Our plan for the website before getting to work this past year was pretty straightforward: let's just do more of the same! That meant publishing more great blog posts, more video-lessons and more podcasts. In addition, we aimed each month to produce brand new premium (paid) content in the store.
By the way, notice how the "I" just turned to "we" at the beginning of this post? I'm the founder of the website and as it grows, I get to work with the most fantastic bunch of hand-picked team members. We'll make formal introductions later, but let's just say: KUDOS to the JazzGuitarLessons.net team for a fantastic 2016 year.
Let's get right to it! Here's our year in review:
The big news: the Tune of the Month Club continues! This small DIY project started in July 2015 by an obscure online jazz guitar instructor in Canada (hey! that's me), and it's finally taken hold as a permanent project. For the first six months, I had considered it a pilot project, and January 2016 saw enough new members enroll that the project continues to live on.
Special thanks to the supporters of the Tune of the Month Club. You've been right there since day 1! Thanks for your continuous feedback. Each month, you guys receive (and hopefully learn from) videos and PDFs covering chord melody, comping and soloing on one standard song.
A quiet month where the team and I gathered our energies for future releases and projects. February was also the time when the store part of JazzGuitarLessons.net underwent some upgrading. It now looks more stylish and professional and enhances the learning experience for thousands of students worldwide. Go take a look at Store.JazzGuitarLessons.net now.
Side note about February: All of you blues fans insisted so enthusiastically that we published this "Back to Basics" Jazz Blues Lesson in a blog post. It was a hit! Check out the post if didn't have a chance yet!
Also worth mentioning inFebruary: if you like to watch yours truly in his day-to-day life, check out the JazzGuitarLessons.net vlog started in January 2016. What can I do ... I look like young Liam Neeson. The first vlog was published on February 22nd.
That's the month when Greg and I got together to create his fabulous All the Arpeggios You Are. Greg Amirault is a friend and mentor. His approach to arpeggios is simply mind-blowing! Our goal here was to harness his ideas and knowledge into this learner-friendly format. The result: one of the greatest online jazz guitar courses to apply arpeggios in a "non boring" way! :-)
Greg's All the Arpeggios You Are
Side note: March has a special place in my heart, personally. It is the month I was born in. Plus my first name shares several letters with it. And there's this darned letter M too: Marc, born in March, likes Music and Mathematics.
So, in March 2016 the "big boss" at JazzGuitarLessons.net treated himself to a week-long vacation in Mexico. With the fiancee, of course. I'll spare you the typical resort and beach (bare chest) pictures for this nice one:
We wrote, shot, edited and published Ed Bickert Untold. This unique jazz guitar video series was a major hit in 2015 and 2016. This episode is cherished by Canadian kids, like me, who view Ed as a semi-god.
The Drop 2 Challenge!
Yours truly created this blog post (with video and PDF) for guitarists tired of playing all those cumbersome "root at the bottom" chords. This is a simple method to learn inversions quickly. If the concept sounds intimidating, don't be afraid. The Drop 2 Challenge was designed with beginners and intermediates in mind. Simply by learning 28 chords (in 28 days), you can play beautiful chord structures on your top string-set. Go check it out now, give it a try.
We did it again! Greg and I had lunch and came up with a user-friendly version of all the chords stuff he assigns his first-year undergrad jazz guitar student. The course is called Drop 2 is the NEW Black and it is nothing short of awesome.
In a few words: End the tyranny of the root note! This course teaches you the ABC's of using chords without roots (bass) on the typical II-V-I and standard progressions.
A time-consuming and nerve-wracking period prior to the release of Private Instructor in a Box. This was JazzGuitarLessons.net's biggest course launch to date!
Why? Well, because this course is an effort by yours truly to ... well ... replicate myself! The entire process I use in private teaching has been documented, examined, then condensed into these video lessons. It's a great place to start for guitarists of all level. The result is more structured practicing, and actually knowing where to go next when creating practice routines.
Unlimited Membership launched!
Everything produced as premium content on the store by M-A Seguin (from the past and from the future) available as an "all you can eat buffet" via a membership! At the time of writing this blog, the subscription comes with over $500 worth of jazz guitar instruction. Getting access to all of this for a small fee per month = not a bad deal!
Side note about August: This Bird Blues Introduction for Jazz Guitarists in video and blog format was a hit! The song Freight Trane has been used to demonstrate key concepts in comping and improvisation on this challenging 12-bar form.
In the spirit of continually adding value for the Unlimited Members on Store.JazzGuitarLessons.net, we launched the Chord Melody Crash Course. In a few words: we use the song Misty to build, step-by-step, two versions of a chord melody.
Side note: in September, the work of our fabulous editor in chief, Ny Fanilo, has finally seen the light of day on JazzGuitarLessons.net! Go read his 5 Reasons to Transcribe blog post now.
Yet another month where all the attention (and work hours!) were dedicated to a new course release. In October, we launched Jazz Guitar Comping 101. It's a re-write on a classic jazz guitar chords course published around 2010.
A grey month (in Ottawa) that went by way too fast! The focus this time around was on producing quality blog posts and videos. I invite you to check out my favorite jazz guitar warm up method to date, Meditative Rhythms in this blog and video lesson
Late in November, we also released the blog post 3 Steps to Chord Melody, by our rockstar editor in chief here at JazzGuitarLessons.net. If you need a back-to-basics methodology on chord melody creation, he's your man!
Ny Fanilo does it again with his Three Revelations blog post. A nice read, bringing jazz guitarists of all levels and background to ask themselves some serious questions. Can't wait to read what other gems Fafa has in store for 2017!
What's Next? (2017 and Beyond)
In all honesty, 2017 should be once again "more of the same" on the outside. Blogs, lessons, videos and premium content. Yes, Tune of the Month Club will keep going, I promise! :-)
Beyond the outside appearances, the JazzGuitarLessons.net website is morphing at a very fast rate. I'm pleased to say it is now turning into a business. There's so much to handle in the day-to-day of the website operations that the team is now an integral part of it. I'm now blessed to work with the most brilliant and fun of teammates.
In short, I can no longer do all of the work and still get a good night of sleep! So the "jazz guitar website by this solo instructor in Canada" is now turning into a whole team of dedicated jazzers.
Ok, cue the corporate BS ...
By the end of 2017, it is my hope to fill the "imaginary seats" (job positions) in this business and have a total of five FTE (full-time equivalents) workers: myself, three leaders and a handful of freelancers used on a part-time basis. More on this later!
May 2017 bring you all the joy, practice time and brand new guitars to you and your family!
Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, mastermind and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.