I am excited to have the opportunity to review Tyler Grant’s “Mastering Flatpicking” course offered through JamPlay. While I have heard about Jamplay.com and have seen the ads on YouTube and social media I did not know exactly how it all works. JamPlay is a subscription-based website that offers hundreds of video lessons on all styles of music. Students fill out a survey that asks questions such as “what styles are you most interested in learning?” and “how many hours a day can you devote to practicing?” The JamPlay website is simple and fun to use.
Once I was signed into JamPlay I was able to search for the “Mastering Flatpicking” course. This was also a simple process. I was immediately impressed and delighted with how much content was included in the course. Tyler will keep an eager student busy for years. His relaxed demeanor and laid-back delivery will put you at easy and makes it enjoyable to learn. While the concepts and techniques that are covered are simple to understand, they take a lifetime to master. Expect 30 unique video lessons each 30-minutes to an hour long. In addition to the video portion, each lesson includes well-crafted supplemental materials such as backing tracks, tablature, and an interactive comment section. While JamPlay is not one-on-one lessons, it is nice to know that you can leave questions and comments for Tyler. I liked how video lesson 3, “Learning Tunes by Ear,” didn’t include any written materials as Tyler is encouraging the student to concentrate on ear training without relying on notation or tabs.
Throughout the course it is clear that Tyler himself is a master of flatpicking as well as being well versed in the history of flatpicking guitar. He breaks down the bluegrass guitar styles of many of the creators of the genre such as Maybelle Carter, Don Reno, Doc Watson, Clarence White, and Dan Crary, just to name a few. While this course does not include any note-for-note transcriptions of these players, Tyler is a prolific interpreter of their stylist approaches. His “in the style of” arrangements work well to illustrate the points and offer insight into the way Tyler himself looks at bluegrass guitar and arranging fiddle tunes. But if you are looking for lessons that include note-for-note Doc Watson or Tony Rice transcriptions, you will not find that here.
Tyler’s “Mastering Flatpicking” course through JamPlay touches on every technique needed to succeed as a flatpicker. Your understanding and application of topics such as chord melody, cross-picking, and soloing will improve by using this course. If one were to put in the hard work and effort that Tyler put into creating the “Mastering Flatpicking” course into learning the material, they too will become a master flatpicker.