guitar lessons review

Maya vs. the Guitar, cont. or

Internet Guitar Lessons are the BOMB.

So, I did the beginners course over at, as I reviewed here, all 150 lessons in about two months, and I really enjoyed it.  But then I left them and moved my Guitar Education over to, where I’ve been for the last month, that’s Month Three of my guitar journey (about which I feel, simultaneously , “it’s been that long?” and “it’s only been that long?”).   Two reasons for the move: nextlevelguitar was awesome at covering the basics that would probably be about the same for everyone, but (1) after the beginner section it starts leaning heavily in the ‘be in a band, play rock and roll’ direction, which isn’t really what I’m into, which is (2) fingerstyle, which they have a ton of over at truefire and very little of at nextlevelguitar.  So, there you go. is another learn-to-play-guitar-online site, a couple steps up in the production values and with a wide variety of instructors and styles.  It’s…well, it’s totally awesome for a learning-glutton such as myself to pay twenty bucks a month and get all the guitar instruction that I can stomach, in tons of styles, and from lots of accomplished guitarists.

Because I can stomach a lot.  This way of learning a musical instrument, this video instruction over the internet thing, has, so far, well, it’s just ROCKED.  It’s light-years beyond the traditional, once a week, 30 minute lesson, that I did for piano oh, so many years ago.  Bored?  Do a different lesson.  Stuck?  Find an alternate teacher who explains it differently and the cross-current of the two or three or ten instructors will make it clear.  Do lessons every day if you want, then not at all for a week as you digest.  Watch the same lesson several times trying to figure out the tricky bit.  Switch to a different genre for a day, just because.  Did I mention that I’ve learned how to read tablature?  They have the sheet music with tabs for all their lessons over there and I find I’ve picked it up from sheer exposure.  It’s just so awesome to be able to affordably learn at my own speed which, when I’m into something, is LOTS FAST NOW.

I’ve been working through David Hamburger’s Fingerstyle Blues Handbook courses, and they’ve been terrific.  He has a knack for making incremental increases that seem, and are, totally doable, but then I look back and suddenly realize how far I’ve come in a short amount of time.  That’s cool and very satisfying.  I’ve also dipped into the Efficient Guitarist and Fingerboard Breakthrough , two really interesting and in-depth theory courses, for when I’m in the mood for that.   And I’ve been slowly moving through Vicki Genfen’s very fun 3-D Guitar, all about tapping and slapping and crazy stuff that I can’t do yet, but I will, I WILL. And I can’t wait to do some of the more advanced fingerstyle courses.  Not every course I’ve watched the intro of has attracted me, but there are gobs and gobs of them.  It’s like going to one of those Chinese restaurants with a buffet of 100 items!  Belly up with your shovel and dig in!

All in all, best bang for a $20 bill I got this month.

I believe I wouldn’t be able to do all of this if I didn’t have the methodical  foundation I had gotten over at nextlevelguitar, so thanks David Taub!

But, basically, I’m not feeling very Maya VERSUS the guitar right now.  My guitar and I are getting along pretty well.

In large part due to  Highly recommended.

ETA: see the next part of my guitar exploration here, with reviews of where I went after truefire.

13 thoughts on “ guitar lessons review

  1. Pingback: next level guitar review : mayaland

  2. CathyB

    Congrats, prodigy. 🙂

    Is Luc still watching what you’re doing and trying to imitate, or has he moved on to other interests?

    1. maya Post author

      Prodigy my ass. I plunk along, I have fun, definitely no prodigyness going on tho. Luc likes to carry his guitar upside down (neck pointed at the ground) and strum and sing, but he is very private about it. Sophie has learned a handful of chords but she got bored with the book she was using and I haven’t run across diff materials to make it more fun for her. Or it just may not be her thing. And honestly, I think my zeal and pushing aheadness turned her off a bit because we were quickly not doing it Together. She didn’t like the resulting comparison, what Mom can do vs. what Sophie can do. She’s still in the game a little. I need to find some way for her to access it so she feels successful right away. Still working on it.

  3. Pingback: stefan grossman’s guitar workshop : mayaland

  4. Eric

    I subscribed to truefire based on your review, thank you!

    is there anywhere I can hear your playing?



    1. maya Post author

      Hi Eric, thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you like truefire, I certainly enjoyed it. A banquet. And you are way, way too kind in thinking my playing is worth listening to. 🙂

  5. patrick

    Yes, truefire is great. Hope you are still at it. I just stumbled upon your blog and thought I’d say “hi.”

    Warm regards, pat

    1. maya Post author

      Yep, I’m still at it, though not at truefire. I started doing vid lessons from Stefan Grossman, which I have also reviewed here somewhere. Really excellent if you want to learn old timey blues. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. John


    I enjoyed reading your blog on your acoustic journey. I went through a similar process as you, and found I enjoyed acoustic blues, via Stefan Grossman. I had viewed both Marty Schwartz and Next Level Guitar on youtube, and found they are having a great deal on an acoustic blues set. The sale goes on for a couple more days, through March 21, I think. It’s here:

  7. ronnie

    What if you want to pay monthly, and after a few montns can’t afford more lessons. Would it be hard to stop, would they keep billing you, or would they just stop giving you access?

    1. maya Post author

      Hello Ronnie,
      I can’t remember now the exact process of finishing with them (maybe I wrote them an email? or was there a form I filled out?), but I don’t remember any hassle at all. I think it was super simple, no problem. When I was done, I was done. You stop paying and yes, you stop having access. Which is totally fair, if you ask me.

  8. Woolly

    I was a “once a week” piano student as a kid too. Always wanted to play guitar. Later in life I started traditional instuction for guitar as well. I did Gibson’s Learn and Master course. Took about two years. Great if you want the theory along the way.

    I am now doing which is great too. Going to look into this.



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