Guitar Tricks Interview

JGaulard

Moderator
Staff member
I've recently been contacted by Guitar Tricks to participate in an interview for them. I just finished writing it out and I thought I'd share it here as well as send it back to them. Here goes:

How did you hear about Guitar Tricks?

I had been practicing playing guitar for about a year when I began visiting different forums to gauge whether or not I had progressed enough for the time I had been playing. I wanted to know if I had gotten as good as others have in relation to the amount of time played. After reading a few snippets from other players, I had realized that I wasn't as far along as I would have liked. It was in one of these forums that another member suggested taking a look at Guitar Tricks. They claimed to have found success with their program. I followed the member's advice, was sold on the product, and joined right up.

How long have you been learning with Guitar Tricks?

I would say about two years now.

What were you using to learn guitar before Guitar Tricks? In what ways is Guitar Tricks better than what you were doing before?

I was using the Learn and Master Guitar DVD program put out by Gibson. I actually learned a lot from using that, but I felt as though I hit a wall after a certain point. While I don't want to direct any negativity Gibson's way, I will say that using DVDs was frustrating. Learning online is so much smoother and more intuitive. And now that I've been learning with Guitar Tricks for a few years after learning with the previous program for a few years, I can say that I'm much happier with Guitar Tricks. It's the songs. It's all in the songs Guitar Tricks offers. There are thousands of them for all experience levels.

Describe your level of experience on guitar before using Guitar Tricks?

I had about two years experience, but I'd categorize myself as a beginner.

Describe your level of experience on guitar after using Guitar Tricks?

Now, I would probably say that I'm somewhat of an experienced beginner. I'm sure I could hold my own in some circles, but I tend to be hard on admitting my experience level.

How quickly did you notice an improvement in your guitar skills after using Guitar Tricks?

I can't say any improvement came quickly because I already had some experience and because the learning curve is so steep, but I can say that having access to oodles of learning material and various instructors helped me so much to get where I am today.

What's the best part about Guitar Tricks?

There are a number of really great aspects of Guitar Tricks. First, I like the learning tracks I can follow; Rock, Country, Blues, and Acoustic. I also like the base learning courses and the way the entire program is set up. For about a year and a half I dedicated myself to those lessons and then I jumped over to learning and playing the songs that are offered. I began at the start of the list where the easiest songs live and I'm now progressing down that list. If I had to tell you what the absolute best aspect of the entire site is, I'd say it's that each song comes with its own instructor and instruction. I can see how the song is supposed to sound and how difficult it is before I ever sit down to commit to it. And when I do sit down, I've got my very own teacher sitting there with me for each step of the way. For someone who never thought they'd ever be able to play guitar, I just finished up playing a song at 180bpm. That's got to say something. It wasn't perfect, but it's a lot more than I ever imagined.

Would you recommend Guitar Tricks to someone who has always wanted to learn guitar?

I already have. A few people, in fact.

What do you like about the step-by-step Core Learning System (the courses we have for beginners)?

I think they're really great. They focus a lot on strumming, strumming patterns, and they way the guitar is supposed to be handled. That's something many other courses don't focus on too much. Before Guitar Tricks, I was playing a lot of individual note songs. What do you call it? Flatpicking? I like that too, but I also like strumming chords a lot.

What do you like about our song selection?

That's easy. The list is endless. And it's also got songs available for beginners like me as well as experienced rock stars. I saw some songs by The Church and A Flock of Seagulls in there too. Playing songs by those guys is a big goal for me.

Does Guitar Tricks have lessons for your favorite songs?

There are many songs by very recognizable bands and individuals. I would say yes, but if I see something they don't have, Guitar Tricks is receptive to suggestions.

Why is Guitar Tricks easier or better than other ways to learn guitar, like YouTube lessons or other sites?

When someone tells me that they're learning to play guitar from YouTube, I walk away from them. They're obviously not serious about learning. I've been playing for a while now and every time I visit YouTube for further explanation on something, my head starts to hurt after watching a video or two. What a mess that place is. As far as learning from other sites, I really don't have that much experience. I've used books in the past, but there's really nothing to work from when using them. I can't hear how something sounds or is supposed to sound and there's no actual instruction. I need to watch something be played and I need to hear how it's supposed to sound to make any sense of it. I also need step by step instruction, which books simply can't offer. I'd also like to point out how qualified and professional the instructors at Guitar Tricks are. The studios in which they teach are high quality, the sound of the videos is crisp and clear, and the actual instruction is top notch. I don't need to watch an instructional video of some guy on YouTube who may be able to play the guitar very well, but who doesn't know how to teach in the least. I need professionals who know how to do their jobs. That's what I've found here.

Is Guitar Tricks a good value?

You really can't beat the value offered with this site. For what you get, the price of admission is insanely inexpensive. All you need to do is the math for a few private lessons and there's a couple of year's worth of subscription fees for Guitar Tricks. And you're not going to get from a private lesson what you get from Guitar Tricks.

How does it feel to be able to play guitar, when you couldn't before?

Well, to be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to tell myself that I'm able to play the guitar. I know that I can, but that's tough to admit when there are so many incredibly excellent guitar players walking the earth. I oftentimes wonder what it means to be able to play the guitar. It'll probably take me about 20 years to say that I finally can. But to more directly answer your question, it feels awesome.

Do you like the Guitar Tricks instructors?

I really do. I have my favorites. I won't say who they are because I've only experienced four or five of them so far, but overall, they're all excellent.

Have you played guitar for friends/family yet? What was their reaction to seeing you play?

I'm what you'd refer to as a shy guitar player, so I haven't played for anyone yet. I like to keep this endeavor to myself. Perhaps I'll get out there in a few years to play for some select individuals.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about learning guitar, but doesn't think they "have what it takes"?

That's a tough question. I guess if you can pluck a string, you have what it takes. It depends on what someone's goals are. I've come to temper my goals after realizing the bottomless pit I've found myself in and because I'd like to say that I've gotten somewhere, but becoming proficient is definitely doable. To those people who don't think they have what it takes, I say give it a try. Set very small goals for yourself and progress extremely slowly. Don't go off looking at the pros and think you should be playing like they are. At 47 years old now, I know I'll never play like them. But I'd be happy to learn to play some moderately challenging songs smoothly. So really, it's all in the goal setting and the comfort with progression. And with an online course setup like this one, you can work at your own pace. That's extremely helpful.
 
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