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Stage 8 Practice Schedule

The Beginner's Course

Even more practice to do - but your fingers should be tougher now and you wanna get good right?

We're up to a 50-minute practice session now!

This is quite a lot of practice, so divide it into two sessions if you need to. Some of this (like learning the note names) is purely mental, so you can do this while you are on the train or the bus or while you
are having dinner if you like, as you don't need your guitar. Practising in your ‘dead time' is something you can do a lot of. I spent a lot of time doing ‘mental' practice; strumming in the air, imagining doing my chord changes and trying to mentally picture the notes on the fingerboard, so you might like to try that too!

Stage 8 Practice Schedule

Memorising notes on the thickest two strings (5th & 6th) 5 mins
Minor Pentatonic Scale, practice and picking exercise 5 mins
Chord Practice (Strum / Pick / Strum) 5 mins
Power Chords C5 shapes (work on stretch and muting 6 string) 5 mins
1 minute Changes  
--- C to G (new) 1 min
--- G (big) to D 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
--- ? to ? 1 min
Rhythm Guitar Practice (All patterns so far including #16) 5 mins
12 Bar Blues Style Rhythm 5 mins
Basic Fingerstyle practice 5 mins
Songs / Chord Sequences 5 mins
JUSTIN Training (OPTIONAL) 5 mins


Watch The Video Lesson


Things To Remember

Memorising Notes on 5th and 6th String
This is VERY IMPORTANT. You will use this information in lots of different ways; you need it for your power chords now, and you will use it for all your scales and eventually your barre chords, so don't skip this! Once you have learnt the notes on these two strings it is easy to work out the other notes all over the neck as well. Instructions for this are in PracticalMusic Theory!

Minor Pentatonic Practice
You need memorize this. This scale is also great practice for individual note picking and also develops your finger stretch and independence. Do it slow and get it right! You should also be working a bit on the picking exercises too. We will start to look at using it in the next stage so try and get it under your fingers as best you can!

Power Chords
Work on stretching for these chords and keeping the thin strings muted. We've now got them on two strings, so you need to practise both, with an emphasis on muting the sixth string with the tip of your finger when you are playing the fifth-string root chords.

Rhythm Guitar Practice
Spend your time playing the patterns over and over again. Practise your strumming patterns with songs or chord sequences, but only if you can do it without stopping between the chords.

12 Bar Blues
Just try to keep this pattern in time and play it all the way through without stopping. Don't forget that playing this very slowly makes it sound cool, as well as giving you time to get it right, so don't be afraid to play it slow!

Basic Fingerstyle
If you have not done any fingerstyle before you might find this a little tricky, so don't be in a hurry. Allow yourself time to develop these new motor skills!

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.

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!

Hope it is all going well for you!

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

I have five great beginners products that will help you make the most of this course and you'll find them all at The Official JustinGuitar Store. If you want to really support the site then please buy direct from us. :)

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Lesson ID: BC-189