The worldwide community of guitarists and musicians is one of the main reasons why TrueFire is where it is today. With our students’ input and feedback, we stay motivated to continue to expand our library and improve our music e-learning experience. So, while we spend a lot of time highlighting our incredible faculty and content, we think it’s time to move the spotlight on some of our most passionate users.

In this Student Spotlight series, we’ll be showcasing a member of the diverse TrueFire community and sharing their thoughts with you. We hope you find yourself inspired. Ignited we stand!

Student Spotlight: jshalevski

Your Name:

Joshua S.

How long have you been a TrueFire Student?

3 months.

Tell us a little bit about yourself as a musician:

I started playing at around age 14. I was totally self-taught and played for hours on end every day for years. It probably helped me survive high school. Then, I accidentally dropped my electric guitar, and its neck snapped. I locked it in its hard case and didn’t open it for over a decade. In the meantime, I kept the cheap nylon string guitar I had borrowed from my school’s music room and would strum chords and sing songs with it every few months, but I didn’t learn anything new. A few years ago, a friend offered to fix my guitar‘s neck for free. I was happy to have it fixed but wasn’t really into playing much at the time. Then, during the stress of the last few years, I dusted it off and have been playing regularly since. I have really enjoyed using Truefire. It has been an awesome way to fill in the gaps that were left as a result of teaching yourself. It has also allowed me to learn and access the guitar music I listen to, rather than being limited only to what I can figure out on my own. I have especially enjoyed the blues rhythm and lead courses by Jeff McErlain. Such an accessible and fun way to learn the staples of the genre. I am currently a full access member for this year and will probably be one for the next year also.

What attracted you to TrueFire at first?

I looked around and compared lots of platforms. It seemed like TrueFire had a really interesting variety for intermediate players.

What are some of your favorite TrueFire courses or lessons?

Jeff McErlain’s Breakthrough Blues-Rock Rhythm Fills for sure. His course has given me some of the vocabularies of my favorite guitarists and explains just enough of the “why” the fills work.

How has TrueFire helped improve your playing?

It has improved my playing by helping to highlight the path forward from a beginner-intermediate level. That is, from comfortably knowing chord shapes and strumming to understanding and being able to incorporate scales, fills, riffs, etc., and making it all cohesive. My guitar-playing vocabulary has expanded massively in the short time I have learned using this platform.

Why do you use TrueFire, and how often?

I’m still learning, and this is probably the best method for me so far. When I don’t have much on, I can use the lessons nearly every day (briefly), but at the moment, it’s a few days a week.

What is your favorite feature of the TrueFire learning experience?

Probably being able to control the tabs and recorded videos simultaneously, slowing them down, going back, etc. I’m also able to find a lot of lessons on songs or genres I love, which makes learning a lot easier and more fun.

Who is your favorite TrueFire Educator and why?

Jeff McErlain. Awesome content. I like his playing style and his ability to explain the concepts in a way that provides some theoretical context without getting weighed down by it.

What would you like to see more of at TrueFire?

More song lessons, please.

Any other comments?

Having fun so far. Thanks for doing such a good job!

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