It looks like Giles Martin is following in Paul McCartney’s footsteps in a way. He is following Paul’s lead and offering some virtual music lessons online.
Who better to provide music lessons than the man raised by the fifth Beatle. He’s got the ears and the chops for the job, just coming off mixing the LOVE project. This looks like a lot of fun, and a really cool way to learn from someone who was there….kinda.
If anyone tries out this service, drop us a comment here. We’d love to hear your reviews of the online lessons.
Here’s what we’ve read.
Help! Any Beatles fans who have struggled to learn to play guitar on “Revolution,” “A Hard Day’s Night” or other Fab Four megahits can now find assistance on the Web, while saving big bucks on private lessons.
Giles Martin, the Grammy Award-winning producer of the band’s “Love” album, has teamed with a new site called iVideosongs to create teaching videos to the Web. Launched this month, the site shows clips of Martin teaching fans – even the ones who can’t read music – how to play their favorite songs.
Martin’s music credentials are impressive. Beyond his award-winning work, he is the son of legendary British record producer Sir George Martin, often described as the ‘fifth Beatle’.
As online video sharing gains popularity, aspiring musicians can go online for instructional clips on playing an instrument in a way that can be more entertaining than reading sheet music.
iVideosongs.com, which follows an interactive internet trail blazed by sites like Guitartricks.com and TrueFire.com, is hoping to win over fans by working with some of the original performers, producers and songwriters of popular songs.
The high definition videos from famous names like John Oates of Hall & Oates and Graham Nash of Crosby Stills & Nash tell the story behind the song while divulging some performance secrets and tips on how to play.
For example, Giles Martin taped his clips at Abbey Road, the world-famous studios where John, Paul, George and Ringo recorded most of their songs. What’s more, he said that having worked with the surviving Beatles in recreating the songs for “Love” gave him unique insight.
“I spent so long working with the Beatles I found myself with a working knowledge of how the songs are constructed,” said Martin.
Ironically, iVideosongs is probably one of the few places where Beatles songs are legally available online – albeit not in their original recorded format. The Beatles are the last major hold-out of digital music by not yet letting fans buy their songs as downloads, although that is expected to change this year.
Before launching the site, iVideosongs co-founder Tim Huffman focused on winning deals with major song publishers, and said artists were very willing to be part of an experience to share how their hits were made.
“Some of these guys don’t read music, but they learned their instruments in part by watching,” said Huffman. “So they love the idea of pulling that curtain back and saying ‘I’m going to show you exactly how I did this'”.
Huffman believes there is untapped demand for people who want to learn to play their favorite songs but don’t have the time or the money to commit to long-term lessons from a private instructor.
According to a 2006 survey by NAMM, the International Music Products Association and Gallup, 52 per cent of American households have at least one active musician. Huffman believes many are interested in improving their skills, for an affordable price.
A 45-minute video session with Graham Nash on how to play Crosby Stills & Nash 1970s’ folk rock anthem “Teach Your Children” costs $US9.99, for example.
Though online video lessons and tips have taken off, not everyone is convinced you can ever replicate the quality of a one-on-one experience.
Dan Smith, a 37-year-old Manhattan-based guitar instructor, said learning to play a musical instrument is intuitive, like the way most people learn their first language.
“The basis of my teaching is human interaction with my students, the chemistry that we have,” says Smith.
But he allows that there is a place for online video when it comes to learning popular songs.
“I sometimes recommend my students use YouTube as a resource if you want to learn a song by ear – you might find ten different people on there – but it’s no substitute for one-on-one instruction.”