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Old 01-12-2020, 11:32 AM
jschmitz54 jschmitz54 is offline
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Default Tony Polecastro’s TAC course for Acoustic guitar

I watched Tony’s 45 minute video and is seems reasonable. Wondering if any members who may have an opinion or taken his course would tell what they think of it.
Are there better courses you’d recommend?
Thanks for your responses in advance.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:12 PM
Ed66 Ed66 is online now
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I haven't taken the course but I'm a big fan of his weekly Accoustic Tuesday show. It always seems to be interesting and he has introduced me to a number of good artists. I've never heard any bad feedback on his courses and would think it's worth consideration. I would think his demeanor would be especially good for those early on in their guitar journey.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:01 PM
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Which course are you talking about? On his website are lots of them. I took his online “Fretboard Wizard” course and loved it. Music theory specifically aimed at guitarist. Connected a lot of dots for me. On the strength of that I then joined his website...but was underwhelmed by the content and didn’t renew my membership.

Tony’s a great guy and a good teacher. So his stuff may work for you. Some did and some didn’t for me.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:19 PM
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I really like Tony's videos - demo's, reviews and lessons. I've been tempted but in all honesty I just don't have the discipline to follow through with ANY sort of these formal courses so it's a waste of money for me. Instead, I bop around YouTube and if I find a brief lesson of something useful I'll spend a few days with it.
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:21 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is online now
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Default TAC course

I am six weeks in. The second go around. I tried it a year ago and didn't feel ready. I am diligent about the daily exercises and have completed them all since I started. I am still occasionally at a loss as to applicability - basically the purpose and usefulness. There is a lot of additional resources within the course that I do find very helpful.I just completed a short barre chord lesson. For the money I think it was worth it for me. Will I resubscribe - I honestly don't know at this time.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:41 PM
KevinH KevinH is offline
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I've found Justin Sandercoe's website to be really helpful. Most of it is free. Good selection of instructional videos and music theory. And he has some nice phone apps for learning the fretboard. justinguitar.com.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:03 PM
milerun milerun is offline
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I agree. Justin’s great, if a bit more traditional (and some of his YouTube videos are old). But his music theory is really affordably priced. Tony is much, much heavier on the marketing (you will get a lot of emails!), though his approach gets you playing things more quickly—even if you don’t quite understand just yet why. Perhaps neither is better.

Last edited by milerun; 01-12-2020 at 11:03 PM. Reason: darn typo
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:52 AM
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I appreciate his Youtube show but did not like the marketing angle for his course. For example, he is pretty strong about the idea that if I don't subscribe within a certain time frame, he would be 'forced' to offer it to someone else instead and one can no longer subscribe. That is a bit too disingenuous.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:48 AM
llew llew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschmitz54 View Post
I watched Tony’s 45 minute video and is seems reasonable. Wondering if any members who may have an opinion or taken his course would tell what they think of it.
Are there better courses you’d recommend?
Thanks for your responses in advance.
Does Tony offer a course in how to demo a "bedazzled" Esteban guitar in a gorilla suit?
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:02 PM
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I'll weigh in. I joined his Tony's Acoustic Challenge in March. I didn't get it at first but I have made more progress in these months and, aside from a brief hiatus to deal with a death in the family, I've been picking up my guitar daily.

His approach is really what I was looking for: daily practice a minimum of 10 minutes (more if you want), a focused daily skill to get you going - Mondays are warm ups, Tuesdays are licks, Weds are a backing track and suggestions on how to jam along, Thursday rhythm practice sequence, and Friday chord progressions. And he ties them all together so they make sense for the week.

Also, he mixes it up with other things like we all learned Beaumont Rag and then everyone posted a video playing it 80bpm or best as we could, and then he did a mashup of all of us and showed us at the last online live guitar party (monthly - if you log in every day the month prior, he throws a dart and if it lands on your name you win a guitar!).

The best part is the community, both in the online forum and the local TAC jam clubs that are part of it. I just went to a jam yesterday with some great people I have met through TAC.

In a week or so, he will replace the daily lessons for a one week blues challenge.

This approach has really helped me progress, go outside my comfort zone with supportive people, post myself playing, and has helped me set some goals for this year like learning to solo better and play with others more.

His approach is about having fun and not pressuring yourself to master the guitar. It's been pretty amazing how much my skills have improved just doing daily lessons.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:21 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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I'm curious about this. I've been taking Bryan Sutton's class on artistworks, but I feel it is not very helpful in getting me unstuck from the first position of the fretboard. Bryan teaches a lot of songs and tunes and is fantastic about things like picking and fretting technique, but I find the theory aspect lacking. Connecting the dots.

For example, even though I've been familiar with the pentatonic scale shapes for a while, I didn't realize why there are five shapes -- one for each note in the scale as a starting point. Yes, I know, it's almost too obvious, but it never clicked because I was so focused on memorizing the shapes that I neglected to look at what notes I was actually playing in those shapes. Or, how to connect scales along the fretboard is something I'm only starting to learn now. That kind of stuff is where I think I need help to spark new insights.

TAC sounds promising in that regard, but what concerns me is the focus on daily practice. While I do try to practice daily and I succeed on most days, it's not always possible between a demanding day job, house projects and a two-year old who doesn't go to bed before 9 pm.

For those who have taken the class, would TAC still make sense in my case? And how much is it? Tony's website doesn't mention a price, only options to request an invite, which to me seems like a thinly disguised way of gathering all my personal information first, before disclosing vital information such as pricing.

When I googled "Tony Polecastro Fretboard Wizard" just now, I came across a quiz that I started to take just out of curiosity. One thing I am very intrigued by is that the quiz consists of several songs that one can listen to and then choose from a menu what key it is in. How is that even possible without having perfect pitch? For example, I guessed that Gillian Welch's version of "I'll Fly Away" was in C, but it's actually C#. Is there really a way to just hear this? And if so, does TAC teach that skill? That sounds amazing!
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2020, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
I'm curious about this. I've been taking Bryan Sutton's class on artistworks, but I feel it is not very helpful in getting me unstuck from the first position of the fretboard. Bryan teaches a lot of songs and tunes and is fantastic about things like picking and fretting technique, but I find the theory aspect lacking. Connecting the dots.

For example, even though I've been familiar with the pentatonic scale shapes for a while, I didn't realize why there are five shapes -- one for each note in the scale as a starting point. Yes, I know, it's almost too obvious, but it never clicked because I was so focused on memorizing the shapes that I neglected to look at what notes I was actually playing in those shapes. Or, how to connect scales along the fretboard is something I'm only starting to learn now. That kind of stuff is where I think I need help to spark new insights.

TAC sounds promising in that regard, but what concerns me is the focus on daily practice. While I do try to practice daily and I succeed on most days, it's not always possible between a demanding day job, house projects and a two-year old who doesn't go to bed before 9 pm.

For those who have taken the class, would TAC still make sense in my case? And how much is it? Tony's website doesn't mention a price, only options to request an invite, which to me seems like a thinly disguised way of gathering all my personal information first, before disclosing vital information such as pricing.

When I googled "Tony Polecastro Fretboard Wizard" just now, I came across a quiz that I started to take just out of curiosity. One thing I am very intrigued by is that the quiz consists of several songs that one can listen to and then choose from a menu what key it is in. How is that even possible without having perfect pitch? For example, I guessed that Gillian Welch's version of "I'll Fly Away" was in C, but it's actually C#. Is there really a way to just hear this? And if so, does TAC teach that skill? That sounds amazing!
I can only speak for my experience but it's no big deal if you "miss" the very brief daily lessons. There is not any oh, I have to catch up now and dedicate one or two hours. Nope. The dailies do repeat eventually and it all builds on itself. I have missed the past two weeks! But he does help keep you focused, trying to find a small block of time to play each day. For the most part, I have begun to prioritize playing daily like I do my coffee and meals.

The Fretboard Wizard course is an "add on" to the main subscription. It is a finite course, six weeks. But he recently did a FW "challenge" so that some of us all went through it together. Great ear training, learning the Nashville number system, and he teaches you how to transpose in a way that makes sense. He is very focused on helping people break out of ruts, learn to jam with others, solo, etc. I am planning on attending his camp in Bozeman this year to further stretch my skills and comfort zone.

I did go through that invite link, saw his promo video and then bought the main course, FW and Song Vault for a discounted price. I don't remember what it was, a few hundred bucks I think, around there. It's just the way he markets. Lots of people do it that way. I haven't had a problem with it. He and his support staff are very responsive to any billing/tech questions.

P.S. I am not paid by Tony's organization. I'm just getting a lot out of it and I see the results. I also am taking the skills and applying them to songs I want to learn and make fewer mistakes now.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:09 PM
Bjbny Bjbny is offline
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I did Tony’s TAC site for 2 years. It is a great community and the daily exercises are very nice for beginners or if you are just looking for something to get you motivated to pick up the guitar each day. The community on the site is great and it is amazingly supportive. There are also various songs to learn, but heavily skewed to bluegrass. Basically, it is about picking up the guitar everyday and having fun.

All that said, the site has a number of limits. First, while each week’s exercises are tied together, there is no overarching path. Lessons from week are not tied together with any other week. So if you are trying to see a big picture or understand how all the exercises all relates to each other, this is not the best site. Second, the exercises cycle and repeat after about 9 months or a year, so you end up doing the same exercises. Third, if you aren’t into bluegrass, the song selection is very limited.

overall, it is a very nice site and great community for beginners, but I would not recommend it to anyone other than beginners or very early intermediate players.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:54 PM
rmoretti49 rmoretti49 is offline
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I have been subscribed to Tony's site for nearly two years. During that period, I actually completed few lessons. I complete a bunch in a row, then miss going to the site for two months or so, then repeat the pattern. In a way, I am surprised that I remain a subscriber. I agree with the following points that others have made:

1. It is oriented towards beginners to intermediates, perhaps advanced intermediates at times.

2. He likes bluegrass stuff, and the songs he selects tends to be from that genre.

3. It can feel as if the lessons are not tied together if you don't keep up. He does try to tie things together over the course of a week.

4. Eventually, the lessons repeat (they would almost have to!)

But there are some really nice features to the site. Some have mentioned the community, which no doubt enhances the experience, although I have not participated in it. What I like is the fact that each lesson is demonstrated, then shown to play along with at three different speeds, from slow to fast. You can mark lessons you particularly like as "favorites" to make returning to them very easy. The best feature by far, in my opinion, is that the TAB is readily available for each lesson, to view and/or print out.

I did sign up and took the Fretboard Wizard course. It was very worthwhile.

So, I am still a subscriber, without plans to unsubscribe. I like knowing the lessons are there when I'm ready for them. And I like Tony's style, even though he can be a bit goofy at times. It doesn't hurt that he spent substantial time in Chicago, at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where I have also taken lessons starting decades ago.
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