There is an epidemic in Guitarlandia.
A million guitarists just like you are stuck––spinning their wheels, not making significant progress, plateaued somewhere in the intermediate stages.
If you learned to play guitar in the last 20 years, you learned it using a host of shape-based methods––TAB, chord grids, scale shapes, CAGED.
And on one level, this is awesome. Legions of people who never would have built up this level of talent on (let’s say) the trumpet are able to pick up the guitar and play their favorite songs.
The trouble is, the system that lets almost anyone learn to play pretty well is the exact same system that prevents them from learning to play really well.
And all attempts to get past that intermediate plateau have failed because of one simple fact:
In those early months & years, while we were rocking out to our favorite songs from the radio, the people who studied the trumpet, the piano, and the cello were trudging their way through Hot Cross Buns, Aura Lee, & a pile of boring ass etudes.
And for an intermediate guitarist to cross the chasm into being an advanced guitarist, he or she has to go back to square one and play through all of that boring music that we got to skip.
Or at least, that’s the way it used to be.
Today we launched GuitarOS, a ninety-day Guitar-As-A Real-Instrument diploma. Think of it as an update to your “operating system.”
The operating system that we guitarists have installed in our brains (the one that relies on shapes instead of names) is incompatible with the way that music theory is taught.
Those other instrument-ists have an operating system that’s based on knowing the names of notes, of knowing what the rhythms they’re playing look like on paper.
They get to interface with music theory concepts directly––it’s written in their language, so it’s far easier for them than it ever is for us. (Ever see a book with a title like Music Theory Made Easy For Cellists? Me neither.)
We’re trying to make sense of something in another language, but we’re still thinking in our native language. So when we hear some tidbit of music theory, or read some tiny piece of music, we have to translate it first.
But what if you could learn to think about music in the same way that badass professional musicians do… without having to go back to the beginning?
That’s the idea behind GuitarOS.
I realize there are a lot of shady scammer types on the internet, and so maybe you don’t trust me enough to hand over your hard-earned money for some course you’re not really convinced that you need.
But that’s ok.
Even if you prefer to DIY your guitar education, I still want you to have this syllabus (and fifteen free GuitarOS lessons).
If you’re at all serious about becoming a guitar badass, it’ll shave years of wasted time off your journey.
We’ve been testing this with a group of four hundred beta users, and everyday I get a new email from someone who’s excited about the progress s/he’s making. Whether you join GuitarOS or choose to go it alone, learning Guitar As A Real Instrument in this order is way more fun than the old method books, and just plain works better than the standard internet scattershot “spray and pray” approach.
Here’s what’s inside the course:
Ten days of reprogramming your brain to think about the notes on your fretboard by their letter names instead of by TAB coordinates or scale shapes. Music theory isn’t inherently confusing… it’s just that we don’t yet speak the language. That language––notes––isn’t hard to learn.
Circle of Fifths
Now that you’re no longer stumbling around blindly, trying to translate between TAB and note names, you can start to organize all those notes in the same way that badasses musicians have for hundreds of years––into keys.
We’ll spend fifteen days internalizing which notes belong together in which keys. Because it’s a lot of information to memorize, you’ll also get a set of intelligent flash cards that adjust to help you where you struggle most.
All that memorization you did in Circle of Fifths suddenly gets deeply interesting––because now you get to use it to understand how chords are built.
Because this is GuitarOS, we’re not dealing in mere shapes, but getting under the hood and figuring out how to build all those chords with intimidating names (like G7#5b9), and how to name all the random chords you encounter (or make).
Just like we assembled notes into keys and chords, here we assemble chords into progressions. We’ll look at all the common (and not-so-common) sets of chords that go into making songs. We’ll get really good at spotting what key we’re in and transposing into different keys. If you’ve previously struggled with understanding modes, you’ll find them laughably easy after this.
Once you have all that stuff down, you’ll be thinking and communicating notes, keys, chords, and progressions just like pros do. Reading Rhythms gives you the rhythmic literacy you need to round out the rest of your badassery.
We’ll start by working these concepts into your body & limbs, then use super slick & effective drills to practice reading them so they happen without conscious thought.
Don’t worry about that intimidating jumble of notes above the TAB that you’ve been ignoring for years. Most charts read by working guitarists are no more complicated than chords, rhythms, & some “road signs” written in Italian.
Now that you can talk the harmonic talk, and you can read the rhythmic content, you’re only a handful of terms & best practices away from reading proper charts.
Metronome Boot Camp
Of course, none of this means a thing if you don’t have absolutely killing time & feel, so we’ll spend two weeks getting you dialed in to the click, teaching you the methods the pros know & use.
Practice Habits 1: The Habits
You love playing guitar… so why is it so hard to practice consistently?
We’ll look at the science behind how humans are wired, identify your particular Habit Tendency Type, and choose from a menu of strategies to help get you practicing consistently.
Practice Habits 2: The Practice
Far and away the most common answer to the question “what’s the most useful thing you learned in music school?” is How to practice––I thought I was already practicing, but it wasn’t until school that I really learned how to practice.
Once you’re showing up consistently, we’ll figure out what it is you need to be doing with your practice time to ensure that you continue to grow. Plus I’ll buy you your very own copy of my favorite book on practicing, a short little gem I’ve read probably a dozen times.
The Sequence Is The Most Important Thing
While any time is great time to get started with a metronome or dialing in your practice, other things are way more “path dependent.” The sequence of things is important. Being able to see notes on your fretboard has to come before any talk of theory, or you’re spending most of your time translating back and forth. Notes->keys->chords->progressions makes every one of the individual components vastly more simple. Understanding rhythm in your body before seeing it the page, and being comfortable with rhythms on the page long before you attempt to read melodies.
That’s one hundred and five lessons in total. So where did I come up with the whole “ninety days” thing? I subtracted the fifteen days that you can get for free in Metronome Boot Camp.
See you out there,