Black Friday and Cyber Monday Guitar Lesson Deals

Guitar Noises #20: November 24, 2021

Welcome to Guitar Noises. I’m sending the newsletter a couple days of early this week. A few of you have been sneaking out early on Friday and not reading my email until Monday. I’m going to try a Wednesday newsletter for the next couple of weeks and see how things go. Christmas and New Years both fall on a weekend this year and I don’t want to be emailing you on either of those days.

This weekend is Thanksgiving in the United States, which is a good time to look back and reflect on our achievements.

I started writing this newsletter in March of this year, delivering a new issue every other Friday. Now sitting at Issue #20, I’ve written 22,000 words and sent over 95,000 emails. Thank you all for being here.

One of my main goals with Guitar Noises is to help get you in front of the best online guitar teachers, wherever they may be. I also seem to write a lot about different approaches to learning guitar. There are things I’ve found helpful as a self-taught guitarist over the years that I want to share. And this week I hope to be a little bit inspirational.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break from thinking about all the things you can’t do yet. Remember to take it easy on yourself. You probably already know more about guitar than you think you do. What have you learned about guitar so far? What can you do now that you couldn’t do a year ago. Enjoy thinking about that because it’s a win for you.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. When setting goals for the future remember that the more realistic and specific your goals, the greater your chances for success.

Black Friday Guitar Deals

You’re probably getting bombarded with Black Friday emails this week. Some of them will be for guitar courses that promise “mastery” and “tricks” that will “unlock secrets.”

I’ve been around online guitar lessons for a long time. I started Guitar Noise way back in 1999. Since then I’ve talked to a lot of other guitar site owners. I now spend a lot of time looking closely at online guitar lessons. I want to help beginner and intermediate players find lessons that work for them.

What you haven’t seen much of in this newsletter, is my take on mass-marketed guitar lessons that are advertised on Facebook and YouTube. You’ve probably seen ads showing someone shredding at lightening speed, bragging about who they’ve worked with, or even worse, telling you that you’re learning guitar all wrong. If you’ve ever clicked on these ads you’ve wound up inside a weird marketing funnel that is like a TV infomercial that never ends. There’s always “one more thing” and “another added bonus” if you act now. These long landing pages with braggadocio headlines are followed up with a never ending flow of emails reminding you that time is running out on a special offer.

I’ve never featured any of these things in my newsletter because I’ve never found any of them to be as good as they pretend to be. As we roll into Black Friday and Cyber Monday I’d like to ask you to be careful with your money. If a guitar lesson is being offered to you at a huge discount this weekend, ask yourself why it’s on sale.

I’ve found that, in general, guitar programs that go on sale at different times of year aren’t as good at teaching as they are at selling. The real quality lessons that I’ve seen (and there are plenty out there) are almost always marketed in a more subtle way. They don’t hook you in with huge savings or Black Friday bargains.

If you’re looking for real solid lessons, you can browse through some of my previous newsletters. I do recommend a lot of instructors and I don’t get commissions or kickbacks for doing so. I’ll always share good lessons that I find - the ones I don’t like usually don’t get mentioned. If you have questions about a specific program you can always shoot me an email. Maybe I’ve already gone through it like a Consumers Report writer. I just don’t want to use this space to put down another person’s hard work.

A Message for Thanksgiving

Speaking for myself, writing this newsletter has been a bright spot over the past year. It is often said that in order to understand something you need to write about it. The more I write about this, the more I understand what it is we’re doing. The process of writing helps me articulate my thoughts.

I enjoy writing. I’m happy that I’ve been writing a newsletter during a pandemic without making it about the pandemic. It feels good to talk with you here instead of on social media where you need to shout to be heard.

As my first year writing on Substack winds down, I realize I’d like to keep doing this for a while longer. You can help me find new readers by sharing this email. But more than that, I’m really interested in keeping you happy. Send me any ideas or suggestions that you have. I have touched on some topics readers have asked about. Lots of great suggestions have come in already and I’m building a list of ideas to work on.

I’ll be back with at least two more newsletters before the end of the year. Next time I’ll probably have something Christmassy. I don’t want to give too much away because I like to give myself the added pressure of finishing things at the last minute. It’s a pleasure to write under any circumstances. 

Thank you for reading. And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating it.

In addition to this newsletter, I’m also on Twitter and Facebook. Follow Guitar Noise on Instagram for updates there.