Okay guys, so I told you yesterday or the day before about two interesting budget groupons. The first was Center Stage Ukulele Academy, which, at first glance, is a solid intro to the uke. The second was the guitar course for Rockstar Academy, which I just logged into for the first time tonight.
I clicked on beginner’s lesson and this is what I saw:
Do NOT waste your money on this groupon. I know it’s only $10. But DON’T. It’s basically a book on a computer screen. Yes, there are little 5-30 second interactive blurbs, but if you ware going to waste your money on lessons that are vastly wall-of-text, you are far better off to just buy Guitar for Dummies, or a similar book/disc combo. Not only will you get lessons, you will get well-thought out lessons by an instructor who actually has half a clue what they’re doing.
The first two chords it teaches are C and G. Are these common chords? Yes. Are they good chords to teach someone who is picking up a guitar for the first time? Absolutely not. For a beginner, these are both pretty stretchy chords. It’s a far better tactic to start a beginner with a chord that doesn’t require a lot of flexibility to give them some confidence out of the gate (Em and Am maybe?). Once they’ve practiced a super duper easy chord or two, THEN C and G. They are important chords that should be learned early, but C is not a ‘first chord’.
Worse yet, the lessons don’t bother mentioning that you’re not supposed to play the top string of C. They’re designed for an utter beginner but say nothing about holding the guitar or fretting it. They teach you how to tune the guitar…and go straight into saying ‘or you could use the harmonics method’, which is A) to advanced, but worse yet, B) they don’t actually explain what harmonics are or how to play them. Now, I happen to know that from my time with Rocksmith, but to jump right into mentioning harmonics at all, other than to say ‘you can also tune by the harmonics method’, and then digressing by saying ‘which we will cover later after we’ve gone over how to play harmonics.’ That is the ONLY circumstance in which you should say the word harmonics to someone who hasn’t even learned a chord yet.
Absolute worse instruction structure I’ve ever seen. They gloss over things they should discuss. Introduce things too soon, or don’t bother to introduce them at all. The video content is limited at best…
Now, I did say I only paid $10. I was figuring if I spent a month with it, I got my money’s worth. I did not even last 15 minutes. Even though it’s only $10, I am so incredibly disappointed with this utter joke of a service that I contacted customer service to see if they will unsubscribe and refund me.
So, the verdict on Rockstar Academy is a huge and glaring ‘NO’. It will not teach you how to play guitar. It might, possibly, teach you how to think you’re exceptionally bad at guitar and give up on it before you start. So, if your goal is to fail miserably, then far be it for me to stop you in that quest.
However, if you actually want to, you know, LEARN guitar, then there are other, better, resources. You know, pretty much ANY other resources.
Until Next Time, I’m actually reverting to Yousician for the first time in ages. It has more than it’s share of flaws, but it’s going to look like a superstar next to Rockstar Academy.