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Hi, I'm Mike. Welcome to fretjam.com!
If you didn't already know, this is a guitar lessons site (just making sure!).
On this site you can learn the absolute basics, chords, scales, techniques, theory and all the essentials you need to lay those all important foundations to explore your instrument confidently and creatively.
The problem I see time and time again is that so many guitarists pigeon hole themselves into pre-existing styles and genres. "I want to play blues/metal/shred/indie/alternative/jazz/reggae...".
Let me ask you an important question about that. Why do you think genres exist in the first place? When you really think about it, what purpose do they really serve, except a commercial one for the music industry to target their audiences more efficiently (ok, that's my cynical side showing!)?
Although it's perfectly natural to gravitate towards playing styles you perhaps enjoy more than others, don't forget that all styles essentially come from a fundamental understanding of technique and theory...
...including the greatest, potentially most original and unique style of all - you.
I don't mean that to sound as corny as it perhaps did, but since you can never truly identify where one style ends and another begins, just forget labels, work on understanding the core mechanics of music, give yourself a roadmap, and let the exploration of your instrument guide you along music's rich and diverse tapestry.
Throughout this exploration, listen attentively and let your ears be the ultimate judge of what sounds good to you and what doesn't.
You are a musician. That is the only worthwhile label when learning an instrument!
Let your playing evolve naturally and unrestricted into your own unique style.
Don't just rely on tabs/songsheets to tell you what to play all the time.
If there's one ultimate piece of advice I would repeat like a broken mp3, it's:
Be inspired by your guitar heroes, don't parrot them!
See, anyone can learn "x solo from x song" given enough time and practice. But it could just be that your most rewarding and satisfying accomplishment is the ability to create your own music, to truly express yourself on guitar.
That takes a very different kind of learning and teaching, and I aim to nurture and open up your creativity through the unique way I teach on this site.
Stay updated by subscribing to my newsletter here.
99% of my content is free to access. However, I often promote more comprehensive or specialist guitar learning courses and interactive software that I believe will help you with that all important "next step".
Learn how buying these products (which I hand select - no crap!) helps to support fretjam and keep the content free for all.
I also offer more in depth courses in exchange for a donation of your choosing, and most recently my Chord Connections course as a member of my Patreon.
But be assured that I will never charge a penny for the bulk of my content, though donations are very much appreciated.
The visitor testimonials below would suggest otherwise...
"You have the best lessons I've ever seen. Far superior to all the books and videos I have. For this I am indebted to you."
"I just wanted to say thank you for putting this website up. It's really great and I'm learning alot. There are a couple websites out there with free guitar theory but yours is the best. I have so much fun learning guitar theory!"
"Hi Mike, I'm not sure if you remember me but I have e-mailed you a couple times before in the past. I am just writing to say thank you so much for all your time and support on fretjam. You know what? Whenever I look for information on theory on other guitar websites I always end up going back to yours because there is just so much diversity in a variety areas covered in intricate depth."
"Your website has proven to be invaluable to me as a beginning guitarist. Very comprehensive and fun to read at the same time. Thank you for making it free to the world."
"I'm really very inspired with your site and your great work! This is the best guitar resource ever. Just want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH"
"Everything on this website and on youtube is amazing. You actually took your time to write helpful lessons for anything from beginers or experts. I've been playing for 5 years and taken music theory classes and nothing really clicked like it did from your work. Its really what I've been looking for and it's just great. Thank you for this Mike."
"Thanks really for the time you put to teach us and advise us on this amazing instrument... you have no idea how much impact you've made in my life. I started teaching myself and with your website I have gotten a lot of help not just with playing but motivation as well. I truly admire the fact that you have shared your knowledge with us for free. I have no words. I started from far, now am intermediate going up."
"Just wanted to say how grateful I am for this website you have created. Very structured and to the point making it very easy and fun to learn all that time consuming guitar theory. Definitely has made me a better guitar player than before I bumped into your website. Cannot thank you enough for all time and effort you have invested in this. Great work!"
"You really have the musical theory knowledge AND the chops man... but even more wonderful is your gift of teaching. There are more than a few 'killer guitarists" on YouTube who can play, but they lack the ability to clearly communicate. Just wanted to thank you Mike for improving the quality of my musical life."
"I want to say a huge thank you for everything you guys have done for me without even knowing it. Well, long story short...
I picked up a guitar 3 years ago and stumbled on your site. Then after 3 years I'm making money as a guitarist and musician. Without paying a dime! You guys are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"I just wanted to tell you how very much I appreciate your instructional material. Over the years, I have gone to at least five guitar instructors and watched innumerable online videos—both free and subscription. Nothing has come close to your step by step process for developing techniques for improvising solos. Your site teaches what appears to be the magic secrets for soloing known only among professional guitarists. I’m looking forward to following up with all of the other lessons on your site. I feel guilty that I’m able to get your lessons for free. The site is far better than any other instructor I’ve gone to and any other subscription site I’ve tried."
"I have watched your YouTube videos for a long time, then bought a couple of courses off you. I just wanted to let you know that for me at least you are simply the best teacher on the Internet. I have played guitar occasionally for 45 years but recently decided to learn properly and am finding it slow going, but your lessons are magnificent, both in the content you choose to expand on and the clear way everything is explained. As a retired teacher I appreciate just how much you can understand the view point of someone who is learning and you have the musical knowledge and intellectual ability to explain things clearly to students. It is a rare ability but one that is essential for effective teaching and learning. So thank you!"
"I CAN GET A LOT OF GIRLS BECAUSE OF FRETJAM!!! THANK YOU!!!" *
* Number of girls may vary.
Things that distinguish fretjam.com from other learn guitar sites...
I'm not going to pretend this site is necessarily "better" than any other guitar lessons site - we all have something to offer. But my site does offer a unique perspective and approach through the way I teach. It may just be the perspective and approach you've been looking for to push your playing and musicianship to the next level.
I hope you enjoy using this site. If it's helped you, please consider supporting fretjam. I really appreciate it!
Contact me here with any feedback about the site.
Subscribe to the fretjam newsletter here (plus get free access to my Uncommon Chords book)
Subscribe to the fretjam Youtube Channel here.
I look forward to helping you further. Thank you for your time.