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BC-159 • Stage 5 Practice Schedule

The Justinguitar.com Beginner's Course

You should be really noticing your progress now - if you are, make sure you notice that it's partly because you are doing good practice. If you don't feel you are progressing well, are you sure you are sticking to the routine?

This is a 30-minute schedule; your fingers should be able to take a half-hour session by now without getting too sore, so it's just a question of whether you can find enough time to do it all. As usual, if you can't find the time, break the routine into two sessions and do 15 minutes each day. Just make sure you work on all the routine topics and not just the things you enjoy!

 

Stage 5 Practice Schedule

Description
Time
Finger Workout 5 mins
Chord Practice (Strum / Pick / Strum) 5 mins
1 minute Changes (or 5 mins AIR changes practice)  
--- ? to ? 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
Rhythm Guitar Practice (RUST #8 and swinging) 5 mins
Songs / Chord Sequences 5 mins
JUSTIN Training 5 mins

 

Watch The Video Lesson

 

Things To Remember

The blues is a wonderful vehicle for beginner guitar players... the chords are basically the same for many different songs!

If you have not listened much to the blues before then now might be a great time to get listening. Artists like B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan are some amazing guitar players you might like to check out first. The older blues artists like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Hubert Sumlin (who played with Howlin' Wolf) are equally as brilliant musicians, but their records are much more raw and many people find it hard work if they have not listened to much blues before.

Many of the great early rock and roll guitar players such as Chuck Berry, T-Bone Walker and even Elvis used a simple 12-Bar blues form, and it is still commonly used today.

Finger Workout
Please remember that this exercise is about developing your finger strength and independence and stretch, so please don't do it fast, there is no point!

Chord Practice
Remember that the point of this exercise is to get your chords sounding clear and train your fingers to go to exactly the right spot to get the chord sounding great. Start with a strum and then pick each note individually, except any strings that have the X next to them that you don't play. Try to play the notes with the tips of your fingers. Remember that dead sounding notes need to be fixed and the usual causes are either:
a) The finger is too far from the fret.
b) One of your fingers is touching a string that it shouldn't.

Move your fingers around as you pick out the strings until they all sound good and then strum them again, and as you give them the last strums, tell your fingers that this is how you want them to go to next time. It will look a little strange to anyone that is watching you, but it really helps! ;)

One Minute Changes
The object of the exercise is to get your fingers moving quickly. Although you should be trying to get the fingers in the perfect positions that you have been working on in your chord practice, if they are a little sloppy it is ok, we are working the speed here!

The important thing here is to practice the chord changes that you struggle the most with. In your practice schedule you should write in the amount of changes that you made in that practice session. Make sure you use your timer, and push yourself to go as fast as possible.

*You might want to spend one minute doing a chord change very slowly if you are struggling with the "air changes". Just for the one minute you would normally go as fast as you can - go slow and accurate and really concentrate!

Rhythm Guitar Practice
Just spend your time playing the pattern over and over again, don't try and add the strumming patterns to songs yet, that will be coming soon, and you will do it LOADS better if you follow my advice here and work on the patterns first before you try to apply them.

Songs / Chord Sequences
Just have fun and have a go at playing any songs you like, from my suggested list, or just something else that you fancy playing (preferably ones that just use the chords covered so far). Try to keep strumming basic "4's", one down strum on each beat, and try and keep strumming along and get your changes fast enough to not have to pause between chord changes!

JUSTIN Training
This is important, getting your ears working. Just go through the exercises and give your ears the workout they deserve!

 

Some blues albums I particularly recommend are:

Live At The Regal – B.B. King (1965)
Couldn't Stand The Weather – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble (1984)
Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King (1967)
Live At The 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival – Jimmy Witherspoon & Robben Ford (1972)
Chess Box Set – Howlin' Wolf
King Of The Delta Blues – Robert Johnson (1961) 
Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton – John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (1966)
The Best Of – Chuck Berry

Beginner products you may like from justinguitar.com
Justinguitar Beginner's Course DVD set
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Beginners Course Book
Practical Music Theory

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