Mark Hopkins is a Student Advisor at Berkleemusic.com. He finished his studies at Berklee College of Music, as a Guitarist/Songwriting Major, in 2009. Mark is a regular gigging musician who has toured extensively and released 6 albums in the past 10 years. You can hear some of Mark’s music at www.markhopkinsmusic.com.
As a student advisor this is a question I get asked often. Students are quite perplexed by how online courses work; I am here (as a guitarist and Guitar Master Certificate holder) to clear up all those gray areas for you!
The main argument is… “why shouldn’t I just invest my money into a private instructor?” Well, you definitely could go that route, but writing this blog as a guitarist of 22 years I can attest to the fact that great teachers are few and far between. I have spent mucho dinero on private instruction that got me in a room with a bunch of great players, who mostly like to talk about themselves. Before you know it your hour, or worse – half hour- is done. For me, as a life long student of music, I need a raging fire under me to motivate and push me to the next level! Private instruction doesn’t really deliver on that 100% of the time, but our online courses do.
I went through the guitar program at the main campus and after finishing up at Berklee I got a job here at Berkleemusic! Taking advantage of the amazing guitar curriculum we offer, I jumped into the Master Guitar Certificate right away. I was simply looking to maintain and juice up my chops- ya know, get in that shed and start chopping wood! I can say, with all honesty, it delivered… and then some. Every week I was challenged with 1-2 assignments where I was responsible for performing with a backing track and submitting it to my teacher. I love this format! It pushed me to up the ante on each assignment during the 12 week courses. Even courses like Chords and Scales 101 were absolutely amazing in helping revisit my fundamentals and technique. After completing all 8 courses involved in the Master Certificate I am an even better player than when I left the main campus. I noticed a huge difference in my playing and musicality. Not only do I feel intensely more comfortable on my neck, but I am hearing things at a deeper level than I was before.
With a bigger set of ears, my musical communication with my Trio has vastly expanded. I have now reached the point where I finally feel comfortable and understand how to craft my guitar tone the way I always heard it. With classes like Getting Your Guitar Sound you get to unleash the inner gear nerd from within and explore amps and effects like never before with the software Amplitube. If you are a tone nut (like me) and want to learn more about how your gear works, while also improving yourself as a player you will dig on that class hard. I got to play through amp mods that I have always dreamed of: Orange, Marshall, Vox and even old Fender Blackface amps. I have a 71 Twin Reverb that I mic’d and A/B’d with the vintage Fender amps in Amplitube… you cannot tell the difference. In fact, I have used a bunch of these amps on my latest tracks because they are so convincing! Not to mention I can come back to a guitar solo 3 days later and the tone is dialed in exactly the same so punches aren’t an issue at all. Y’all gotta check that class out it was one of my faves!
I genuinely believe in the education we offer here at Berkleemusic and I continue to take classes online whenever I can. It’s a great investment that you will never regret, and it’s a gift that you will cherish your whole life and a guitarist. I don’t think I’ll ever stop seeking out education, knowing more about my guitar makes it that much more enjoyable to sit down and play every day.
See ya guys soon, I’m off to the wood shed.
Berkleemusic’s next term begins on April 2nd, 2012.
Find out more at berkleemusic.com or contact a Student Advisor:
1-866-BERKLEE (USA) | +1 617 747 2146 (Intl) | email@example.com