Monday, October 1

Guitar 360 Method

This review was originally posted in November 2018 at our Gypsy Road site.

If you haven’t noticed, here at Gypsy Road we love music!  When we were asked if we wanted to check out the new online guitar lessons from Guitar 360 Method, the overwhelming response in this house was YES!  We had the chance to check out the Guitar 360 Method Semester 1 Course, which lasts about eighteen weeks long.  While we haven’t finished yet, here’s what we’ve learned….

First of all, this bundle is broken down into two separate and distinct parts: the Absolute Beginner course with bonus content and the actual Semester 1 course.  I say distinct because the philosophy is different in the two.  In the five-week-long Absolute Beginner course, the goal is to get comfortable with the guitar – learn how it works, how music works, and how to make some basic sounds and chords.  In the thirteen-week-long Semester 1 course, music theory begins to play a role as the student dives deeper into how songs are developed, how notes combine, and how to create your own pieces.

Guitar 360 Method
As a homeschool mom who ascribes to the four-year rotation, I like how the program is set up.  They call it ‘Cyclical Pedagogy,’ and it’s basically what we do with classical curriculum.  You study something, and then you wrap around and study the same topic but further in depth, and then you wrap around and study it again, but even further in depth.  In the first cycle (Absolute Beginner), students get comfortable and enjoy playing with the guitar.  In the second cycle (Semester 1), they learn the theory behind the music that they have already come to enjoy.

In the words of the vendor, “Most people learn to play the guitar one of two ways: Either through the "campfire method'" or through piano-based music theory. One is really fun, but eventually leads to frustration due to a lack of understanding. The other is the "correct" way to learn music, but is extremely impractical for the guitar, thus also frustrating for most.”

The courses are divided into short videos, breaking each concept into smaller chunks and focusing on specific tasks.  This makes it easy to go back and find what you’re looking for when you need extra help (rather than sifting through really long videos).  I like the setup, though, because we were able to practice over and over again until that specific task was perfected.  As an example, we learned how the left hand works, then how the right hand works, and then how they work together…in three separate videos.

The beginner course also offers three practice sessions, including warm-up exercises, that focus on creating a clean sound where both hands are working together consistently.  Each of the consecutive practice sessions cover the same song, but they successively speed up the tempo until you reach performance speed.
As a bonus for completing the beginner course, you get to learn “Don’t Stop Believing,” by Journey and “Rejoice,” by Israel Houghton.  Each bonus lesson is divided into the song's sections: introduction, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, practice, and performance.

While we haven’t delved very far into Semester 1, I have glanced ahead through the course to see that we’ll be covering ear training – something that I just thought everyone did naturally, with the ‘color of chords’ philosophy.  We’ll also be focusing on getting the fingers to work correctly and hit the right strings all the time, which is a little bit harder for me.
The semester is divided into one hundred lessons.  Essentially, the instructor has taken the experience of private instruction and put it online.  He ties together all the pieces of how a guitar works, teaches chords, strumming, and fingers, and teaches how to put the pieces into action to create your own original music.

Each week covers a goal for the week, reviews from previous weeks, provides new information, and has practice slots.  Everything is color-coded to be easily found, and beginning mid-semester, there are quizzes on music theory.  The last two weeks of the course are practice only, as the student is expected to put all the pieces together and play well.  This course is intensive enough to easily qualify as a credit of high school music.

At the end of each lesson, there is a comment section for asking questions or interacting with others, as well as the ability to connect via social media.  We haven’t taken advantage of these resources yet.

Our biggest problem with the course was the internet streaming.  We aren’t in an area that gets great internet to begin with, and it took us a very long time to access the course.  We were taking the class in three second chunks for a long time, and it took over two hours to play an eight minute video.  I ended up buffering the class overnight so that we could play it in entirety.

Just the Facts
  • Website - Guitar 360 Method
  • Course – This is an online course, not a subscription, and it is my understanding that you have lifetime access to the course after purchasing.
  • Age – recommended age 15+ / parent should determine readiness
  • Coupon - Use coupon code HOMESCHOOL20 to take 20% off Guitar 360 Method!

I’ve heard that they’re planning to release a Keys 360 (piano) Method and Drums 360 Method in the near future, so if guitar isn’t your thing, you might still want to bookmark the page and keep an eye out…

See what others are saying about Guitar 360 Method at the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}

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