Playing Guitar like a Pro: Lead, Solo, and Group Performance

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too advanced for me. Will be exchanging. Too advanced for me. Will be exchanging for a novice version of Guitar training.
Date published: 2019-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is less a course, more a resource Most GC products are watched or listened to once and then shelved, I imagine. This is different as it offers a range of guitar tutorials which can be used and re-used, alone or with the accompanying backing tracks. The instructor is laid back but clearly has a very good sense of what an effective teacher needs to do. I looked at the reviews before I purchased this. Some complained that it was too advanced and some complained that it was no better than what one can find on YouTube. Both of these are incorrect IMO. This is not an advanced course. It does not load you down with Dorian modes and the Circle of Fifths. It will not let you jam along to Dream Theater. But on the other hand, if your guitar playing is of the campfire variety [and if you do not possess an electric instrument] then this will be a waste of your time [and of course cash]. Can you find this content on YouTube? Yes, of course. There is an infinite universe of guitar out there. But you have to find it, and you would have to keep searching because most players work in solely one genre. McAllister here offers a wide range of styles in one place, from classical to Van Halen. So, I am happy with my purchase. As I implied, I have not 'completed' the course; I am using it as a resource and quite often watch a segment from my Digital Library when I just want to watch the technique. So this can't be a definitive review but it is I hope helpful.
Date published: 2019-10-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Too complex. Overreaching my ability Asked for refund. This would need an actual teacher present in its current firm
Date published: 2019-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GOOD INSTRUCTION The videos are easy to follow along with, and the instruction guides you along the way.
Date published: 2019-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Course You Will Use Over And Over Again I bought this course awhile ago, as I am taking a well known online guitar course, and felt it provided another instructor's view point. I graduated from the two core courses and chose to take the two Blues courses. I am about 50% through the first one and picked Dr. McAllister's accompanying book up to look at the offerings of songs. I spotted "Barnhill's Blues" and started to try to learn it. He makes the process so easy. He takes you by the hand and teaches you section by section. The music is shown onscreen in both notation and guitar tab. He describes elements I know i will learn later as I become a better and better guitarist with each pass through this and other pieces. The accompanying spiral bound music book shows standard notation and tabulature and allows you to play the piece of music without having to go into the media version of the course. This has made a wonderful addition to my "guitar journey". I feel like I am really playing rather than practicing technique and lessons. I wish Dr. McAllister would please consider writing a book of blues and /or jazz pieces as I like his teaching style very much and feel as though I can learn a great deal from his wonderful presentation.
Date published: 2019-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from easy to use and understand very good explanations and easy to follow, just add time and practice and you'll get where you want to go
Date published: 2019-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Packed with information You know how with some courses you just go through them? Not with this one. This one needs to be seen over and over again and each time another technique or method adds in and details are brought out. Between showings there is much personal practice to be done, too. This course is worth the effort. Colin brings his classical guitar background to electric guitar work. While I am not always personally shooting for some of his technique, it is all good to know, and he encourages us to experiment and carry his teaching further into our own directions. This is not a beginner course, but one you will enjoy for a very long time to come.
Date published: 2019-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow ! This course will expand your guitar breadth This is a very exciting and diverse course that's well worth the purchase. This is not a beginner level course but is suited for someone who's been playing for years. If you have been stuck playing the same songs, then this might be the course for you. I'm pretty sure you're not going to find this quality of video free on the Internet, let alone the accompaniment tracks.
Date published: 2019-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing lessons for teaching guitar! I recently purchased this DVD because the professor is an amazing guitar teacher. Thrilled that I can learn on a college level and become a more accomplished musician.
Date published: 2019-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A ton of information in this course Enough information in this course to keep me busy for years to come
Date published: 2019-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great nuggets to add to my guitar toolbox Dr. McAllister is a terrific teacher. My guitar skills increased significantly by working through his first course, Learning to Play Guitar, and this course is adding pazazz to my style. I find playing with the Backing Tracks extremely helpful in improving my timing and rhythm. I hope TGC continues to offer courses taught by this instructor as I will purchase every one.
Date published: 2019-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! I am enjoying this immensely! I use a variety of teaching tools including traditional lessons, tabs, sheet music and Professor Google! I have found this course to be indispensable in expanding my skill level and technique! The very first lesson I came away with priceless techniques and goodies that I was able to add to my repertoire immediately. I highly recommend this course as a learning tool as it is not the same as looking up as song you want to learn and choosing a video tutorial. The instructor moves somewhat quickly but there is a book or pdf that has all the tablature and sheet music for referral. The videos are clear, concise and professionally filmed making them easy to follow. Dr. McAllister has a friendly manner and easy going personality which adds to the enjoyment of using this program. I am so pleased to have decided to make this purchase, which is $5.00 less then a one hour lesson. Although in my opinion there's nothing better than an instructor with whom you've built a rapport I would not hesitate to encourage the budding guitarist or supportive family member to take the leap, make the purchase and open the road to fun, enjoyment and fulfillment! Happy playing!
Date published: 2019-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Best for the less than intermediate player I found some interesting material, but a lot of tedious stuff too - (put this finger here, put that finger there). The recording time could have been better used.
Date published: 2018-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ignore the haters I'm a self taught guitar player, not great, but not bad either. This course does an amazing job of breaking down some complicated techniques and making them approachable and fun. I LOVE the full band experience and am enjoying the tracks at the end of each song to hone what I learned in the lesson. I'm taking my time and working at mastering each song before moving on to the next one and would recommend everyone who takes it does the same. The stories are short and informative. I didn't really care for them but they are at the end of the lessons and if I don't want to watch them I just skip to the track. This is HANDS DOWN the most fun online guitar course I've ever tried and I've tried a bunch on YouTube, Udemy, and others. The level of instruction and the attention to detail in how guitar players learn is a testament to Dr. McAllister. This guy gets it!
Date published: 2018-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I picked up my guitar several months ago, after a years long hiatus. Playing Guitar like a Pro revived my interest by introducing various types of music broken down into component level. With instructor demonstration of each segment of a song, I was able to practice along with him. For me, the biggest bonus is the backup tracks.These enable me to perform Solo or with a group behind me, to hone my skills. I highly recommend this course and instructor, whom I first encountered in How to Play Guitar.
Date published: 2018-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finally, the Ideal Guitar Series Ignore those hating on this product. I’m 22, I’ve played for a couple of years, looking to advance past my beginning-to-intermediate-level skills. I’d hit a ceiling before finding these lessons online. This is exactly what I needed: step-by-step instructions applied to fun music, and then full-band performance. As a bonus, I love the guitarist bios at the end of each lesson. YouTube is a sea of poor or good but really boring lessons. This is like Master Class, only better, in terms of the one-in-one nature of the instruction. Better because your instructor actually teaches you something. I’ve advanced my playing and range of styles wildly since starting this course (I’m 3/4 of the way thru it).
Date published: 2018-12-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from so so This course turns out to be far above my pay grade. If you don't have a degree in music, you may well be out of luck. This is more history than learning to play...
Date published: 2018-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hands-On and Fun! I can't say enough great things about this video instruction series. The lessons are PERFECT for someone who knows his/her basic chords, but wants to take the leap to more creative expression and potentially play in a band -- even if just for fun and not for paid gigs. Learning the lessons, then applying it to a full song, often with a full band, is unlike anything anyone else teaches you. And, oh by the way, you get great bio-portraits of each of the featured guitarists you learn to play like. There are some obvious choices among the guitarists, and some greats that anyone under 40 is (like me) going to be Googling immediately after learning about them and their life and playing style. Highly recommended, even if you're a true beginner, because it will make you want to advance just so you can appreciate these lessons.
Date published: 2018-11-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from play by numbers This video shows very little technique and is no better than any of the free lessons on the web. I was hoping to find something to take me to the next level. this is not it.
Date published: 2018-11-25
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Playing Guitar like a Pro: Lead, Solo, and Group Performance
Course Trailer
Hot Lava: Van Halen’s Two-Handed Tapping
1: Hot Lava: Van Halen’s Two-Handed Tapping

Dr. Colin McAllister begins his second guitar course with one of lead guitar’s most extravagant techniques: two-handed tapping. Using an original composition inspired by the legendary Eddie Van Halen, Dr. McAllister teaches this elaborate performance tool hands-on and step by step, in an accessible and easy-to-follow lesson.

39 min
	Hot Lava Backing Track - Lead
2: Hot Lava Backing Track - Lead

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
	Hot Lava Backing Track - Rhythm
3: Hot Lava Backing Track - Rhythm

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Luna Negra: Soloing like David Gilmour
4: Luna Negra: Soloing like David Gilmour

Here, Dr. McAllister dissects the unique, blues-influenced soloing style of Pink Floyd’s lead guitarist, David Gilmour. Along the way, he’ll introduce you to some of the band’s fascinating history before outlining two playing techniques: vibrato and string bending. As with the other lessons, it includes backing tracks at the end.

37 min
	Luna Negra Backing Track
5: Luna Negra Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Barnhill’s Blues: Going Acoustic like Clapton
6: Barnhill’s Blues: Going Acoustic like Clapton

Eric Clapton’s concert for the MTV Unplugged series is one of the most famous ever played. In this lesson, you’re invited to unplug and play bluesy swing rhythms and learn the Hendrix-inspired playing style that balances both lead and rhythm guitar with just one guitarist in order to help fill out the sound of any single-player performance.

43 min
Grant Green Street: Funk Rhythm and Licks
7: Grant Green Street: Funk Rhythm and Licks

Take a trip to 1970s Detroit and master the sound of Grant Green, a funk and blues guitarist for Blue Note Records whose personal life was as colorful as his talent on the six-string. Learn—and learn about—funk-style chord strumming as well as crosspicking, a melodic picking style partly owing its fame to bluegrass.

37 min
	Grant Green Street Backing Track
8: Grant Green Street Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Fantasía Ibérica: Celin Romero’s Rasgueado
9: Fantasía Ibérica: Celin Romero’s Rasgueado

Dramatically switching genres, Dr. McAllister approachably demonstrates staples of classical acoustic guitar, including rasgueado, or playing with the fingernails; right-hand arpeggios, planting the right hand’s fingers on strings to nimbly traverse the guitar; pizzicato, or playing with the thumb while palm-muting with the hand’s outer edge; and tremolo, sustaining a note by finger-picking rapidly and repeatedly.

44 min
Sunday Drive: Leo Brouwer–Style Classical
10: Sunday Drive: Leo Brouwer–Style Classical

Cuban composer Leo Brouwer’s one-of-a-kind Afro-Cuban classical guitar style provides the basis for this remarkable lesson. Interweaving slow playing with rapid hammer-ons and open-string licks, Brouwer’s trademark sound effortlessly switches from easy performance to challenging and back quickly and deftly—and it may have just the flair your next composition is missing.

36 min
Manitou Swing: Django’s Gypsy Jazz
11: Manitou Swing: Django’s Gypsy Jazz

Dr. McAllister leads a masterful study of one of the greatest jazz guitarists in history—Django Reinhardt. Perfect the arts of staccato chords, fast vibrato, sliding, and other “Gypsy jazz” elements, and bring Reinhardt’s 1930s and 40s to life on your own six-string.

35 min
	Manitou Swing Backing Track
12: Manitou Swing Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Anselm’s Caper: Bebopping like Tal Farlow
13: Anselm’s Caper: Bebopping like Tal Farlow

Start with George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” or the theme song from The Flintstones, then increase the tempo and add the frenzied playing of Charlie Parker or Tal Farlow. This is the structure for “rhythm changes” jazz. Don’t worry, Dr. McAllister comes through again with examples, theory, and practical use for the aspiring guitarist.

39 min
	Anselm’s Caper Backing Track
14: Anselm’s Caper Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Blue 13: Wes Montgomery’s Octave Melodies
15: Blue 13: Wes Montgomery’s Octave Melodies

Journey back to the meat and potatoes of improvisational music—the 12-bar blues structure—and spice it up with additional chord progressions and octave-based melodies popularized by jazz legend Wes Montgomery. Fine-tune your thumb strumming and master the style of this legend.

39 min
	Blue 13 Backing Track
16: Blue 13 Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

4 min
Moto Perpetuo: Andy McKee–Style Workout
17: Moto Perpetuo: Andy McKee–Style Workout

Andy McKee’s percussive use of the body of the steel-string guitar, coupled with his right-hand tapping and slapping harmonics, defies categorization. The first guitar sensation on YouTube, boasting 100 million views, Andy’s lovely and unconventional playing led him to open for Prince. Learn several of his innovative techniques today and how to “play outside the box.”

42 min
Way Beyond: Intervallic John McLaughlin
18: Way Beyond: Intervallic John McLaughlin

Broaden your musical horizons with this lesson inspired by John McLaughlin, a prominent jazz fusion guitarist who featured on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew. Dr. McAllister uses McLaughlin as evidence to enlighten the viewer about cross-rhythms, interval-based music, and changing time signatures.

46 min
	Way Beyond Backing Track
19: Way Beyond Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Sketch for Barbara: Pat Metheny’s Influence
20: Sketch for Barbara: Pat Metheny’s Influence

This lesson focuses on the modern jazz waltz, utilizing arpeggiated improvisation and cross-rhythms in the vein of Pat Metheny. Metheny is known for his blend of highly technical yet swinging play style in jazz and blues, adding a distinct flavor to each genre—especially during the changing musical scene of the 1970s and ‘80s.

39 min
	Sketch for Barbara Backing Track
21: Sketch for Barbara Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Cinq de Blanc: The Police’s Quintal Harmony
22: Cinq de Blanc: The Police’s Quintal Harmony

Thanks to guitarist Andy Summers, most songs by The Police are instantly recognizable. His focus on fifth intervals and reggae-style playing gave the band their signature sound, and hits like “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take” give excellent context to this study and insight into your own songwriting.

38 min
	Cinq de Blanc Backing Track
23: Cinq de Blanc Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Tarsus: Power Arpeggios of Alex Lifeson
24: Tarsus: Power Arpeggios of Alex Lifeson

Unleash your inner progressive-rock beast with this Rush-inspired exercise of shifting time signatures, power chords, and crosspicking. The intrinsic and dynamic qualities of the prog-rock subgenre are laid bare here in an easy-paced, digestible format for you to ramp up your technical game.

42 min
	Tarsus Backing Track - Lead
25: Tarsus Backing Track - Lead

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
	Tarsus Backing Track - Rhythm
26: Tarsus Backing Track - Rhythm

Practice playing along with this backing track.

1 min
Samba Sonrisa: Playing Brazilian Style
27: Samba Sonrisa: Playing Brazilian Style

This lesson covers the lovely subgenre of Brazilian-style bossa nova. Bossa nova, which includes “The Girl from Ipanema,” surged in the early 1960s thanks to guitarist João Gilberto and pianist/composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. They developed its smooth acoustic plucking and syncopation into a cool, slowed samba irresistible to master guitarists.

42 min
Cumulus: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell
28: Cumulus: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell

Dr. McAllister teaches the viewer how to make use of open D tuning and switch between strumming and playing slur-based melodies, enabling him or her to emulate Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. “Cumulus” gives you the opportunity to adapt the full, rich sounds of the legendary artist and the 1960s-70s folk movement.

40 min
Gog Magog: Bluegrass and Flatpicking
29: Gog Magog: Bluegrass and Flatpicking

It’s quicker than a fighter jet and more intricate than an Agatha Christie murder mystery, but you’ve got this! Apply everything you’ve learned so far from this course about hammer-ons and pull-offs (or “slurs”), open notes, speed, and precision to tackle a lightning-fast—and seemingly intimidating—American musical creation: bluegrass.

47 min
	Gog Magog Backing Track
30: Gog Magog Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Whisper Creek: American Folk Music
31: Whisper Creek: American Folk Music

Ballads of America’s downtrodden. Post-Dustbowl hardships. Empty bottles. It may not seem flashy or glamorous at first glance, but the viewer crosses the finish line with this snapshot of a nation, a people, a time. Complete your journey of guitar edification with folk music—that most humble, somber, and sincere of American working-class genres.

38 min
Echo Park
32: Echo Park

American Surf Guitar. Revisit the early 1960s sound of surf rock by freshening up on the rapid picking and steady 16th-note rhythms that dominated the beach. Dr. McAllister shows you how to play like Dick Dale and The Beach Boys, while enlightening you about everything from the Rendezvous Ballroom fire to Brian Wilson’s nervous breakdown.

17 min
Echo Park Backing Track
33: Echo Park Backing Track

Practice playing along with this backing track.

2 min
Colin McAllister

Most importantly, good technique allows us to express our musicality without inhibition.

ALMA MATER

University of California, San Diego

INSTITUTION

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

About Colin McAllister

Colin McAllister is the Music Program Director at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in Musical Arts at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied guitar with Celin and Pepe Romero, interpretation with Bertram Turetzky, and conducting with Harvey Sollberger and Rand Steiger.

Dr. McAllister has taught the guitar and performed professionally as a guitarist for more than 25 years. He has made more than 1,000 appearances with organizations including the San Diego Opera, the San Diego Symphony, and the Colorado Symphony. Dr. McAllister is also a member of the jazz ensemble Hennessy 6. In 2016, he entered an artist partnership with Taylor Guitars.

Dr. McAllister has recorded on several record labels, including Albany Records, Tzadik Records, and Naxos. He also pursues research interests in 3rd and 4th century religious beliefs related to apocalypticism and early medieval commentary on the Book of Revelation.

Dr. McAllister lives in Manitou Springs, Colorado, with his wife Barbara and their children. In addition to his academic studies in music and the apocalypse, he has climbed more than 35 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, along with Mount Whitney in California and three high volcanoes in Mexico.

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