Is it over?


Bobk42
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Bobk42
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10/16/2023 7:38 pm

Are the days of getting good, popular song lessons on GT officially over?


# 1
pjbsailing
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pjbsailing
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10/16/2023 8:07 pm

I just signed up and I'm bummed at the lack of a good song library. No Green Day? WTF.  Lessons are good though


# 2
john of MT
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john of MT
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10/16/2023 9:16 pm

"Good" and "popular" when applied to music are vastly wide-ranging descriptors.  Often, their usage is a reflection of the user's age.  For example, many that loved R&R in the 50's and 60's think punk is "dookie."  😉


"...there is a critical period for learning your musical tastes: It starts at 14 and peaks at 24."  https://www.mic.com/articles/96266/there-s-a-magic-age-when-you-find-your-musical-taste-according-to-science


 


 


 


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 3
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/16/2023 10:47 pm

I've used other very popular, large, full featured guitar learning sites such as TrueFire, which currently has a collection of around 450 song lessons compared to 805 songs here. The teaching and the tabbed sheet music on TrueFire doesn't stack up to what you have access to here. For example, the instructors typically don't teach all of the individual guitar parts that make up a song. They just play the lead. Imagine Hotel California, with all of it's layered guitar parts, being taught as one really long solo guitar riff. As that song was taught on GT, (sadly this awesome song lesson was removed) users were treated to detailed instruction and comprehensive notation for all the guitar parts.


On TrueFire, you might get nothing but a list of chord names, sometimes just scribbled on a white board beside the instructor. The following "sheet music" is for the ukulele but I trust that it will illustrate my point well enough:


TrueFire Sheet Music


No measures, no tabs, no legato, no standard notation, no lyrics.... what's the point? Compare that with what you consistently have access to here on GT. Also, a fair number of TrueFire's song lessons are composed entirely of 4 or 5 open cowboy chords played exclusively with standard quarter note strumming. Songs like Jingle Bells and Yankee Doodle Dandy. Once you weed out these silly songs, along with those that don't provide comprehensive music notation, one is left with ~200 songs to choose from at TrueFire, many of which you have to buy! GT has over 800 free top-notch song tutorials.


So, count your blessings in regard to GT's song collection. You could do a lot worse. Don't get me wrong - I'm as disappointed as anyone that GT's song catalog doesn't include all of the songs that I want to learn to play. But I do realize that given the staggering number (millions) of available songs across an ever-expanding body of musical genres, that's a truly psychotic expectation. On the bright side, it has forced me to dive in and learn songs that I didn't even know I liked, and which I often end up playing a lot. For instance, I don't care much for AC/DC, but learning to play Back in Black is nonetheless a challenging blast.


Sascha


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# 4
W3
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W3
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10/17/2023 11:54 am

TrueFire is awesome! I’m a bit more advanced player and the deep dive song lessons with the autoscroll is perfect! Some incredible Derek and the Dominoes (with excellent slide!). Also if you like real advanced guitar perfection, they just put up five Van Halen classics taught by one of the best guitar players among players, Chris Beuno(sp). And they even a Green Day song :}>


# 5
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/18/2023 1:10 am

I agree - TrueFire is awesome. The sheer volume of quality content (tutorials, courses, learning paths, lick collections, etc) is staggering. The same cannot be said for their song catalog which is geared almost entirely toward new beginners. Always good to have plenty of songs for new students... but TrueFire offers very little else, which is definitely not cool.


The aforementioned newly added Green Day song is "Good Riddance", which Billy Joe Armstrong plays in a predominantly arpeggiated fashion. TrueFire instructor Chris Buono teaches a version of the song that utilizes a total of four 2-finger power chords, one strum per measure, all the way through. The Derek and the Dominoes/Duane Allman slide guitar tutorial is a stripped down "Easy" version that is played almost entirely between the 6th and 8th frets. That's ridiculous. Even the Van Halen songs are the "Easy" versions meant for beginners. I don't get it. The rest of the site is geared heavily toward intermediate to advanced players.


If it's quality authentic (as originally recorded) song tutorials that you're after, I don't think you can top Guitar Tricks.


edited
# 6
W3
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W3
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10/18/2023 11:58 am

I totally disagree with your assessment on Truefire’s song lessons. There are easy versions posted of all their songs but in the as recorded sections they are spot on. I think you should try scrolling through the song lessons to find the heart of the material. Layla is a slide masterpiece with everything included. Concerning the Van Halen songs, Chris even says he has listened intently to make them as pure to the original as possible. He says you can listen close and you may find something, but it definitely sounds pretty authentic. 


# 7
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/18/2023 1:33 pm

You're right, W3. My bad. I took another look at the TF song library (song packs and individual songs) and discovered that many (? what percentage) of the tutorials include both original and easy versions of the songs. In any case, it's great to be proven wrong on this one because I discovered that TF has more challenging song tutorials available. So, thanks for setting me straight!


If you enjoy Chris Buono's  teaching and playing style, then I suspect you would enjoy a TF course called "60 Electric Guitar Techniques You Must Know", taught by Chris. He can do some crazy s*** with a guitar. It covers pretty much every technique you're likely to ever need, plus some weird stuff to play around with.


Sascha


edited
# 8
dougguitar
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dougguitar
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10/18/2023 2:13 pm

Yes, the new Song Lessons on TrueFire, including the new generation ones brought over from JamPlay, are excellent. They include all the guitar parts, have excellent backing tracks, enthusiastic teachers, and are very accurate. They also include tab synced to the video via SoundSlice, which allows very fine control over loop points (down to individual notes) and playback speed (the ones brought over from JamPlay will have this added eventually). Granted, their library of song lessons is still on the small side (unless you count the old school JamPlay lessons, which are a mixed bag on quality), but they're continuing to grow it (e.g., Witchy Woman by The Eagles will be added on 10/31).


I've had great experiences learning songs from both Guitar Tricks and TrueFire, and I'm truly grateful for the great learning tools available from these and similar sites. Yes, the song choices lately on Guitar Tricks are in a bit of a doldrums, but there are still several in their library that are on my "To Learn" list.


# 9
michael@rockon
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michael@rockon
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10/21/2023 11:54 am

Appreciate the sharing of thoughts on TrueFire which I had not considered up until this point. Gonna check it out. 


Long Live Rock!

# 10
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/21/2023 1:08 pm
#10 Originally Posted by: michael@rockon

Appreciate the sharing of thoughts on TrueFire which I had not considered up until this point. Gonna check it out. 

Be prepared for some sticker shock. TrueFire's retail yearly fee is almost $300. However, they are constantly having crazy deals on full memberships. For instance, this past 5/5/23 (Cinco de Mayo) they offered yearlong full memberships for $55 (cute). I paid the $55 and they tacked another year onto my current full membership.


Sascha


edited
# 11
W3
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W3
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10/22/2023 12:42 pm

I’d love to do a lifetime subscription to True fire but it’s too pricey. I always check for the price slashes that happen all the time. I’ve been a member for years and have never paid full price. I use Visa gift cards so they can’t automatically renew me. I don’t use TF nearly as much as I should. 


# 12
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/22/2023 1:50 pm
#12 Originally Posted by: W3

I’d love to do a lifetime subscription to True fire but it’s too pricey. I always check for the price slashes that happen all the time. I’ve been a member for years and have never paid full price. I use Visa gift cards so they can’t automatically renew me. I don’t use TF nearly as much as I should. 

Visa gift cards. Smart. I never thought of that. I also never knew that TF offered lifetime memberships. Do you recall what that costs?


Like you, I also like being a member of both TF and GT, and like you, I often don't use TF as much as I should. I fall into using just one or the other for weeks at a time. I keep reminding myself that at a price of $100 yearly, membership amounts to only 30 cents per day.


I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that for me, logging into TF is kind of like turning on Netflix and having to decide what to watch. I sometimes get so overwhelmed that I just quit and run back here. 😕


Thanks again for setting me straight on TF song tutorials. I'd already written them off, but now I have even more choices to overwhelm me!


edited
# 13
W3
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W3
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10/23/2023 11:59 am

Yeah, TF takes some getting use to.  GT is probably more user friendly but I find once I get into the zone, it’s pretty easy to navigate TF. Both websites have pros and cons but instead of complaining, I’m playing the stuff I love on both sites. Don’t get me wrong, still soured over the missing songs ( many I worked on regularly) but I really feel GT is coming to an end, at least to what it once was. Between closed mouths in management and odd off the wall new song lessons, something’s not right. As a more advanced player, TF gives you the meat whereas GT can dwell on the bread and I’m learning quicker at TF. I don’t want to be misconstrued to mean GT is for beginners, because it has great stuff for everyone. Just that TF cuts to the chase quicker. 


# 14
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/23/2023 4:11 pm

I just recently returned to GT after a year away and I had the same reaction, "something's not right". The GT support staff isn't so tight-lipped when I contact them directly. They've provided me with plausible explanations for many of the changes that have happened over the past year, including the huge song dump. Now, whether those explanations are true is anyone's guess. In any case, it's certainly nice to be able to cherry-pick both sites.


# 15
john of MT
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john of MT
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10/23/2023 6:15 pm

Justified or not, I give GT more credit than some of the more critical posts throughout the Forum.  There has been much criticism about the GT's failure to give the reason(s) for the loss of song lessons yet from the very beginning of the latest round 'they' explained GT was not able to renew the licenses.  Still, the questions kept coming with specific inquiries about the why.  The answers would be interesting but they also, IMO, would delve too deeply into the operation of a private company.  As paying members, we may want more detailed explanations, but we shouldn't expect such, especially when they touch on the management and strength of the company and how it competes with other online offerings.


As an aside, there has been, and continues to be, strongly negative opinions about the dropping of the songs even though songs have come and gone over the years due to the same explanation, loss of licensing.  I think I remember some heartfelt bitching about the loss of songs by a member or two even though they joined GT after the songs were deleted.  ðŸ˜„ Some complained there was no notice (there was... a couple weeks before it happened) and, after this long time, we continue to see posts like, 'where's the song I use to practice..?'  


I have disappointments myself.  One of my faves was lost in the Purge of '23 but... yup... as in the discussion above, there are other sites.  I believe GT has the best lessons but... there are other sites.  Personally, I collect a half-dozen lessons of the same song from YouTube and learn the good stuff from each of 'em.  ðŸ˜‰   Which leads to another consideration about Forum posts relating to song lessons.


There is a lot of 'concern' about the song catalog and the new songs being added to it, "sucks" was one descriptor recently used.  Given all the criticism over Rolling Stones song lessons you'd think Mick was the Devil he used to sing about.  ðŸ˜   Such posts ignore a more difficult environment, i.e., licensing has been (and is) being bought up or otherwise retired by the major publishers/licensers or the artists themselves.  But read carefully, the posts often break down to, 'I don't like these songs.  I want other songs.  What about meeee?' 😫   Yeah... well.., all of us age, all of us have favorites from our past and the Forum's members range from teen to 80.  There will be differences in wants along with the more difficult availability. To vaguely reference The Monkees' Cuddly Toy, "you're not the only one".  (hey!  there's a potential good song lesson!!  ðŸ¤£)


As for myself, I have other concerns.  For example, just now when I clicked on my own username in a random post, the resulting list revealed only 106 of the more than 1500 posts I've made over the years.  When trying Search Forum by using Search By User Name, "No results found" is the result.  Is it a biggie?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it is another loss of what used to be and it tracks with aliasmaximus's comment, "something's not right."


And I keep hearing a haunting catch phrase from my distant past, "Suck it in, GI!"  Sigh.


 


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 16
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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10/31/2023 1:42 am

"What about meeee?"


😄 I laughed when I read this, as it immediately made me think of Cartman from the animated series South Park, who whines this phrase in a hysterical manner almost every episode. Anyways, like John and many others in this forum, I too lost at least three 'not yet completed by me' song tutorials over the past year. What I didn't lose was most of the new concepts, licks and techniques that I learned while sweating my way through those tutorials.


There are over 800 songs remaining in the library and I still feel like a kid in a candy store. I think others might feel likewise if they just stretched their musical horizons and had a go at songs that don't necessarily strike their fancy. Someone in here recently posted a thank you to instructor Mike Olekshy for producing the tutorial to "Spooky" by the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Because I've heard this song thousands of times in my life and never gave it a second thought, my initial reaction was to pass on it (just more elevator music). But I decided to give it a chance and have found it to be musically unique and challenging and, despite being far from finished with the tutorial, I already find it fun to play (both rhythm and lead).


Once you isolate the guitar parts from the songs, even apparent duds often contain instrumental gems.


Sascha


edited
# 17
W3
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11/01/2023 11:06 am

True Fire just released their lesson for Witchy Woman (Eagles), yesterday. It has all five guitar parts included. I know GT will blend different guitars, and I’m perfectly fine with that but it’s nice to see the entire gamut of these classics and how the pieces come together to add their parts. 
As Sascha says, GT has 800 songs and many of them are classics. I think I’ll keep both subscriptions going for now. I’ll revisit as tastes or tolerance changes. 


# 18
aliasmaximus
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aliasmaximus
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11/01/2023 9:00 pm

I'm with you, W3. And talking about classics, thanks for the tip on Witchy Woman at TF. I love Eagles songs. I'd been slowly working through Anders' excellent tutorial of Hotel California which taught 4 different layered guitar parts but it unfortunately got axed during the past year. But, one door closes, another door opens.... especially when you're a full subscriber to two quality sites simultaneously. Anybody willing to keep an eye open for the unpredictable but crazy good membership deals offered by both GT and TF, it's not too difficult to pull off dual membership for as little as $150/yr.


Sascha


# 19
manXcat
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manXcat
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11/01/2023 10:17 pm

As I see it, compared with the cost of pursuing many other other hobbies, interests or sports, annual online guitar tuition subscriptions be they learn to play novitiate, a compendium of the former combined with theory and more advanced structure, or song tutorials, they share in common that the cost would be considered reasonable to even cheap IMV. 

IME, and of course this will depend upon the age and individual's specific interest genre for you, over the course of the past six years I haven't found any single site which does or is going to offer it all in terms of song tutorials unless one's interest focus is very narrow, or beginner basic. And that's OK, and to be expected.

The way I look at it for example with Guitar Tricks, it is what it is. Inarguably I was disappointed for instance when they scrubbed a load of The Beatles songs with 'the great licence purge', but it wasn't the end of the world. As I had discovered as I grew, many of them weren't great authentic interpretations anyway compared with alternatives out there, and I had moved on. Ultimately nothing is keeping me here but myself, and when the time comes I determine GT has nothing further I wish to avail myself of, I'll move on.

In the interim...... 

For the past few years I've subbed to a couple of learning focussed sites with supporting song tutorials including Guitar Tricks, and bought specific modules from other style or genre lesson and song tutorial sites which cater to my more focussed specific interests. Whilst there are a host of utterly awful ones, there are also several superb tutorials/tutors who can be easily found on You Tube, which often in conjunction with links to TAB, notation and enhanced lessons offered for nominal cost on respective websites run by them, complete or round my annual guitar learning and tutorial package. All in all it, not only is it necessary to source what you want in terms of specific song tutorials elsewhere, but it's beneficial in that the process of exploring and exposing oneself to said variations and alternatives widens the perspective and musical vocabulary. 

That's the way I look at it. Overall it's all still very affordable when outlay is amortized over the year, particuarly when compared with the cost of individual lessons in times of yore, which were a necessity for the kind of progress we can now make with online tuition. Bottom line regarding worth to me? The modest annual outlay enhances my enjoyment and playing. 

Would it be the ultimate if a single online site, i.e. Guitar Tricks catered to my exact tailored personal requirements? Absolutely. But I'm a realist, and that's not.


# 20

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