Because I’m the Only One Who Can’t Play Guitar! {Review}

We have about 25 guitars in our travel trailer. Okay, so it’s only four, but when you have three ukuleles, two keyboards, three violins, too many harmonicas, and a cajon plus soon-to-be 11 people and a couple pets in 250 square feet, four guitars feels like a lot! Give me some validation here people. I play the keyboard, so it has a legitimate purpose in my mind (ha!). But the rest of the instruments take up a lot of space and some days (just some days), I’m asking out loud why we need three guitars in the trailer! (The answer, of course, is “because I’m a professional guitarist,” but when I’m irrational enough to ask that question, a rational answer doesn’t fly. Give me a break. I’m hormonal.)

When I got annoyed with how much space coffee was taking up in our lives, I combated that by (temporarily) jumping on the coffee bandwagon. I was shortly thereafter kicked off that wagon because I couldn’t stop talking. Yammer yammer yammer. Similarly, when Guitar 360 Method {affiliate link} offered us their Semester 1 Bundle (including five weeks of “Absolute Beginner,” plus bonus content, plus 13 weeks of Semester 1), I decided to jump on the strings bandwagon, since I am the only one in my family that has already been born and cannot play strings. After all, if I’m learning guitar, I can’t rightly complain about its presence, can I? Well, I can, but I shouldn’t.

(Scroll down to learn about a 20% discount!)

Guitar 360 Method

What is it?

Guitar 360 Method (heretofore known as G360M–that’s so cool!) has the goal of instilling creativity and confidence in beginning or intermediate guitar students. You can be an absolute beginner whose annoyed that there are too many guitars hanging around, or you can be a more experienced player who wants to gain a little more freedom on the strings and enough musical knowledge to carry you to the next level.

During the course, you learn to play pretty much right away. They also learn music theory. It’s not a heady class in the sense that you’ll be stuck with your nose in a textbook instead of your fingers on the strings. You will, however, learn the theory and mastery of the fretboard to give you the creativity and comprehension you need to really enjoy playing and creating music, as opposed to just learning what you see on a page of tablature.

It is appropriate for the absolute beginner. If you are an AB (that’s cool talk for absolute beginner), you will benefit immensely from the Beginner Course, which is free. It’s free! Did you hear me? It’s free! Go there now and get a feel for the professor (cool guitar teacher guy, also known as Krisz Simonfalvi). Do all three weeks and the bonus lessons (five weeks total) and you’ll know by then if it’s for you.

Semester 1 is appropriate for the “motivated beginner,” which is what I thought I was, but I’m not. It’s also ideal for anyone who already has guitar experience but wants to move forward or truly understand music and break free from the paper they’re staring at in order to play a song. (I will probably say this again later, but it’s really important, so…there.)

The instructor sort of recommends it for ages 15 and up, although he has had students as young as nine. My ten-year-old, Rebecca, really wants to take the course, but she’s currently in violin. Looking at the course, and knowing her natural ability (thanks, Daddy!), I think that it is something she could work through slowly.

The course is taught in a circular fashion, or cyclical pedagogy. You homeschoolers know what that means, and if you don’t, do what I do and pretend…or keep reading. Everything taught is a building block that other lessons are built on, and the teacher comes back to the topics over and over again, not in an annoying way, but in a “use this skill I taught you” way. Capice?

The skills you will be cycling through are as follows:

  • chords (harmoney)
  • scales (melody)
  • rhythmical concepts (percussion)
  • music theory
  • navigating the neck
  • ear training (I struggle with this, but when I get to week 11…I’ll get it!)
  • rhythmic guitar dynamics (technique)
  • expressive lead guitar (technique)
  • musicality/application

There are also practice sessions, quizzes, and PDF attachments to help you out.

I want you to make musical and creative choices about where and how you play on the guitar…rather than being stuck in the one scale and the one chord pattern that you know. ~Krisz

Guitar 360 Method

What has my experience been like?

First of all, let’s discuss how cocky I was when I started this course. I thought I’d fly through the Absolute Beginner Course in a couple days and finish Semester 1 in another five or six weeks. After all, I have played guitar before–my hubby taught me a few songs and I ditzed around a bit in years gone by.

Yeah. Cocky. Pride comes before the fall, to paraphrase the ultimate resource. I kinda feel like I was on top of a tall ladder with my guitar and woke up five weeks later on the ground flat on my face with my hubby’s Taylor imprinted in my forehead. No, he probably wouldn’t let me touch his Taylor. Fine–the Ibanez is implanted in my face.

Summary: all cockiness gone.

Sure, I did the first week in a couple days, but not the whole beginner course! Properly (key word being properly) strumming, picking, and chording is harder than just eeking out a fairly recognizable Run for the Roses like the days of my youth. I’m still getting those basics down.

All that to say, while I have watched portions of Semester 1, I am still mastering the beginner course. I know!

That’s okay, though, because mastering the basics provides a solid foundation to build upon, which Semester 1 does exceptionally.

I want to talk a little bit about the theory side of the course, since that makes people shudder. Yes, you will learn theory in the course. I have piano experience, so I thought the theory would be a breeze. Cocky again. It isn’t a breeze, but it is understandable. It’s not super intensive such that it sucks the joy out of the playing itself. Also, while my piano knowledge helps with the theory, I learned that I have a lot to learn. It’s different on the frets than on the keys, but the instructor guides you through it little by little in a comprehensible and comprehensive way.

My pro husband says theory is important, but not at the expense of playing and “funning” around on the strings to get the feel. In this course, you are doing both. You are getting enough theory to be able to jump in with a jam session.

Not me yet, but I’m moving in that direction, which is very exciting to me, since my family speaks in a foreign language that sounds like this: “What key?” “A major.” “Something something chord progression thingie.” “1-3-7.” “Got it. Let’s go.” And then there’s music. And I’m confused. Or, my favorite: “Is that G?” “Yup.” Amazing music happens. Despite my four years of piano lessons, being a (less-than-mediocre) accompanist, and teaching my own kids piano and even guitar (that I can’t play) for years, I still didn’t grasp the theory concepts that enable a person to do whatever just happened in that conversation my family has. By jumping ahead in the Semester 1 course to be able to tell you what’s what, I can tell you that by the time I finish this course, I will get it! Finally!

Guitar 360 Method

Some things you’re wondering:

I know you’re now wondering if this is one of those courses full of scales and monotony. Monotony–no. Scales–duh! Of course! You’ll learn scales as part of the process of mastering your fretboard and gaining the freedom to dance all over it in a manner that actually sounds good.

I know now you’re thinking that you’re going to be a master after Semester 1. That is also not true. You will be able to hold your own as a band member or soloist or the old lady in the travel trailer with the nine kids who got their dad’s musical talent, thank the Almighty! They are working on a Semester 2.

You may be wondering how my “accent handicap” worked with the video course. I admittedly have difficulty understanding accents. That was no problem in this course at all. Not even a consideration, so no worries!

I also know that you’re wondering if you wasted money if you don’t fly through the course or at least keep pace. No. You are not buying a temporary subscription. You are buying the course. It’s yours. If it takes you a year to finish a semester, that’s okay! Take the time you need to master the course.

There is currently a discount on  Guitar 360 Method for homeschool families. Use the code HOMESCHOOL20 at checkout for 20% off the course.

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Other Review Crew members reviewed Guitar 360 Method also. Read their reviews here or click on the banner below:

Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}

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