Happy 2018!

Yes, it’s the end of 2017 in a few hours… hard to believe.

This has been such an enormous year here at “BGU HQ” that I thought I’d recap a couple of things and talk about the direction I’d like to go in 2018… and I’m hoping for your input as well, so read on!

Among other things, it’s been a prolific year for new premium lessons: Classic Rock Guitar Unleashed was a huge release and tells me that there is a lot of interest in that direction, so expect more in 2018.

Along with that, Modes Unleashed seemed fairly popular, though not as much to be sure. And I understand that, ti’s a more advanced topic and undoubtedly still off in the distance for many people. The Harmonic Minor scale, which I did at the same time, has been great for the more advanced folks who are ready to explore that sound.

For the acoustic players, who I’ve grossly underserved the last couple of years, I released 2 new complete song lesson series’, The Spent Money Blues, and the Traveling Blues courses.

The sleeper, in my opinion, was How To Build Blues Songs… which I released in October and got some really amazing feedback on. If you don’t have that, and haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to do so.

And, last but not least, I just released Chord By Chord Blues Soloing for those of you looking for a completely different way to approach your soloing – apart from the pentatonic and blues scales (but with them as well.)

One of my absolute favorite things this year (and last) has been the “challenges” that I’ve done along with some of you BGU Members. Not only have I been super impressed with the results that these focused, month-long challenges have brought, but they have allowed me to put on my “teacher” hat more and just work with people more closely… and that is something I’ve truly enjoyed and it’s reminded me a lot of why I love to teach.

The World… Is A Changin’…

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been teaching online and putting up videos and sending emails since the latter half of 2006… and my have things changed!

Technology has come a long way, and it’s rapidly getting to the point where there are things I can do in the digital domain for you that simply cannot be done on a DVD. And when you think about the fact that the resolution of an HD video is roughly 10X that of a standard DVD… well it doesn’t take much to see where things are headed (and that’s before you factor in 4K video technology.)

The member portal software that I’ve used for the last several years hasn’t really kept pace with the times, so over the last few months I’ve been working on a brand new membership site. And that means I’ve been re-rendering a lot of old videos to make them HD (at least 720p) and it’s also given me a chance to go back and look through old videos that need a facelift.

So look for a lot more “2.0” versions coming out in 2018, and look for some courses to be retired – at least on DVD and printed media. 

It’s amazing how many lessons i have that are a decade old now. And they are still great lessons with great content, but I was a lot younger then and had more hair… so they need to be replaced 🙂

So look for the course catalog to actually shrink a little this year as older courses get retired, and as I add an “all access” membership style this year. Many folks, particularly overseas where the shipping is prohibitive, have asked for it but I’ve been dragging my feet because I wasn’t happy with the technology. 

With any luck, that will change sooner than later, and along with it there will be more opportunities to work more closely with me in challenges and other “live” formats.

And this is where you come in…

Yesterday, in my email I talked about goal setting for 2018 and how to be more specific in how you picture your success…

And now, I want to know what those goals are and how I can help!

Got some ideas for blog videos? I’ll take ’em.

Got some ideas for how you want your member portal to work? Lay ’em on me.

Just want to share a story of how far you’ve come this year? By all means 🙂

No ideas are off limits, and I’m all ears! You can leave them in the comments below.

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

87 Comments

  • Mike (mpaq)

    Reply Reply January 14, 2018

    Well, if I had to make a resolution it would be to revisit Rythym and Strumming Mastery and take one last serious approach to counting. This is by far my biggest challenge, most likely because I hate it, and have avoided it, relying on my internal meter. That worked great until I started singing…now my right hand gives me a lot of grief timing wise.

    All access is a good idea depending on how it’s implemented. Those of us that have been around for years have easily spent over a grand on courses so I would hope that is taken into consideration with some type of tiered pricing model based on how much content you already own. I for one can’t get through everything I already have, so all access would only cause me to lose even more focus. It would be like a kid in the candy store 🙂

    BGU live is a great concept… it’s too bad there is not a regional event (by country) so everyone has a chance to participate. BGU has an incredible knowledge base, and I think there is a huge business opportunity in building BGU social communities.

  • New Songs

    Reply Reply January 10, 2018

    happy new year to you

  • Tom Gattiker

    Reply Reply January 8, 2018

    I would like to see a course on counting. This is something you talk about a lot. The closest thing I have seen is a trufire course by Robbie Calvo on phrasing, which is great but I think the Griff take on it would be awesome as well.

  • Jeff Minnick

    Reply Reply January 8, 2018

    Griff ever think about venturing out and do a bass guitar course, I love the guitar courses, mostly it’s your teaching style.

  • Eric

    Reply Reply January 4, 2018

    Hi Griiff,

    I have given a lot of thought about how to improve you courses. The truth is that you do pretty good job at figuring that out on your own. I have acquired quite a few of BGU coursed over the years, partially preparing for what I would do when I retired. I retired from the University of California Santa Cruz as the IT Electronic Accessibility Coordinator for the Campus. I worked to make online learning accessible to people with all sorts of “disabilities”.

    I was thinking there are quite a few blind musicians that would get value from your courses. You are already pretty good at vocalizing every step you are doing. My suggestion is that you keep in mind how a blind person would be able to used your videos. If this is something you want to do and need assistance, I offer my services in helping you pro bono.

    I like how you teach and think it is partly because you never stopped being a student. You brought be back to the guitar and I am grateful I clicked on your 4 note solo years ago.

    Thank you,
    Eric

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply January 2, 2018

    Hi Griff,
    Happy New Year 2018 to you ,Laura and family, hoping that 2018 will be another successful year for BGU and CRGU etc..

    Here are my Goals / Comments for BGU / CRGU etc 2018:
    * My Goal for 2018: Be able to play 3 BGU Solos with a Jam Track.
    * Where am I now: Still learning BGUV2 technical stuff unable to play any Solos other than licks from scales.
    * I have purchased most of the BGU & CRGU courses ahead of my progress so that I have them ready for that stage in my progress..
    * I would like a BGU Road Map for my Learning and Blues Guitar journey maybe starting from BGUV2. How long does it take an average beginner to get through this course so I can measure myself.?
    * Please keep producing DVD’s and Printed Course Manuals as in Australia, we have major problems with the NBN (National Broadband Network) which just does not deliver the internet speeds for streaming or downloading with a Laptop. Most of us are still using ADSL+2 where the average internet speed is around 1.5 mbps so again absolutely impossible to stream or download your lessons. When I download my purchased BGU courses from my BGU member hub, it takes about 6-10 hrs not counting drop outs.About 20mins with your great email video lessons as long as you provide the WMV link to save to Target and then replay from my laptop HDD.

    * Your BGU LIVE like in Nov 2017 appears to address experienced Guitar Players learning Blues Guitar as they have to send you a You Tube of them playing the Challenge you have set. It may be good to perhaps do one with a lower Level say a Beginner or advanced Beginner like me and have a longer period of say 3 months to learn something in order to participate..There is a reason behind this.. Due to Online or Distant Blues Guitar Learning I have NO IDEA how well I am progressing for BGU.. Someone else mentioned above that it would be good to have like a classroom type feedback and Home Work from you as the teacher..eg: I have restarted the BGUV2 for the 5th time over last 4 years as I have now reached to a stage that I now know a lot of the Lessons and understand how to progress through them, thanks to your Email Video Lessons. I have jumped around to a lesson in each of all the BGU courses that I have for a try and then back to BGUV2 like Chop & Change Method. I have learned all 5 Boxes and Pentatonic & Blues Scales etc.Maybe it would be good for you to advise how to keep going.
    * I booked 4 lessons with a Local Guitar teacher recently to learn some songs such as Johnny B Goode who provided me the transition into Key of A (easier for me to play 12 bar blues and sing it) so that I could re-arrange the song into a different Tempo etc plus a few other songs from Buddy Holly etc but also to find out What Level I have reached in Guitar Playing..he advised that I have reached Advanced Beginner/Intermediate. He said that I have good timing, stay in Key etc.

    * I have purchased song books online in UK which provide the TAB and Chords and Lyrics to 100’s of songs and following the web lessons, I have advanced in playing chords while singing them which has helped me as well with the BGU lessons as well.

    All very good and I look forward to your 2018 BGU Courses and Lessons so that one day I will have the confidence to stand up and Jam with a guitar friend or maybe even a band..I am a past Drummer of the 60’s in many bands and always wanted to learn guitar but left it until I was about to retire so I have a great hobby and practice at least between 10 mins to an hour almost every day.

    Michael-Sydney -Australia 3rd Jan 2018.

    • Michael Chappell

      Reply Reply January 2, 2018

      Hi Griff,
      Sorry the above is a bit long I did’nt realise.

  • Leo the Lion

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    I love your courses and have them all. Thank you so much for all you do for us. I particularly love the BGIAB 1 and 2 because they are full songs and sound GREAT! What I would like to see is a BGIAB for the Classic rock side of life….

  • Memphis Matt

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Thanks for the heads up about the new year.

    My two major goals are to go deeper into ACDC and get past the band’s greatest hits / FM staples and learn some older UFO’s material as found on their Strangers in the Night live album.

    Originally, I wanted to order your Classic rock lessons but the cost appeared prohibitive at $250.00. Since my playing was a mess, I opted for your Playing on the Porch lesson. This way I could check out the teaching style and lesson format.

    POTP led me to order several other courses – 4 note solo, BGU2, Shuffle, More Money, How to Build Blues Songs, and the new Play Solos Without Scales.

    Note: I’ve had guitar teachers instruct me to memorize arpeggios but never taught me how to use them.

    Right now I’m working in the 4 Note Solo and BGU2 lessons. Currently, I’m learning the Texas stuff and the Pride and Joy pattern.

    My early guitar education consisted of the first four Mel Bay guitar lesson books. To this day, I am an incredible sight reader. And guess what, I’m freaking crippled – its really hard for me figure material out by ear.

    And your lessons are helping with problem. Did the material cost me – yes! And I going to get thorough all of the stuff – not quickly and I’m trying to learn new habits.

    All Access Membership [ ACM ]

    Are you planning: a pay by the month system? Yearly subscription? Something else?

    What are the plans for those of us that have already purchased multiple courses?

    Will we still be able to access the courses online that we have already purchased if we don’t pay for the ACM?

    Am I allowed to talk about other guitar courses? No slamming is intended.
    Prior to coming onboard, I bought a couple of short courses from Texas Blues Alley [ TBA ] so see how their courses are set up. I was thinking about trying their all members area. TBA has a $20 a month access fee for all of their course material and allow their customers/students to sign up on a month by month basis.

    I didn’t know I would commit to $20 – month or a couple of hundred a year and if it would be worth it to me. This was the deciding factor for trying the POTP lesson.

    I’m concerned about the ACM as sometimes budgets get stretched or crashed by unforeseen circumstances.

    For the short time I’ve been using your course material, I can notice an improvement in my playing and its getting easier to pick stuff out of songs.

    Many thanks

  • Elio Spinello

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    I have seen a couple of suggestions along these lines, but I really like the idea of introducing some functionality into the video playback that allows for more effective use as an interactive learning tool. One example that comes to mind is the TrueFire app, which allows you to control playback speed and looping. The website does not allow for looping, but does have speed control, which is often useful.

  • Earle George Chisholm

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Griff the emails are right on the money and do keep me practicing. I would like you to do a 24-48 bar video Bonamasa/Clapton feel. Texas Hideout is a good example of a piece that I had to work at as it did make me work especially the last 2 runs ending the piece. Your blues supplement I find challenging, in a good way, 2018 I’m starting on the 3rd solo the technique is demanding but very satisfying when you finally get it down.
    Recording is something you should do a more in-depth video on covering the different options at your disposal and the software you record with say Garage Band or Ableton Live. Specifically going over how to hook up all the components in addition to what camera you use for recording etc. Have a Happy and Healthy New Year
    Earle

  • PaPathor

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Firstly, to fellow commenter’s I havn’t taken the time to read all the responses, so if I have duplicated another comment or suggestion ………………

    Secondly, Griff many thanks, and if what I am going to to relay to you goes against your teaching ethos ……………….

    Ok here goes, I place great value in your teaching videos (having scoured the internet for years, narrowed the results over time to 3 teachers, and now for some time only really paying attention only to you for Blues tuition) we know that music is well disciplined, and for me I would welcome a more disciplined approach to the video presentation along the lines of a more partitioned visual format :

    * intro to the music, tune, lick, riff, rhythm examples of what is being taught

    * how to

    * theory

    * insight and explanations

    * play along with Griff

    So be it………………………Thank you for inviting my say.

  • Jim

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Hi Griff! Continued success in the new year! I can’t come up with any new ideas for courses or lessons, but that’s the issue!
    I have no idea what to focus on. I don’t know where or how you start with your “Live” students, but I’m guessing that you somehow help them evaluate what they need to work on, or what they’re doing well. I think I need more of a counseling session than a specific guitar lesson. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep working on scales and boxes!
    Happy 2018! (sheesh…we’re getting old!).

  • Dudley Gibbs

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Happy New Year Griff and thanks to your courses, I`m well impressed with my progress since I started to use them 2 years ago as a beginner.
    Almost every day I spend many hours just loving the lessons and involvement.
    I struggle to put the guitar down and can`t wait to pick it back up again.
    If people think chocolate is addictive..well..they should try your courses….these lessons are so addictive……just loving it….Thanks again Griff…sorry got to get back to the guitar.
    Dud from London.

  • Jack

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Hi Griff, happy new year! One thing I think would be very helpful is if you were to have some program or membership where we could post videos or audio of our playing and you would give us feedback and tell us what we need to work on. I post my stuff to various places, but we’re all good friends and tend to always say “great job” because we don’t want to make anyone feel bad. Getting honest feedback from a professional would be a real Godsend.

  • Daniel Blackburn

    Reply Reply January 1, 2018

    Hey Griff how you doing
    I’ve just finished the Modes unleashed,what a great course helping me understand that it’s basically the Major Scale.
    I would like to see in 2018 a course where major and minor chord progressions are used more in-depth with the modes and relative scales for Blues and Rock.
    PS you and the family have a wonderful new year in 2018.

  • Andy Kirkland

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff,
    Happy new year to you and your family.
    I have not purchased your latest stuff yet, as I am trying to go through all the stuff I have, as there is plenty I haven’t really gone through completely, such as the blues gig in a box. I must try and do those so I try and learn a full song. The trouble is (and its not really a trouble) that I have learnt much from you and I can now improvise over any backing track (regardless of the key, I mean I don’t even know what key its in) and just start playing and in a few notes I know the key. So I just play and try and add melody, never playing the same solo once!

    I also enjoy the virtual jam sessions in the portal, though they always tell you the key so its easy! Never thought I would say that 5 years ago

    All the best and I’ll look out for more challenges I think they helped me a lot. Though I missed the one in November, as I was busy with would working away, so I didn’t think I would get the time.
    Regards,
    Andy (Perth WA)

    • MIKE ANDERSON

      Reply Reply January 1, 2018

      @ Andy Kirkland what are the virtual jam sessions??? WHAT PORTAL??
      please enlighten me : I WANT IN!!!…thank you

  • Graham

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff. Happy New Year to you & your family. 2017 was a great year for me. Music wise you have contributed so much. Thanks heaps. All the contributions above will assist you with planning for 2018. I have a good spread of your courses and there will be more for me as I keep improving. My immediate need is ‘applying myself with practicing the BGU lessons I now have’. I am a mood follower :- I see &/or hear a really good piece of Blues or R&R and I jump to the relative lesson. This happens virtually daily so I’ve got nothing down pat. I have fun jamming with family & friends. My goal this year is APPLICATION to Practice Until Memorized. Happy New Year to ALL BGUers.

  • Alex

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff happy new year to you and the family. I have a lot of your courses and just love them. One of the issues I have a problem with, is visualizing the boxes when you are explaining the licks. I know you say box one or two, and while I know the boxes and can play them, they are however to me just licks without seeing where they belong. I do not know if others have the same problem but it would be good to have a diagram of the box the lick is from above the lick with the root note highlighted. Half the time I have no idea which box I am in as you only play a few notes from each box and I only know the boxes as a whole. Despite best efforts it is something I am not getting traction on.

    This may be just me but any thing that can help me visualize where I am would be useful.

    Cheers

    Alex

  • Ron Daly

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I love your emails. I use them to see if I’m teaching the correct technic and procedures to my guitar students. (I have been teaching for over 50 years currently have 25 students through Kittle’s Music in North Platte, Nebraska.)

  • Keith

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi griff, I’d like to see a quick video on which pedals go in what order for us guitar players, a bit off the path i know but would like to hear your thoughts. I know there’s plenty on the Internet but your thoughts matter to many of us.. thank you. Happy new year..

  • Terry

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Can’t add much to the great comments already posted. Really appreciate all that you do, Griff. For the record, I have no gear–just a good acoustic that I want to make the most of. Just started playing in May 2017 and am really glad I found you. The lessons I’ve bought and your weekly blogs have been a huge help. Happy New Year, everyone!

  • Leo

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    With so much of the material available as streaming, can looping be incorporated?

    I downloaded Video Surgeon for the DVD lessons, but using it was a bit more onerous than I would like (I’m a tech-challenged old guy). Looping is invaluable for learning a lick/rhythm/song.

    Maybe there’s already an obvious way to do it, but as I said, I’m tech-challenged. And old. (My daughter says that watching me text is like watching grass grow)

    Thanks, Griff. I’ve wanted to learn to play guitar for fifty years, and now you’ve given me the tools I need. I might only ever be an advanced beginner, but I can finally play a bit. It’s wonderful.

  • MIKE ANDERSON

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy new year Griff
    My favorite lesson this tear was the Nov Challenge. Griff,you have done a great job at covering all the bases and filling in the blanks in your lessons. thank you

    1.) one thing i would like is,while you are teaching,i would like to know your tone settings per lesson:Amp, pedals, …i have enough Guitars and Amps to find your tone. but sometimes i spent alot of my time chasing your tone…most of my Guitairs and amps i purchased as copies of yours,as to hopefully get the same tone.. but i know it does not work that way..but if you could spend a minute or so on gear and settings for that particular 2.0 BGU or CRGU lesson that would be great..

    2.) another problem i have is i own 21 of your lessons..(like a kid in a candy store) my problem is focusing on one lesson..I want to learn blues but also classic rock and chords and pentatonic minor and major and then to make music of what i learn,,just to have to go back to the beginning and start over again..

    3.) now i want to learn some southern rock songs all the while keeping focused on my studies guitar theory ..i need a program like a school class ..1 hour for soloing , 1 hour for chords , 1 hour for music theory,1 hour for improvising ,1 hour for band class,,and i want to learn songs ,, i need a class like disapline and direction..

    THANKS GRIFF YOU ASKED..

    • John

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      Griff. Happy new year !!

  • Alan Goldstein

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hey Griff, Happy New Year to you and the Gang!
    I’d love to see a course on how to put together, rehearse with and manage a band. The whole soup to nuts thing from picking musicians, choosing material, rehearsing, prepping for gigs and so forth. Thanks!

  • Bob

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Griff… What’s the possibility of you adding a “Country Rock” course! Would love it! Thanks! Bob

  • Gary Cooke

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I’d like to see a lesson on peter greens doctor brown im trying to learn it not having a lot of success.

  • Dan

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hey Griff!

    Love hearing you are thinking about more lessons in the theme of Classic Rock Unleashed. (still think a full on event around that topic would be a blast!) 🙂

    One topic I think would be interesting is recording. Specifically around how you record yourself, create the backing tracks for the lessons, etc. That is a direction I am leaning towards in my musical journey so your continued guidance and input would be valuable.

    Here’s to a great 2018!

    -Dan-

  • mike beigel

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    You really made me understand how important listening is and timing is everything. I have been so undisciplined for so many years.I wish I found and understood your harping on counting.No telling where I would be today Thank-you.

  • Warner Swarner

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Griff, You are a great teacher. As an old drummer (guitar want to be) I have loved your clear instruction. I would like a short course on tone, amp settings and pedals. I know you are a gear geek and could really enlighten us on pickups and settings to get the differences in sound. I grew up in Memphis in the early days of blues to rock transition. (B.B.King was a D.J. On WDIA) I can’t get the sounds I want (even if I could play worth a darn) even though I’ve got a wide array of gear and amps. I would really enjoy (and pay for) a course on basic tone sounds ( neck vs. bridge), string gauge, Strat vs. Les Paul, as well how to best hook up gear. Even cord (not Chord) selection. You did a very good blog on pedals. I would wish for a full-on course From Strings To Speakers. Keep the greatcourses coming. There are no other lessons out there as good as yours. Happy New Year.

    • Leo

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      This is a great idea! I would love Griff to break down the differences in string gauges, tone control, pickup selection, etc. I’m too intimidated to ask at the guitar shop. I wanna be able to go in and pick up strings like I know what I’m doing

  • Mike R

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    cowboy said: “I would love to see a course dedicated to chord substitutions based the I-IV-V progression (along with others) with some theory behind it.”

    Same here, particularly with triads and for major and minor chords.

  • Roxanne

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Puleez don’t discontinue the dvd’s And printed manuals!
    My wi-fi is not the greatest and the Dvd’s And printed manuals are what works for me!!
    I have all your courses except strumming and rhythm mastery. I will probably get that one soon.
    I like the practicality of the printed books and DVD’s. If you stop doing this I would have to miss out on your newest stuff.
    Thank you and may God bless you and your family in the New Year!

    • bill ormerod

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      with you there all the way on that.
      But that’s because I’m antique and can barely cope with that level of technology xx

  • Donald Wolfe

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    WHAT DOES PLAYING OVER MEAN?????

  • Ed

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff, I have many of your courses and they are all top notch. Just wish I had more time to play more but these courses will always be “current”. I’m withe Paul and Tom as I would like to see a course focusing on the styles of blues that Robben Ford, Larry Carlton and John Scofield to name a few, play. Hope that you, Laura and family have a very safe and Happy New Year!!!

  • John mann

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy new year to you & your family! Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your great lessons, I’m learning so much & its all really usable stuff, I’m now listening to songs & hearing your lessons & thinking I know how to do that! I just love the way you teach, you make everything so easy to understand & actually show us how & where we can use it, things like the four note solo helped me so much,it just goes to show you don’t need to know every scale to be able to play a great solo!😎 thanks again

  • Steve Black

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy New Years to you and your family Griff.

    I must say 2017 was my year for guitar learning and of course playing.
    My two take always were fitting for my goals in 2017.

    #1, I was able to FINALLY able to grasp, play and even improvise over the Major/Minor sounds, this coming from a direct result of the monthly challenge in November.

    #2, I was able to overcome the TERROR of getting up on stage not only to sing and play a halff dozen songs at the Dallas 2017 road trip, but to actually get up and play a solo along side you and your band without destroying the song. I actually can’t wait for that opportunity to present itself again, perhaps in 2018.

    My biggest gain did however come through the monthly challenges, as they were able to take me away to places I would not have thought to go and explore, whether it be because I did not understand or to lazy to go there. Or plainly because I would not be interested . I learned a lot about a few different things that certainly elevated my understanding of music in general and the ability to play and manipulate the finger board.

    So , in closing , the monthly challenges are paramount for me and would love to see them continue.

    Cheers to the chance to play along side of you and your band , and all those amazing folks I have met and played with in the past BGU Live events in 2018.

  • Stephen Sandorf

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi 👋 Grif This has been a great 👍 guitar 🎸 year for me too. As I purchased both the beginning and 2.0 coarses. I am now working through them. Are you going to continue the bass coarse. I would really like to add that too. As I embark on my personal career as photographer I sure would like to do jam session with you some time too If you need a photographer let me know. Thanks for all you do and have a blessed new year.

  • Bill Swartwout

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy New Year, Griff.

    I am now gaining more time to put into learning and i really like your style. I have one course (so far) and will be getting into your acoustic offerings. I’ve been at this almost two years and have learned a few songs that I can actually do in public. I’ve developed friendships with a few local musicians and occasionally get asked to “sit in” and do a CCR song or two or three – which I am now able to do without embarrassing either them or me. HA

    My plan for 2018 is to do more of what I’ve been doing and continue to improve my style and song catalog. I will, therefore, continue to watch and learn from you. Thank you for doing what you do.

    I got a “kick” out of this comment: ” but I was a lot younger then and had more hair…” Ha – that’s all of us, ain’t it. LOL

    As I get more involved with my acoustic guitars I plan to share parts of my learning journey – and will be giving your style a section in my online “guitar magazine” when I find time to develop it.

    ~ Bill

    • MIKE ANDERSON

      Reply Reply January 1, 2018

      Hey Bill
      Love the new Rag ,hilarious ,,I believe we could all be featured as covered wannabe Guitar Players; Who have passed from Air Guitar to life in hopes to be featured and see my face on THE COVER OF THE ROLLING STONES. But in reality are rock stars locked in our rooms Faces pasted to the desktop screen living with the frustrations of why did i wait till i was 55 to learn guitar????

  • Don Hall

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I really enjoy all the content in the BGU-niverse, and my playing is coming along. I would like a lesson or blog post about how to structure a practice session…maybe including a list of exercises for different techniques? Thanks for all you do, Griff, and Happy New Year to all!

  • Larry Pitts

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Thank You for everything you do.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your Family!

  • Paleoblues

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I only have one concern. Some “all access” sites only allow “streaming” and no downloading.

    If you go that route I will no longer be able to continue.

    If, however, you still allow all lessons to be downloaded as well I’m all in.

  • Gary

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I too would like to see a looper feature on your courses and video’s. My concern is what happens to the web site material if you win the lottery and give up music. Will everything stay archived for future access? I really appreciate your dedication to the music and wish you and yours a Happy New Year. (I really do need to practice more).

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Good Morning Griff
    All the best to you and your family for 2018! Have thoroughly enjoyed your courses and look forward to doing so in the up coming year. Have you ever done any sessions on amp settings and how to get different tones and sounds? While there are numerous brands and types of amps out there, I am sure there are some basic similarities. A better understanding on how different tones are achieved would be awesome. Also, a similar type of discussion on the different guitars, when to use what pick up, etc.
    Unless, of course this has already been done and I missed it:)
    Appreciate your hard work.
    Cheers!
    Jeff

  • Ryan Rosenberg

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I wish you could figure out a way to better sync the image with the sound in your courses. It is really distracting when you are showing something in one of your courses and the actions are a little bit off from the sound.

  • kim

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    My wish list (as of now):

    – An indpeth triads course. You always reference little chords so I think it is time for an in-depth course that focuses on triads – everything from the theory behind triads to how to use them in progressions. The course should have “songs”, progressions, arpeggio ideas, going from minor to major, show how to play progressions on E B G, B G D, G D A etc. Include progressions that cover E B G D (the octave). The course should include solos based on the notes on triad progressions.

    – A double stops course. The focus should be on the theory behind them, progressions, using them in solos, patterns, playing them in keys etc.

    – Licks based on the major scale

  • Scotty R

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Griff, Happy New Year to you, Laura, and the Family.
    This has been a good guitar year for me and I’m a lot better now than a year ago. I bought all the courses you created in 2017 and found a lot of value from CRGU, HTBBS, and CBCBS. Modes, CAGED, and HMS are a bit beyond my but I can see the future value.
    I also got a lot of value from the challenges!

    I still very focused on playing full songs and getting up to play at Jams and to build a garage band with some buds so we can play covers.
    So with that in mind I have some ideas for you:
    1. How to transcribe songs, solos
    2. More focus on the song recipes, which show us how to bring the riff, lick, and solos ingredients together to play full classic rock songs.
    3. Continued improvement on technique, eg. speed, smoothness, timing, right hand techniques for those fast runs.
    That’s about it for me. Lots of other good ideas already noted above.
    Excited for the year ahead.
    Scott

  • Chris

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    My ask first: Griff can you please add the ability to loop part of the video? For example, I am currently LOVING your Strumming & Rhythm Mastery course and although i have the DVD’s I only use the digital version via the website. You provide slow and at-speed versions in each lesson. It would be a huge improvement if i could mouse-click on a button to keep either the slow or normal speed version of the progression continuously looping while I play along with it. Having to stop after each iteration, drag the playbar back with the mouse, and then reset my hands on my guitar makes it a little more difficult to get that focused laser lock on mastering the progression. So my suggestion would be to add a “looper” button to streamline the practice repetition process.

    Having said that, Griff – you have no equal when it comes to teaching and inspiring we guitar player wannabees! I have bought 5 of your courses so far and am recommiting myself to investing the time in 2018! Just bought a practice tube amp, restructuted my whole home office to make it easy to grab and go with my guitar every chance i get each day.
    Happy New Year to you, Laura, & the kids. And yes – i agree you can drop the dvd’s. But please keep providing the booklets at least online.

    With Much Gratitude!
    Chris

    • Terry

      Reply Reply January 1, 2018

      Griff, I’m adding on to what Chris says here. I’m also currently working through the SRM course and would love to have a looping capability in the digital versions of your courses. Also, it would be very helpful to have a lesson tracker so that you can mark off a lesson as completed and then see course progress tracked. I have a bad habit of leaving a course for weeks (due to other distractions or sidetracks du jour) and then trying to remember where I left off.
      BTW this particular blog of yours (and 50% offer!) and Chris’ comments made me go back and look at the SRM course. I had ignored it before because I thought I was well beyond that in my playing. But when I viewed your promotional videos about that course, I realized there’s a LOT more to it than I had imagined. I now know it is going to help me and I am so glad I bought it yesterday.

  • Francis Palmer

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy New Year Griff,
    I’d like to say that “The future’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades”, but Timbuk 3 already said that (and it was misinterpreted anyway!) Anyhow, I’ve got 9 of your courses and I have only ever finished one. My goal is to go back and work on them and try to complete a few more. I know that’s not a very specific goal, as you recommended yesterday, but that’s the best I can do for now. One thing I’ve noticed from my playing is that it’s much easier to learn new licks, riffs, songs, etc., if it’s a song that I’m familiar with. I can get on Utube and learn a song fairly quickly if I’ve heard it a thousand times. Some of the stuff in your courses are harder for me to learn because I don’t know the song, so to speak. (Just an observation.) Anyway, thanks for all the daily emails and videos, they keep me thinking about playing a little more. ~Gary

  • Bob C

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Disclaimer – I’m not a guitarist and never will be, but I do like to play guitar. Once in a while I record something and say “Damn – that sounds pretty good.
    Be that as it may I echo Pat’s sentiment for a course/ instructional videos dealing with open tuning slide.
    Best wishes to you and your family for 2018.

  • Juanlu

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Dear Griff; I love and enjoy your lessons, I would like any tips on improving speed , mastering pull- offs / hammer-on in order to nail I can’t sleep solo!!!!!!!!

    Happy New Year’s Eve, have a good time with your family, dogs and guitars.

  • Jesse

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    HI Griff and all…I remember from one of the emails a quick little comment that has stuck and that I want to make my goal for the year…”Have you held your guitar today”. There should be sticky notes, t-shirts, mugs and any other stuff with that on them. Maybe have a design contest for a logo with that as the focal point. Also be able to put procrastination on the back burner.

  • (BW)

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Jazz Guitar Unleashed…

    • Paleoblues

      Reply Reply January 1, 2018

      I second that emotion.

  • Steve Abruzzo

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I would like to see a solo and/or rhythm/solo course that covered R&B and/or Motown tunes. Something to give us a good idea of where to go.

  • jerry palladino

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    How about that beginner jazz guitar you said you’d give some thought to some years ago?

  • cowboy

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy New Year you and Laura and the kids…

    I have a “few” of your courses and continue to poke threw them…always will be a work in progress…

    Even though I have all of the “Masters” lessons, how about offering them in a boxed course?…

    I would love to see a course dedicated to chord substitutions based the I-IV-V progression (along with others) with some theory behind it.

    Maybe offer a monthly challenge where we submit a improvised blues solos and you 2-3 lessons/courses to use for improvement…I realize that you have kinda done this but your volume of work is now getting a bit overwhelming…just saying…

    …later.

    cowboy

  • Donald Littlejones

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff and Happy New Year to you and your family and the BGU community. Talking about goals for this year, mine is to be able to play your Playing on the Porch tune completely and smoothly. It is a challenge for me to smoothly transition from chords/power chords to licks and fills.

  • Doug Esser

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hey Griff,

    Thanks for asking! Couple ideas that have drifted over the transom this year.
    1. Would love a blues solos explained note by note. I left this idea in the Ask Griff section of the forum. The video would be less about how to play the solo, and more about the strategy behind it. I’ve seen session musicians like Tim Pierce and Larry Carlton do this in publications and on videos but you would do a much better job.
    2. A Exercises unleashed video. I know you have the pentatonic mastery course, but are there other exercises, patterns, etc that help technique?
    3. I love double-stops, in particular major scale Hendrix type stuff. I have the Little Wing lesson but can’t get too much double-stop stuff.
    4. Speaking of major, how about 5 easy major solos? Could use the licks.

    Those are just top of mind. Love everything you do.

    Cheers,

    Doug

  • Jim

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Griff,

    I have seven of your courses and enjoy them all. The ones that “speak to me”the most are the slide guitar ones. I keep going back to them and glean new nuggets each time. I have not mastered them but I would be very interested in any new offerings. On a technology note one of the recent courses I purchased this year, the online delivery option did not do a good job of syncing the video to the audio. It’s not my internet connection, or my computers/mobile devices. It doesn’t have the problem with the DVD discs so I assume it is a server problem on your end not being able to keep up. I would suggest you beef up your delivery system in that it is too hard to push a bowling ball through a garden hose.

    Thanks for all you do for us.

  • Keith

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hey, Griff. A Happy new year to you, Laura and your family! When I think about where I was when I first checked out your website almost three years ago, I had no idea how greatly my playing would improve! I’ve struggled – mostly by trial and error (heavy on the error!) – to learn to play on my own, and, while I have a fair knowledge of chords, progressions and a few simple licks from those endeavours, nothing prepared me for the rapid advancements I’ve enjoyed with your blog and courses. Thank you. Maybe I’ll actually be able to play well enough to start gigging this coming year!

  • Pat

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    I would like to see more on slide and open tunings.
    I am currently listening to gospel and trying to weave that sound ( often piano licks or runs) into the blues.
    I continue to struggle with transitions from the I to IV etc.
    I like complete songs, portions or facsimiles within the bounds of copyright law.

  • Iain

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Trying to be a bit more sophisticated and follow the chords starts to sound more like jazz than blues. It’s as if we have a strong tonal centre in the blues, at the tonic, and following the chords sounds out. Although with three dominant chords, the traditional blues isn’t really in one key?? Could you talk a bit about this? I don’t think it’s any sort of fluke that the best blues…..SRV, Hendrix, etc…..stay pretty much at the one chord scale, maybe mixing major or minor. Could you tell me why they are sooo good?

  • Steve C

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy Holidays to Griff and Family including the extended BGU and RGU Family.

    Thanks for all the great lessons and ideas along with the courses. I excited to know you’re going to do some additional stuff in the rock area which is my favorite of all the styles.

    Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2018 for everyone!!!!!!

  • D.Brumback

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hello, thanks for all you do. My question: How often do performing musicians change their strings? After every show while on tour? If I am playing almost every day say for an hour or more how often would you suggest changing strings? I know some would say just when the tuning sounds off, or you should be able to tell, but I think some advice on this would be helpful. Also, some advice on electric strings versus acoustic etc. Slinky’s, flat wounds?

  • Bob Utberg

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy New Year Griff & Laura!
    Thank you for all the great daily tips. The Soloing with chords course is AWESOME! I’m just about to start the two solos and now FINALLY understand how those great sounds are created.

    Looking forward to 2018 BIG TIME (I’m on my way, I’m making it – sorry, Pete Gabriel reference)!

    Cheers!
    Bob

  • John Royce

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hey Griff

    Thanks for 2017- whilst still a relative beginner I’ve come a long way with your help! Three thoughts:

    The complete acoustic songs SMB and TB have been fun and more of those would be great. Perhaps some alternative tuning stuff and tunes along Robert Johnson lines?

    I managed only one of the three challenges- one was too advanced in my head at the time but I’d love to have a go now, and the last one I just didn’t have time for (but the system allowed me to see discussions and listen to peer recordings) Still – I had such a great experience with the one I would do more of these.

    Access all areas is a great idea – but how are you going to price it for those that have already spent money on many courses? It may be difficult to do it without leaving existing people feeling like they’ve paid twice. Good luck with that!

    I’ve fallen in love with acoustic stuff, and that’s my 2018 focus. No set goals but just working daily through the rest of ABGU and the single song courses and see where it leads……

  • Graham Hutcheson UK

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff
    Hope you and your family have a great New Year.
    My goal for 2017 was to play the Comfortably Numb solo perfectly and after working through Classic Rock Unleashed I now can.Many thanks for that.
    In 2018 I am going to start Modes Unleashed as this is an area I feel I need to know better.
    I feel that I have improved hugely thanks to your excellent teaching.
    I look forward to working with you for many years to come.
    All the best.
    Graham

  • Ian

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Griff, got a great idea for you. Hows about you relocate to Glasgow Scotland? That would be great for me but very rainy and cold compared to the west coast of the USA for you

    Thanks for all your work thru 2017.

    All the best to you and yours for 2018

    • Iain

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      Seconded. I could come down from Crieff no bother.

      Thanks for all the teaching.

    • Iain

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      Hi Ian in Glasgow from Iain just up the road in Crieff. I was down in Kenny’s Music yesterday, in Jamaica Street, buying a wireless system for my set up in the house here. Too many wires on the floor! Glasgow was wet and wonderful as always. I lived up Woodlands Road long ago. Love the place.

  • Paul Blaesing

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Happy New Year, Griff to you and your family. I like the all access idea that might include any future courses too.. The ability to stream any course any time would be great. I hope you can keep the price reasonably low. Maybe offer an introductory discount. I have alwas bought your entire packages: DVDS, printed materials, and digital. I would hate to see the printed books go that are bound, and can be opened flat. I don’t download, I stream. I guess I understand DVDs are on the way out.
    A persona l issue i have is the technique with the right hand. Upstrokes in strumming, particularly at a high tempo like staccato, or like John Lennon on his solo on “ you can’t do that”. Also single note/single string staccato/upstrokes, same deal as above. I guess I do not have a very flexible floppy wrist for this. Yes, I practice this. A have your rythem course, but perhaps some insight from you or others on this issue might help to me and others too. Congratulations to anyone who was able to read through all of the above without pulling your hair out.

    Thanks, Griff for all the great course, and individual email lessons!

  • Mark Wales uk

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Cheers Griff
    For all the advice and support in 2017 it’s been hard at times but sticking with it setting goals working towards those goals
    And becoming a more rounded musician thanks to you
    As for suggesting ideas 3 notes per string modes and a member area where we can learn songs from start to Finnish
    Wishing all BGU members a happy new year
    Looking forward to 2018

  • John

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    2017 provided much for me in terms of both guitar and life changes. I was able to take some live lessons from you during the year – great stuff and am still working to become a more complete guitarist – as well as retiring and relocating to Florida – still a work in progress! Was also able to attend my first BGU event at Lake Arrowhead – a real pinnacle and eye opener for me!
    I cannot put into words my appreciation for your commitment and dedication – as well as just great attitude – to me and all of the BGU nation. My heart felt thanks for all you provided and continue to produce. I am in awe of both your talents and ability to provide just what is needed at just the right time.
    Thanks you is woefully inadequate as a response!
    For 2018 my goal is to complete and master the “How to Build Blues Songs” so that it is part of my “guitar DNA” and spend more time listening to songs such that the playing is second nature and I will not have to think about it! Work – yes, but also play!
    Griff – Have a great 2018 and continued success in every of your endeavors.
    Take care, enjoy and listen 10 times!

    John

  • Jezz

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Time has not been my friend this year but in the true tradition of new year a sort of resolution which I never make I want to allocate more time to blues guitar. Think I might have missed the major point of a course I bought (making better blues solos) I think it was called. I need more information on keys and how to get all the phrase ideas into the same key. I hope this isn’t to silly a question and hope everyone has a fantastic new year.

    Jezz

    • Jezz

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      Slow blues solos was the course

  • Susan farber

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Sorry, but I didn’t the good ole righteous cust service you pride yourself in. I requested to return the Blues Unleashed Full course for the Beginner
    Version. No Response to that request. Now you’ve lost me as a customer and my hopes of starting up again are also on the shelf.
    Disappointed in the way you don’t back up your product for satisfaction.
    Susan Farber
    1268 Rialto Way. Unitb102
    Naples, Fl. 34114

    • Mark Wales uk

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      Hi Susan
      I can only speak as I find and in the past I’ve purchased courses off Griff which was way above the standard I was at the time I’ve contacted him through support and I was sorted out no problem and advised what route to take Griff is NOT a take your money and leave you type of teacher he cares and supports is students there imust be some sort of mistake ive tried loads of teachers on the net and person and I can say you stick with Griff.and you will be playing at a standard you never thought you could achieve
      All the best to you Susan and keep playing

    • MikeS

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      Susan,
      I don’t know what happened with customer service.they are usually amazing.
      I’ll copy your post and send it directly to Griff.I’m sure that he will straighten things out.

  • Paul

    Reply Reply December 31, 2017

    Hi Griff
    How about an advanced module to decode the Schofield/Ford style of introducing jazz substitutions into regular blues for a bit more spice? Melodic minor/harmonic minor/ diminished ideas over the V for example
    Thanks
    Paul

    • Tom Hopsicker

      Reply Reply December 31, 2017

      I’m with Paul on this. Let’s call it jazzifying the blues. Take a basic blues and add some more sophisticated cords to the mix to spice it up. Kind of goes hand in hand with the mode thing. 😎

      • Tom Hopsicker

        Reply Reply December 31, 2017

        You could look at this as an expansion of the concepts in lessons 12 and 14 in BGU 2.0 or something along those lines. 😎

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