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Thread: Subscription Tutorial Sites

  1. #1
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    Default Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I'm looking at opening my changepurse and coughing up some $ for a subscription service. know about Pegheadnation, BanjoBen, Artistworks and a few others, but I wonder if anyone's done a side by side comparison. Like:

    1. Best value for the money
    2. Accessibility
    3. Resources
    4. Feedback
    5. Effectiveness

    Would love to hear the pros/cons of the top ones if possible.

    thanks,
    Mark

  2. #2

    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    My reply doesn't really address your specific questions because I think its all different for all of us - just depends on how you learn. Me personally, I like individual one on one time with the teach, I get real time answers, feedback on my playing, and many times it segs into another area we can cover. I'm not one to watch canned lessons exclusively or assessments of others - I figure the time I spend doing so could be spent working on things more relevant to me and my playing.

    After individual lessons I would recommend Matt Flinner's courses, he has a set curriculum with real time weekly sessions, you can ask questions and get instant feedback. You get all the materials to include the videos and mp3s for download and future use.

    I like Banjo Ben, PegHead, MandoLessons, Mando Mike, Pickin' Lessons, and random YT videos. Don't forget about our own song of the week social group, I have learned a few tunes/breaks that way as well and since its fellow cafe people I can always PM them with any ques.

    I say just try something, many of the online offerings have free trial periods and if you like it stick with it...if not move on and find something you jive with. Good luck and have fun!
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I have used Peghead Nation only - Sharon's intermediate bluegrass course. I have learned a lot - the level is ok, and it is there when I feel like doing it. The only thing I think is missing on Peghead Nation is a way to loop sections of video, the way you can on Youtube with the Chrome add-in. I'm not sure if the others have this functionality or not, but it would be a really handy feature.
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Just a quick comment. I found that certain sites feature one genre over others. They are all very good however. I probably lean to Peghead Nation because of the variety of genre covered. I took Marla Fibish's Celtic lessons on Peghead and learned a lot. However, I also subscribe to mandolessons.com, a site by Baron Collins-Hill. He has a very wide selections of songs and lessons in a more a la carte fashion, like a big menu. All those listed would seem to be fine. Banjo Ben is outstanding in bluegrass, old time, and Gospel. Whatever fits, go with it. Oh, and one more thought. IF you want to jam, I strongly suggest JamAlong Music Method. Great instructor who gives real time lessons and takes where you ARE and moves you on. I had to give that up temporarily, becasue I don't have the time right now, but might return soon. It takes time to stay up with JamAlong, but well worth it. Hope this helps.
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by RobP View Post
    I have used Peghead Nation only - Sharon's intermediate bluegrass course. I have learned a lot - the level is ok, and it is there when I feel like doing it. The only thing I think is missing on Peghead Nation is a way to loop sections of video, the way you can on Youtube with the Chrome add-in. I'm not sure if the others have this functionality or not, but it would be a really handy feature.
    I agree with that. I ended up recording the audio and then using Music Speed Changer (similar to the Amazing Slow Downer) to loop and slow down the audio. Sharon's course pushes learning tunes by ear, which is valuable. For me the downside is there was not much instruction on how/what to practice

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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Thanks for the feedback. My wife's been sick and kids in HS, and work, it's hard to get out to a jam or play w/others. Was looking to find a more discipliined approach and flow to improving, practice and learning. I'm all over the place w/Youtube videos, just watch the ones that catch my eye, so I thought I'd try a subscription site and follow the process, see where it goes. thanks again.

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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I really like Sharon Gilchrist’s courses on PegHead Nation...it’s good to have a curriculum to move through. She gives lots of technical tips as she is teaching songs, and explains the music theory behind the tune’s arrangement. Wish they had a back up button for those videos, that’s my one critique. Rumor is she’s got a new course coming that focuses on developing your improvisation. Looking forward to that.

    Banjo Ben has the best song arrangements IMHO. Challenging and really cool sounding. Not an emphasis on learning by ear, but if you want a killer version to break out at your local jam, he’s the guy to see.

    I took a Matt Flinner course and really liked that, too. A ton of material that I’m still working through a couple years later. One of his strengths, at least for me, was that he teaches you repeatable methods for developing your own breaks (like moving double stops, for instance).

    I’ve taken some live lessons and they’ve been great, too. Someday I’ll get back to those!

    I think the point is, you can’t go wrong with the established teachers. They are each on to something valuable, as otherwise they couldn’t keep it up. Try them all!
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    As a "mandolin omnivore" crossing several styles, I really enjoy PegHead. Am a fan of Joe K. Walsh's teaching, but I guess it depend in part what level you are, and what you hope to learn. The "twofer" or even "three-fer" by-the-year pricing is pretty good for what you get. Marla's courses are pretty unique for Irish style and highly recommended. Ultimately you just have to take a chance and try something, for a month at a time, testing it out is not expensive.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I've used Artistworks and Peghead. I like Peghead quite a bit. Accessible. Notation/tab with most stuff. You can switch back and forth between instructors at will. Versatile. The lessons are well produced and easy to watch and digest. I've watched lessons with Sharon Gilchrist, Mike Compton, John Reischman, Joe Walsh, Marla Fibish (Irish), Aaron Weinstein and Bruce Molsky. I'm probably not getting my $20/month worth because I tend to watch a video every month or so, but still I think it's worth it. You get (or did when I used it) personal feedback from Artistworks, but there were sometimes delays in replying to a posted video.
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '19 Pava Player, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

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    Registered User Matt Hutchinson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Hi Mike,

    Can you switch back and forth between mandolin instructors on Peghead for $20 per month? I looked at the site and it read as though you got one course (i.e. tutor) per your $20. Do you actually get all the mandolin content for $20? If so I'd be interested in giving that a go. Not sure I could decide between them otherwise!
    Thanks
    Matt
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Peghead Nation is awesome. They let you switch course up to twice a month, so I pay for one course and browse around a little. I have no experience with Artist Works, so can't compare with that. I have had a bit of experience with Banjo Ben, I really like him, but I like Peghead Nation better because they take time to teach you songs the "right way". Banjo Ben will teach you versions/breaks that are really cool, but don't always follow the traditional melody. His Big Sciota lesson is a great example of that. He teaches you a cool break, but no one plays Big Sciota that way. Joe K Walsh, on the other hand, will always make sure you learn it the "right way", or some way specific to a version someone else played (like Kenny Baker or something), and then will teach you alternate ways on top of that.

    Anyway, just my two cents.

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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Can you switch back and forth between mandolin instructors on Peghead for $20 per month? I looked at the site and it read as though you got one course (i.e. tutor) per your $20. Do you actually get all the mandolin content for $20? If so I'd be interested in giving that a go. Not sure I could decide between them otherwise!
    Thanks
    Matt
    I'd also like to know the answer to that. It looks to me that you pay for each course separately on Peghead.
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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Can you switch back and forth between mandolin instructors on Peghead for $20 per month?
    Matt
    There’s some more detailed info below about limits. All I know is that when I’ve felt like switching, it worked. G It’s a good site/service.
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '19 Pava Player, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    My two cents. I used Peghead Nation (the beginner bluegrass mando course) for several months. It did help me but I felt that the cost was a bit high for what I was getting. Once I learned the song from the video, I was spending most of my time practicing rather than using the video, so I realty wasn't using that site that frequently. I ended up buying Bert Casey's book that includes video and backing tracks. It costs less than a month or Peghead and it took me many months to get through it. I have also used online lessons. I think there was benefit in that but in the end I'm cheap and went back self-directed learning

  16. #15
    Registered User Matt Hutchinson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Thanks everyone, that's really useful to know.
    Rigel A Natural

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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Another vote for Matt Flinner. I find the structure of his courses suit my learning style. Each course (videos, charts and mp3) can be downloaded and saved. I’m still referring to past material. He provides really helpful chord charts, scales, arpeggios and a variety of circle of 5th exercises.
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I'll give a +1 for Peghead Nation. I have been subscribed to Sharon's Intermediate Bluegrass course for a few months. I really like having the video so I can see what she's doing, plus she gives a lot of insider tips along the way. It's kind of in between using just a book and having a live instructor. It is true though, as someone above pointed out, that you may learn a new position or fingering that might take a couple of weeks of practice to get, during which time you may not be watching the videos. I think $20/mo is a sweet spot in price though - less than what a live instructor would charge, yet you have instant access to all the instruction videos. More $$ would scare me off. I find it a good value.
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Matt Flinner's courses are wonderful. Different approach from Peghead etc., but very well executed and worth every dime. Plus past courses are very reasonably priced and you can get them a la cart.
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '19 Pava Player, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

  20. #19
    Mandolin addicted...So? Pete Counter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    Peghead does let you switch your course twice a month. I wish it were like Truefire.com where you pay $29 a month, but you have full access to EVERY course on the entire site!

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I am currently using 4 different online mando sites: ArtistWorks with Mike Marshall, Peghead Nation with Joe K Walsh, Soundslice with Don Stiernberg and taking Matt Flinner's current swing course.

    I would say that they are all quite a bit different and worth trying out to see what you like best.

    -For interaction and specific feedback on your playing, ArtistWorks is great. You do have to wait about 10 days for video responses but heck with hundreds of students on top of his music, teaching at camps and family I think Mike does pretty well there! The interaction with other students is also great, very encouraging. There are TONS of tunes in the curriculum but you can also send in a video of anything you might be working on for help.

    -Peghead doesn't really have the interaction piece at all, but I have been really impressed with Joe's teaching style and my one month free trial has turned into several months now. Thanks to those above for the tip about switching classes though, that is news to me.

    -Matt Flinner's course has been pretty cool. I like the teaching style and it's nice to have review sessions on Saturday from the Tuesday class material. If you join the class live you can interact by typing in questions and there's a website for posting as well.

    -Soundslice has a very cool product. It's not a subscription, so you pay the 30 or 40 bucks and it's yours forever. The presentation is very nice with clear video and sound of Don plus tab/music, speed controls, etc. On downside on these is no interaction and of course it's jazz/swing so you have to like that!
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  23. #21

    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I would love to use a one-on-one instructor, but unfortunately our family's schedule is very busy right now. It's almost impossible to lock down a regular time, especially if that instructor is dealing with numerous other students. I don't want to constantly be canceling on someone.

    As a result, I have used mostly YouTube videos and any other "on demand" resources that I can find as I try to teach myself.

    I have played around with TuneFox. I like the interface and the tools there. There are a handful of instructional videos that I've enjoyed. Their song selection (for mandolin, anyway) leaves a bit to be desired.

    It also seems that improvisation would be very difficult to learn, indeed, without a real human to bounce things off of. And the theory side that supports improvisation is not easy for me to grasp simply from reading.

  24. #22

    Default Re: Subscription Tutorial Sites

    I really hate artistworks.

    Mike Marshall is great. I'm sure all their instructors are great. The software is slow and clunky. If there is ever an issue it will break in their favor. I signed my kid up for ukulele lessons and cancelled through their system. 3 months later they bill me for 3 more months. I call and spend 1.5 hours on the phone to get $100 off toward my next purchase. When they discount their courses around the holidays they won't let me use the $100 credit on a discounted course, making it basically useless.

    The support and software is garbage. I used to have 3 subscriptions on their site with 3 family different family members. They lost my business for good. Peghead nation isn't as interactive but they will treat you well and address any problem with a quick response.

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