Guitar Theory Unlocked Testimonials

Every now and then I get these great little emails from people that have completed the Unlocking I IV V or Guitar Theory Unlocked course, and they’re so encouraging that I thought I’d make a page on the website just for all these stories. Perhaps you’ll find them encouraging too, as you continue on your journey with the guitar! (Unlocking I IV V is the previous version of Guitar Theory Unlocked; they cover the same ground)

Disclaimer: Any testimonials or success stories reflect actual results realized by individual players, and will not necessarily reflect your own experience with the course.

If you’d like your own experience included on this page, please submit one here.

These Lessons Have Helped Thousands Of Guitar Players

This little guitar lesson has quite literally helped thousands of guitar players first understand their instrument better, and second, become better players as a result. Here are just a few of the emails that I’ve received:

“The I-IV-V course was a revelation”

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After a long layoff from playing in high school, I needed an efficient path for really learning the instrument. Learning the music theory and proper techniques for playing chords have moved me along.

The I-IV-V course was a revelation but I also got a lot out of Scales when it came to getting restarted. I have not started DRG yet because I am going through a Riff Ninja course, but it is next in line.

I really appreciate your videos and teaching style. I am close to retirement but not there yet, so my practice time averages around 6 hrs/week. I won't be anyone's success story but the material from playguitar.com and riffninja.com have been well worth the money. (I think you and Colin are collaborators and not competitors but not certain.) I enjoy this exploration and am close to buying an electric. So the reason I have not responded to your requests for feedback comes down to my work and home life and the resultant slow progress. This will improve within the next year or two. I may take a few lessons from a human, face-to-face, and when I do I'll already have the basics in my fingers. And I'll have more intelligent questions. I wish I had never quit playing, but I'm glad I resumed. Thanks.

Michael Watts

“Giacomo A”

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Very refreshing; I like your style of teaching. Good video!! Thanks

Giacomo A

“Don Anderson”

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You are a diamond in the smooth!

I have sped through the Instruction offerings and was very pleased with the eye-opener issues you have clarified (dare I say, "solved"?) for me. I liked the way you developed the "Rule of Thumb" structure, followed by sequentially adding the various items pertaining to Chord formation, I - IV - V protocols and handy-dandy graphic outlines of related positions on the fretboard, etc., etc. You are a unique and very good instructor. I found your demos on the guitar very useful and pleasant.

Thanks again for your great work(s).

Don Anderson

“Peg Wagner”

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I am so pleased with your 1-4-5 lesson. I have purchased lots of guitar/fretboard theory books but only had a vague idea as to how all the concepts were related.

Then I discovered your lesson! The light actually went on and I was able to pull everything together. Now it makes sense and I would like to thank you for doing such a fantastic job.

Peg Wagner

“Guillermo Dardon”

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Out of all the books and videos that I have bought along the years, your method is the easiest one for me. Easy for me to understand and do it. I like the way you do things. I think I will stick with you.

The 1,4,5 method that I bought really opened my eyes and my understanding of it all. Now I am going for the scales... let us see! Very well done! My congratulations to you. A lot of work. Thank you.

Guillermo Dardon

“You're clearing up a lot of questions...”

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I went thru your I-IV-V DVDs. You know, I've picked up the guitar a few years back, after a 40 year hiatus, and started taking lessons from some local guys. They've been trying to teach me the same things, but haven't been nearly as effective as your presentations. I sort of knew the concepts but was still kind of fuzzy because my local teachers were not presenting the material in a way that made sense to me.

Your presentation, though sort of "low-tech" with the markers and white board instead of Powerpoint, I believe was much more effective, probably because you took a lot of time to present the material, which allowed it to sink in better. Hooray for low tech!! I am a big fan of the KISS theory!

Anyway, I look forward to getting your weekly updates. You are clearing up a lot of questions I've always had about the guitar.

Bill Chwala

“Melvin Slater”

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These are really good lessons.

Very well explained

Melvin Slater

“Doug Cahoon”

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I watched the DVD, and it was like someone turned on the light! I began rhythm guitar lessons at age 59. I took lessons for about 18 months... always the same type of lesson. He would teach me the intro of a song... and we wouldn't go any further. Next week, he might start to show me the same song. He never taught me anything about theory! I finally decided that he was an excellent musician, but not a good teacher. I got so perplexed that I thought about quitting... but I'm a stubborn old man!!! LOL I quit taking lessons last April, but I still play almost every day... just because I enjoy it! Your DVD is great!!! I wish I had bought it two years ago!!

Doug Cahoon

“Darren Davey”

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I would like to thank you for putting these courses out simplified and user friendly and good to understand without being too complicated or too expensive.

In my opinion these courses are a must for anyone wanting to learn more with music theory. I've seen a lot of courses, but yours are definitely needed to cut years off learning time.

Darren Davey

“Joe Weeks”

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Honestly, Jonathan, is it really sensible for me to pay £18 for a video on music theory from you? No! I should, and would, happily pay a lot more! With a friendly teacher, and successful merging of beginners and advanced, I would recommend this to anyone! In 2 days I have totally changed as a guitar player, for the better!

Yours Sincerely, a very happy customer

Joe Weeks

“James”

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Jonathan, Great, great job on the 145. I now look and know a lot more about my fretboard then I did. I will in the future get more of your courses. Thanks a lot. Jim

James

“George Johnson”

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Just wanted to say that your I, IV, V has been fantastic for me. Now granted, I am still working through a lot of the material and mating it all together in my head, but none the less it has given me a much better knowledge of the fretboard. I recently picked up the guitar again after too many years away from it, and I have to say... your material is exactly what the doctor ordered. The tips that you have on your blog have been as much of a help as the DVD's. It's become a standard practice of mine to use the material both that you send in email and the material on your blog as practice for the day and through out the week. Your blog has become like having you as a teacher in my living room in the morning before work and again when I get in after work.

I can't thank you enough for what you are doing... you have renewed my confidence in actually being able to master my own technique and playing style. I had started with very limited exposure and instruction in playing guitar years ago... but decided to pick it up again when a recent move turned up a left behind acoustic in my attic, and then coming across your material and exposure to your blog and instruction. I now have 2 acoustics and have gained enough confidence to purchase a Fender Strat to develop my electric guitar playing as I'm more of a rock/metal fan since being a teenager back in the 80's.

That's the beauty of your instruction: I have been able to work with both the acoustic and electric and I am amazed at the progress I have made. I feel that the instruction I have received...both on your DVD and blog... has afforded me the ability to progress much faster and more efficiently than just having a weekly instructor to visit. (Plus I would be hard pressed to find an instructor who would be in my living room at 4:30am while I practice with my morning coffee before work, and then come back at 5pm when I return for more practice... you're always here.)

The thing is, I had felt that playing guitar efficiently would be something that I just would not grasp...especially fret board knowledge and theory... thank you for proving me wrong. The patterns that you define and the theory that goes with it has allowed my brain and my fingers to come together in an understanding that makes everything flow. I have to tell you, playing is one thing... understanding what you're doing... that's the key. Your patterns make what I once felt would be too complex simple to follow and it sticks in your memory. You have given me many AH-HA moments.

Again, thank you for what you're doing, and keep doing what you do, because I couldn't be doing what I'm doing if you didn't. LoL

You're awesome and I greatly appreciate all your doing.

George Johnson

“Anyone can grasp the way you explain things”

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I would honestly say, that I bought BCMS just to complete my collections that you produced such as; Guitar Scale Patterns, I IV V, Bass, and Jam Tracks. But I was really happy that I discovered that I still have a 25% missing in my barre chord playing. Thank you for making my barre chord know how to its completeness.

You are a great teacher, and I am giving you an A++. Your style of teaching is universal that anyone can grasp the way you explain. You really want your students to learn and that is establishing a legacy. I spent on bundles of guitar books and it did not help me at all but one single 4 pages manual that illustrates the music theory in diagram and that is it and you are on your own. But you explained the missing link to me on your Guitar Scale Pattern. Without you I already gave up, it's been three years playing on and of with the scales and it did not do me any good. I asked myself, What is next after learning the scales? I think I am not the only one with that question. I found the answer in the Guitar Scale Pattern and Unlocking 145. Thank you for now and time for me to watch my favourite Decoding the Bass Guitar. My dream, that one day I can play a solo in a 5 or 6 string bass guitar. Thank you again and more power to you.

Joseph Vitug

“I've learned a lot about the guitar”

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Your lessons have helped me learn a lot about the guitar, and how it works. I do not consider myself your average guitar player. I am retired and am 75 years old. This is my hobby, I started playing at 18. At 62 I started playing 2hrs. a day that was in 2009. I have my 10,000 hrs. in and still love learning about the instrument - it is a life long endeavor. I have enjoyed all your courses.

Michael Shattuck

“Every aspect of my playing is improving faster than I ever thought was possible”

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Just a quick note to let you know that I have enjoyed both of your videos immensely.

I have been struggling with the theory aspect of guitar for almost 40 years now.

For the first time in my life, I am starting to make sense of the scales, chords, modes, intervals and how they all relate to one another and work together to make music a fun and enjoyable experience once again.

I have never considered myself to be a person of inferior intelligence, but the confusion that I had with these concepts has led to an endless amount of frustration on my part.

Thank you for taking the time to put this together, and explain it in a way that the average person can understand.

For the first time in my life, every aspect of my playing is improving faster than I ever thought was possible.

Please keep up the good work and keep me informed of any future projects.

Dave Wedra

“Jarad”

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I have been playing for years and have never really got anywhere, as I believe that you need to know the theory side of things to advance. Since I have been learning from your teachings, I believe that I have improved a lot except the thing that lets me down is my finger speed and I get too carried away with things. This is also really helping me teach my young lad as well.

Thanks heaps from Australia QLD

Jarad

“Jeff Russ”

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I am a 57 year old "wanna be" guitar player. I have played around with a guitar since I was 10. Over the years I have taken a few lessons (slow and BORING) and bought TONS of instructional books. Oh sure.....I learned some things... a few riffs, how to play some chords. I could play several of my favorite songs, but I was FAR from comfortable enough to play in a band.

I reached a point when I said to myself, "Where do I go from here? What else do I need to learn to advance my skills and become a REAL guitar player?" Something was missing.

And then I ran across Jonathan's "Unlocking I IV V" and WOW!!! I couldn't believe it! It was like someone had untied my hands and said, "Now listen closely to this guy and learn this... and become a REAL guitar player".

I have learned to do more on the guitar since receiving "Unlocking I IV V", than I have learned in all my 47 years prior! And I've only been using it a few months!!

Don't make the same mistakes I made wasting a bunch of years goofing around. The lessons are intense. You will have to go over them several times to be able to absorb it all. And you will have to PRACTICE. But it works... better than anything I have ever tried before... and oh... did I mention? I'm playing (part-time) in a band now. Life is good 🙂

Jeff Russ

“I understood the language he was using!!”

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Hi Jonathan

I would like to give you some feedback on your I-IV-V course.

Let me begin with how I was very, how do I say, "unsure", about buying another guitar course. I've wanted to learn some theory for a very long time and each time I tried to find material with diagrams, etc, it was confusing. (Especially the ones with the neck diagram with all the dots). I've bought courses in the past, spending what I really shouldn't have spared and was disappointed.

So, I spent time learning chord shapes, teaching myself to play and over the years, I have written many songs, some are even pretty good! But it wasn't easy, always a time consuming effort to find what sounded good with what.

I've watched your I-IV-V go on sale then go off and on and..... finally I bit the bullet and ordered the download version. I began the first video, which started out very basic but I was determined to watch every minute. I really appreciated how you communicated with your viewer. Never in a condescending, "I'm a smokin' hot guitarist and you're not" manner. I got to the "meat" of part 1 and by the end of it I knew I'd already gotten more than I had from all the "chord searching" that I'd done through the years.

I didn't go back to part 1 again for close to a week. I got my diagrams out that you provided, started part 1 again, followed your white board lessons, finished it and went to part 2, finished it. Then I went to a Youtube video (that I got in the email) of some guy talking about George Harrison's "Something" and how it was written, etc and I understood the language he was using!! I retained what you taught in the course!

By the way, this is the second time that you have surprised me......... I bought the download version of Barre Chords and I didn't regret one penny of it! Again, I don't regret one penny of the I-IV-V course!

I would have liked to have gotten more on minor, diminished and augmented (just as you did for the major) and perhaps in the future I can get the course with that information in it but for now, I'm going to use my new found knowledge to continue in my guitar journey.

Thanks, Jonathan and keep up your clear way of teaching!

Sincerely,

Desiree

New Mexico, USA

Desiree - New Mexico, USA

“I'm actually playing instead of flailing now!”

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Hey Jonathan, the two classes I purchased from you were awesome. I'm actually playing instead of flailing now.

Henry Goebel
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The Unlocking I-IV-V course is excellent! Great way to understand what notes make up chords and how to build them. Instruction is very clear and detailed. Also have Bar Chords Made Simple. Same result - Excellent. I have been playing about a year - acoustic guitars - 79 years young.

John Wylie

“I have learned more about playing in the last year with your courses than the previous 40 years”

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Jonathan, I have purchased Unlocking I-IV- V, Guitar Scale Patterns and Bar Chords Made Simple. I bought my first Guitar in 1975. I started with a little Pop and Rock n Roll. Later I moved to Blue Grass. I love playing. But, I must say I have learned more about playing in the last year with your courses than the previous 40 years. Thank you. I would recommend them to anyone.

David Harris

“Tim Kinamon”

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I don't have words adequate enough to say how great this course is. It truly is the "bed rock" you will build on the remainder of your life. It is so clearly and simply shown.

Mr. Jonathan Boettcher is a Master instructor in my view. I'm so happy I found this course. If I were rich I would buy-up the copyrights from Jonathan and distribute this course to everyone who expressed a desire to play a guitar free of charge. Seriously!

Tim Kinamon

“Unlocking I-IV-V taught me a LOT!”

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Thanks a lot! I was kind of a jock in school and didn’t have the patience to read music and had no interest in band. But, I took guitar lessons from a guy that taught basic chords. Didn’t learn much.

Your Unlocking I-IV-V taught me a LOT, along with the keys sheets and jam tracks. Great course!! I have also taken others, one lead guitar course, the guy played so fast I couldn’t keep up. He seemed more interested in showing off. But yours was the best!

I’m now in two praise bands and enjoying it a lot!

Brent Niland

“Delta”

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I wanted to let you know that Unlocking I-IV-V Revealed was like finding the Holy Grail of Music Theory! I have always played guitar but I always wanted to learn how to play the piano. Like so many, I looked at hundreds of How-to-play-piano Youtube videos. I would get bits and pieces on "how to play" piano but never the whole product to put it all together. I gave up and went back to guitar.

One day I took a chance, bought Unlocking I-IV-V Revealed and it was one of those things where the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun came out with the Angelic Hymn! It all came together. I learned what it means when they ask what key a certain song is in, what notes are in that key, the scales, the single notes to play, and the chords to play. I took Unlocking I-IV-V and applied it to piano.

I am now playing and learning all my favourite songs without using blasted sheet music. I can now sit down and just tickle the ivories making my own music by the theories of Unlocking I-IV-V. With your system I can now apply it to any instrument I want to play.

THANK YOU!

Delta

“Thank you for making it possible, exciting, and fun to learn”

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Jonathan: I just wanted to thank you and say how happy I am with your 1-4-5 and guitar scale patterns courses. I started playing guitar when I was 12 - almost 50 years ago - yikes - learned some chords and songs - but was never able to unlock the fret board. I knew a lot of piano theory, but could not extrapolate it to guitar. Never even understood that the fretboard is a bunch of semi-tones which makes the guitar easier than piano in some ways.

Anyway, I stopped playing for decades until this past year when I began to feel a craving for it, especially playing electric lead. I hunted around the internet for instruction - lots of good courses - but couldn't find the right thing for where I am now. My brain can only absorb so much. Eventually I stumbled on the pentatonic pattern and realized this was a piece of the puzzle. Fortunately I discovered your courses and am thrilled - it helps that for 1-4-5 I already understand on some level what we are dealing with - I discovered this pattern when I began, but there is a wealth of information to absorb and apply.

I didn't think I could learn scales and patterns on guitar - it seemed incomprehensible to me. You are a wonderful teacher and I am so happy to finally be learning how to play beyond the level where I stopped so long ago. Learning to integrate some theory with improvisation and expression is my dream and I wanted to thank you for making it possible, exciting, and fun to learn. I have taught subjects in the past that could be considered complicated systems, and so I recognize how artful you have made these courses. I hope you will bring out more of them, although one could review these over and over and keep learning. Please feel free to use this as a testimonial if you want to.

Anyway - you have a wonderful teaching style and I wanted to express my appreciation to you.

Sandra Herkowitz

“Tom”

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I've been playing guitar for over 40 years, learning where to put my fingers to make chords, and learning songs one chord at a time. It's nice to finally know why these notes/chords worked. I tried a private lesson but learned more from your video in a shorter time with less frustration... Thank you.

Tom

“Marcus DeRamus”

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Jonathan, I am 53 years old and took some advice from my father 1 month ago. He said, "Marcus, become something."

With what I have learned in 'Unlocking I-IV-V', I WILL become the guitarist I have always dreamed about. I may work a government job, but my passion is guitar. You are the absolute best in this business of music tutorial. I have taken other lessons and was disappointed greatly but your course is DY-NA-MITE!!!

Let me briefly comment on those who feel music theory is not needed; you're foolish. Music theory is the foundation to becoming a guitarist. Don't be like some of the big-time guitarist today playing the same chords and riffs. Become a real guitarist by taking Jonathan's course. It will change your playing and ultimately change your life.

My dream is to make music for the rest of my life

If you're taking this seriously and want to become a great guitarist, go see Jonathan. Simple and powerful instruction is what he gives.

Great job, Jonathan. I can't wait to move onto the next lesson in scales.

Peace, love and blessings to you and your family.

Marcus DeRamus

“My understanding of the guitar fret board has greatly improved”

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My understanding of the guitar fret board has greatly improved. I have learned scales and how to form chords. I am also learning how to solo!

The 1-4-5 course and the guitar school have been awesome.

Seann Haver

“Rick Hammond”

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I learned more with Unlocking 1,4,5 than during my first year of lessons with a kind of canned approach teacher who taught from one of the music store books. I'm now at age 62 starting to understand the instrument I've played for 40 years.

Rick Hammond

“Helped me to jam - which I could never do before”

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I learned to play the pentatonic scale in A a long time ago however I couldn't relate it to anything until I purchased the Guitar Scales Pattern and Unlocking the Guitar series (jam tracks were a bonus item).

Playing over the tracks has helped me to "jam" which I could never do before. Bouncy Blues is my favorite track as it is in the A key and has a nice easy swing to it. For a relative beginner at lead guitar (I am a 40 year strummer) playing these series + tracks has made my playing much more fun.

Go ahead and purchase - you won't regret it.

Denis McCourt

“"Brilliant!"”

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Hi Jonathan, I found the I IV V course to be brilliant, many people never really get to understand that 80% of classic Pop and Rock songs are made from this chord sequence even though it is right in front of their eyes.

Peter Armstrong

“Joe Clarke "Eco Joe"”

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Dug into the course immediately. Great! Your approach/explanations are excellent. This is the first course that has actually given me a much better understanding of theory. The I,IV,V theory had never been brought to my attention prior to your course. Keep it up. Good work.

Joe Clarke "Eco Joe"

“Steve Hinks”

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Hi mate, I have received the DVDs (I bought both I, IV, V and scale patterns), both have been extremely helpful. I have played guitar for about 7-8 years but had always been happy to just bang out the pubs favorite tunes playing rhythm. I knew the basic pentatonic scale but wasn't interested in playing lead - to be honest the fret board was a bit too intimidating. That has all now changed. I "get" the fret board and for the first time I really appreciate how cool an instrument the guitar really is!

When watching your DVD I thought I knew pretty much everything you were talking about but listened anyway. What I learned was that I didn't actually know it - I'd heard others talk about it and thought I knew. Now I can join in the conversation and more importantly I can join in the jam!!!

Yesterday my wife (a singer) came into the living room and said "you actually sound half decent now!"

Simply awesome! Thanks heaps.

Steve Hinks

“Randy Selby”

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Jonathan I watched both lessons yesterday!! They were awesome!! I have never studied theory and the Unlocking I IV V lesson was fascinating and I learned a lot!! Being over here in the Middle East I was glad I got the DVDs at home before I left again!! I really got a lot out the scale lesson also!! The fretboard makes a lot more sense!! Now it's not blank but more like a canvas I can explore and expand while improving my playing!!

My resolution for this New Year was for the first time to really understand so I could really play!! Not play but have a better understanding of my instrument and music theory as a whole!! I can't wait to re-watch them!! It's great because now I have the tools I need to be able to play like I've always wanted to!! Also the up down strumming was also informative!! I'd never realized how important it was to vary your strumming!! Thank you so much forth the lessons and all the great website info and email lessons!! You are a remarkable teacher and I thank you!!!

Randy Selby

“Tom Murray”

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Jonathan, that lesson in the I IV V about this made things SO much clearer. I have a good grasp on the major scale but was hitting a wall with the minor. This opens a door for me. I love logic! Thanks, Man.

Tom Murray

“Dale Magnin”

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Wonderful course!!!! I watched the I, IV, V course 3 times and each time I learned more. Thank you!!! I can see this a great continuation and an extremely helpful course.Wonderful course!!!! I watched the I, IV, V course 3 times and each time I learned more. Thank you!!! I can see this a great continuation and an extremely helpful course.

Dale Magnin

“Renewed my interest in the guitar!”

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Before I-IV-V, I had never learned any type of guitar theory (or musical theory for that matter). I had mostly just taught myself the chords, one minor scale, and some simple songs, but did not understand why they were what they were or why certain chords/notes went together better. I-IV-V has helped me to start understanding this and has renewed my interest in the guitar. It seems so much easier now.

Russell Moore

“Very Helpful”

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Thank you, Jon. Your laid back teaching style is very helpful in my learning of the guitar, and how music in general works. I look forward to the CD!

Eddie Duffy

“Perry Aabo”

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I have looked at many online "learn Guitar Over-night" courses and have to say that the courses offered at PlayGuitar.com are very well laid out, easy to follow, and relevant to the material at hand. I have purchase most of the coursed offered and find them worth the money and time investment. Thank you!

Perry Aabo

“Diane Wood”

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This was absolutely a wonderful course. I had been struggling with chords, and now I am glad to say this helped me with the fret board and all the chords. I appreciate getting this cheat sheet 🙂 Thank you, Diane

Diane Wood

“I have never gotten so much for so little before”

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In trying to define the value of the lesson your basic course in fret knowledge provided, my first thought was, I don't know the full value yet. This eye opening, easily understood, basic understanding is like learning where a light switch is in a dark room. What that light has helped me find already is amazing and what's still in the dark room yet to be discovered is just a matter of time and effort away. The more I look at what I'm doing the more I see why it all works. I can't say it enough how worthwhile this simple course has been. I have never gotten so much for so little before. A value that delivers a one time benefit is all well and good, but a value that continues to deliver forever is truly hard to find.

I'm an unemployed low voltage electrician (fire alarm specialist ) living in Michigan.... if you can call this living. LOL Your lesson has given me a challenge I desperately needed. It may well prove to be a life saver of sorts... a sanity save for sure. All for under 30 bucks.... quite a bargain.

Tim Sommer

“Nancy Burns”

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I am in my late 60's and I started with classical guitar lessons about 2 years ago. I really love it, but it isn't quite as easy as I thought it would be!! Wanting to have more fun with the guitar, I joined a jamming group which I love. That's where the 1-4-5 comes in handy. I wouldn't know what to do without it. Now I want to know how and why, that's where the theory comes in.

I found your DVD excellent. You did a great job of explaining everything clearly. I am still trying to grasp it all. It gets a little complicated at the end, but I only watched it once so far, but I took lots of notes. It seems easier to have notes in front of me. Anyway, it was money well spent. Thanks!!

Having fun with my guitar and loving every minute of it!!

Nancy Burns

“Chuck Housand”

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I bought 1-4-5 and Guitar Scale Patterns as a Christmas present to me. Both are real good and I have learned a lot from them.

I enjoy your e-mails and vids, so please keep them coming. I am 48 and been "fiddlin' " around with the guitar since I was 14 and was content with strumming a few chords before bedtime. However, after hearing a coworkers CD of his band's music recorded in his apartment, I decided to take my playing to the next level and teach myself to play better and make a recording of my own brand of music on my computer.

I trusted your 1-4-5 and GSP for my theory angle of attack. I have always knew this is what was holding me back from being a casual strummer to being center stage (well at least for the church praise band). After viewing your courses, I am amazed how simple you present music theory. I have learned a lot and know that this knowledge will put me over the hump in my quest to be a better, more skillful guitar player. Hopefully, I will "make the band" and make those home recordings with some screaming solos from the A minor pentatonic scale!!

Thanks again for making these videos.

Chuck Housand

“"Eye Opening"”

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Just learning the 1 4 5 relation was eye opening enough. I never knew and yet I saw the same chords in the same songs. DUH. It's a good course.

As far as theory... well I have learned a lot. APPLYING it is the challenge for me. Mostly its my own lack of practice. I have learned a great deal from you and Colin. Thank you both.

Tim Yslas

“Malcolm Hart”

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Thanks for the lesson on I IV V. I have been playing guitar for 20 years and this is something that I knew I didn't know, and it has been hindering my songwriting ALOT.

I've tried to learn it from guitar books, theory books, and jamming with other more experienced guitarists. I just thought I was "theory-challenged" in this area.

Even through I knew 70% of what you said in your video - the 30% that I learnt has already made a huge difference. Especially the strings being tuned in 4ths, the I,IV,V patterns in the scales on the fret board, the minors 3 semi tones down from the I, IV, V progressions... this stuff was all pure gold to me.

I immediately tried this out on the guitar and came with a new song in about 5 minutes flat - it is just what I have been looking for.

Your down to earth style is refreshing and engaging. You are doing a very good thing here and I wish you all the best inspiring and educating many web guitarists. I have signed up for your guitar tips weekly and am already about to watch your session on how to transpose with a capo - something I have never been able to figure out even with much trying......I look forward to it.

Malcolm Hart

“Denis McCourt”

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I am at the moment reading through JB’S Guitar Chord Secrets which is an online instruction book. This is a great book and it covers all the stuff included in your 1, 4, 5 and Guitar scale patterns courses which I purchased from you recently. Down the years I have bought guitar books galore but never quite got anywhere. Your courses opened the door for me and a big help is the visual screen help where I can see and hear what is happening as opposed to ploughing my way through instructions in a book. I am able to increase my competence because although I knew a lot from years of reading instruction books, I just could not get it until I discovered your courses. You also have a nice easy manner and this helps. In addition, of course I am semi-retired and I have more time.

Denis McCourt

“You broke down the mysterious fretboard and made learning easy.”

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Where were you when I wanted to learn to play the guitar forty years ago? I know, you weren't alive. Previous instructors made the process hard, or maybe it was my attention span. Either way, I've come farther in two months now that I understand the patterns than I did in many years of trying, getting frustrated, and quitting. You broke down the mysterious fretboard and made learning easy. At fifty five, a great regret was never learning to play the guitar. Because of you and your program I am on the way to erasing that regret from my life. This may sound overstated, but I assure you, it is not.

Thomas Hill

“I seem to be getting better!”

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I have been playing for a long time and could always get by. Now you have given me a lot more tools and knowledge to bring me to a higher level that seemed to have not been obtainable before. I am playing more and seem to be getting better. As well as not so frustrated.

Bob Lutzkow

“Ray Dempsey”

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I got energetic and did your I-IV-V course this evening.

Wow! What insight, and simply taught without any frills, and immediately applied to the fretboard which gave me an incredible understanding of the guitar. I have lots of homework.Looking forward to the Scales course, but will explore the I-IV-V for a bit longer first.

Much thanks.
Ray

Ray Dempsey

“Dan Frick”

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I just wanted to let you know that your video has already helped me tremendously in understanding how the notes and chords relate to one another. I've been playing guitar for 37 years and never understood the concepts that you've taught in Unlocking I-IV-V. A friend of mine tried to explain it to me several years ago but I never "got it" until now. I feel confident that the knowledge you've given me will open up an entire new world for me in playing guitar. Your lessons are excellent!!! Thanks and I'm looking forward to becoming a better guitar player through your lessons.

Dan Frick

“Stefan Windroth”

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Your video was rough, the info was invaluable, and your follow up is most impressive. I am a guitarist who accompanies himself (myself) in order to sing. The first frets of my Yamaha Classical guitar are worn out. But that is as far as I can go. I love the theory that you have handed to me so that I can build a scale and figure out the relevant chords to any song. I will be back, but I am still assimilating. I want more. I have been playing with my guitar for about ten years and I can cheat, but I know that I can be a better cheater... The things that you teach are invaluable. I am willing to go farther with you.

I love the theory that you have handed to me

“Barb Myers”

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I have noticed, and my friends have noticed, an improvement in my playing and in my confidence. Thanks. I love music and being able to play music really brings the experience full circle.

Barb Myers

“Shyam Rajan”

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I really enjoyed the lesson. It was well structured, covered a lot of ground and did it at the right pace with an equal mix of whiteboard and guitar. I gained a lot of insights, especially coming from a completely different music system (the raga based Indian one) and I look forward to your future lessons. I Like the emails with additional snippets such as this one as well.

Great job and I look forward to the next lesson I am going to buy.

Shyam Rajan

“Dale Hodgson”

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I received the DVD and have already reviewed it twice. Found it very useful. I learned guitar as a kid and played rhythm guitar in a country band, but never learned any theory. I now play just for my own enjoyment and some sing alongs so I need to be able to pick out chords for new songs. Your DVD is a great help and of course your folksy style is entertaining.

Dale Hodgson

“It will make me a much better player”

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The Unlocking I IV V lesson has taught me a lot about my guitar, after viewing the lesson once and taking notes I am already memorizing each note on the fret board, learning the major and minor scale patterns, understanding which chords work well together and which keys they go together in. I'm glad I invested in this lesson and I think throughout the years of applying this to my playing it will make me a much better player.

Austin Wilson

“At 60 I’m feeling young again!”

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I’m a bass player and the Unlocking 1 4 5 was awesome for me. I wish I’d had this guy around in the late 60’s early 70’s. Learning would’ve been so much more fun and less time consuming than the stop and go method (start the record, then stop the record to learn a song). I’ve now ventured into learning rhythm guitar. At 60 I’m feeling young again!

Billy Lanier

“TwoDogs Durham”

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You filled a gap in my music theory that was missing for a long time. I had known about the 1-3-5 rule to make up a specific chord (A cord uses notes 1-3-5 to make up a chord), and I knew about the 1-4-5 rule to select the basic 3 chords in a key. But I no idea they made up a specific pattern on the guitar neck. I wondered how other guys learned those scales!

It's not going to make me a better guitar player overnite, but it has eliminated the reason I gave up trying to play solos.

Thanks for the tip on the minor scales, that's way too simple. The barre chord info also helped with my minors.

TwoDogs Durham

“Invaluable!”

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I've purchased most of your courses and have found them invaluable. I've advanced my guitar playing ability from Learner through to Intermediate. Although I don't play in a band, I jam regularly with friends and they have noticed the improvement particularly with my soloing.

Thanks so much to you for your highly instructional courses and jam tracks.

Chris Katene

“The best that I have ever seen”

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These lessons that you have prepared are the best that I have ever seen.

For once I am getting it! Nice going!!

Don Thronburg

“Paul Costanza”

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I just finished the entire lesson plus the extra videos and will likely revisit some of them again to be sure I caught everything. I can’t say I totally understand it all but it did make lots of things clearer. I’ve been playing for more than 35 years and taught myself and play mostly by ear and now I’m wanting to learn more. I’ve already started practicing much more each day and have seen improvement. It’s my hope that my jam sessions with friends will become more enjoyable the more I practice and learn.

I can say that you do break things down in much easier to understand terms and don’t spend time on slashing but on learning techniques and for that, I thank you very much.

I look forward to your email tips as well. Thanks for the good work and your time.

Paul Costanza

“Pete Heino”

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I picked up the guitar about a year ago with the intention of finally learn to play it. The guitar had been sitting there in the corner for maybe fifteen years, silently accusing me for not putting in the effort to learn to play. Anyway, after a year of going through countless YouTube lessons and luckily a few lessons with a teacher, I wanted to learn something about the music theory. Especially when it comes to playing guitar. After watching your 1-4-5 lesson several times now I really feel that it gave me a good basic understanding on which to learn more. I had read about scales and chords in the books but never really got to grasp the basics. After your thorough explanation even the books seem clearer now.

I've only gone through the patterns lesson once so far. I like your easy going way of presenting the information and am looking forward to learning more about the patterns. I do feel that the combined offering of these two lessons around the New Year's was a real bargain.

I hope that these wishes actually reach you and not just the marketing guys. I wish you a good spring season!

Pete Heino

“Glenn W.”

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I enjoyed the Unlocking I-IV-V lesson so much that I vowed I would get more lessons from you. So today I purchased the Guitar Scales Lesson. I'm "Hungry to learn the scales". Over the years, I purchased many lessons from so called Guitar guru's but they always left me stranded with their inability to teach clearly. I would then become frustrated, throw their lessons in a corner and look for the next guitar tutor. It is my firm belief that YOU are the best tutor for learning the Guitar Theory.

Thanks Jonathan... Teaching the guitar is your gift, keep up the great work.

Glenn W.

“Very Helpful”

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I really found your Unlocking I IV V course very helpful, especially running through it 2 or 3 times, over a couple of weeks. It is amazing how much you pick up the second or third time you watch them. Once again many thanks.
Regards, Alan

Alan Main

“Marion”

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I got both lessons, and the theory was very easy to understand. I can find almost any scale on the guitar now!! Now I just have to get the fingering down.

Marion

“This worked better for me than all the books I’ve bought previously combined”

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Just thought to drop a quick reference of Jonathan’s courses for anyone thinking of investing in them to improve their playing and deepen their guitar playing experience.

You know, I’ve bought all kinds of books that teach basic theory and riff examples for guitar in the past. They had their value for sure, but the two things I’ve bought from Jonathan gave me a leg up on creating and interpreting music; they've worked better for me than all the books I’ve bought previously combined. One four five, and guitar patterns. Very simple yet really effective for enjoying and understanding the guitar.

Jonathan is not a rip off artist looking to capitalize on the guitarist who longs to improve and deepen their guitar fretboard flexibility. His courses are inexpensive but really all you need. He understands that a very basic but thorough understanding of guitar theory is needed to enjoy one’s guitar experience.

Thanks Jonathan. You’ve really helped me out by giving me the tools to launch my creativity and bolster my confidence. You’re an honest man.

Bernard Fram

“Thank You For Teaching A Faster Way”

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Jonathan, thank you for teaching a faster way. I'm 54 years old and picked up the guitar after many years and a few kids. I wanted a way to speed things up because, well, I'm 54 and I wanted to become reasonably good and not spend too much time on semantics. So, anyway, thanks a lot!!

John Belcastro

“Chuck Kiger”

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Well, it took me a while but I finally made it through both of your CDs, “Unlocking I - IV - V", and "Scale Patterns". I have been playing for over 40 years, and am something of an accomplished fingerpicker (Chet Atkins style). While my favorite is country, I also enjoy playing some of the classical pieces by people like Mendelssohn, or Schubert, and to be honest I wasn’t certain I could learn much from a beginners course, but I felt it was worth a try.

Actually, I was wrong.

Old dogs can be taught new tricks, IF they are willing to admit they don’t know everything.

Having spent several hours with your material I was very pleased, and found quite a few tips which I’m sure will be helpful. In my opinion the good thing about your course is that it will help the raw beginner as well as the experienced player, especially with your emphasis on scales.

Congratulations on a job well done, and keep the special tips coming. I enjoy them.

Chuck Kiger

“The fretboard has a whole new meaning now.”

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Thought I'd tell you how your course has helped me out. The fretboard has a whole new meaning now. I understand how the major scale relates to the chords you can play in a key. It feels good to know that I can much more freely play the guitar without feeling "in the dark" in regards to how notes work together. You said that the course has a "multiplying effect" on one's playing, regardless of the skill level. I must say that is absolutely true. I am quite satisfied with the course and all of the material in it. Thanks.

Justin Berilla

“Andrew Kelly”

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Hi from an Australian that lives in New Zealand.

I've read your posts for at least a year and have enjoyed the humour. I finally bought one of your courses, Unlocking I IV V.

As an accountant, I'm glad I can now relate to guitar numerically. Have enjoyed first part of the course so thanks for that.

Andrew Kelly

“These courses have helped me”

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It's great getting info from different angles, and these courses have helped me understand more about playing about my guitar.

Ed Rounds

“Mike Demars”

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I received the DVD, but have only had time to view about half of it. You have a way of making Greek sound like English as far as music theory goes. I always get very bogged down and frustrated with music's nuts and bolts, but you have unlocked some stuff for me that I've just not been able to grasp until now. I've never aspired to be Al DiMeola or John McLaughlin, but just want to have a basic understanding of the guitar and a bit of the how and why, so thanks!

Mike Demars

“Beau Wolfe”

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This lesson is true to its name. It really unlocked what I’ve been missing after playing for nearly 24 years. Now I understand keys. I’ve been trying to figure this out for years and asking people how to do it. This lesson finally gave me what I was missing. It has a lot packed it. Takes a while for it to sink in, but now I’m creating instead of memorizing!

Beau Wolfe

“Keith Watkins”

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I just wanted to compliment you on the excellent course I recently purchased (Unlocking I-IV-V). I have been through it 3 times now and still get something more out of it each time.

Keith Watkins

“Made clear for the first time!”

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I'm a classical guitarist of over 45 years. As I approach retirement I am learning jazz guitar. I've always read music but not really taken note of the chords being formed. Your course has really helped to identify and reinforce the chords being played in ANY KEY. I've seen this promise in other instructional videos and books, but I've always been left wondering where this gem of information was. Your instruction has made this clear for the first time.

Many thanks indeed. Well worth the price of admission!

Graeme Chandler

“stanley”

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I am self taught. Just this year I picked up the guitar after 30 years of not playing. This 1-4-5 is going to change how I play now. Just scraped the surface but moving on!

stanley

“My playing has improved greatly!”

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My playing has improved greatly, and still am improving. I am very excited about learning how to understand the fret board and to play scales and bar chords. You lessons are awesome - they work if you are determined and practice, as well as go over them often!

1-4-5 and Scales.

I also purchased the bass course to help me understand the difference with bass and lead!

Seann Haver

“Barry Lusita”

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Thanks for the info. I have heard several of those names: tonic, subtonic, mediant, etc because I read a lot of the guitar magazines and you're right - it's usually the more formally trained and experienced that use those names. I was always thinking what the hell are they talking about hahaha, so thanks for clearing that up for me.

I have watched and studied the Unlocking One Four Five and I have to thank you for the lesson. I knew when I saw you advertise it that this is a lesson I desperately needed to purchase because I can play but I had no idea why I can play this chord with that chord or why I can't play this note and that note etc etc... and Unlocking One Four Five has answered all that and then some.

I really enjoy playing a whole lot more because now I am not thinking so much when I'm playing, I'm just playing and enjoying it. I would have bought this lesson a lot sooner but I am only working part time right now and my wife and I just had a baby girl, so times are a bit tough but the lesson was worth every dollar. Thanks again.

Barry Lusita

“It's so simple!”

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I own the I, IV, V course, and my biggest takeaway was how simple the idea was to understand and to start using. Once I learned the idea that the root note of the progression was I, counting to IV and V was easy. If "A" is I then "D" is II and "E" is III. I used this information to transpose music so that I could play it.

Darwin Peterson

“My knowledge has improved considerably thanks to you!”

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My knowledge has improved considerably thanks to you!

I have unfortunately for me started later in my life, I find some challenges in doing so but slowly I am gaining some ground, I like the way you explain things in a common sense way, thanks Jonathan.

Mark Stephenson

“I learned a few new tricks”

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I started out with the I IV V course, it was a great refresher. Got the jam tracks, Rock and Blues, and am digging them a lot. Very good for getting used to a band setting, or just to keep us old players 'sharp', and learned a few new tricks (never stop learning, you're dead if you can't learn anything new).

Thanks man, these really help explore stuff so I don't waste time screwing around in a real jam setting, which makes at least the drummers I know very happy. Peace out and Rock on brother!

James M.

“Alvin Campbell”

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I think your lesson was great! I'm a poor excuse of a bass player and am trying to do all I can to become a good bassist. I figured that if I learned a little about the guitar it would help.

I subscribe to Dolphin Street and your lesson was highly recommended by them. Let me say that I wasn't disappointed at all. Your lesson didn't claim to make me a Guitar God overnight (and it didn't), but it did "unlock the I - IV - V" for me. I pretty much knew what you taught in Part I, but I still came away with a better understanding or reassurance of what I already knew.

Part II is the bomb! I never quite understood that Tone, Tone, Semi Tone...thing until I watched you go through it. I caught it the first time through. However, I watch the video over and over to make sure I have it in memory. And I can't get over how easy it was to understand what you taught about chord structure and major, minor, diminished chords, etc.

I'll never leave the bass, but I'm going to try to learn the guitar now. You have a way of making your lessons understandable unlike any "help" that I've ever received.

One thing I've noticed already is that I was able to apply the number system to assist in learning a song that I needed to learn for yesterday. I saw the pattern (I-V-VI-IV) and learned the song in a matter of a few minutes. It usually takes me hours of listening... stopping the music to find the notes... slowing the tune down with Transcribe...very time consuming.

I guess you can tell that you have helped me out tremendously. Thanks man! You are making a huge difference in making this music thing fun for me. I had actually quit playing for over twenty years because it had become too much like work rather than something that I could enjoy.

Sorry to go on and on. Thanks for everything. Hope you enjoy the holiday.

Alvin Campbell

“I think you are doing the world a favour”

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I have been playing guitar since I was 16 when I bought an acoustic guitar. I had it for about 12 years when it was destroyed in a vehicular accident. I have played in bands all my life until I gave up that life at the age of 62 or last year. I am the music director at the Jack Young Centre, a drop in place for people over 50.

But you want to hear what I think about your lesson? Well, if I had know about this 1, 4 and 5, thing before, it would have saved me a lot of heartache and many a sore finger. I'm looking forward to downloading the second lesson. I think you are doing the world a favour.

I teach keyboard to older people but now I use the 1-4-5 way and my students are being told by other piano players and keyboardists that they shouldn't be that far advanced in their playing. They are also being told that they shouldn't be learning the things they are learning and understanding at that point. It is usually more advanced students who learn those things.

So thanks!

Terry Pickles

“Rick”

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Jonathan, you caught me, man! I started to get into the bass tutorial then realized I hadn't given One Four Five and Guitar Scales enough time, so I crunched those and I will start the bass class soon. Your 1/4/5 and scales video lessons are fantastic. It has given me renewed interest in music theory and I am enjoying it! Most helpful to me is the blank fretboard sheets and being able to see keys on paper when I am composing. I find I have much more in my bag of tricks to work with. Sometimes tunes just pop out of the paper! I will get back to you when I finish the bass tutorial! Thanks for all you do!

Sincerely,

Rick

Rick

“Robert 'Stan' Campbell”

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I found unlocking I IV V to be both enlightening and helpful. A bit deep at times, but necessarily so. The 1-3-5 rule, and the 7 letter rule were especially handy.

Robert 'Stan' Campbell

“After going through the exercises... I GET IT!”

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Hi Jonathan, I have had my first run through the course and true to your assertions, after going through the graphs and doing a few exercises with them, I GET IT. For the first time after playing for 30 years I can really understand the logic of chord makeup. I have in the past made up the odd chord (usually by accident) because it seemed to sound good....now, using the chart, HEY PRESTO I can use those "bodgy" chords with confidence.

As for diminished and augmented...I just didn't have a clue. I am going to spend more time on it and I am sure there will be several more revelations hiding there as well.

So, thank you. Well done!!!

Shaun Costello

“Jerry Jeter”

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I just finished the I, IV, V DVD and definitely found it easy to understand and helpful!! I want to thank you for uncovering an essential part of learning the guitar. What you have done is cut down the time it takes to get to the eventual goal, which is having fun, making music and securing knowledge. Thanks again!!

Jerry Jeter

“Annie R.”

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Hi Jonathan! I am a pretty new guitar player, so your video was at a good level. The theory behind how something works has always been interesting to me. I have watched Unlocking I-IV-V two times now, and it is making a lot of sense and answers many questions I have had. I like your seemingly unrehearsed way of teaching - it gives time to let what you say sink in! Thank you for your efforts; I am very glad that I ordered the video. I benefit from your weekly lessons too.

Annie R.

“So much value it blew me away!”

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Bar chords are my biggest intimidation and understanding how guitar player go all over the fretboard especially when soloing

I was gifted your unlocking I-IV-V CD course and just finished it. And I must say I learned so much valuable basic knowledge it blew me away. I can now figure out all the notes in a key without a cheat sheet and really understand why chord finger patterns are how they are. To understand the "why" and "how" of something truly unlocks limitless potential to improve. Thank you for making such a mysterious language to me into something so simple.

I plan to get other courses soon. Bar chords are next🙂

My goal is to play some great blues tunes in the near future and I now have hope that is a real possibility

Thank You

Dale King - Van Buren, Arkansas

“Herminio Cruz”

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Good lesson and explanation! These really help a lot to someone, a novice, like me! Can you add the captions too? It is just a recommendation, and that is, for those, like me, that their english is their second language.

Herminio Cruz

“I've been strumming guitar for over 30 years and yesterday was the first time I understood "what" I was strumming.”

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Jonathan, Thanks so much for doing this...

Boy am I glad I ordered the DVDs well as downloading it. I watched it and felt like I was in a college classroom studying Music Theory and how it pertains to the guitar. I know I've only listened to it once, but I will be studying it a lot. You brought it down to my level... I've been strumming guitar for over 30 years and yesterday was the first time I understood "what" I was strumming.

I appreciate the hard work you put into your videos and I want to let you know that they are helping somebody finally get the hang of it. I was listening to the radio and couldn't help but want to transcribe the songs as I listened to them. The only problem was I was driving. LOL.

For a young man and a white board you do a fine job... keep 'em coming!

You are so good at what you do... not just the instruction you provide and sell, but to review others' material and offer it through your site. I know you are successful with your business model.

I dream of being able to sit and jam... I am learning the boxes and notes and scales... I just am not ready to break out and improvise. Your I-IV-V video has helped a lot. Thanks again for providing that program (plus you got to use your new white board) LOL.

Keep this going, you are helping a lot of people just like me and I speak for them, too!

Beaux Patrick

“My Playing Has Improved Greatly!”

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My playing has improved greatly since I began your lessons. I am enrolled in several courses and alternate as the mood strikes me. Most push me and require a lot of time and work, but that's good. I also do my own thing on occasion, which eats away at the clock. I'm retired so that's okay. My favorites, so far, are the Unlocking I-IV-V and the Secrets of Tasty Riffs & Solos. Both are packed with good stuff. On your recommendation, I will probably take on the Riff Ninja Guitar School too.

Ron Barrick

“Andy Fox”

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The I, IV, V vid is great! I never could grasp the concept of what "key" a song was in or what to do when I do know the key. Your vid is an eye opener on that. Thanx!

Andy Fox

“Your videos have helped more than you can imagine”

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Jonathan, I played guitar years ago and just recently started playing again. In the past when I played I knew what I was playing, but not why I was playing it. I have been studying the I,IV,V theory a little, the circle of fifths. I am trying to understand that along with learning the fretboard. Your videos have helped more than you can imagine. I feel like I have my own tutor.

Robert Stiles

“John Stimmel”

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The I-IV-V video was an extremely helpful tool for me. I have been playing approximately 20 years and had not really ever progressed much in my understanding. I kind of understood the 1-4-5 connection but was never able to know exactly where I was going with the minors depending upon which key I was in. Your video made it so clear to me and gave me an easy way to know quickly no matter what key I was in. Next up for me will be the soloing video.

John Stimmel

“Explains what I've wanted to know for years!”

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Just like to say a big thanks; at last a lesson that explains what I've been wanting to know for years and in a simple format. Brilliant! I'm still eager to learn more of the theory, especially the way you teach it. I didn't take advantage of the special offer when I purchased this as I didn't know what to expect. If I'd known how good it was I would have!

Brian

“Sid Toa”

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I – IV – V had unlocked and resolved some of the confusion I had with finding notes and chords.

You are absolutely right, I like to teach myself a few tricks but after many years of experiments you just made it simple. I had a few days of fun and it will last forever now!!!

Sid Toa

“Most Excellent”

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This is not a question but rather an acknowledgement of developing quality materials.

I am retired and volunteer teach guitar to at-risk school kids. I select a couple each year and lend them a student guitar that they can then own after good grades and behavior at school for one year as they let me tutor them academically.

While I play adequately and teach marginally, I am terrible at lesson planning. Borrowing ideas/techniques from your courses has made all the difference.

You have helped to turn several students around to achieving academic success and personal growth.

Thank you for this assist.

Mike Lebkicher

Mike Lebkicher

“Wayne Dyer”

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I was wondering about the minor. Knowing how a scale is built has helped a lot as far as understanding the fret board. Now I'm practicing a few scales and trying to mix them in with chord playing. Learning scale and notes is almost like starting over but it certainly has broadened my playing.

Wayne Dyer

“Tony B”

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I loved it, it opened up my eyes.

Tony B

“Eric”

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I really enjoyed the lesson. I have gone thru the theory stuff before but it cleared a lot of stuff for me.

Eric

To learn more about the Guitar Theory Unlocked course, 
please click here.