Parent article: Guitar Tricks Review
Guitar Tricks VS Guitar Mastery Method
Though Guitar Mastery Method has a few redeemable strong points, the marketing tactics, over-priced material, and ambiguous signup process keep it from being any kind of a threat to the consistency and long-standing quality of the Guitar Tricks program.
One of the biggest differences between Guitar Tricks and Guitar Mastery method is the course format and how you pay for content. While Guitar Tricks is a straightforward membership vs no membership, Guitar Mastery Method is purchased course by course, with something called a VIP membership available after the purchase of a single course.
This combines the single course purchased with an upgraded membership, depending on how you set up your account.
For me, it was admittedly a difficult process to decipher clearly.
And while we wouldn't fault Guitar Mastery Method for the complexity alone, it ends up being a lot less content for significantly more money, making the comparison to Guitar Tricks a daunting match-up.
We'll get into the specifics, but first, here's a comparison chart with Guitar Tricks, Guitar Mastery Method, and a couple extra programs.
A Quick Comparison Chart
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Guitar Mastery Method
Guitar Tricks VS Guitar Mastery Method: A Side-by-Side Comparison
In the chart below, we're looking at basic information about the two programs.
Some of the information we're estimating, like the styles covered and total number of lessons in Guitar Mastery Method. It's hard to tell with Guitar Mastery Method because they don't make all that information public and you need to buy multiple courses to know for sure, while we only purchased one.
Still, the critical information in this table like membership numbers, pricing, and free trial info are all accurate.
Memberships as of 2020
3 million +
Free Trial Period
Total Number of Lessons
Roughly 1500 (spread through 15 courses)
Styles (Genres) Covered
$20 per month or $180 per year
$150 per course/$28 per month membership
Guitar Mastery Method markets a free trial by taking a month off the price of a year-long membership.
In effect, this back-loads the free trial and doesn't really let you "try" the program without first paying for a membership.
Guitar Tricks gives you 14 days up front with an opportunity to cancel before being charged. This is an important distinction between the two programs that really hurts the value of the Guitar Mastery Method.
The number of lessons (or videos) on the Guitar Mastery Method site is more of an estimation based on the number of courses they've made available. You have 15 course with roughly 100 videos in each one (there were 100 in the 101 course we purchased).
We should also note here that Guitar Mastery Method has a really robust YouTube presence.
Skill Level, Depth and Challenge
With a much smaller body of content, Guitar Mastery Method has trouble competing with Guitar Tricks in all skill level categories, perhaps with the exception of advanced lessons.
Since Charlie Wallace (Guitar Mastery Method's founder) focuses on a lot of lead rock elements like speed building and soloing, much of the content in his program is a better fit for advanced players trying to improve their shredding game.
The opposite is true of Guitar Tricks, where they strike a balance of serving each skill level effectively.
For beginners, they're a far more ideal choice because of how well they order and prioritize their content. Generally, they're our top choice for beginner guitar lessons, regardless of the comparison being made.
Structure, Design and User Experience
From a user experience perspective, Guitar Tricks again comes out on top because of how their navigation is setup. Almost every course in Guitar Tricks can be taken chronologically, while Guitar Mastery Method separates their courses out into different sections.
The interior navigation for both programs is similar, with each employing a side-bar navigation system for browsing through videos within a particular course.
Interior Course Navigation
Main Menu Navigation
From an aesthetics perspective we like Guitar Tricks better as they've clearly put more thought into the style and functionality of their site design and navigation.
Video Interface Quality and Features
Guitar Tricks videos use a premium Wistia backend while Guitar Mastery Method uses Vimeo.
Both are good servers but the Wistia system setup by Guitar Tricks has more functionality, including speed changing and section looping.
In the earlier lessons for both videos, HD options and video quality take a hit, while there are also some weird audio issues in some of the Guitar Mastery Method lessons.
Slow Down/Speed Up
Full Screen Quality and Pixelation
We prefer the Wistia backend for the added functionality, but Guitar Mastery Method's Vimeo embeds are an acceptable alternative.
Guitar Mastery Method doesn't offer a ton of supplemental material in the course we tested.
Most of the content you'll consume is on-screen and part of the video, thus not available for any kind of download.
We should mention that they have some really good backing tracks on their YouTube channel (linked earlier).
Guitar Tricks will pretty consistently offer tabs and makes their videos available for download as well. If downloadable content is a big sticking point for you, neither program does it as well as TrueFire or JamPlay.
Tabs and Notation
Guitar Pro Files
In their 101 course, Charlie Wallace teaches a lot of the material PowerPoint-style with diagrams and written content on-screen.
Still, it's not technically supplemental since it's part of the video and you can't download it.
Licensed Song Lessons
While Guitar Tricks is well-known for their licensed song lessons, Guitar Mastery Method doesn't really make this a part of their program outside of a small section in the 101 course we tested.
If this is a priority for you, Guitar Tricks is one of the absolute best in this department.
Number of Songs
Sometimes worked into courses
Song Coverage (completeness)
Easy Song Versions
Second Pay Wall
With Guitar Mastery Method you won't see songs as much as you'll see elements of popular music worked into teaching situations.
As a consequence it's hard to compare the two because this is an arena that Wallace hasn't even attempted to enter.
Guitar Tricks wins this final round easily.
Concluding our Guitar Tricks VS Guitar Mastery Method Comparison
Guitar Mastery Method is a decent program.
But they've hurt themselves a lot by the way they've structured their pricing and course catalog. If they did only memberships or reduced the price of a single course, it would increase the value of the program a lot.
Because Wallace is really good guitar player and communicator. His teaching is clear, and his demonstrations are always helpful. But in the ring with Guitar Tricks - a company that has been doing this since 1998 - Guitar Mastery Method just doesn't have enough content to compete.
Couple that with the strange marketing tactics and the high price tag and we have an easy time recommending Guitar Tricks as the superior, higher-value option.
You can check our individual reviews of each program for more info:
If you have questions about our comparison method or about either program specifically, feel free to get in touch via the comments section below.
I'll be happy to jump in and help as much as possible.