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looking4 a comprehensive online guitar course

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Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 44
Topic starter  

Dear guitar masters

I am trying to find a comprehensive online guitar course that shows exactly and accurately how to play songs with rather complicated sounding licks/riffs- down to the nitty-gritty, like getting not just the chords but all the details like the exact voicing right.

I have found that at times, stuff that are free online, like ultimate guitar and sites of that sort dont have completely accurate tabs. Tabs is one thing but a video demonstration is another.

For example check this out.
Scroll down on the related videos or
click on the poster's name- “shawncheekeasy”
and you'll see all his other stuff.

I think with a methodology like his, people with no musical training can learn to play easily. His material excludes all the tedious, unnecessary stuff for the songwriter I am guessing because he understands that the average person can learn to play most anything because he/she usually has actually prettty decent ears capable of quickly getting a feel for the pitch and rhythm of a song.

As you can see here
my point is, I really like it that he
1. gets straight to the heart of the matter and
2. bascially teaches everything you need to know (but only the truly necessary things) to play songs and to write songs.

Anybody know such a site for guitar learners with a approach similar?
I'll definitely be happy to pay good money as long as it's worth it.

Thanks a lot guys.

Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261

I quite like, and the guy who runs it, Kris, is a great guy who'll take the time to answer questions you have. He's also got a couple of DVDs out and runs a paid instruction site, which I imagine is even better, but I don't know first-hand. - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

Talk to Kris at

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

From your post, no matter what you find - you're going to be dissatisfied. You've got two goals, playing accurate recreations, and writing stuff like it.

Sure, you can find "easy" ways to play accurately. There are videos, some accurate tab transcriptions, etc. You could also find a teacher - I have students bring in CDs and say "show me how he does that", and I do.

But writing things is a different animal completely. To write songs you either need to a) noodle around long enough to come up with something you like, or b) understand how songs work... which means learning the technique AND the theory. You know, that stuff that isn't "truly necessary".

Any one song may use only a few elements of that stuff, so in the context of learning a song, all the rest might not be needed. But if you only acquire the tools needed to write that song, you'll only be able to write songs like that one. So the tools you don't have aren't unnecessary - they're unavailable.

And I would bet that unless you're doing simple punk music, the folks who wrote the songs you admire have those tools.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454

I think with a methodology like his, people with no musical training can learn to play easily. His material excludes all the tedious, unnecessary stuff for the songwriter I am guessing because he understands that the average person can learn to play most anything because he/she usually has actually prettty decent ears capable of quickly getting a feel for the pitch and rhythm of a song.

As you can see here


Thanks for posting the link. I'm about a month into an attempt to teach myself to play keyboards (after abandoning a short attempt many years ago). So I currently should be something of a sucker for anything that will promise me quicker results. It was interesting to see his whiteboard method, because when I first started to try and read music I found it hard to pick one note from another – to the degree that I began to think I might have some sort of musical dyslexia! :shock: So I also started work on developing my own form of notation. It was different to his though. Roughly speaking it was a bit like a standard score but turned through ninety degrees, so that you read your hand position from left to right (which matches what happens on the keyboard) and the progress of the music read downwards instead of left to right.

It worked fine, but the more time I spent developing the idea, and trying to ‘improve' on the standard score and make it more ‘intuitive' then the more I realised how good the standard notation actually was, and why it had survived for hundreds of years. And in the course of working out how to do a system that I found easier to follow, I ended up learning how to read music pretty quickly anyway. It turned out to be much simpler than I first feared. And I'm so glad I stuck with it. :D It means that I can now read any standard musical score and work out how to play it on guitar (or anything else). It also means that if I composed a song I could write it out in a form that any music reader can follow. If you don't think that's useful, try getting a singer to sing your guitar tab! :? A side effect was that it also helped make a lot of the other 'theory' easier to understand.

I discovered that it only takes a few minutes (not months) to understand the basics of what those dots mean in standard notation. The difficulty was in picking them apart at speed. But blowing the music up (Like a big print kids' book) and a bit of good old practice solved that. You'll still be slow of course, and it takes along while before you can read really quickly (if ever). But that doesn't actually matter, because what really takes the time, with any instrument, is training your brain and muscles so that your fingers do what you want them to. As that takes far longer than learning to read then you might as well do them together. You also discover that being able to read any type of notation at any speed isn't the same as being able to memorise it. Whatever you do you'll still need to work through the piece slowly a fair few time anyway while you learn it, so the fast reading isn't required at that stage anyway. By the time you start to know the piece, the score becomes more of a memory jogger or aid and you don't literally read every dot any more than you literally spell out every letter of every word in your head when you read this. You just skim across because you know from experience what each cluster of symbols means.

The guy with his whiteboard made it look easy. But that's largely because:

a) He's already a very experienced player and
b) He can read his whiteboard notes at speed, because he wrote them, so he knows exactly what it all means.
I would have to practice that – just like I had to practice standard notation (which incidentally also gives a lot more information that his does). If he gets a few kids to play who wouldn't have tried before, because music looked too hard, then that's terrific. But honestly I couldn't see any big advantage in the whiteboard method.

I guess what I'm saying is good luck finding a site that teaches you guitar the way you'd like, but be wary of what you try and leave out. If you never want to play or write – for example – classical or jazz, then there's certainly some techniques that you can pass on and some knowledge that you could decide to either avoid or leave until later. But as beginners we rarely know enough yet to be able to make an informed decision about what to skip and what to leave in. And a solid grounding in the basics is always a good idea. It's a bit over-optimistic to think that there's a bunch of “tedious and unnecessary” stuff that everybody else has slugged through for no good reason and that you or I can fast track our skills by skipping all the boring bits and applying a few magical 'secrets'. Whatever path you choose there's no substitute for putting in a lot of hours developing the skills you need and want. The trick isn't really in leaving a large bunch of stuff out, it's working out how to make it all fun. And if you love what you're doing that's not a big problem. At least it hasn't been for me. 8) :)

Good luck on the journey.



Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 121

Lots of good advice already given so I thought I would give a couple of links.

Justin Sandercoe has some great lessons - some free on U tube some for purchase.

There are many good lessons by others who take the simple no frills approach to teaching you popular songs. One a guy called Mark something with a handle goldhat on U Tube is one. Just do a search for Goldhat and you'll see all his stuff. I think he also has a website with lessons.

There is also site offering lessons by Denny Zager

Ive never tried one so I dont know what the quality is like - the hype on the site makes it very tempting though.

There are some DVD-based courses which seem to get good comments, one is by Dan Denley, another by Steve Krenz and there is a course called Jamorama. You can see comments in the opinions & reviews section.

Have fun, and remember, the more "unneccessary" stuff you learn the more fun you can have. :D


“Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.” - Winnie the Pooh