The Best Online Guitar Lessons?

Last week, we discussed the problems with learning guitar online. These problems were:

  1. No interaction
  2. No competition
  3. No curriculum

So how, pray tell, do we solve these problems? Can we really learn an instrument online? Can we as teachers actually teach effectively? Absolutely. Think like you run a real school. Or more to the point, actually run a real school:

  1. Interaction — A dedicated social network for guitar lessons.

Stop throwing content at people! Learning an instrument is a two-way street.. or a five-way.. but it sure isn’t one-way. Teachers need to understand this fundamental truth:

Interaction between the student and teacher is imperative, but it is equally important between the students and their peers.

It’s almost 2015. It’s the era of social. At Guitargate, we built a video based social network that allows students and teachers to SEE, HEAR, and ENGAGE each other. So whether a student is completing a lesson, sharing a song they wrote, or just plain melting faces, the whole community is there.

2. Competition — “Skin in the game.”

Competition breeds excellence. It is an integral part to success in anything truly difficult, which learning an instrument most certainly is. Great teachers inspire and motivate. They encourage students to play in bands with people better than them. They fan the flame.

The same needs to be true on the internet. Students need to see someone better than them, work hard to surpass that person, and be recognized for their achievement. The fire is what makes a good player a great one.

At Guitargate, we do this by requiring students post a video to complete lessons. These videos are rated by instructors and peers, and the highest rated videos receive top placement on the lesson page. Having “skin in the game” is a key component to a students’ progression, and because the student has to show that they mastered a lesson, it’s a big deal and they should be recognized.

3. Curriculum — A practical application of music theory.

When I was developing the Guitargate curriculum, I asked hundreds of students in person and thousands online what their main concern was as a guitar player. Virtually all of them said something like, “I can play, but I don’t know what I’m playing. I don’t know my neck or the theory behind the music. It’s intimidating.”

When I was first learning guitar, I had a teacher who, for 7 years, taught me songs, licks, and tricks with tabs. This isn’t a curriculum. This isn’t an education. It’s regurgitation. Not one lesson on theory. Not one conceptual lesson. Not one lesson on listening. And this cost my parents a lot of money!

So, I decided to address this epidemic head-on and make the Guitargate curriculum 100% conceptual, by focusing on theory and improvisation.

It’s non-genre specifc. We don’t teach a single song. Not a single lick. What is it then? A step-by-step practical application of music theory. Guitargate, I am proud to say, is the only course online that offers a conceptual curriculum. It will take you, step-by-step, from how to tune your guitar to playing over the most outrageous jazz changes you can imagine without leaving a single stone unturned along the way.

Oh — and it’s 100% FREE!

And I’m not gonna lie, it get’s pretty challenging, but with true interaction and competition, any student can do it. (Even you)

As always, Email me directly if there is anything I can ever do for you,

Michael Palmisano — CEO and Founder,

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