm glad I'm not the only one  ;)

Thanks for sharing,  Brian. I think my experience was similar, though not shared with your wonderful flair for telling a story
Thanks David, but we're giving up self-deprecation.
You gave a great account of your lesson (wordsmithery, I think Max called it  ;))

Nick cave in Manchester sounds great. I'm a big fan and i've seen him live quite a bit. Have a great time
Mr Cave is probably my favourite artist. I've seen him a couple of times (and touched the hand of God last summer at Roskilde festival  :)

After having the great pleasure (and fun) of working with Brian I can safely say that this guy can make reading the shopping list appear both interesting and funny!
Brian, you're a star mate!
The pleasure was all mine, Neil.
If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have had this experience!
We're co-stars  8) 8)

Whoo-hoo

(https://i.imgur.com/OEV35re.jpg)
Apologies for teasing you Richard.
If I had known you look like that I never would have referred to Oompa Loompas  :-[

I'm so glad you've stuck around. Opening your posts is like going to a treasure chest, never knowing what I'll find. I'm never disappointed. I do hope that you are coming to terms with the passing of your brother. Hope it's not too personal an observation and it may be incorrect, but I thought your eyes looked sad in your last video. Be gentle with your good self, mate.
That's very kind, Maggie.
Thanks for your concern; you're very perceptive- but it's not mourning (I'm doing well on that front).
You are probably picking up on some discomfort from my tooth which looks like it's going to need root canal treatment  ;) :(








Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on March 02, 2019, 01:21:14 pm
Hey all,

Wow Brian... reading your experience made me realize the exact feelings I had going into my skype lesson.
You put it in beautiful sentences.

I had my session yesterday. I've got to admit that it was close to impossible to come up with a list of questions to ask Justin during the one shot opportunity. However, I did come up with a list that I had sent him earlier this month before I came to Japan. Embarrassingly enough, a busy week in Japan, led to a lack of preparation and I forgot the things I wanted to ask him.

I had setup my audio interface and everything so that Justin would be able to hear my voice as well as my guitar. The session began with Justin not being able to hear my voice however (Another embarrassing moment). But he helped me figure that out and we began talking about what I do and what I'm doing in Japan. Justin is an amazingly warm/cool guy and he helped me settle in quite well.

Then he pulled up the list I had sent him and we began with blues soloing. After that he asked me to do an improv solo. He said that I'm able to play but the most important thing that I need to work on is having a "central idea" and linking the other licks with this idea using "threads". He suggested that I need to explore the guitar more and learn new licks, for you can't get fluent in a language if you only know a few words and sentences that you repeat (How true is that considering that's my skill with Japanese). He also talked about how the flavor of the solos is reflected by the kind of music we listen to. Then he suggested that I should try to transcribe more solos and went as far as challenging me to transcribe 5 solos before the end of this year. This, I gladly accepted! :D

The next thing I wanted to ask him was tips on how to improve the recording and production process. After listening to my song (her light) quickly, he said that I was actually doing good on the production side but suggested that I work on tightening my bass playing which he said was "wobbly" at times. He said that's probably the one thing producers would want to be improved in the song. Then he spoke about what software he uses to produce his songs and also gave me a run through of the softwares available and a little bit of an insight of which would be suitable for me.

Sadly enough that's all we did talk about and the things I forgot to ask him were about how to use and target chord notes while soloing, combining rhythm and lead and lead fills. There were a lot of awkward moments of silence from me due to my lack of preparation (and partly due to the fact that I'm actually talking to Justin!). But Justin was a really cool guy and made the session an enjoyable experience.

The one good thing I did do was to properly thank him for the wonderful website and the community and how it had changed my life for the good in the last few years, particularly the last 6-7 months. I was motivated into doing competitions only for this chance of getting face to face with Justin and it did prove to be a wonderful experience. As for the questions I have unanswered... probably will have to wait until my next win ;) It's not going to be easy, but I'm motivated! Got to work on the transcribe challenge before that though! Thank you all in this forum. You all have been amazing to me and everyone! And thank you Brian for your efforts in the setup as well as the maintenance of the community.

Bala
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on March 02, 2019, 01:53:28 pm
@ Brian

Serious response time (no Oompa Loompas in sight).
It is great to read your story of the session, the chat, the focus on song-writing (a direction you seem compelled to follow), on progressing to barre chords etc. On the last of those, can I make a suggestion? Get a vibe going with the 4-chord progression. You know the famous one. The I - V - vi - IV progression. Try playing it in G which uses only open chords:
G - D - E minor - C

Then try in C which uses one barre chord (you could use a mini-barre F Major chord or alternate between F barre and F Maj7 so you can keep the progression going without fatiguing your barring finger too soon):
C - G - A minor - F


Then to extend and focus more on practicing your barre chords, try it in other keys.
Key of D
D - A - B minor - G
… play all as barre chords with roots on 5th & 6th strings or just the last two as barre chords to ease finger fatigue.

Key of A
A - D - F# minor - E
.. again mix & match barre chords with open shapes.

In technical terms these are all called I - V - vi - IV progressions. (If you don't know what that is you may want to research it a little).

Other variations using the same chords are:
A minor - F - C - G
E minor - C - G - D
B minor - G - D - A
F# minor - E - A - D

In technical terms these are called vi - IV - I - V progressions.

And another variation:

C - A minor - F - G
G - E minor - C - D
D - B minor - G - A
A - F# minor - D - E

In technical terms these are called I - vi - IV - V  progressions.

Again, vary your playing so sometimes you play open chords, sometimes 5th string or 6th string barre chords for majors and minors.

@ Bala

Re:
Soloing with the approach of targeting chord tones.
First, you need to know the notes (triads will work) of the chords in the progression. These will become your target notes, comfortable landing places when the chords are changing. So for your chosen chord progression / backing track, chart the chords as triads on the top three strings. Visualise the five moveable CAGED barre shapes and just mark the notes on the G, B & E strings. If you know your intervals, mark the root and the 3rd and 5th too. Definitely the root. Have these neck diagrams in sight when playing.
The sort of backing track that will work best with this will have only three or four chords, be fairly slow and hold each chord for at least two bars.
To begin, play just one note per bar of the progression. Start with the root note of each chord as it comes around. Just the root.
Then repeat but with either the 3rd or the 5th.
Then repeat but play any two notes per bar over the chords, root & 3rd, root & 5th, 3rd & 5th.
Then repeat and extend the idea. Make up a little run of notes that either start and / or end on the root note of each chord per bar. Because the chords last for at least two bars you could progress to runs, licks & phrases that start in one bar and end in the other. For now, still limit your choice to notes that are only from the triads – the root, 3rd or 5th.
Note – for minor chords, the 3rd is a b3rd.
Try this for a few weeks over a variety of backing tracks in different keys.

 :) :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on March 02, 2019, 02:25:50 pm
@ close2u
Thank you for the invaluable information Close. I enjoyed both the information shared. With the chord notes, I didn't even think about the CAGED system. I've been trying to use the notes from the E, Emin, A and Amin shapes into the solos. But the CAGED system would open up more of the fretboard now! Thank you for that Close. I probably need to make a lot of note charts now! That's goal 1! :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on March 02, 2019, 02:31:42 pm
Hey Bala

Thanks for sharing your experience.  Sounds educational, inspirational and fun.  Justin is special in the way that he connects with his students (nearly said disciples, but caught myself :) )
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on March 02, 2019, 02:53:51 pm
Hey Bala

Thanks for sharing your experience.  Sounds educational, inspirational and fun.  Justin is special in the way that he connects with his students (nearly said disciples, but caught myself :) )

Thank you David. He sure is special. He might be more popular than the Beatles ;) if you know what I mean.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on March 02, 2019, 02:57:14 pm
Thank you David. He sure is special. He might be more popular than the Beatles ;) if you know what I mean.

LOL ... that couldn't be  ;)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on March 02, 2019, 03:53:57 pm
@ Bala … I'm going to start a new thread and share some triad diagrams .. :)


Done ... it is here (https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=44991.0)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on March 02, 2019, 04:18:26 pm
LOL ... that couldn't be  ;)

Or maybe it could ;)

@ Bala … I'm going to start a new thread and share some triad diagrams .. :)


Done ... it is here (https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=44991.0)


Thank you Close! Will check it out! :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: embishop on March 03, 2019, 03:39:01 pm
Didn’t realize I’d missed your post here, Max, sounds like a great lesson, chatting and specifics for both technique and knowledge. 

Brian, great write up, as usual, sounds like a great lesson as well, very impressed with the amount of focus you challenged yourself with! Sorry to hear about your brother. Music is very healing, if you travel down a serious road one day maybe you’ll find a song for him. Although laughter is also very healing, so maybe it needn’t be such a serious road …

Bala, even if you forgot a couple of things you wanted to go over it certainly sounds like a great lesson. I think if I had ever won a lesson with Justin I’d be star struck and might not be able to get out any words at all!

And apart from the no surprise at you all having great lessons, I’m also not at all surprised to hear from all of you that Justin is the real deal in person. I do believe the hype :)

Mari
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: brianlarsen on March 03, 2019, 04:42:47 pm
Serious response time...

Richard,
This stuff is gold dust.
Not only do I get a lesson with the great one himself, I also get bespoke pathways from his right-hand men  :)
I shall be coming back to this many times in the not too distant future. I will first need to go back and review the theory. I felt I was within touching distance 5 or 6 months ago on the theory course, but need to refresh.
It's funny- I don't really think of myself as wanting to write good songs, it would just be nice to have something to play while singing something I wrote. (I may end up just stealing others' great tunes  ;)).
I shall investigate and hopefully put all the above to good use.

Thank you again.

As for the questions I have unanswered... probably will have to wait until my next win ;) It's not going to be easy, but I'm motivated! ...
Really enjoyed reading your account Bala, especially hot on the heels of mine- It brought it all back quite vividly  :)
You are a shoe-in for another win, Bala. You've put up so much high-quality stuff in the AVOYP section since I joined!

And thank you Brian for your efforts in the setup as well as the maintenance of the community.
You're welcome!  ;) :P

Brian, great write up, as usual, sounds like a great lesson as well, very impressed with the amount of focus you challenged yourself with! Sorry to hear about your brother. Music is very healing, if you travel down a serious road one day maybe you’ll find a song for him. Although laughter is also very healing, so maybe it needn’t be such a serious road …
Thank you, Mari
Funny you should say that; Soon after the funeral, I had composed the bones of the chorus of a song I might write for him. Although this one will be too personal to share, I'm afraid  :(
It's really encouraging to see members take an interest in how everyone else is progressing  :)
Cheers



Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Garfield on March 05, 2019, 02:29:24 pm
Hi Everyone

I had a lesson with Justin on Saturday. I can’t say enough nice things about this guy, he’s great to chat to and he’s straightened me out. 

So where I am on my guitar journey is lost – or I was. The beginner’s course is fantastic because what you need to learn next is very obvious. I won’t say I’ve completed the IM but I’ve got to the end of it and I’m comfortable with most of the syllabus. I don’t see it as something to be completed before moving on, as I will be working on the some of those skills for years to come maybe forever. As many have commented the more you know about guitar the more you realise there is to learn; and what order should it be tackled? It’s a bit bewildering and I wasn’t sure what direction to go in.
 
After much agonising I’ve started the Blues Lead 1 and as I couldn’t bend very well on my acoustic I’ve bought an electric. I want to learn the fret board and my plan was to do this via the 5 minor pentatonic shapes. My question to Justin was am I doing right, or should I tackle the major scale first as this is where everything comes from. We then had a long chat about why I want to play and what I want to play. I can’t recount the whole conversation here but the outcome is that I am going to proceed with the Blues Lead course and learn the minor pentatonic patterns. The reasons being that I want to play blues, blues is an easy starter and as Justin said you can always learn other scales and styles later on.
 
So onto the technical stuff. I struggle with muting on the electric. I find it really hard to mute at the top of a bend. I also asked if I should be anchoring or float with my picking hand. On the acoustic I have always floated but I had the body of the guitar to rest my arm on. Justin anchors. I’m going to anchor. He said that you can’t really get away with floating completely you do need something to keep your hand in a fixed position. I have tried it the past few nights and found it’s not too uncomfortable. On the muting Justin noted that my hand position was wrong and needed moving back toward the bridge. I have noticed that‘ve hit the middle pickup when picking a scale before so I’m too far forward. By moving my hand back and dropping a couple of fingers down I’m in a much better position to mute (it’s a smaller movement) and I do feel a bit more secure when picking. It doesn’t feel natural yet, far from it, but I think it will come with practice.

Also a good tip he dropped in was to roll up my jumper. I was wearing a long sleeved top and he commented that it’s unusual to play in long sleeves and that by rolling up a sleeve I’d get better contact with the guitar.

I’ve been struggling with vibrato. I naturally seem to do the classical style vibrato, it’s lots of hand and arm flapping but as Justin said “that’s just not going to work on electric”.  He ran over what I should be doing, and when explained 1:1 I felt I started to get it a bit. Basically I just need to pivot my hand, I was flapping my arm and elbow around, I also need to be locking my fingers. Again this does not feel natural but it will come with practice. 

I asked Justin about a lick that I start each jam with and cannot stop playing. It’s become an unconscious tick. To take Justin’s analogy of licks being words, this word is “um” and I can’t stop saying it. He asked to hear the lick which I obviously fluffed and then almost forgot. He said you just have to try not to play it. Try and record yourself so you can see when you play it and if you’re not capable of not playing it then take the strings off. He was serious. He gave me a shuffle in A and told me to play over it but don’t touch the G string, again I didn’t really rise to occasion and without my default lick it was a pretty lousy 12 bars – but I can say I’ve jammed with Justin!

Lastly I asked for some help with rhythm. I have a looper pedal and set loops up for myself quite a bit, but I often find that I’m playing the same or very similar rhythms. He said I could start the blues rhythm course as well if it have enough practice time. I don’t but I’m going to. He said there were backing tracks on the course and that at first I should try and play along but then try and loop them.

That’s about it. He also encouraged me to play with others I’d mentioned that I was trying to set up a jam with a few guitar playing dad’s I’d met at a kids party recently. That’s happening next month.

Hope you found this interesting I certainly did.

G
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on March 05, 2019, 03:16:02 pm
Thanks for sharing, Gareth, interesting and always inspiring to read others experiences. 

Big ups to you for working through IM ... I'm pretty much stuck trying to count, strum and tap my foot for first intro to 1/16 strumming :) 

Wishing you loads of fun working at the blues and (needless to say) look forward to you sharing some jams over a backing track. 

So cool you could jam with Justin ... latency for me was so huge so that was never going to happen.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on March 06, 2019, 10:05:04 am
You're welcome!  ;) :P

Oh I messed up there at last! I was supposed to thank Close. But being a cricket fan and the great West Indian era fan, and since I've watched "Fire in Babylon", Everytime I see Close's name I'm tempted to call him Brian (Brian Close - an 80's English batsman). It finally came out that way. Maybe I should start calling him Richard :D

Bala, even if you forgot a couple of things you wanted to go over it certainly sounds like a great lesson. I think if I had ever won a lesson with Justin I’d be star struck and might not be able to get out any words at all!

And apart from the no surprise at you all having great lessons, I’m also not at all surprised to hear from all of you that Justin is the real deal in person. I do believe the hype :)

Mari

Thank you Mari. It certainly was a great lesson and Justin is totally worth the hype! It made me realize how great it would be to have been taught by him in person! Not that the website is any less, but to be able to interact with him while learning sounds like such a huge motivation and fun!

Hi Everyone

I had a lesson with Justin on Saturday. I can’t say enough nice things about this guy, he’s great to chat to and he’s straightened me out. 

So where I am on my guitar journey is lost – or I was. The beginner’s course is fantastic because what you need to learn next is very obvious. I won’t say I’ve completed the IM but I’ve got to the end of it and I’m comfortable with most of the syllabus. I don’t see it as something to be completed before moving on, as I will be working on the some of those skills for years to come maybe forever. As many have commented the more you know about guitar the more you realise there is to learn; and what order should it be tackled? It’s a bit bewildering and I wasn’t sure what direction to go in.
 
After much agonising I’ve started the Blues Lead 1 and as I couldn’t bend very well on my acoustic I’ve bought an electric. I want to learn the fret board and my plan was to do this via the 5 minor pentatonic shapes. My question to Justin was am I doing right, or should I tackle the major scale first as this is where everything comes from. We then had a long chat about why I want to play and what I want to play. I can’t recount the whole conversation here but the outcome is that I am going to proceed with the Blues Lead course and learn the minor pentatonic patterns. The reasons being that I want to play blues, blues is an easy starter and as Justin said you can always learn other scales and styles later on.
 
So onto the technical stuff. I struggle with muting on the electric. I find it really hard to mute at the top of a bend. I also asked if I should be anchoring or float with my picking hand. On the acoustic I have always floated but I had the body of the guitar to rest my arm on. Justin anchors. I’m going to anchor. He said that you can’t really get away with floating completely you do need something to keep your hand in a fixed position. I have tried it the past few nights and found it’s not too uncomfortable. On the muting Justin noted that my hand position was wrong and needed moving back toward the bridge. I have noticed that‘ve hit the middle pickup when picking a scale before so I’m too far forward. By moving my hand back and dropping a couple of fingers down I’m in a much better position to mute (it’s a smaller movement) and I do feel a bit more secure when picking. It doesn’t feel natural yet, far from it, but I think it will come with practice.

Also a good tip he dropped in was to roll up my jumper. I was wearing a long sleeved top and he commented that it’s unusual to play in long sleeves and that by rolling up a sleeve I’d get better contact with the guitar.

I’ve been struggling with vibrato. I naturally seem to do the classical style vibrato, it’s lots of hand and arm flapping but as Justin said “that’s just not going to work on electric”.  He ran over what I should be doing, and when explained 1:1 I felt I started to get it a bit. Basically I just need to pivot my hand, I was flapping my arm and elbow around, I also need to be locking my fingers. Again this does not feel natural but it will come with practice. 

I asked Justin about a lick that I start each jam with and cannot stop playing. It’s become an unconscious tick. To take Justin’s analogy of licks being words, this word is “um” and I can’t stop saying it. He asked to hear the lick which I obviously fluffed and then almost forgot. He said you just have to try not to play it. Try and record yourself so you can see when you play it and if you’re not capable of not playing it then take the strings off. He was serious. He gave me a shuffle in A and told me to play over it but don’t touch the G string, again I didn’t really rise to occasion and without my default lick it was a pretty lousy 12 bars – but I can say I’ve jammed with Justin!

Lastly I asked for some help with rhythm. I have a looper pedal and set loops up for myself quite a bit, but I often find that I’m playing the same or very similar rhythms. He said I could start the blues rhythm course as well if it have enough practice time. I don’t but I’m going to. He said there were backing tracks on the course and that at first I should try and play along but then try and loop them.

That’s about it. He also encouraged me to play with others I’d mentioned that I was trying to set up a jam with a few guitar playing dad’s I’d met at a kids party recently. That’s happening next month.

Hope you found this interesting I certainly did.

G


Sounds like you've had a wonderful lesson Gareth. All the best with your targets and thanks for the share :)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: close2u on March 06, 2019, 10:53:34 am
Oh I messed up there at last! I was supposed to thank Close. But being a cricket fan and the great West Indian era fan, and since I've watched "Fire in Babylon", Everytime I see Close's name I'm tempted to call him Brian (Brian Close - an 80's English batsman). It finally came out that way. Maybe I should start calling him Richard :D


Ha ha.
That puts me in mind of a famous radio commentary slip-of-the-tongue that rendered the presenters of Test Match Special unable to speak for several minutes:

England vs West Indies @ The Oval 1976
"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DavidP on March 06, 2019, 09:14:46 pm

Ha ha.
That puts me in mind of a famous radio commentary slip-of-the-tongue that rendered the presenters of Test Match Special unable to speak for several minutes:

England vs West Indies @ The Oval 1976
"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"

LOL  glad the language filters didn't get triggered by that one  ;)
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Balamuthiah on March 06, 2019, 09:57:49 pm

Ha ha.
That puts me in mind of a famous radio commentary slip-of-the-tongue that rendered the presenters of Test Match Special unable to speak for several minutes:

England vs West Indies @ The Oval 1976
"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"

Oh boy that sure is an awkward moment right there! :D
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: batwoman on March 06, 2019, 11:15:58 pm

Ha ha.
That puts me in mind of a famous radio commentary slip-of-the-tongue that rendered the presenters of Test Match Special unable to speak for several minutes:

England vs West Indies @ The Oval 1976
"The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey"

Richard this is a gem, thanks for the share.  ;D ;D ;D

Even greater thanks for the gold you've shared and the special thread. You are a phenomenon.
Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: DanniTSI3 on March 07, 2019, 09:56:45 am
Brian I loved the tale you told!

It sounds as though you got a lot out of the session which is amazing!

I bet meeting Justin has motivated you all the more to practice hard and to keep improving!

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: The SKYPE Sessions ...
Post by: Fourtwo on March 07, 2019, 03:12:21 pm
Gareth,
Great stuff, sounds like you're progressing really well. Glad to see you've got your first (of many?) electrics!
Neil