Feedback is the answer
Learning to do anything on your own, without expert guidance, can be a hit or miss experience. Certainly it will be a slower process. Traditional lessons, where the student shows up once a week to see the teacher, have worked well for centuries. However, in this high-tech internet age, many students are left solely to their own devices as they attempt to learn new skills. And many students are not getting valuable feedback.
You may never need this, but if you do...
Frankly, you may do very well relying on the input of your spouse, your own ear, your buddies down at the local jam, or just your gut feeling. I am cool with that. But, if you have some specific questions you want to ask me personally--something I said in a video or something I wrote in an ebook that just didn't click--then you have this service to turn to.
Or, you may have been chugging along for six months or a year and just want to get my opinion on how you sound. I'll do that. You might have a band put together and just want to play a few tunes and send them my way for some honest appraisal. I can do that. Mostly, I just want you to know that, if you are using my material to learn, this service is available should you ever think you need it.
Who is this fellow called “they”?
Often students will consult the tribal wisdom of people who populate online forums in hopes of getting some guidance and sound advice. Unfortunately, many of the most active forum posters--the quickest to reply to calls for advice--will give you “the answer” but you have no way of knowing if they know what they are talking about.
There is some good advice in there (sometime I even chime in with my two cents worth) but the noise level and confusion is deafening. You may come away not knowing much more than what you started with. They might be right. They might be wrong. How can you know for sure? How much real experience do they have? How do their hours of online typing skills compare to their hours of practice, rehearsals, stage performance and teaching?
If you are one of my online students (someone who has purchased my video lessons, ebooks, or are using my free online material) I am going to propose an idea that you will find hard to refute. Let me state it in the form of a question:
Who is best qualified to answer your questions about a Bradley Laird video lesson or ebook?
Not that other’s opinions and ideas are not valid. Of course, some of them are. But, if you are studying MY lessons, it is perfectly logical that I am the one who can best help you understand them and get the most out of them. Does that make sense?
I have known for a long time that books, CDs, videos, etc. are a great advancement forward in learning to play music. I have dedicated a huge part of my life to creating these things. I didn’t have such resources when I started learning to play.
We are all very fortunate that these new communication channels exist! But, I know and you know that there is a missing element! The online content creator cannot see you, cannot hear you and you can’t ask any questions. That is a big problem.
These new technologies make it difficult for the teacher to know anything about the student. That is a hurdle which I want to overcome.
To solve this problem I created the Personal Feedback Solution.
Here is how it works:
1. You learn by studying my ebooks or videos.
2. You get my feedback on your progress and suggestions of possible changes.
3. You try the modifications and, if they improve your playing, you continue learning new things.
Alone, without personal feedback, here is how it goes:
1. You learn by studying my ebooks or videos.
2. You have no idea if you are doing things well but you forge ahead. Might be right, might be wrong. How can you know? And what did he mean when he said “blah blah blah blah blah” in that second video?
3. You move ahead, possibly saddled by bad habits, quirky techniques, and misunderstood ideas. Or maybe you give up and lay the whole idea aside.
I don’t want you to do that! I want you to learn to play and become a real musician. I didn’t create all of this stuff to help you fail! As I always say to my private lesson students “It is a lot more fun to REALLY PLAY than to wish you could play.” I really want you to learn to play!
In order to participate in my PFS system you must be using my materials. If you are presently learning using some other teacher’s materials I encourage you to continue and to ask them for advice. They know their material best and I know mine best.
In order for me to help you you need to be already using my books and videos. You need to study them for at least a week and then sign up for my Personal Feedback Solution. Here are the requirements to begin:
You are ready if you have done ONE of these things...
Can I sign up right now?
You can. But it helps me help you if you have formulated some questions first. In fact, as you work with my materials for a week or so, it is a good idea to WRITE down your questions, thoughts, things that puzzle you, feelings, etc. If you just downloaded my materials (any of them) you aren’t quite ready to ask questions.
So, you have met the requirements and want to know how the process works? Read on.
What happens when I use the Personal Feedback Solution?
There are several ways we can communicate but a video from you is probably the best way I can think of. I need to get your questions, I need to see you play and I need to hear you before I can offer my suggestions and advice.
Note: I will keep your video private if you choose. I know I wouldn’t want the whole world seeing me play if I just started.
The basic process is pretty simple. You will jot down your questions and thoughts and then make a video. You can shoot it using your iPhone or with your computer. Then you send me the video. (Explained below) I’ll watch it and respond either with a video or an email. That depends on which one makes the most sense for the subject at hand. My default preference will be this:
• Student sends a video (must be under 10 minutes)
• I answer with an detailed email response or a reply video
If I need to show you something I might say “look at the video lesson at the 3:42 mark and you’ll see...” or I might shoot a short video and say “watch this...” or I might sit down and write you an email to explain something in words. Your questions or issues will determine the method I use to answer.
And I should mention, if you are digging through Master Class, Training Camp or the Flint Hill Scrolls and just want to fill your video with you holding up pages and saying "what does this mean?" that is okay too. Whatever helps. Or you might just want to send an email with your questions (try to keep smaller than "War and Peace") that's okay too. If it takes me more than 10 minutes to read the email I might write you back for a condensed version. Remember that a 1 minute question might require 10 minutes to answer so have a little mercy on me. But, say what you have on your mind. I want to help.
Good so far? How do we do this... technologically speaking?
To send me a video you will need to use one of the following methods:
• Set up a Dropbox account (they are free), put the video in your dropbox and
• Set up a YouTube or Vimeo account (they are free), upload the video, send me a link so I can view the video.
My email replies will be directed to the email address you used when you signed up for my Personal Feedback Solution. If I respond using video I will either use Dropbox, Vimeo or YouTube. (I have all three running so I’ll use the method which you used to send your video to me.)
We’ve almost made it through this whole thing. Let me give you a few more details.
What does it cost?
At present I am providing this Personal Feedback Solution exchange on a pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, instead of charging you for some time period (say, three months) I am just doing it on a one-time, pay-as-you-go basis. Pay once, send your video, get your response. Done.
Want to do it again? Great! We’ll just do it again. As many times as you find useful to your progress.
I don’t believe in subscriptions, recurring credit card billing, long-term agreements. That stuff smells bad. It’s strictly pay as you go.
I charge $30 for one Personal Feedback Solution transaction/session. (Get a discount if you share on Facebook or Twitter.)
To give it a try, get your nerve up, then click on the Buy Now button below which takes you to my Payhip transaction page. (They take credit cards, PayPal, etc.) Then, get busy shooting and uploading your video. And talk! Don’t just sit and play. Talk to me and play! It might be scary but a lot of good things are.
You can play along with a track or sit there with your guitar playing pal and knock out a few tunes. You can just sit there, tell me your troubles, etc. (is this my VirtualBartender™ service?) Do whatever you want. Just keep it under 10 minutes. Once you have uploaded it, send me an email with a link to it and let me know it is ready for me to view. (After the transaction you will get a PDF with more tips and step-by-step instructions.)
Can I just ask a simple question via email without paying?
Sure! I wish more people did that. I’d rather you ask a question than to go on with some misunderstanding or puzzling paradox bothering you. I always try to answer every email, but if you want some personal feedback and advice please use my Personal Feedback Solution method.
It’s not very expensive and it might make the difference between wishing and playing.
Try out my Personal Feedback Solution. It’ll be fun!