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ArtistWorks Does More Than Educate: It Inspires


A little while back, I had the occasion to sit down with TTK in the flesh.  It happened that he was in my neck of the woods on some other matters of business and, having a bit of free time, invited me to come down to his hotel and break bread with him.  It was during this meeting that I got to brag a little about the lessons I was taking from this one guitar player named Paul Gilbert.


Yup, it’s the Paul Gilbert you’re thinking of.  Despite being a whole continent away, Paul Gilbert was watching and hearing me play, answering my questions, and providing lessons specifically tailored to my goals as a guitar player.

Of course, you’ve probably guessed that all of this was done through the not-so whiz-bang technology of the Internet.  Video chatting has been around for a while now.  But this was more than just a video chat or Skype session.  Thanks to ArtistWorks, Inc., a powerful platform for music and arts education, I’m not only learning from world-renowned artists like Paul Gilbert, but also a community of guitar players around the world just as passionate about playing the guitar as I am.

Obviously, being able to learn from a major name like Paul Gilbert, master finger stylist Martin Taylor, bluesman Keith Wyatt, and jazz maestros Andreas Oberg and Chuck Loeb (among many other top notch performers in guitar, bass, voice, woodwinds, brass, and piano that provide lessons through ArtistWorks) is a huge draw for any instructional program.  But ArtistWorks also brings the collective knowledge of it’s student community together, creating a curriculum that is always evolving.  All of the video exchanges a student does with an ArtistWorks teacher are posted to landing page of each course, giving students a revolving library of new lessons to learn from.

Students also have a standard library of lessons developed by each teacher that cover everything from the basics all the way to expert and advanced techniques.  It took me about a year to work through Paul Gilbert’s rock guitar curriculum, which covers everything from basic rhythmic strumming (called “chickas” by most of the students) to three note per-string exercises to alternate picking and bending techniques.  Even though I’ve finished the regular lesson plan, I still go back and often and refresh my knowledge of everything from basic picking technique to speedier runs in between checking out video exchanges done by other students.

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On top of all that, each class on the ArtistWorks virtual campus has an active forum where students can interact with each other and the teachers.  Paul Gilbert is quite active on his forum, answering everything from questions about video exchanges, the gear he uses, his favorite bands and songs, and navigating the rigors of the music business.  He also regularly posts bonus lessons, covering ideas or techniques currently inspiring him.

Having been a student at ArtistWorks for over two years now, I can truly say it’s improved not only my playing, but my whole approach to the guitar.  I had been playing for over twenty years, including four years of private home instruction, before signing up for Paul Gilbert’s Rock Guitar Course, and even the very basic lessons were revelations.  Best of all, the vast majority of the things I’ve learned at ArtistWorks have truly stuck with me.  Only the in-person private lessons I took so many years ago can make the same claim.  I credit this to Paul’s intensely personalized approach to teaching guitar.

TTK noted that my passion for the ArtistWorks teaching method was so palpable that he also took the plunge, so now I can’t brag to him about taking lessons from Paul Gilbert anymore.  You, dear reader, should join in the fun.

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