Today I’m giving my thoughts on the ukulele membership site Rock Class 101. Before I continue let me point out that I am in no way affiliated with Rock Class 101 but I am a user. On with the review…
What Is It?
Rock Class 101 is a paid membership site which offers a range of video lessons for $9/month. Lessons range from individual songs and technique to courses that incorporate other things like music theory, writing songs and recording.
The man behind the site is Andrew Hardel. Andrew is an accomplished musician who graduated from music school back in 2011.
There are a wealth of lessons on Rock Class 101 (over 250 lessons at the time of writing) which largely tend to be broken into 2 parts, the first half being available to non members and the second half for those that sign up. Members also get access to tab downloads and the rather useful Tab Play Along tool which lets you play alongside the performance with tab. This is a great practice tool and you can even slow the speed down whilst you’re getting to grips with the piece of music in question.
One of the reasons that I like Rock Class 101 is the level of the lessons. There’s a lot of intermediate to advanced level content which is a bracket that’s hard to find on other sites (or YouTube). It goes way beyond the standard, here are 4 chords and a strumming pattern style approach that you see in a lot of places. If I could develop even to be a tenth of the player that Andrew is I’d be a happy man.
What About Free Lessons?
There’s an argument that there’s already plenty of free ukulele lessons out there so paying for lessons isn’t necessary. While I agree with the fact that there’s a lot of material available, it isn’t always of a high enough standard and more importantly it rarely comes in a structured way to develop your playing. It’s one thing to make one off lessons, it’s another to develop a course. This is why I believe in and think that sites like Rock Class 101 are incredibly useful.
The big draw for me is the level of detail in the lessons, there’s always something to learn
Most people that are learning a musical instrument jump straight into songs and this can be a great way to learn but I’m a big believer in getting to grips with understanding how music works. This can help you out with jamming, soloing, improvisation and a lot more beyond.
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St James Infirmary. I'm still learning this one but I'm pretty pleased with my progress. When I first took this one on I thought it was beyond me but I'm starting to feel like I can do it now. This is another piece from @rockclass101, arrangement by the super talented @evanjdesilva I've also been playing around with a different version of this in the key of Em which is a lot more basic. . . . . . #ukulele #uke #ukulelego #rockclass101 #ukeleles #ukelele #ukulelecover #blues #theblues #stjamesinfirmary #acoustic #acousticmusic #acousticcovers #acousticcover #music #musician #ukulelelove #gcea #instaacoustic #instamusic #instamusician #bluesmusic #uketime #ukeitup #ukesnotnukes #peavey #jackdaniels
Rock Class 101 also features it’s own forum. On the forum you’ll get to ask questions and chat with other members. One thing that I really like on the forum is the monthly member challenge. Every month the challenge features a different piece of music. Members tackle the music and post videos of their performance. The great thing about the challenge is that you’ll get feedback on your performance directly from Andrew and other teachers. I recently posted a video of myself performing one of Andrew’s arrangements and Andrew spotted that I was really tensing up at a particular point. I wouldn’t have noticed this myself, it’s now something that I’m working to fix. The lessons are also great for giving yourself something to focus on.
If you do take up a membership with Rock Class 101 I’d recommend that you join the forums. Online learning has notoriously high drop-out rates across all subjects and the forums are a great way to maintain your focus.
On the whole I think Rock Class 101 is a great ukulele membership site, especially for those that maybe already consider themselves proficient with chords and strumming through songs. The focus on solo ukulele pieces will really develop you as a player.
If you’re an absolute beginner I’d recommend taking the time to get to grips with the basics before signing up. On the whole though I think Rock Class 101 is one of the best ukulele membership sites out there.