Much to my surprise and amazement, I’ve found an online guitar instruction site that has actually improved my guitar playing! That site is ActiveMelody.com. I have toyed with a number of sites, and found many of them helpful, but none quite seemed to fit my style.
One site I visited often was the Blues Guitar Institute. It has some terrific content, but I was put off by its $14.99/month ($99.99 annual) fee. Some terrific free sites, such as JustinGuitar and Marty Schwartz’s lessons are great for quick lessons, but many of these sites are focused on learning songs. I wanted something with a little more structure (but not TOO much), and then I found Brian Sherrill.
Brian doesn’t promote himself. In fact, I didn’t know his last name until I did some searching online. Which is kind of cool, because at ActiveMelody, it’s just Brian and his lessons.
Key to his approach is that Brian explains the “why” of certain guitar playing. Yes, it’s music theory, but he downplays that aspect, choosing instead to show how to play. The when and why part of it fall in place gradually.
At first, I was reluctant to pay ($89.00 annually). There is a forum on the site, and I joined to nose around a bit and investigate. One of the posters there made the observation that the annual charge was roughly what one would pay for a single in-person lesson with a tutor. Since I’d done that not long ago, I had to admit he had a point, so I signed up.
One of the best decisions I’ve made. After a year of COVID lockdowns, it felt nice to get some structure to my playing. Since I’ve been able to work from home, which means I can grab a guitar any time and spend a few minutes practicing, having lessons to practice has been a great help.
Membership also provides me access to tablature (TAB) downloads, jam tracks and “part two” of lessons when available. The PDF downloads have been a terrific aide, and I’m only now beginning to take advantage of the jam tracks. Well worth the $89!
Brian doesn’t know (and likely doesn’t care) that I’m posting this. But I’m quite happy with activemelody.com and confess to being a satisfied customer!