The internet is full of guitar instruction courses, each promising to be the magic bullet that flips the switch in your head and turns you from a beginner to a proficient player. One of the courses that seems to appear quite frequently, both in targeted advertising and through mentions on forums is Tyler Larsen’s Guitar Super System on musiciswin.com.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review, we’ll be taking an in depth look at the Guitar Super System to find out whether the lessons are as effective as Larsen claims, and whether they’re captivating enough to hold our attention. Keep on reading as we detail what you can expect from these lessons.
Does It Work?
For those of you wondering whether the Guitar Super System actually works, we can honestly say yes – but – there are better courses on the market, Fender Play, for example.
How is it Structured?
This course closely mirrors the Berklee College of Music guitar degree syllabus, so we can confirm that the information in the lessons is well thought out, and is most importantly, accurate.
There are 8 levels to work through, with each level getting progressively harder. This course front loads the bulk of the theory, which is one of its biggest flaws, in our opinion. While grasping theory is important for progressing as a guitarist, it’s obvious that this course is rooted in academia.
The majority of players looking to learn guitar want fast results, and heavy theory at the beginning of a course is a quick way to lose a beginner’s attention. This isn’t to detract from the quality of the instruction, though. Tyler Larsen is quite personable, and his lessons can be interesting, but we didn’t find that after finishing a session that we were excited to get on with the next.
The best thing about the lessons from Guitar Super System is that the prerequisite knowledge is very clearly stated at the beginning of each session. The instructor lets you know what you should already be comfortable with before starting a session, and that can be really helpful psychologically speaking. The problem is, you don’t get to learn what this underpinning knowledge is until you’ve signed up.
What Format are the Lessons Delivered in?
The lessons are delivered via a web or mobile browser in video format. The interface is quite easy to navigate, and the supplementary materials (PDFs, backing tracks, and videos) are all centrally located, making them easy to find.
Considering the popularity of this course, we were genuinely surprised to find that they don’t have an app. Some of their competitors, Fender Play, for example, offer fantastic mobile apps that monitor your progression through the material, and even feature interactive assessments.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Guitar Super System is reasonably priced, with monthly subscriptions costing $10 a month, recurring. If you pay for the year up front on the annual plan, you’ll get a 60% discount, and pay only $50 for the whole year.
When you consider that the lessons are based heavily on the Berklee Guitar Degree, which has a tuition cost of almost $65,000, it looks even more reasonable.
What Other Online Guitar Courses are There?
There are a few alternative options to the Guitar Super System, we’ve detailed some of the most popular below:
Fender Play is, in our opinion, the best way to learn guitar online. It offers a fantastic structure, with clearly defined paths that are tailored to your favorite genres. Each path will set you up with the fundamentals for that specific style of music, a feature that really sets this system apart.
The lessons are clear and understandable, and like the Gibson app, many of the lessons feature an interactive portion that assesses your understanding of the material by rating our attempt at playing the example songs. The songs featured are broken down into pieces, so you can open just a specific section or riff to learn, without having to scrub through the whole track.
Fender offers a free three month trial with the purchase of any Fender or Squier guitar, or a 7 day free trial if you already own your guitar. Once your free trial is over, you can expect to pay $9.99 a month if you opt for the monthly subscription, or an annual renewal of $89.99 if you choose to pay it all up front. Fender frequently offers significant reductions of up to 50% off annual subscriptions, making it an extremely affordable option.
Guitartricks.com put a lot of money into advertising, which has absolutely helped to raise awareness of their platform. They primarily rely on the gimmick of giving away a “free guitar” to limited numbers of subscribers. The guitar itself is a very cheaply made classical acoustic, but we can still understand why the concept is appealing to those who don’t already own a guitar and who are considering picking up the instrument.
The layout of the lessons feels very much like YouTube. The course structure is such that it feels difficult to measure progress in any meaningful way. Another issue we find with Guitartricks.com is that their videos feel very dated.
They offer 24 free lessons on their website, and they also provide a 14 day free trial, during which time you can access all of their material. Their free guitar offer only stands if you pay for the full year up front, which was $179.99 at the time of writing. If you’d prefer to pay monthly, you can subscribe for $19.95 a month.
The Gibson App
The Gibson App is one of the newest systems on the market. They offer a subscription based product, and use interactivity as their USP, with AI powered lessons, and even virtual jam sessions.
Gibson dipped their toes into online interaction during the early days of the pandemic, offering virtual setup appointments with their luthiers, and they have now followed Fender’s lead with a full service guitar lessons app. The app recognizes input via your device’s microphone, and provides real time feedback on your playing, just like an in-person instructor would.
If you’d like to take a look at the Gibson App without paying, you’ll need to sign up for the free trial – note that the free trial is only available when selecting the annual renewal option, so should you forget to cancel the trial, it will cost $89.99. If you’d prefer to pay monthly, the recurring cost is $14.99.
Guitar Super System has been extremely popular for some time, and its association with the popular YouTube channel, Music Is Win, definitely helps its popularity. What isn’t made particularly clear before signing up is that this course isn’t ideal for day 1 beginners. To get the most out of this course, it’s helpful to have at least a small amount of playing experience.
Ultimately, we’d recommend Fender Play as an online guitar lesson solution for players of all ability levels. It’s one of the most affordable, and in our opinion has by far the best lesson structure.