Author Topic: When to move on?  (Read 828 times)

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Offline gertvr

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When to move on?
« on: June 04, 2020, 11:18:18 am »
With online courses such as these you are your own manager, so it can become difficult to assess when one is ready to move on from one lesson, or one module or stage, to the next. Am I too hard on myself, or the opposite? So I think this question has been asked and answered a lot of times but I still want to see if anyone has som thoughts to spare?

I started out 3,5 months ago and I am now at Stage 2 (lesson 8 ). I can play along, sort of ok, with the songs in the Justin app that are suited for any given lesson. I also search online for songs that sound easy enough and use chords I know how to play. Some of them Justin has a video on, others not.

This way I ended up compiling a catalogue of about 20 songs. About 5 of the songs in this list, I pretty much master, i.e I can play along with the song playing on the stereo without too much trouble. The other ones have chord changes I really struggle with, e.g to and from C major I find very hard, or were just too ambitious. E.g. Man on the moon, by REM was the first song I dug up this way, and still can't do the chord change from C to D to C (which pretty much is all it is in the verse).

I am constantly eager to move on in the course, but on the other hand, for some stuff I keep hitting a brick wall, like some of the chord changes. I also find singing along with the songs impossible, even for a 2-chord song with basic strumming.

So what I'm really wondering about is how "perfect" (I know, this is a big word) you need to be able to play songs and techniques shown in the lessons to move on? Can I rely on things falling into place, or will I end up learning a bit of this, a bit of that, but nothing really well? I'm afraid when barre chords appear on the horison, the same worry will pop up.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 12:51:15 pm by gertvr »
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Offline Rossco01

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Re: When to move on?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 01:20:10 pm »
There are indeed lots and lots of replies to this very question and it is also more challenging to answer because there are now three approaches to learning with Justin. There is the app, the Classic beginner course on the website and the New Beginners course on the website. If you have not checked out the website course I'd urge you to do so. They include more material and might help answer this question.

In addition on the website hopefully you'll have already discovered that you can find songs suitable to your level.

I don't really remember Justin talking about "mastering" songs in these early stages of learning or even later. You need to be able to play the songs appropriate to your level to an acceptable standard. So in early stages this probably just means using down strums (4 to the bar) and being able to move reasonably okay beween chords. Good enough so that in your head you can tell what you're playing (others might not be able to because the songs are probably simple). As you progress through the course you'll learn new techniques and become more fluent. Songs will start to sound better. Then you'll find you can more easily play those earlier songs BUT the songs for your current level are still tricky.

Singing and playing is a technique in it's own right. For some it comes naturally for other they need to work on it. It's hard to sing if you're having to concentrate hard on playing the chords and moving between them. I wouldn't worry about it at this stage.

My mantra always used to be that if I was learning a particular stage of the course then the songs I'm playing are probably a stage or two behind.

Above all you don't need to MASTER the songs before moving to the next stage BUT you do need to be honest with yourself whether you've learnt the techniques/lessons for that stage and can start to put them into practice. They might not be fluent but that will only comes with weeks/months of practice in some instances.

When you get to the end of the course (and the App I think only covers part of the Classic or New Beginners course on the web) you will need to consolidate. If you look at the classic course in particular at the end of each stage it tells you what you should be able to do before moving on to the next.
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Offline DavidP

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Re: When to move on?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 02:43:52 pm »
Good vibes to you, Jason, much sound guidance in your post.  Especially like:

"You need to be able to play the songs appropriate to your level to an acceptable standard."

And sharing in the AVOYP area is an excellent way to calibrate that, as many times I think people are their harshest critics.

Offline sairfingers

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Re: When to move on?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2020, 03:00:14 pm »
I think Rossco’s reply to this often asked question (and many related ones) should be made mandatory reading for all JG beginners! It sums the whole thing up perfectly. Well done!
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Offline gertvr

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Re: When to move on?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 01:15:16 pm »
I absolutely agree with sairfingers, in so far it is within my scope to judge this. All the same, a very uplifting answer to my question!!! Tx Rossco!

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