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Simeon's Review of Guitar at ArtistWorks

Simeon has been a student at ArtistWorks for over 2 years. He studies guitar in three ArtistWorks schools: Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert, Fingerstyle Guitar with Martin Taylor, and Jazz & More Guitar with Andreas Oberg

 

I have been a student with ArtistWorks since 2016. I started out with Paul Gilbert’s Rock Guitar School and am currently enrolled in two more schools – Martin Taylor’s Fingerstyle Guitar School and Andreas Oberg’s Jazz Guitar School. I had been self-teaching myself for a while, but it started to feel like I was going nowhere with my playing. At that point, I couldn’t improvise and could only play along to guitar tabs. The best I could do was learn a whole song by tab and memorize that. However, this all changed when I started learning guitar online with Artistworks.

 

I feel that my playing has since improved a lot and believe that it will continue to do so. To be more specific, I can now navigate and improvise over chord changes at a basic level. Currently, my goal as a musician is to be able to hear the notes I play and have control over them, so I’m playing what comes from my mind instead of my fingers.

 

I’m still not there yet, but with the guidance of these professional musicians and a lot of hard work, I feel confident about getting there.

 

I really love learning under my three instructors – Paul Gilbert, Martin Taylor and Andreas Oberg. They all have their own unique styles of teaching, and they take time off from their busy schedules to view our video submissions. Firstly, Paul Gilbert is full of passion in music and in rock guitar. He teaches us new licks and phrases in each VE, strips them down to the basics and shows us every detail. I still remember going to one of Mr Big’s concerts, and one of the VEs I received was recorded backstage on the day of the concert itself – how awesome is that!!! I just can’t help smiling every time I see Paul rocking away on the guitar, I can really feel the energy. Secondly, studying with Andreas is a big and fun ride for the musical mind. If Jazz was a language, Andreas would be a teacher who made sure we all knew our alphabets (scales).

When I first enrolled into Andreas’s school, I had this misconception that Jazz was all about transcribing and memorizing whole sections of my favourite solos. I soon realized I was wrong and Andreas taught me that it was about learning short phrases to expand my vocabulary and adding them to the scales that I have learned. Thirdly, as a fairly new student in Martin Taylor’s school, I am having a lot of fun. Being able to play fingerstyle to me is like being in a one-man band. Learning how to play the bass, melody and comping at the same time is difficult, but the result feels magical. Martin emphasizes a lot about playing what you hear instead of what comes out from your finger muscles. Since enrolling in Martin’s school, I started to pay a lot more attention to the melodies coming out from my fingers whilst thinking in my head, where do I want this melody to go and how do I make it sound melodic. An advantage you get learning from multiple teachers is that you can always take the knowledge you learn from one school to the next.

I would say Video Exchanges are the best thing one could have when learning from a professional musician.

At first, I was afraid of submitting my first video exchange. I felt like my playing was sloppy and that I didn’t want others to listen to it. However, I mustered up my courage and since then I have been doing my best to submit as many video exchanges as I can. My mentality now is that even if my playing isn’t good, it truthfully reflects my current level. By viewing the video, my instructors will be able to give me suggestions on how to better my playing, and from then on, my playing can only get better. The forums are also a great place to ask questions and get answers from your instructors. Combined with Video Exchanges, you get this whole fountain of musical knowledge in your reach.

I really enjoy my time learning guitar online with ArtistWorks and would recommend it to everyone out there.

It does not matter what your current level is, there is always something to learn and your instructors will be able to take you further as a musician.

 

But bear in mind that you can only get the most out of this journey by working hard and practicing the right way.

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