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Offline close2u

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The 1-to-1 Sessions ...
« on: November 15, 2017, 11:17:43 am »
A thread for competition winners and Forum Award recipients to offer the story of their experience having had a SKYPE with Justin.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2021, 01:32:22 pm by close2u »

Offline Garfield

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #1 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.



Offline close2u

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 12:41:06 pm »
A wonderful story of your SKYPE Garfield. Thanks so much for sharing that.  :)

Offline Garfield

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #3 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.

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Offline embishop

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #4 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. :)
“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” ― Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline DavidP

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #5 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 !!
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
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Offline Amelie

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #6 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.

Offline Omar

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #7 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.

Offline glpguitar

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #8 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.

Offline michaal246

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #9 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.

Offline redrhodie

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #10 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.

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« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 01:04:46 pm by close2u »

Offline Laila

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 12:53:31 pm »
I was thinking the same thing. That ... wow, that escalated quickly!  ;D
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Offline Fourtwo

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #12 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

Offline DavidP

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #13 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!
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
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Offline DarrellW

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #14 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!!!
Still here, still learning and still a monumentally stubborn old f4rt 😂

Offline Fourtwo

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #15 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

Offline glpguitar

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #16 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 :) )

Offline MrBumble

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #17 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.
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Offline redrhodie

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2018, 06:20:18 pm »
I'm too chicken to collect my Skype lesson. Haha.

I'm a scaredy cat.

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Offline DavidP

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2018, 09:09:39 pm »
I'm too chicken to collect my Skype lesson. Haha.

I'm a scaredy cat.

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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  ;)
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
My Music: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG2X_TlNs7agW-U0EBCDdbw

Offline close2u

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2018, 12:05:37 am »
 ... as Mrs Doyle might say ...
Go on go on go on go on go on. :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 10:45:33 am by close2u »

Offline phx1973

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2018, 02:16:33 am »
I'm too chicken to collect my Skype lesson. Haha.

I'm a scaredy cat.

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Now that’s hilarious. You can do it!


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Offline redrhodie

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #22 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



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Offline close2u

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2018, 01:27:00 pm »
Ace! :)
So glad you did it.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Offline embishop

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Re: The 1-to1 Sessions ...
« Reply #24 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! :)
“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.” ― Ludwig van Beethoven

 

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