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This is an excellent website that offers an incredible amount of information with regards to learning how to play the guitar. This website works on an honour system, meaning that if you can afford to donate then you can donate an amount of money of your choosing, but if you can't afford it, then then it is free. This is very refreshing in terms of online instructional videos, so many websites of inferior quality, offer small nuggets of information, only to go on to say that you must pay a fee to access the material in full. Alternatives also include watching people on youtube but again, good videos that are reliable and of use are few and far between. As I will go on to explain there is an extraordinary amount of information on the site that must have taken a great deal of his time to produce, and it is genuinely very useful
One of the best things about learning from this site is that you can be safely assured that you are learning from a high quality and knowledgeable teacher. Justin Sandercoe is a professional teacher who has taught at the prestigious Guitar Institute, has bought out his own studio album and has played with Katie Melua. As someone who has spent a great deal of time exploring the internet for instructional videos on how to play various songs, and for help with guitar technique; I am acutely aware of how many very poor and misleading videos there are on youtube and the net in general. The fact that you can access high quality teaching, and potentially for free, is a rare treat indeed.
What is on the wesbite
There are so many different types of information on this site that to cover everything would be almost an impossibility. One of the things that I gained the greatest benefit from is the beginners course. This is a highly structured course encompassing a nine stage course, with each stage containing around nine lessons of varying length. This starts at the real basics such as how to hold the guitar, your pick, how to tune the guitar and how to adopt a correct posture when playing. The lessons build up over the nine stages, slowly adding slightly more advanced and complex information. There are particularly very useful lessons on rhythm and chord changes. Again these vital skills are included on a number of the stages and build in their complexity.
Attached to each stage is a song appropriate to the level of the stage, so these start very simple and build up. All songs are included with an instructional video that takes you through the chords, and all important rhythm patterns for each song. There is also a section of the website that has a great many more songs than included on the beginners course, these are separated into Easy Songs For Beginners that are simplified versions of the originals, slightly more advanced songs for beginners and songs for players that are more detailed and very much like the original record. There are a number of classic songs with nice and detailed lessons including, wonderwall, American Pie, under the bridge, tears in heaven, Layla, sweet home Alabama, comfortably numb, Johnny b Goode. One of my favourites is a very long and detailed lesson on how to play every section of the classic Led Zeppelin song stairway to heaven as well as the great Dire straits song sultans of swing. There are numerous other songs on the site in addition to these few that I have named.
Other elements of the website
There are so many other lessons too numerous to list in their entirety here. These include lessons on scales, and arpeggios and an excellent technique section. This helps to improve all aspects of guitar technique improving accuracy, clarity and speed. There are also lessons on more unusal things, that you are unlikely to find anywhere else such as harmonics and how to play folk fingerstyle. There are lessons on jazz, blues and a number of useful links to reputable guitar teachers.
The style of teaching
Justin is a very patient and clear teacher in his approach. He emphasises some very good points such as making sure that you only try to play to higher speeds once you can play everything perfectly. He also very much emphasises learning to work out how to play songs yourself, known as transcribing. This is an excellent tip and I was amazed at how quickly I started picking notes and chords out of songs that I liked. At the end of each of the lesson section he provides a test that requires listening and identifying certain notes, chords and chord progressions. This is both challenging and quite a lot of fun.
Overall this is an excellent website that offers high quality tuition free. I would encourage you to donate if you can afford it, as he has clearly taken a lot of time over this, but if you can't afford it, then what is offered here is a wealth of very useful information for free!
published on ciao under the same name