The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
Study Resources I Use To Compliment My Teachers
I study around 3000 hours a year and I get around 80hrs of combined tutoring so while the lessons obviously guide me on a large portion of my private study time there’s only so much they can cover in that time. The truth is there’s soooo much to learn across everything I’m doing it’s not possible to cover a fraction of it in those 80hrs so the rest is up to me.
That is daunting because often a) I don’t know what to learn and b) I don’t know how to learn … well to some degree.
I’ve been learning long enough now that to some degree I’m learning how to spot the holes and weaknesses and the areas that are falling behind. Sometimes that’s rehashing over old ground to get it up the level it should be or sometimes it’s expanding on areas or filling in the gaps.
To do this I use resources and a lot of them and they work very well. I will emphasise they don’t come close to replacing a teacher (a good one anyway) but they have incredible value on top of or even better in combination with my teachers. I use them to compliment my other learning and to help me learn more faster.
So here are the ones I’ve so far found to be the most useful.
Drumeo – I will absolutely say it’s so worth the money, the lessons are great, it’s well organised, the teachers are the best in the world, they teach WELL (very important), it’s fun, it’s interactive, it’s creative in how it teaches and varied. It offers great resources and lots of them and it’s constantly being updated. Don’t even think about this one, it’s an investment but make sure you USE it.
Hudson Music – it’s a book store with books and videos that are mostly interactive through their apps or online store. I tend to treat myself now and then when they have a sale and I have a collection that will take me years to work through BUT I get them as both technique aids and (mostly) idea *sparkers*. There’s so much gold in those books but first you need to learn how to see it, how to look past the lesson and see the concept. How to recognise how that concept and then be applied to other exercises or be used in any situation. Creative thinking unlocks a world of joy in these books and the interactive nature of them is a bonus (audio of the exercises, linked videos, embedded backing tracks). I just need to get my technical chops up a few levels before I can really benefit but even that in itself inspires me to work harder.
Udemy – This one can be awesome or terrible, it varies course to course so read the reviews, watch the samples and try to get a feel for the course before you buy. I would never pay full price for these (there's generally nothing that you can’t get from you YouTube for free) but during the sales they’re very cheap and then it’s worth paying for the structure they offer that YouTube definitely doesn’t. I’m doing courses on Orchestration, Sound Design, Guitar Techniques, Audio Engineering, Composition and all sorts of fun stuff. Make sure you get one for your level though, I’ve bought a few out of my comfort zone and they’re too hard to follow.
Interactive Magazines – I subscribe to a few magazine apps from Future Music that I think are incredibly good value. They have printable lessons, embedded audio and the content is brilliant. Well laid out, easy to use features and very cheap. They also do offers now and then when you can buy all the back issues at one really crazy low price. There are some great online magazines too but I find these less convenient than having it on my phone ready to go at all times.
Scribd – this one is controversial but the truth is I could never afford to buy all the books, articles etc I can get from here and I treat it as a library. I do often buy the books I find most useful though, sometimes an Ebook sometimes a hard copy. I prefer to own the real thing but for most of us who can’t afford to pay $70 for a single book (when they are hundreds I need) this is invaluable.
Truefire – I LOVE this site, I LOVE their lessons but I don’t subscribe. It’s great value especially when you buy on sale but I like to own the lessons, download them and watch on the app. I tend to buy their $5 deals which are out of this world bargains but I also buy some more expensive courses I know I’ll get a lot from. The teachers are world class, the lessons and resources are very good (mostly) and they’re fun, well structured and easy to use. BUT they are not for the beginner guitarist. You’ll need to be intermediate at least and even though a lot will be a little too hard but there are hundreds to choose from so there is plenty to work on. I find I can’t get past the first few Andy Timmons lessons not because they’re hard but because he’s given me so many concepts to work on I want to really focus on that before moving on.
YouTube – This one is obvious but I’m putting in there because I do use it a lot but it tends to be for when I’m really looking for something specific.
There are a lot of free resources and paid ones out there, Scotts Bass lessons is one I’d love to try but at the moment I can’t justify the cost. Bass isn’t enough of a focus for me and the workload my teacher gives me plus the books I have is enough but it does look good and his free lessons are superb.
These are just the ones I use and KNOW work for me.
However the thing is there’s no magic recipe in any of these, none of them will make you a better player/writer etc that can only be done by you. These are the tools you can use to do that but you have to know how, you have to have the drive to work through them and you have to pick the lessons that will benefit your goals. Don't just learn hard, learn SMART.
Learning Time Log
How long I've been learning as at at the end of Mar 2021.
What's This About?
One fateful day I decided to get guitar lessons. 6 years later I'm learning four instruments and trying to become a musician and songwriter. I set a five year goal (Aug 2021) to create a very special song for my 25th wedding anniversary and this is a record of my crazy journey, weird thoughts, strange doodles and unapologetic music obsession! Enjoy!