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Tom Hess review


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#1 tsherkin

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 02:03 AM

Haven't been doing them. I actually haven't been playing much guitar lately, as school has been ramping up, work's been busy and I've been strangely active socially.
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#2 JeffB

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:35 PM

Ok update time on the Hess lessons Tyler?

#3 tsherkin

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 08:43 PM

Hess leaves me somewhat unimpressed. I've checked out a dvd/book or two of his. My impression of Stetina is even worse. I actually bought a couple of his book/dvds... utter rubbish. He doesn't explain anything. Just shows a bunch of examples for you to try and follow and the books just contain the tab for the excerices. OTOH maybe like others, we're spoiled by Steve's course... but it is hard act to follow.


Stetina's single books could never compare to L&MG. They have a different purpose.

Stetina gives you fundamentals for specific styles, he's not trying to teach you how to play the guitar from the ground up. Steve's course is designed to take a person who's never touched a guitar to a level of competence. Stetina's stuff is designed to take a guitarist who kind of has some skills under his belt and guide him into playing rock and metal.

They're independent of one another in terms of goal, and can't be evaluated against one another. Stetina's stuff is supplementary, and it's quite good for what it's for.
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#4 Myrdhinn

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 08:32 PM

Hess leaves me somewhat unimpressed. I've checked out a dvd/book or two of his. My impression of Stetina is even worse. I actually bought a couple of his book/dvds... utter rubbish. He doesn't explain anything. Just shows a bunch of examples for you to try and follow and the books just contain the tab for the excerices. OTOH maybe like others, we're spoiled by Steve's course... but it is hard act to follow.

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#5 tsherkin

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:57 PM

hmm, he doesn't seem to push the DVD materials, maybe that's why I missed them. Your right though, MR1 and ML1 are plenty for me and man are they fun!

For apartment playing or quiet playing in general I highly highly highly suggest one of the Amplitube products, I also own the Guitar Rig 4 pro but Im afraid its just not as good as the Amplitube stuff. There isint a sound I cant make at any volume I want. It also records for you and plays your backing tracks.


Yeah, I haven't watched the dvds yet, but the books are obviously his focus. Which is much better, really. Maybe ill look into amplitube once I get a 1/4" adapter for my earphones
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#6 savage8190

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:23 AM

Ya, he's a little TOO 80's metal for me. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but I have my limits.

I'm gonna start looking for someone local again for sure.

#7 Resurrected

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:20 AM

Just finished reading it all. Quite the varied career. This isn't the guy you use is it Res?


I did actually have three lessons with him. He is definately passionate & knowledgable. He was to far away from me though & I did not gel with him. Not his fault at all. he certainly knew what he was talking about I have no doubt.

But I do believe that with a guitar teacher you have to like & get on with them - I have no idea why but I never clicked with Des.

I'd give him a go though if you think he may be for you.

#8 Eracer_Team

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 12:22 AM

I still think we should all camp at Steve's house; we could build a camp fire in the back yard :lol:

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#9 savage8190

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:42 PM

Just finished reading it all. Quite the varied career. This isn't the guy you use is it Res?

#10 Resurrected

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:22 PM

Wow, thats quite reasonable. Works out to about 35 canadian. Must be a serious Randy fan, nothing wrong with that.


Have you read his bio?

Especially this part

October 20th 2005:

PHONE CALL FROM OZZY OSBOURNE.


In mid 2005, I heard that Ozzy was looking for a new guitarist. (His guitarist since 1987 Zakk Wylde was very busy with his own band 'Black Label Society'.)
So I got a demo CD together and sent it straight to Ozzy's house in Buckinghamshire. I wasn't sure where Ozzy was at the time but I knew his wife Sharon was here in the UK doing 'The X-Factor' TV show, so I knew I stood a good chance of being heard by one, if not both of them.
Two weeks later the phone rings. "Hi Des, it's Ozzy..."
Being the bright spark that I am, I quickly reply with "Who?"
(Yeah, it threw me a bit that he'd called me himself.) He then said "It's Ozzy Osbourne, i've just listened to your CD and I'm really f***ing impressed man. I'm really impressed. I'd like to meet you and see you play."
It's hard to put into words what that short sentence meant to me. For Ozzy to consider me for his band is an honour and as a rock guitarist, it's probably the highest compliment I can imagine.
Ozzy has worked with some of the best guitar players in the business and was already a successful recording artist while i was still in nappies perfecting the subtle art of projectile vomiting.
Ozzy was very friendly and down to earth and i think he also liked the fact that I'm a fellow 'Brummy'.
The last thing he said to me was that he was off to LA for a while but he would definitely get back to me.
Unfortunately for me, a short while later, it's announced that Zakk has been able to rearrange his schedule to make sure that he would be available for Ozzy again.
I can't say I blame him.
The search for a new guitarist for Ozzy was off and my dream of nailing THE guitar gig was over.
Just after I spoke to Ozzy, I told myself that if nothing came of it, then at least I have reached a standard high enough to impress the man who discovered Randy Rhoads, Jake E.Lee and Zakk Wylde. No matter what happens, nobody can take that away from me. Thanks Ozzy! I'll never forget that conversation and whenever I think of it, I always smile.



#11 savage8190

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:20 PM

Wow, thats quite reasonable. Works out to about 35 canadian. Must be a serious Randy fan, nothing wrong with that.

#12 Resurrected

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:59 PM


A month isn't enough to evaluate Hess' lessons, but you've moved on, so I'll drop it.


Good, I'm glad we agree to drop it :).

Wait, what? Really??


Yup, his site says August 10th in Vancouver. Looks like its a week long workshop with multiple guests. It will be him, Robben Ford, Stuart Hamm, Dave Martone, and Robert Godin. Wow, it's like a $1000 for the week though. Holy geez...


I have. Greg is awesome. He's obviously a professional musician, records his own albums, has played with some big names, etc. He really knows his theory. Used to be a hardcore metal shredder, got more into jazz/fusion. Outstanding technical proficiency. Explains things pretty well from a theory and technique perspective. Teaches everyone from n00bs on up to professionals.

I wouldn't necessarily do it once a week, but maybe once a month to get feedback on everything you've been doing (or twice a month, or if you can deal with the $63/hr for 4 lessons, great; the reason that I never had trouble with hess' prices is that I did them once every 6 weeks).

Greg is DEFINITELY worth it.


I'm looking for something regular like weekly lessons. That's pretty pricey, but it could be worth it. If I did like 4 lessons in 6 weeks it would be about the same as private lessons here (except I'd get 4 lessons instead of 6). I think I need to start the hunt for a teacher again. I didn't think it was doing me much good, but now that I've gone back to not having one I'm kind of waffling again. I think having that sort of deadline to nail something really helped me focus.

I just don't even know where to start. It might take me a few go's to find the right person. But I should just keep trying till I find what I'm looking for.


Check out this guy http://www.dessherwo...o.uk/index.html he does online lessons. £21 per hour or around $32 all in.

#13 tsherkin

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 10:57 PM

Deadlines can be good. The right teacher can be good. I guess it's all individual, really. I can't seem to get behind most individual teachers. I could use an actual musical degree, that'd be great. I'd love to study music composition at Berklee, or get down to L.A. to the Guitar Institute at MI.

But in the absence of those things, I just have to firm up the flabby willpower and use all the stuff I have, which should be enough.
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#14 savage8190

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:56 PM

A month isn't enough to evaluate Hess' lessons, but you've moved on, so I'll drop it.


Good, I'm glad we agree to drop it :).

Wait, what? Really??


Yup, his site says August 10th in Vancouver. Looks like its a week long workshop with multiple guests. It will be him, Robben Ford, Stuart Hamm, Dave Martone, and Robert Godin. Wow, it's like a $1000 for the week though. Holy geez...


I have. Greg is awesome. He's obviously a professional musician, records his own albums, has played with some big names, etc. He really knows his theory. Used to be a hardcore metal shredder, got more into jazz/fusion. Outstanding technical proficiency. Explains things pretty well from a theory and technique perspective. Teaches everyone from n00bs on up to professionals.

I wouldn't necessarily do it once a week, but maybe once a month to get feedback on everything you've been doing (or twice a month, or if you can deal with the $63/hr for 4 lessons, great; the reason that I never had trouble with hess' prices is that I did them once every 6 weeks).

Greg is DEFINITELY worth it.


I'm looking for something regular like weekly lessons. That's pretty pricey, but it could be worth it. If I did like 4 lessons in 6 weeks it would be about the same as private lessons here (except I'd get 4 lessons instead of 6). I think I need to start the hunt for a teacher again. I didn't think it was doing me much good, but now that I've gone back to not having one I'm kind of waffling again. I think having that sort of deadline to nail something really helped me focus.

I just don't even know where to start. It might take me a few go's to find the right person. But I should just keep trying till I find what I'm looking for.

#15 tsherkin

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:03 PM

Interesting, I checked out Greg Howe, and his one on one video conference lessons are not far off Hess's prices. $75 bucks for an hour, you could do that once a week compared to Hess's $55 for a lesson (yes the 65 was including exchange). Either way, too rich for my blood. If I could go to a school I would, but there's my job, and kids, and wife that may disagree... stupid responsibilities :D

I was only with Hess for a month before I decided it wasn't worth it. Doesn't take long before that sense of being ripped off builds.


A month isn't enough to evaluate Hess' lessons, but you've moved on, so I'll drop it.

I see Greg Howe is coming here in August for a masterclass. That might be worth checking out.


Wait, what? Really??

EDIT: Actually if you sign up for 4 lessons at a time with Greg its only 62.50 per hour. Very competitive with Hess and probably much more valuable. But I wouldn't know as I've never taken his lessons...


I have. Greg is awesome. He's obviously a professional musician, records his own albums, has played with some big names, etc. He really knows his theory. Used to be a hardcore metal shredder, got more into jazz/fusion. Outstanding technical proficiency. Explains things pretty well from a theory and technique perspective. Teaches everyone from n00bs on up to professionals.

I wouldn't necessarily do it once a week, but maybe once a month to get feedback on everything you've been doing (or twice a month, or if you can deal with the $63/hr for 4 lessons, great; the reason that I never had trouble with hess' prices is that I did them once every 6 weeks).

Greg is DEFINITELY worth it.
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#16 savage8190

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:28 PM

Interesting, I checked out Greg Howe, and his one on one video conference lessons are not far off Hess's prices. $75 bucks for an hour, you could do that once a week compared to Hess's $55 for a lesson (yes the 65 was including exchange). Either way, too rich for my blood. If I could go to a school I would, but there's my job, and kids, and wife that may disagree... stupid responsibilities :D

I was only with Hess for a month before I decided it wasn't worth it. Doesn't take long before that sense of being ripped off builds.

I see Greg Howe is coming here in August for a masterclass. That might be worth checking out.

EDIT: Actually if you sign up for 4 lessons at a time with Greg its only 62.50 per hour. Very competitive with Hess and probably much more valuable. But I wouldn't know as I've never taken his lessons...

#17 JeffB

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 07:03 PM

hmm, he doesn't seem to push the DVD materials, maybe that's why I missed them. Your right though, MR1 and ML1 are plenty for me and man are they fun!

For apartment playing or quiet playing in general I highly highly highly suggest one of the Amplitube products, I also own the Guitar Rig 4 pro but Im afraid its just not as good as the Amplitube stuff. There isint a sound I cant make at any volume I want. It also records for you and plays your backing tracks.

#18 tsherkin

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 05:48 PM

These guys are spending all this money learning from him, and they supposedly have successful music careers, how do they have time to troll forums looking for Hess haters. I just don't see why they would. Its one thing to do it on one or two forums. But I've seen them pop up on dozens.


It is possible they are employed as marketing affiliates... *shrugs*

I know businesses that pay people to fluff their names in the related forums, it's not unheard-of. It fits with his general approach to the business, but then, he spends a great deal of time and effort teaching people how to be marketable and visible guitar teaches, too. You may not like him, but you certainly aren't ignoring him, and discussion about him breeds awareness. It's kind of a business tactic; sometimes bad press is worth it.

I paid Hess 65 per week (CAD), that's just not reasonable.


That's with tax in and everything, I assume, yes? Not base rate?

Like I said, it's expensive. How long did you actually take the lessons for?

I hear ya on that. I just think there's got to be someone better out there that is worth the time and money. I guess if I were to keep trying different instructors eventually I'd find the right one. I'm glad that Hess works for you.


If you want super-expensive but really worth it, go take some lessons from Greg Howe.

He's really approachable, knowledgeable and exceptionally talented. He's quite expensive, but those are video conference lessons, not just correspondence material lessons. Take a half-hour lesson with him, but go in with a specific goal. Few teachers have prepared curriculums that are ready and right for you specifically in the first lesson. If you're looking for that, go to a school. MI in Los Angeles, Berklee, etc. They have curriculums. Individual teachers don't. Well, unless you want to follow the Berklee or Hal Leonard Methods with them, or maybe go through RCM with them (but that last is classical guitar, not electric).

As to the DVDs...

Beginning Rock Rhythm Guitar, Beginning Rock Lead Guitar, Modern Rock and Hard Rock are indeed the DVDs of which I was speaking. I haven't touched them, or even the associated books just yet. I'm working with Speed Mechanics and Metal Rhythm 1 at the moment, and that's holding up just fine. Can't use all my material at once, lol. I have had a crazy GMAS attack the last 6 months or so, and I haven't even taken the time to go and get my guitar all fixed up... *grumble* I need the action fixed and some other work done, too. Bah.

Anyway, Stetina's stuff is awesome, I'm really enjoying it. A lot of it is basic, but it sounds pretty cool even unamped, which is a treat. I don't have a distortion pedal and my amp actually sucks a lot, plus I live in an apartment, so I'm trying to develop playing my guitar with no power, lol. It gets frustrating. This new material makes it so much easier to practice. Speed Mechanics is kind of boring right now, but as I speed up, it'll get better.
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#19 savage8190

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 04:33 PM

As far as I know Stetina has these 4 DVD's:

Beginning Rock Lead
Beginning Rock Rhythm
Hard Rock A Step-by-Step Breakdown
Modern Rock A Step-by-Step Breakdown

And there are books to go with them I believe.

#20 JeffB

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:31 PM

and I haven't even touched the DVDs yet, lol.


Ok what DVDS, I dont see those listed




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