Guitar Mastery Method Review
Verdict and Review Summary
Though Charlie's script and teaching is strong, expensive courses, a frustrating marketing structure, and some audio/visual quality issues in the 101 course are major detractors from the program's value.
This is my full audit of the Guitar Mastery Method, focusing on the Guitar Mastery 101 course. To conduct this review, I bought the course and used it myself. I listened to the lessons, read through the content, downloaded the material, and did my level best to experience it as though I were a student, working through the material on my own.
The Guitar Mastery Method is a collection of courses that are each purchased as standalone downloads, or sometimes in bundles.
Since we just wanted an opportunity to test the program, we only used the Guitar Mastery 101 course, which is described as their "flagship course" and perhaps the first stop for most who sign up.
To buy the course, we paid $139 US dollars, which gives us access to the course for life. However, it does not give us access to any additional courses on the website.
We were offered a bundle of three other courses at a steep discount, which we declined. For testing, I used a Windows 10 desktop and a Chrome web browser, with a fiber optic internet connection.
Compare Guitar Mastery Method to Similar Alternatives
Guitar Mastery Method
Weighted Rating Table
Point Value (weight)
1. Content Quantity
2. EDU Quality
2. Topical Order
3. Concept Coverage
7. Video Player
8. Site Design/Navigation
Watch/Listen to the Report
Prefer to watch the review or just listen? In this screencast I walk through the full GMM review, talk through my reasoning, and cover all the same bullet points as I do in this article.
About the Guitar Mastery Method
The Guitar Mastery Method website centers around its founder, Charlie Wallace, though also employs a multi-instructor format stretched over several courses. Members sign up and purchase courses, usually starting with a 101 course and working their way up as they go. However, it's initially unclear whether you can purchase additional courses on their own, or if you need to do the monthly membership option (more on that later).
Cost and Purchase Format
Depending on promotions and bundling options, most Guitar Mastery Method courses cost between $100 and $200 for lifetime (downloadable) access. The 101 course I purchased for testing cost $139.
After I had purchased the first course, it looked like other courses were only accessible through the upgraded membership.
Here's my PayPal invoice, just so you know I actually purchased the course:
Is this expensive by comparison?
This is one of the highest price tags we've seen for a single guitar course. While additional courses can be bundled or bought with a discount (after buying the 101 course), the pricing here is still extremely high, given that most TrueFire and JamPlay courses can be purchased with lifetime access for around $50.
You can look at other guitar lesson cost examples for reference.
The Signup Process
A lot of the signup process is confusing and seems oddly disjointed from where I would eventually end up. Along the way, I noticed a lot of stuff like this:
Getting to where I could just buy a course was surprisingly difficult, as things like the aforementioned popup and questionnaires like the following screenshot seemed to plague the process:
There were several more questions to the above survey, which I went through, though it didn't recommend the course that I would eventually purchase. Instead, it gave me a "progress killer" diagnosis and recommended I watch a video, which I promptly skipped.
This is similar to the situation I experienced when trying to sign up with Guitarzoom. The process is so enamored with sales funnels and and attempts to up-sell you that just getting to a simple 101 course was weirdly difficult.
After jumping through the sign up hoops, I could just go to the courses page where I could scan the material available.
There were a lot of courses available, though it seemed clear to me that the Guitar Mastery 101 course would be my best bet. As a reviewer, I just want to get a feel for the content, and since this one was listed as their "flagship course", I went ahead and purchased it.
Again, it was expensive at $139, and it had more than its fair share of up-sell attempts, but I won't bore you with that.
Let's get to the actual content.
The Content Quality of the Guitar Mastery Method 101 Course
Charlie teaches the 101 course in six modules that includes the following:
Within these modules the content can be broken down into two types of lessons:
- PowerPoint-style with voiceover
- Traditional video demonstration with guitar-in-hand
Charlie uses the PowerPoint-style method for a lot of the basic content, particularly in Module 1, where he does a very good job of explaining and ordering concepts. These lessons, though not taught with a guitar, are easy to follow and get you crucial information quickly.
Things like how to read guitar tabs, understanding chord diagrams, and learning the notes on the fretboard are effectively demonstrated using this method (though as you can see that information is pretty easy to find elsewhere).
Where my take gets less positive is when we get to the video content.
Quality Problems with the Video Lessons
When we rate guitar lessons we have a category called "content quality." This is what we use to grade things like the amount of lessons and the quality thereof. How good is the video quality? Are there a lot of concepts covered? How is the audio quality? In other words, it's a more generalized measure of user experience, that we separate from our rating for education quality.
In the Guitar Mastery Method, education quality is consistently quite good. Charlie is an effective communicator, a good teacher, and does a good job of demonstrating and/or explaining what he's trying to teach.
But it's the content quality category that ultimately sends the value of this course way down.
Audio and Video Problems
The audio quality in Charlie's voice-over lessons is good. But when you actually see him in front of the camera with his guitar, the audio was lower and more difficult to hear through the left side of my headset. As Charlie talks, it seems as though he is not mic'd and that the camera itself is being relied on to pick up his voice.
In what seems to be every video, Charlie's voice is far louder on the right side than the left and somewhat difficult to hear overall.
To make matters worse, when he plays guitar, it tends to be a good deal louder than his voice.
I tested it with a few different setups on multiple computers, with a couple different sets of headphones:
- Earbuds with only left ear in
- Earbuds with both ears
- AKG K240 studio headphones with both ears
- Macbook with just built-in speakers
Of these setups, the studio headphones sounded the best, though Charlie's voice was still primarily coming from the right ear cup. While I was still able to glean from what Charlie was saying, this was a significant disappointment, given what I had paid for the course.
Many videos are also filmed with poor lighting in a very dark room. Again, this doesn't mean I couldn't see what Charlie was demonstrating, it just made the experience aesthetically harsh.
To be fair, the 101 course I tested seems to be fairly old, and judging by their YouTube content, they're doing much better with video production now.
This category is where the 101 course does quite well.
As I mentioned, Charlie is a skilled player and does a good job of staying on script, while still sounding casual and relaxed as he explains concepts.
He does get into what I would consider intermediate topics fairly quickly, jumping into intense speed exercises as early as Module 3. While that might be a bit fast for some people, the course does a good job of preparing you for that content with a good foundation set in modules 1 and 2.
I could also tell Charlie wasn't just rehashing concepts that he had pulled from somewhere else, but was truly teaching a style and method of playing that he had developed for himself.
In the Dexterity Exercise lesson, pictured below, he's teaching a trilling exercise and method that I had never seen or heard of before.
Most of his exercises struck me as original work and not just a rehash or a been-there-done-that idea.
Considering the emphasis on speed-building, Module 3 alone would be reason enough for someone that wants to build some strength and dexterity for better lead guitar. After running through the exercises myself, I was definitely sore and challenged by the movements (I'm not much of a speed player on the guitar).
Module 4 is primarily focused on music theory, getting you back to some of the whiteboard-style presentation from Charlie. In particular, he does an excellent job explaining modes and how they apply to the fretboard.
He also covers the basics early, which is a nice feature of a theory section. You'll get a foundational understanding of music theory in a guitar context as you learn fretboard notes, scale diagrams, and other theory-related concepts.
Module 6 is labeled an "advanced" section, but seems almost exclusively lead guitar-focused, with a ton of videos devoted to the tapping technique. If you aren't focusing on lead guitar, this section isn't going to be an ideal fit, yet for those who want to learn advanced soloing techniques, Charlie does a good job covering the content, at least from his perspective.
Topical Arrangement and Organization
One of the main criticisms I have of Wallace's course is how quickly it gets into advanced lead topics while being labeled a 101 course. However, Charlie does take the time to prep you for those advanced topics - theory, lead technique, etc. - by laying a solid foundation of content in the earlier modules (though Module 2 is quite short).
Overall, Charlie just isn't as thorough as other programs with a course that should be understood as a beginner's course. You can tell that he's a speed and rock guitar player with an eye for heavy soloing, which comes out probably too quickly in his material.
I would have preferred to see longer modules, perhaps broken up into multiple courses.
For example, Module 2, for developing hand strength and technique, only has three videos. As far as prepping a student for the rigors of Modules 3 and 4, the first two just don't have enough content to adequately prepare you. And I hate to say that, since it's clear that Wallace has been mindful of the need to properly prepare and take things slow, but his goal is to get you playing faster, which is evident pretty quickly.
Overall, it hasn't gotten the care and precision that programs like Guitar Tricks and JamPlay have been able to produce.
In the 101 course, Module 5 is titled "Learning Songs" but is only three videos covering the following concepts:
- Where to find songs to learn
- How to memorize songs and/or solos
- Playing along with backing tracks
This isn't really a song section in the way we're typically used to seeing it. In other words, he's not playing guitar covers or teaching you songs. It's more of a resource section that seemed a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the course, as it's just outside the scope and focus of Charlie's syllabus.
If you want to focus on learning songs, we probably wouldn't recommend the Guitar Mastery Method, at least not this particular course.
Additional Guitar Mastery Method Courses & Value
Having said that, there are many other Guitar Mastery Method courses to choose from. It's also uncertain whether or not you can purchase them as standalone courses or if you need to sign up for a monthly membership. It looks like once you've bought the 101 course, you can upgrade your membership to get access to all the courses, including future releases.
The $27 per month price tag is high compared to a lot of other programs, with Guitar Tricks at $19 a month, Guitargate at $10, and other similar comparisons. The Guitar Mastery Method is also a smaller body of content than most other programs. Moreover, we didn't notice any annual options, which would usually be cheaper. Remember, I have already spent $140 to get my foot in the door with the 101 course.
While we can't necessarily rate all these courses, we can safely assume that they are reasonably similar to the 101 course.
It's good, but it probably shouldn't cost more than the programs out there that have way more courses.
I also wasn't crazy about the sales funnel tactics and having a marketing video on so many pages.
While there's a lot to like about how Charlie teaches, particularly how he's able to explain concepts away from the guitar, the value just isn't here to justify the price tag. Even if I were to upgrade my membership for $27 a month, I would have spent over $430 on my first year for a comparably small roster of courses.
Where I do see some value is for those looking to work specifically on speed and lead guitar. Like we often see when full websites are centered around a specific personality (Justin Sandercoe, Steve Stine, etc.), you get a heavy dose of that particular player's musical interests and playing styles. Plus, some people might just identify with Charlie or prefer his teaching personality. That's an entirely subjective aspect of this that's impossible to measure for each person.
In the case of Charlie Wallace, he's all about rock solos and building speed.
If that's your goal - and you feel like he speaks to you - the 101 course could be a good - if not, expensive - fit for you.
Otherwise, we'd probably recommend looking elsewhere for a better price tag and larger body of content.
Jon Allison says
I too receive the most ridiculous amount of emails on a virtually daily basis. It has to stop. But I also paid for Charlie’s book on mastering the fretboard so just have to wait and see if it actually turns up here in the UK. I’m not sure I’m convinced……
Bobby Kittleberger says
Being in the business I am, I know that marketing tactic, and it’s incredibly annoying. It’s called an “email funnel”. That said, they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. I personally just find it somewhat unethical.
I would definitely be interested to hear what his book is like.
Jon Allison says
Hi Bobby, I paid for the book on the understanding it was free but with payment for postage from NZ which seemed like a fair request. Yesterday I looked at my bank statement, to find the money out to GMM is listed as “recurring” 😮
This worried me, but apparently it’s because I subscribed to their premium membership or whatever they call it. I’ve since cancelled said membership and had a prompt and courteous reply saying no further payment will be taken. Phew. So they’re not all bad, apart from all those pesky emails! Just be sure to check the (very) small print!
Bobby Kittleberger says
But if you only bought the book (shipping), why would that have constituted a membership? Seems really weird all around.
Jon Allison says
Well my book actually turned up and they’ve cancelled my VIP membership which is what I was to be charged for after the trial period. So as of now, it all doesn’t seem too bad. Just be sure to read the small print…..
Bobby Kittleberger says
How’s the book? Decent?
Jon Allison says
Seems decent enough but only got as far as the introduction so far. That said even at this early stage it’s rather “shouty”, like you must do this and you have to do that……..you feel a little like you’re being brainwashed……
I’ll report back once further in.
Bobby Kittleberger says
Thanks for the info. Again, not too surprising.
I clicked on the more info on GMM from Instagram or Facebook (don’t know which) – mainly so I could follow it up at a later date that suited me better.
In the space of 6 days I’ve had 10 emails – from ‘thanks for your interest’ to ‘I’m sorry man – are you not interested?’
Frankly it’s making me uncomfortable – I’ve not even looked at the website yet as I’ve not had chance.
Too pushy I’m afraid – you don’t want to be ignored obviously, but 1 to 2 emails a day is a bit much.
Bobby Kittleberger says
Yeah, I guess it’s just their chosen marketing strategy. Personally, I think it’s unethical, but they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work. It just doesn’t work with everyone.
Thanks for the info, this is a very good article on what to expect if joining Guitar Mastery Method.
I was going to sign up but after reading your article it has now changed my mind.
Well, hopefully GMM doesn’t hunt me down.
Joe G. says
Once I agreed to the “free gift” download, I realized this probably isn’t for me.
Lots of email that, frankly, smelled of hard core tactics… sort of like dealing with a used car salesman!
Glad I saw this site, great job Bobby.
Best of luck to GMM, but I’m unsubscribing to the email list. Will find other routes to better my guitar playing.
Yep – definitely my impression as well, and what I hear from the larger share of people who comment on here regarding GMM.
Robert Frausto says
Please cancel my subscription to Guitar Mastery
Bobby Kittleberger says
Robert – we are not GMM. We’re a third party review site, and not in any way affiliated with their company. Please get in touch with their support to cancel your subscription.
James Ellingson says
Cancel my subscription and refund my money
Thank you for taking the time to review this, I will surely check your page for further guidance.
Regarding GMM, I had claimed the free video via providing my email, have received around 40 emails in 20 days since then. Many of these create a fake sense or urgency for signups, free DVDs and whatnot. They read “tomorrow I’m taking this page offline”, “I just received a free shipment, claim your copy before they are out” and pretend as if they were written in the moment, but after a few days start looping and repeating. This aggressive e-mail marketing borderlines scam in my opinion and is enough of a turnoff for me to never sign up there, regardless of the content quality.
Agreed. Often times it’s the marketing methods that I find the most off-putting, if not the content itself.
So, what do you think is the best program value out there? Please reply to my e-mail address.
Our recommended alternatives are listed on the review page.
Amazing and thorough review. Very appreciated.
Thanks, Enrico. I appreciate the kind words.
My opinion if anyone was going to buy a course from guitar masterymethod get the 10 week guitar course
Doug G says
Hi, I signed up for GMM sevetal years ago when they only had a few courses. I really enjoyed Charlie’s teaching style and CAGED method which was the hook for me. Bought at least one other package and tried the VIP for a few months. I must say, it drove me to practise regularly and definitely improved my playing ability and speed. Of note my target was lead guitar. I liked the video content over other online teachers in that he had multiple video angles to get details on the Fret board and strum area. Learning was fast as I could improve. I used the recommended practice session regularly. The VIP sessions were decent but after a short while I also found trouble trying to ensure I could be online on time and it was too expensive for me. Overall. Charlie was definitely a great start for me to become compitent on the fretboard. I feel I had good value for the money spent. Now I write my own music!
Joe Bradford says
I paid 114 for 2 packages
Are those mailed?
Joe – I would think these are digital downloads. What exactly do you mean by “packages”?
James Macevoy says
I asked a few questions on the ‘Guitar Mastery Method’ ads that keep blasting my facebook feed, and you know what they did? they blocked me from commenting on their posts…. (and no I wasn’t being rude or abusive, just general questions) next thing I know, the guy who posts these ads is up with a new one, in his bath robe in some blue screen luxury hotel bull advert telling us how we can be guitar gods living in luxury… lol.. (I already do, im just not a guitar god…) and that was my sign to never use them, ever.
Yeah, it’s the weird marketing stuff that turns me off too. Thanks for sharing your experience, James.
Soren Lund says
Hi Bobby. Nice review. I am 51 years old. I’ve owned a couple of guitars for the past 30 years, but never got beyond playing 10-14 chords….only strumming along.
I came across Guitar Mastery Method (GMM), and I cannot believe how quickly everything changed. I signed up for the VIP package which gave me access to a plethora of different courses. I have been a member for 1 1/2 year. First I dabbled around with some of the shorter courses (the VP package gives you many courses), but then I got serious, and started the 10 Week course called “Master The Fretboard”….which took me 20-25 weeks to complete (because I am not that consistent)….But that single course COMPLETELY lifted my guitar skills and my understanding of theory to where I actually now can move all over the fretboard, and easily jam along to backing tracks. More importantly, I started to understand some of the theory of it all. During that 10 week course, they use JUST 2 weeks to teach you the pentatonic scale. I remember it completely blew me away that I could learn it so quickly….I got so excited about my new skills that all I have done ever since, is playing to backing tracks…Now I play the pentatonic scale, the blues scale and the diatonic scale…I just can’t get enough 🙂 . Now my time has come to begin the next 8-week course “Ultimate Guitar Skill Workshop” which really hones in on your actual PLAYING skills. I am the biggest advocate for GMM. I tell everyone that wants to learn guitar, that GMM is the way to do it. The entire team at GMM is fantastic, the lessons are perfect for players at all levels, and the
support team is always there to help you, and so is the entire GMM community (on Facebook).
When 2020 had passed, and I had to pay to renew my 2nd year, I had no hesitation. It is totally worth it, and I imagine I am a member for life. GMM is most definitely NOT any type of scam or ripoff, it is a SUPERIOR quality, friendly, fun place to learn how to play guitar. Oh, and yes, GMM sends me AWESOME emails almost every week, not with spam, but with notifications about future lessons, or small little video lessons…I have set up a folder in my inbox where all emails from GMM end up, and I look through them at my leisure. No problem. There, those were my 2 cents. No, wait. I forgot to mention that they send me a GMM T-shirt – for free! Also, they send me a capo – no questions asked….just…
Is GMM perfect? Well, maybe not, but I will be eternally grateful for Charlie and the team for making these courses available….for me it totally worked. The end!
Soren – thanks for sharing your positive experience here. It’s certainly a valid take that should be helpful to people.
Jim O'Brien says
I wish I hadn’t bought into GMM. I bought the 101 course and since then they shamelessly spam my email with several emails a day trying to sell me more of the courses. Its the most frustrating experience ever. The course itself is fine but I think it’s really pretty gross the way try to pump more money out of you. Real scumbags
Thanks for sharing, Jim. I think the marketing methods are one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen thus far.
John J Halerewicz says
This is a COMPLETE SCAM & RIPOFF got charged
John – charged for what? What did you sign up for?
Fred Squillante says
Wow. I can’t believe all the negativity. I’ve been with GMM a little over a year and a VIP member for almost a year of that time and I think they’re excellent. Yeah, they’re a little short on the tech side but they’re definitely getting better. Now, when I started with them I had been struggling to learn guitar for a long time. I could play some chords and scales and knew some progressions and theory but I couldn’t play worth a lick. Now, while I’m still no shredder or clean rhythm player, I’m a totally different player than a year ago. And as a VIP I have access to all their stuff. I might add that I’m pretty motivated to get better and I don’t practice hours at a time every day, but I do try to practice some every day. I have not finished all their courses. In fact, I started to feel overload as I kept going on to the next one so I finally made up my mind to go through what I already had a second time and I want to tell you all the pieces are falling into place. I figure in another year or so I might be able to say I’m done because I’ll have gotten out of them what I need. I started with 101 and I paid 139 US and always felt it was worth it. I got Texas Blues at 49 and got some others with it. That’s when they let me join VIP and the hard sell stopped. You get what you pay for in this world. If you’re looking for cheap, you’ll get cheap. Charlie, Eddie, Owen, Will, and Mike are excellent players and teachers. I’ve tried the freebies at Active Melody, Marty Schwartz, and Guitar Tricks and I’m happy where I am. Let me repeat what a previous commenter said. Marketing is part of the game. Read the fine print before you give cc info. If you think you’re going to become a guitarist by taking a few online lessons or by watching a few You Tubes you’re mistaken. Hope this helps.
Andrew Marvel says
I too went through the pages and pages of attempts to upsell. I agreed to the lifetime 101 course but had to turn down 3 more pages of offers of bundled courses and vip membership. In case everyone didnt realize you always have to read the details when you buy something like this online. I have been scammed before and the classic phrase if it’s too good to be true it probably is are words to live by. And when you are given only 15 min to decide adds pressure or its gone forever. I was guided to it through a fb ad and I watch the video and saw what he was offering. I paid 47 usd for a lifetime membership for the guitar 101 Mastery course when I signed up for it I already play guitar and I was told this would help me become a better leave guitar player in which sense it has because it is giving me everything that I was looking for having already been a seasoned rhythm guitar player. I wanted to know which scales and which Keys you can play to What notes and what notes sound good together and to which extent he is delivered on every thing that I was looking for in this course given I hadn’t been on any other site to compare to or have never taken lessons I taught myself off the internet and tab never had anyone to properly explain notes and scales and modes which is what I was mainly looking for. I continue to get emails from them send me this DVD just pay shipping and handling and it does clearly state that you will be signed up for the VIP trial which after 14 days it will charge you for but every time I’ve got it I have emailed them from the 12th 13th day and cancel the trial. Without a problem and still got whatever free gift was promised. I received a DVD a capo and I’m still working through the course I do think the $150 price tag for the course I wouldn’t have paid for it. But for 50 bucks it has been well worth it I don’t feel as if I’ve been scammed every email has been replied to promptly and the material is is worthwhile everyone that’s butthurt it feels like they’ve been scammed just didn’t know how to read what they were signing up for online I would have recommended guitar Mastery method if you can get it at the $50 price tag for the course and if you do it and decide you want to continue with more the VIP membership isn’t that much and you don’t need it forever if you are dedicated to it you can probably only pay 3 months of it and get everything you need. We live in an age where you can’t trust anything you read on the internet and guitar mastery method in no way deceives the consumer they’re just trying real damn hard to get that money which I can respect. Charlie is a great teacher and the community is very helpful and friendly I was looking for a course he said it would help me play along with Jam tracks learn solos and scales and know how to hit every note perfectly and is done just that if you’re a guitar player and don’t know a neck from a bridge or fret then this probably isn’t the course for you but if you’re looking to break through that next level in to lead guitar playing this is definitely the course for you
Andrew – thanks for sharing your experience and for giving GMM a fair shake. I appreciate your feedback.
Guitarjamz.com is great value at 100usd for lifetime membership during a sale. Marty shwartz is awesome and the content is done on old video equipment looking dated but it’s quality info. I’m on the site 30 min everyday and still workin my way through after 3 yrs!
I just signed up for $1. It’s a 2 week trial with guitar mastery and They will charge 2 payments of $27 dollars totaling $55usd for a lifetime membership. Lots of other courses are visible as a member but need to upgrade to VIP to view them which is $27/month I have viewed the entire course in 5days and I think it’s worth $55 for a lifetime subscription. Definitely worth more than $1. Now I’m getting offers for the dvd -just pay shipping. But I’m afraid since reading about the trickery.
I signed up for guitar tricks too for $100/yr and it’s great for learning songs but I wish they expanded their library.
I’m going to check the others mentioned here. Thank you!
Soren Lund says
HI Anonymius. I got the DVD too. No tricks.
Thanks, Milo. This is on our list to review.
When a con artist is about to hit, first they build confidence in the ‘mark’ so the mark will purchase. Guitar Mastery does just that. I am not saying the guy can’t teach, or play: he is good enough to impress. However I am saying he begins with a false promise, a lie.
No matter how good a persons product is, the ability to deceive to sell it is a quality that hides behind smiles and promises. So my friends and I tested him. Guitar Mastery Method boasts he will send the amazing Blues Cheat Sheet free, and it will arrive in our my inboxes in 15 minutes, or so, while we watch his very pushy commercial. There is no suggestion the free blues sheet only comes after we PAY for the method. The sheet is presented as ‘FREE’ Download. Here is what happened.
We clicked for the free sheet, and patiently watched the video. After 15 minutes No sheet ever arrived. 15 turned to 30 minutes, to days later. So I deleted the email and cleared the cache, and repeated this four times..What was interesting, was his company recognized me immediately, even after I thought i removed all trace of guitar mastery. Such is the lie – NO fingering blues sheet ever arrived, but they recognized me? So his sheet is not free. It is based on making the pricy purchase. For this post I am using my private encription server so he does not spam my public email. Besides, that guy comes off as not very genuine
Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with your impression totally.
Thanks for this review. Body language interests me. So on the promo I turned down the volume and watched him. Hand on heart I said to myself I don’t believe what he’s saying even though I couldn’t hear him. I’m looking for some online lessons but I don’t think this one is for me however I did give him the benefit of the doubt and searched for reviews. Though I wasn’t put off by this review the comments seem to be a mixed bag added to this your gut feeling matched my own.
Great observation, Michael. Thanks for sharing your insight.
same for me, still waiting for the “free” video and cheatsheet…
will proops says
Really helpful guide – thank you. I do get a lot of emails from them and was tempted by one of the courses that lures you in. With so many online courses available I found your review spot – thank you.
Thanks, Will. Glad this was able to help.
Very helpful review, thank you. Would you be able to point me to Charlie’s Quiz Funnel?
Thanks – Robert. I didn’t get to that quiz until I started trying to sign up for a membership. To be honest, I’m not sure if you can take it outside of that funnel. I think you can start it here: https://my.guitarmasterymethod.com/guitar-mastery-101
Is that what you were asking? Hope I was helpful. If not, let me know.
I too have have looked in vain for this heatmap and I have wondered why there are no complaints about not receiving it one the YouTube comments section. Apparently they have found a way to hijack the comments. It is probably just a chart of fingerings for the minor pentatonic and you can find that everywhere for free anyway.
Ross McVinnie says
I’d give Guitar Mastery Method a miss to be honest. I can’t say much about the quality of the lesson material as I’m a pretty clueless guitarist and have very little time to commit to learning. What I can say is that I get far too many emails from them – as many as 5 in one day with is just not necessary and gets quite annoying.
What really put me off them was the free DVD that I requested. I received lots and lots of emails offering the 18 Fretboard Hacks DVD free of charge – I just had to pay for shipping (about 5 or 6 dollars). BUT… once you make that payment, they now have your payment details and what the many many emails don’t mention is that you will be automatically signed up for the VIP Member’s Club, which has a monthly payment. I never agreed to any monthly payments and never received any notification. The first I knew of it was when a mystery $27 payment was taken from my bank account. Very sneaky and underhand in my opinion.
To be fair to Guitar Mastery Method, they offer a money back guarantee. They were true to their word and refunded my payment. I have now cancelled the membership (that I didn’t want) but this whole situation has made me reluctant to have anything to do with them. I wouldn’t recommend anyone sign up with them.
Whoa, holy smokes. That is absolutely not okay, in my book.
So you signed up for the free DVD and then got funneled into the VIP membership? I’ve got to assume there was some fine print somewhere that you missed, but still.
And yes, the email marketing is overwhelming. Those “funnel” pages are an older marketing method and can be very annoying.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Ross.
I can confirm this. I am a fan of the 101 course, and you’re right that the other teachers (most notably Eddie and Owen) have really solid courses that go into playing styles much more, licks and also improved video and audio quality.
However I can confirm that their emails are constant and often bordering on the insulting – most notably when you don’t take them up on an ‘incredible offer’ and they start to question your devotion to the instrument.
The worst case I saw is as above. They promote a ‘100% free DVD’ where all you have to do is pay the postage, but when it comes to the payment page it says in VERY small print that you will also be signed up for the VIP course at $27 which is frankly disgusting.
Their FB community is a good resource full of nice people, and whilst you’ll find such complaints there met with ‘yeah but it’s worth it’ it can feel a bit cultish.
I can confirm that I didn’t fall for the trick but it is absolutely NOT clear as day and nor is it up front about what they are doing. They deliberately fail to mention the subscription and the page literally says ‘CLICK BELOW TO PAY NOW $7 for shipping with the sting buried in the finest small print below.
Holy smokes. I honestly wouldn’t have caught this even if I had tried to sign up for the DVD. I would say that’s completely unethical and, I would assume, against FTC regs.
Anyways, it’s a shame that a program with so much good information is buried under so much shady marketing practices. I get that you need to make sales, but this is pretty manipulative. Unacceptable in my opinion.
Thanks for sharing, Tony.
Just thought I would weigh in on this, I have experience with GMM, the courses are really good but the initial price I think is a little too high to pay for one course. Now the 27 upgrade gives you access to everything on the site including live streams and previous ones, the live steams are an invaluable learning tool. If you look at all the courses available and how they are taught plus the other extras to help you learn, including how to work through them and the best order to study their is a difference between GMM and true fire, jam play etc which are also excellent sites. If you contact customer service they will get back to you within 48 hrs as I have done that. Remember this!! Marketing is the Life blood of a business if you don’t do it you will not survive, if you do not want to receive emails just unsubscribe to them I receive just as many emails from Guitar Zoom and other sites, so quit complaining about emails. Every guitar site is a little different on what and how they present their information, if you are constantly looking for the best site then you are not learning the guitar your just searching for a quick fix. Hope this invite helps
Hey, Bill – thanks for sharing your experience here. My interaction with customer support for GMM was pretty limited, so I appreciate your sharing your two cents in that regard. All the best.
Same story here. Got attracted with free DVD, then paid postage but during the process of ordering i had to accept that unwanted VIP membership and then to remember for 13 days to cancel it. DVD arrived long after.
Cancelling was straightforward at least, but i have never experienced such intensive spamming before. And yessss, that body language is not building any trust, it’s just funny cheap acting. I haven’t played that DVD yet, so overall impression – a spammer
Yep. That seems to be the most consistent type of experience. Not necessarily wrong on their part, but it doesn’t build much confidence.
Donnie Vaughan says
I bought it at $47 and didn’t receive anything. I’m going to be asking the bank for my money back!
Sorry to hear that, Donnie. Hope it gets resolved for you.
Thank you! The same thing is happening to me.
The emails clearly state that you will be given a 14 day trial for free , I just delete them and you can unsubscribe from their emails if you don’t require them.
I have found the course excellent so far and am a much better player for doing the 101 and am only 33% through.
I was paying £8 for half an hour tuition 35 years ago so paying £37 pounds for the course is nothing, there’s no con about it , it’s just an excellent guitarist giving a service which you pay for or you don’t .
Thanks for sharing, Clint.
Ross McVinnie says
Maybe the emails “clearly state” this now, but they didn’t when I got caught out by it. Trust me – I went back through every email about the “free” DVD and even had other people check them too. There was no mention whatsoever of being signed up for the VIP membership. It only talked about the “free” DVD and how amazing it is.
I don’t care how good a guitarist he is, in my opinion it IS a con. They give you a “free” DVD as long as you pay for postage. But getting you to pay for postage is just a way to get your payment details so they can then take a monthly $27 payment from you, whether you want to or not. There is no notification that this payment will be taken and it is not authorised by the account holder. That is underhand, unethical and borderline fraudulent. I don’t care if it is good value – it’s just plain wrong!
I didn’t want to get into a debate, I just want people to be aware that if you accept one of the “free” DVD offers, keep an eye out for mystery payments being taken from your account.
And I did state, in fairness, they are true to their money back guarantee. If you contact them and ask to cancel your membership and get a refund (within the specified time), they will sort it out.
To be fair, the page they offer the free DVD on clearly states the VIP trial. If you actually watch the video where they offer the DVD, he also goes into detail about the subscription. Then on top of that, the order form that you fill out with all of your payment details explains it even further. More than once even.
Maybe you shouldn’t fill out order forms and buy things without actually reading the offer other than big buttons that say free DVD.
I grabbed the DVD, tried the VIP for 2 weeks and canceled without getting charged. VIP was great, just too much for me right now as I’m only starting out, so the DVD (for like $6 shipping) was perfect
It would be illegal to steal your money without your permission, and they wouldn’t last very long online right? Yet here they are. Sure, they could have a big flashing icon saying you are joining a subscription, but I guess they assume you can read.
If they gave you your money back with no hassle, then that doesn’t sound like a con to me.
The moral of the story, read the page and watch the video, not just the emails before giving your card away
Chris, I see your point, but I still think it’s more on the shady side compared to most of the companies we recommend. GMM isn’t nearly as explicit or clear about the paths you’re taking.
Joe Morris says
Hi Bobby. I agree with your answer to Chris. I too, 3 years ago, signed up for the free DVD, paid the postage with my debit card after scanning for any other information on potential hidden fees, and eventually got the DVD. But then, a month or so later, got a mysterious withdrawal from the bank account, but blew if off, figuring maybe the wife ordered something. But when that same amount came out again the following month, I called the bank, and they told me it was a payment to some guitar organization, but we couldn’t reach them through the stated number next to the payment. So they transferred it over to the fraud dept, where they finally found a number to contact. I finally got a hold of someone right before the 3rd payment came out, and they agreed to refund me one month, but not two. If all this was stated in Charlie’s video about this is what you sign up for, who’s got time to sit through another one of his long-winded videos, which I’d done in the past, just to order a free DVD? And like others have said, there should’ve been some pre-warning statement, that $27 was going to come out of your card. I specifically recall reading and re-reading for any little hidden details, and saw none. And that’s why I clicked the agreement, to just pay for the postage, and that should’ve been that. But it wasn’t. It should’ve clearly stated, without having to watch a lengthy video, that, after 14 days, you will be automatically signed-up for their course at $27 a month, and can cancel at any time. But I saw none of that. They do now, because they’re offering it again, and I purposely didn’t click it this time, when I saw a small round button that said something like: “click here to agree to Charlie’s lifetime course” — and since I didn’t, I couldn’t finish the transaction to get the ‘free’ 100-plus page booklet, for just the cost of shipping. So I want to thank you Bobby for not only providing a forum that allows both sides of the story, but for opening some eyes. And I do agree, that Eddie and Will at GMM, are a lot more evenly paced.
Did the same exact thing to me !
Hey mate, in your opinion what would be the best and best priced online guitar course for a begginer to intermediate?
Hey man – thanks for commenting. Responded to your email as well.
If you’re closer on the beginner side I’d go Guitar Tricks or Justinguitar. If you’re closer to the intermediate side I’d say JamPlay or even TrueFire.
To be honest, any of these programs can kind of “run the table” when it comes to skill level, but if you really want to section them off I’d make the decision based on where you are on the spectrum between beginner and intermediate.
Anyways, hope this is helpful. Hit me back if you have any more questions.
Hi there Bobby,
Just been reading this review after being a member of GMM for a while but not not been using or learning for ages due to time..
Could I please get some information for you via emails buddy?
I feel a little lost on the learning front & need a little direction on courses
Please feel free to email me….
Hey Nigel – you can reach out via email@example.com. Happy to help in whatever way I can.
I ordered GMM blues course, forget what I paid but I did read the order carefully and found my card was being charged $27 a month for the vip. I consider myself the top end of intermediate, it is important as at least 70% of the course I was already doing or at least knew already. I was able to get the VIP canceled quickly but, was not given a refund. This was a few years back. I agree they are shady and I won’t be dealing with them or recommending them to anyone.
Bobby Kittleberger says
Yep. I’ve definitely heard similar stories from a lot of people. I think GMM catches a lot of “normies” (for lack of a better word) that can’t sniff this stuff out. Hopefully my review helps people see there are way better options out there.
mickey early says
how do i get out. i purchased a disk and it automatically signed me up for the $27 per month program that i did not authorize. when i call the number beside the charge on my credit card bill it says i cannot call this number how do i get an office number or contact number to cancel this
Hey Mickey – I honestly don’t know, and I didn’t try any of the disks, although it shouldn’t have automatically funneled you into a membership. Did you pay with PayPal? If so, you can cancel through PayPal.
mickey early says
no i paid with credit card and they have no contact number they just used the card number and started charging it for 2 months now.
No luck with the contact page here? https://www.guitarmasterymethod.com/contact/
Ross McVinnie says
Contact their support via email and demand a refund and to cancel your membership. I had the same problem but I got my money back.
Chris Leslie says
Thanks for writing this Bobby, really helpful to me!
You bet, Chris. Glad you found it helpful.