Guitar players, professional musicians and guitar teachers from all over the world give feedback about the results they got from working with Tom in the Correspondence Guitar Lessons, the Music Careers Mentoring Program and the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle. Watch their videos and read their comments below.
Correspondence Guitar Lessons Student Feedback
Additional Student Feedback
When I showed up for my first lesson with Tom, I never really thought an average person could accomplish their dreams of writing and playing music for a living. It would be an understatement to say that my life has been changed. Not only has Tom instilled in my playing a high level of technique but more importantly an understanding that music involves so much more than insane chops. The things I now consider the intangibles: vibrato, phrasing, aural skills and everything that has to do with composition, things I had never thought about before I met Tom, are what really make music emotional and a form of self expression. Tom has open my mind, eyes, and ears to help me explore concepts such as counterpoint, voice leading, and odd meters which now allow me to use technique as a tool to create music I only could have dreamed about making. Most importantly he has shown me that hard work, not natural talent, will always guarantee the accomplishment of my dreams and goals. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to learn from one of the true masters the guitar has ever had. Thanks.
It is hard to compare Tom and his teaching to any other guitar teacher out there. His knowledge and technique are unbelievable. I have been taking private lesson with him for a little over a year and it is ridiculous to see how much better of a musician I have become. My technique and speed have drastically improved and my knowledge of music theory and other related things have grown to levels that I would never have been able to reach without his help. I am making great steps in reaching my goals, both as a musician and in my music career goals. Tom's teaching methods are so incredible and helpful. His great playing inspires me to work harder at all the musical areas I am studying.
- Zack Uidl (Illinois, United States)
Tom, you are the one and only reason that I am the musician that I am today. My lessons with you throughout the years were such a huge part of my life and no other teacher could ever have come close to your expertise. My career as a professional musician/teacher is due to all of your help and guidance from the years that I have known you. I appreciate all of the time you have spent with me advancing my career long after our private lessons ended. I cannot thank you enough.
- Chris Kalkbrenner (Illinois, United States)
Tom Hess is the reason I pursued a music career. I took lessons from him all throughout high school, and he has become a very important mentor for me. He not only improved my playing immensely, but he helped me to realize that music is what I want to make my living with. I pursued a degree from Berklee College of Music because of him. After graduation, he offered me the incredible opportunity to play bass in the HESS band. I have learned a great deal from him even years afterwards.
- Mark Carozza (Illinois, United States)
Beginning my studies with Tom was without a doubt one of the greatest and most wise decisions I have ever made for my guitar playing. When I began my lessons my knowledge of music theory was lacking and I had no idea how to improvise solos or understood what it meant to compose truly expressive music. After studying with Tom (mostly via correspondence), I am currently enrolled in advanced music theory classes at a renown musical university. I also have greater skills to compose music than ever before. My playing ability is also greater than ever, and continues to grow with correct practice. But most importantly, I am very confident now that I will eventually reach all of my musical goals (which include becoming a virtuoso guitarist and music composer) Tom's sincere desire to help his students reach their goals, is one of the main things which makes him the great teacher he is. I feel very fortunate to have a mentor like Tom, and I look forward to learning from him in the years to come.
- Mike Philippov (Indiana, United States)
I started taking lessons from Tom Hess around 1996. I was self taught up until then. It was under Tom¹s tutelage that I learned what it meant to be a true guitarist/musician. Because of Tom I learned how to exceed my own expectations. I owe my musical ability first to God and then to Tom Hess.
- Marco Ferrara (Alabama, United States)
I have studied with Tom Hess for 2 years . He has become a great asset in my musical Career . From listening to my tunes, offering unbiased critique, teaching me about composition and how to express my self thru the guitar and music . I would recommended Tom to anyone seriously wanting to become a great player.
-Mario Amengual (Florida, United States)
Correspondence lessons with Tom have been the best thing I've done since I last took guitar lessons many years ago. I had struggled on my own to find direction, but Tom's lessons have really focused me and I feel like I am definitely on the right track to becoming a great guitarist. One of the best parts about the lessons is that they don't just cover guitar technique; in addition, they delve into songwriting and composition, many aspects of music theory, and ear training, just to name a few. Tom's lessons aren't just about becoming a better guitar player, they're about becoming a better musician.
Tom's intuition is uncanny. He knows what you need to do to improve. I had signed up for these lessons not knowing what to expect and from the very first lesson that I received and to this day, Tom knows my weaknesses and addresses those. I know that I have massively improved since.
- Tony Bradbury (Vancouver, Canada)
- Riff Sorce (Illinois, United States)
Tom's lessons helped me to make big advances in my playing. Tom has some great information and methods that have helped my playing significantly. The skills I've developed have made it easier for me to make music and work with other musicians. Thanks!
- Dave Cardwell (United States)
Tom Hess is truly a master at what he does! The lessons I have received are excellent in content. Musically I am seeing a progression in Techniques that had taken months and months on my own with very little forward progress. Now I am moving forward and becoming more and more confident in my playing and attitude. A HUGE IMPACT! I can't leave out the articles. Great stuff and very inspirational! Thanks Krzysztof, Dan and Alexander and THANK YOU for the lessons Tom! If you are serious about music, invest in yourself and study with Tom Hess.
- Tevis Maloney (Arizona, United States)
I was introduced to Mr. Hess through one of my friends who studied with him through correspondence lessons ( and still does ). I thought I would give it a try because I am always open to learn as much as possible. I was not expected to be blown away with how down to earth Mr. Hess is though. A lot of these students will talk of how their guitar playing and composing has increased, and of course mine has increased dramatically; I am at a point I thought never possible a year ago. However, every time I have met with Mr. Hess in person ( 3 times ) it has not only changed me as a musician, but as a person. I used to be a pessimistic closed minded individual with little knowledge on music and how to express my true self. However, Mr. Hess taught me the ropes, forever changing my outlook on music and life. Without Mr. Hess's guidance I would NOT be here at argueably the best music school in the country, IU. I consider Mr. Hess not only a great instructor, but also my friend. Listen to this guy and your life will change!!! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn from you bro.
- Kyle Hicks (California, United States)
I have been studying with Tom for just over a year now. That year I have had significant changes in my life. First off, I was fresh out of highschool. I was inspired by recordings of Tom, and by another one of his students guitar playing capabilities. I have always been into writing music, and as I started with Tom, our focus pretty much became just that. "Just that" included introducing me to theory, more in depth composition, priceless advice on how to handle the business end things, and over all a broader range of music appreciation. I look to Tom as the Teachers Holy Trinity; the teacher, the mentor, and the friend. Tom has helped me put together many of the pieces in my jigsaw puzzle of a music career, and still continues to today. Thanks Tom!
- Alex Boccia (Illinois, United States)
Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how much I enjoyed the pedagogy lesson. It got here yesterday and I have reread it a couple of times. I have several "How To Teach Guitar" e-books, all of which contained some good ideas, and you still managed to touch on some things that these other books didn't cover. I'm really looking forward to Part 2 in April. I can see myself studying with you for a long time to come! You are The Man! I have no doubt that with your guidance, I can reach my teaching goals. I also want to write an instructional book someday. Something that teaches simple modal application for people who have been playing strictly pentatonic scales.
- Paul Tauterouff (New York, United States)
Although I have only been on your correspondance program for a month (2 lessons) the progress I have made in that time is more than was made in the last year of trying to teach myself. I am a far better guitarist and it feels great! I look forward to seeing how far your lessons, and my sustained practice sessions, can take me.
- Andrew Greenhalgh (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Well Tom, I have to say I'm really impressed so far with my correspondence course. The last few months studying your music lessons have had an enormous effect on my attitude towards music and the guitar (I'm sure you get comments like this a lot, but it's true!). YOU've inspired me to pursue a career in the music business as a professional musician.
- Justin Armstrong (Canada)
Tom, I stumbled upon one of your articles while surfing on the net, and I was hit by the fact that not only there were no licks inside, but you were covering a vital topic: perseverance. I had perseverance, but didn't know what to practice! Then I discovered that you gave correspondence lessons. I was dubious at first (you know, correspondence lessons... it is really possible to learn?), but your kind answers before I enrolled persuaded me. After 3 months I see that this was probably the single best decision in my guitar playing. What still strike me is how much you were able to understand of me by the few things I told you... at the end of the first month I was thinking that I needed some exercise specific for the right hand, but you were faster than me and included it in the following lesson BEFORE I told you! Ditto for the exercise on hands syncronization. Also, you made me realize how important is ear training in becoming a musician and not only a "guitar player". In only 3 months my skills on the guitar have improved enormously, my playing is cleaner and on time, I feel more confident. At the beginning I wasn't sure that I could eventually reach my goals... but after seeing the improvements I am not doubting any more! Thanks, Tom, and keep doing the good work!!
- Tommaso Zillio (Italy)
Tom Hess’ correspondence lessons are amazing. I really feel a lot of support from the lessons and the forum. Tom really wants you to exceed, and as a world class virtuoso he knows exactly what the next step for is you. He keeps on pushing you to greater levels, lesson after lesson. Before I started lessons with Tom I was an intermediate player, now I can really feel how I will totally dominate as a guitar player and an upcoming force in the music industry. Thanks a lot, Tom!
- Antony Reynaert (West-Vlaanderen, Belguim)
To me, one of the hardest parts about learning to play the guitar is that I'd much rather just play the guitar instead of sitting around and practicing. Fortunately Tom's lessons not only include the physical techniques required to play the guitar well, but he also understands the mental road blocks that we all put up for ourselves when trying to learn. In his lessons he includes articles and examples from his own personal experience as a student and as a professional, to help us get past these hurdles. Another invaluable resource that Tom offers is his Students Forum on the website. It is one of the most friendly and helpful forums, of any type, that I've run across. Unlike random searching on the web, you can find answer to questions that are lesson specific and give you a greater understanding of the material you're trying to learn. Overall I would highly recommend Tom as a guitar teacher.
- Mike Thomas (Georgia, United States)
Reading Tom's article on the myths of becoming a professional musician solidified my decision to pursue my passion for music as a career. I was a one-year-old self-taught guitarist back then, and I knew I needed a better way to reach my playing goals. Since Tom offered affordable correspondence lessons, I seriously considered studying with him, and signed up for the program. After about a month of reading through http://www.tomhess.net, I finally COMPLETELY surrendered all what I thought playing and practicing guitar is about to Tom, and made my first payment to him.
It has now been 6 months since I began studying with Tom Hess, and as I look back, I smile in disbelief at how primitive my past approaches to guitar playing and practice really were ... and that I would have still been practicing with the self-defeating habits that I developed within the first year of teaching myself guitar. Though I'll always have room to improve, I CANNOT BELIEVE how the quality of my practicing has risen in half a year!
Aside from the lessons that I regularly get from him, Tom provides so much more value to me and all of his students. The private forum alone is worth the money with the quality of its members. Tom's passion and dedication to his students (just from my experience with him) is INCREDIBLE. Tom isn't just a guitar teacher to me ... he is my greatest mentor. I will probably never stop studying with him ... the guy is always 77 steps ahead of me! The money for the lessons is nothing compared to what I'm getting in return. The best way I'll ever pay the man back is by blasting past and beyond all of my major music goals in life, and letting him know about it.
Thank you, Tom!
-Mike Voyevodskiy (North Carolina, United States)
In 6 months Tom's lessons have exceeded my expectations. I am 20-+ year student of guitar and have been playing in weekend cover bands for over 10 years. I'm always on the look out for new learning material. I have taken lessons from 4 or 5 excellent teachers locally, face to face over the past 10-15 years. I've been fortunate to these teachers were very helpful with where I was at a point in time with my playing. I am also a big collector of instructional material, printed, audio, video, tab etc. I always have a small stack of learning material to supplement my band song list for my regular practice sessions.
Yes, I could have stayed comfortable in my playing, continued to learn at a certain pace and continued to play in my weekend cover band successfully a few times a month but 6 months ago I felt the time was right to try the correspondence format Tom advertised on his web site. Skeptical of mail order correspondent lessons, but looking for specific instruction on how to practice more effectively, and close in some gaps on fundamental skills, the format seemed low risk
Yes we've touched on some basic fundamentals that I knew (or thought I knew) but we've gone way beyond that as well. I am practicing with renewed enthusiasm, throwing new spark into my cover band songs, learning to balance learning new things, having fun playing and performing. The material I am receiving will always be there for me to refer back to. Each lesson seems to contain a variety of material well conceived to where I am in my playing and what I am hoping to accomplish.
The topics and technical areas of focus Tom provides are not for just now but for the future, such areas like aural skills, composition, songwriting, learning songs, advanced chords, scales etc. are things I had never thought to focus on. While I pride myself on improvising in a blues setting, both Tom's basic blues improve lessons and his Improvisation CD classes have been a huge benefit and I look forward to receiving each new installment
Tom uses his applicant questionnaire very effectively and has an uncanny ability of programming your subsequent lessons individually and personally for you. Finally, it's not just about the lessons from Tom. The community of other students he has built via the web site forum is an invaluable resource. Everyone is knowledgeable in their own right and many are teachers themselves.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons from Tom and look forward to continuing to learn and grow my musical abilities.
- David DeWees (Ohio, United States)
Some time ago when I started to play guitar I didn't have a teacher, didn't have true knowledge, didn't have goals, didn't have direction where to move. I just collected information from many sources and soaked it up. Once I was surfing the Internet, grabbing musical info, and accidentally found Tom's article. At the same evening I emailed him and asked to teach me. I've been taking correspondence lessons for about one and a half year and during this time Tom totally changed my technique, my style of playing and my vision of music. Now I have serious guitar goals, I have the way to achieve them, I have really cool teacher and friend and I am happy with it. It is wonderful how just one email can change your life!
- Alexander Yuganov (Belarus)
In April of 2004 my daughter and I wanted to experience an activity or hobby that would bring us closer together. Not only has taking lessons with Tom brought us closer together, but we are sharing and experiencing the joy of playing guitar far beyond my greatest hope! Taking lessons from a Pro's Pro like Tom gives you the best practices and techniques for beginners when it can be so easy to quit. Tom has taught a lot of students over the years and knows how to reach into people and tap their awaiting expression and skill like he truly has with us. Although Tom's own skills are far beyond even most professional guitarists, he shows remarkable patience and reinforcement of your progress as you go. If you have kids that want to learn guitar or if you are an adult that has always felt you could be the next "Angus" or Kirk Hamett...or whoever.... Tom is the teacher you want. He provides more than just guitar lessons, he provides a real musical education
- Dave Blum (Illinois, United States)
Tom Hess is the man! He has taught me everything I've ever wanted to know about guitar, songwriting, and music in general over the last six years. He is an extremely intelligent person with a massive amount of knowledge in this field. I recommend Tom to anyone who wants to learn to play guitar and wants to improve his guitar playing skills.
- Daniel P. Weiler Jr. (Illinois, United States)
I have just finished up a six hour practice/study session with the materials you furnished, in addition to an hour or two per night since I got them a few days ago. Having taken private lessons from two other instructors and studied on my own for a number of years, in addition to performing live for about five years now, I think I can say with some authority that this is the course I have been looking for! While my previous instructors each had something to offer, what they did not provide is training in the underlying science and art behind music that will give me what I want - free command of the fretboard. I think your course is finally going to unlock that door for me.
The aural skills training is the best thing I have come across since I started messing around with the guitar as a child. This should be lesson one, day one of any music training, and yet I have not seen it anywhere else in my previous lessons or any of the books I have used. One thing I want to accomplish is to be able to listen to songs and figure them out quickly, rather than have to struggle through the endless tedium of memorizing tab transcriptions or playing a CD a hundred times trying to figure out all the parts. I think this aural skills training is going to greatly enhance my ability to pick apart songs and get them on the fretboard fast. This alone is worth the price of the first lesson set. As an added bonus, due to concentrated listening to my guitar with a clean tone I found that my intonation is off and one of my patch cords is causing noise. I also found that I get sharp as I get farther from the root, and I was able to spot this and correct it in just a couple of days with the exercises you provided. This could be a course by itself.
The Improv CD has already opened my eyes to some critical deficiencies in my current skill set. As an experienced live performer with a regular repertoire of mostly improv leads, I thought I had at least a pretty good handle on the basics. I can see I have been missing a lot and anticipate significant returns on the time and money in just a few months with this training.
I have started the recordings for the remainder of the lessons. I can't believe how much material you have provided in just one set of lessons. This is enough to keep me busy for several months with my old practice routine. Obviously I will be putting in some more time than before, but it will be well worth the sacrifice I'm sure. I am also thankful that you included some materials on arpeggios, as this is an area I have not really pursued but have been wanting to for a long time. There is so much here I'm almost afraid it may be too much for me to handle, but I'm going to give it a hard try.
It is obvious you have put a lot of thought and care into this course and I appreciate it. I know enough about music to know a real guitar course when I see one, and so far this is the best I have seen short of taking a college program. I wish I had found something like this ten or fifteen years ago.
BTW, the bonus Guitars at an Exhibition CD is unbelievable, I have it cranked up right now and expect the police to be here any minute! If I can ever play like some of these students of yours it will be more than worth the money for the course.
I'm looking forward to the next package in a few weeks and hope to be ready for it. Thanks again, for the course and for answering my e-mail questions.
- J. C. Crawford (South Carolina, United States)
Tom Hess is a great teacher, it's worth to take lessons with him! I've learned a lot from his teachings and methods. It has definitely corrected my perspectives on practicing and other things. Thanks a lot, teacher!
- Davis Lee Chee Yih (Malaysia)
Before I started studying with Tom Hess I was completely self taught. I had played along with songs and learned things everywhere I could for about 5 years. I got to a point where I thought I was pretty good, I could play well enough to impress any of my friends and everybody in my circle of friends thought of me as the guitar player guy. Over a period of time though, the more I got serious about playing guitar (and I was already pretty serious, so I thought!) the more I started to realize something in the back of my mind. I started to realize that I had reached a point in my playing where I was not getting better. After that I realized that I did not know HOW to get better and take my playing to the next level. This is the thing. Many people when coming to the same realization that I did would just assume they did not have what it takes, and move on to something easier. This is no way to get any worthy results out of any aspect of your life. So with this fact, I figured I should FIND OUT how to get better. I knew about Tom Hess from reading many of his excellent articles, and knew exactly who I needed to turn to. Now that I have been studying with him, I have already begun making amazing progress faster than I realized was possible. And it would not be possible if I did not have a very experienced teacher like Tom to make lesson plans for me and put me on the quickest path to helping me put my goals into reality. Its just like Tom said to me in the very first email I ever sent him, STOP TALKING AND START DOING, BROTHER.
- Brock Callahan (United States)
I first heard of Tom Hess when I was on a guitar training website and stumbled upon an article he had written about Perseverance. As it turns out it was exactly what I needed to hear. I had tried many times to improve my guitar playing on my own but lacked the focus and perseverance Tom mentioned because I had no plan, I had no one to help direct me. Of course I just thought I did not have what it took to become a good guitar player so was almost ready to quit. Although reluctant at first with the idea of correspondence lessons, I decided I had nothing to lose so I signed up. It was the right decision! The past several months I have seen an improvement in many areas of my playing thanks to Tom's lessons. As a matter of fact I have improved more in a few months with his help than I have over the past several years on my own. The area I have seen the most improvement in however is improvisation. If someone had told me that I would be able to improvise a solo after only a few lessons I would have laughed at them in disbelief - I could not believe it was possible for me. Well, not only was it possible, it has happened!! Thanks Tom. I look forward to attaining several other goals and milestones with your help.
- Maurice Richard (Nova Scotia, Canada)
We've worked together for the last 6 months now and I have to say that I'm very happy with the instruction you've provided. No way would I have progressed as quickly as I have had I tackled it all on my own.
You provide the right materials for me to practice and the materials on how to practice to achieve my goals. In addition, you're always only an email away. Though you undoubtedly get hundreds of emails a day, you always reply in a timely manner (within 2 days). This is certainly a much better situation than it was when I was taking more traditional lessons as a kid where I could only correspond with the teacher once a week during our lesson.
Your teaching methods, along with my own organizational abilities and dedication to practice, is helping me to become a better guitar player now than I ever was when I was younger (and I was really good then). I give you credit for the lessons.... I'll take credit for the hard work. ;-)
After being away from the guitar and music for so many years to pursue the "adult" goals in life, you've helped me to rediscover what a joy it is to play the guitar again. It fills a big void in the soul that corporate/family life just doesn't provide. Thanks!
- Keith Boruff (New York, United States)
I have always loved playing the guitar but wanted to play more than just published sheet music. Tom has helped me to understand and apply music theory to my playing, helping me to think of where the music can go instead of waiting to be shown what to do. Tom also helped me to improve my playing technique by showing me better ways to play certain phrases. I still have a long way to go, but with his help I am enjoying playing music and not just notes.
- Mark Schultz (Illinois, United States)
I'm a husband and father of 2 & I've been playing guitar for 28 years. Even though I am a pretty good player and believe I have a good sense of melody and feel, I am not where I want to be as a player or musician. Being self taught learning proper technique and other skills was hit and miss. Learning these skills from a good teacher is critical to becoming an excellent guitarist and especially to do so in a much shorter amount of time. I had grown tired of remaining on a plateau with my playing and in March, 2004 I decided to start taking lessons.
I found a local teacher with incredible credentials. University degree's, classically trained, Master Class student, session guitarist with legendary musicians, articles written about his virtuosity and the playing ability to back it all up.
He was one bad dude!
I took a total of 10 lesson's with this instructor and stopped when my father became very ill. During this time I reflected on all the time I had spent taking these lessons, driving to the lesson's and back home, practicing the lesson material and the hundreds of dollars I spent taking them. I was a bit disappointed with what I got out compared to what I put in.
I tried on my own to create a course of study and purchased a few "Lesson's" from a web based guitar instruction site that focused on a particular subject such as "Modes"& "Improvising" and downloaded other material on technique & theory. These ended up collecting dust for the most part because there was no structure to my study. No focus.
Frustration was really setting in.
I really wanted to reach my potential but I had no idea how to get there. Especially with my busy schedule. I new there was a good chance that I could be wasting a lot of valuable time by not learning and practicing things I really should be for my personal skill level to achieve my goals. I was driving blind.
A few weeks ago I stumbled onto your web site while searching the internet to answers some questions I had regarding theory and technique. I took a close look at what your teaching philosophy is, what some of your other students had to say about you, what your credentials are and I listened to how well you actually play. I was reluctant to trust another amazing guitarist with my hard earned dollars and time. Not to mention taking lessons from a few hundred miles away through correspondence!
I listened to how well your students on your web site played, how well you played, asked you questions over and over again and finally decided to go for it.
When I received my first lesson I was surprised how organized it was and how much material was actually there. I read it 3 times and prepared my practice environment and materials as instructed in the lesson and began practicing. I wanted to be certain I was practicing the material correctly so I sent you several e-mails asking you to verify that I was correct with certain techniques and fingers, etc. and I was very impressed with how quickly you responded and with such detail and patience. You took the time to answer my questions even though the answers were not only in the material but also in a very organized "FAQ" area on your web site!
It's been almost 3 weeks now since I received lesson #1 and I can honestly say that I have learned more in this single lesson than I did in the 10 private, one on one lessons with my previous teacher! He was an incredible player but his teaching skills were nowhere near yours!
I am very, very impressed! Finally a claim that means what it says!
Since I completed your evaluation, you have a total understanding of where I am currently at regarding my entire skill set and my goals and you have provided me with the roadmap to get there. No more driving blind!!
I know this may sound like an infomercial but I just wanted you to know how impressed I am and how happy I am with your lessons. Please feel free to share this with anyone. I can't recommend you enough!
Take care Tom and I'm looking forward to lesson #2!
- Jeff Vivrette (Michigan, United States)
Thank you for everything you have done for me during my time in your country. I return to my home in 4 days. I am very happy I know you and I came to study music from you. The experiences of our lessons has changed my life forever in the very great way! When I began your lessons, I thought it will be good and I wanted to achieve some simple things. You gave me the gift to believe about that I thought was impossible. I thank you again for your amazing teaching. You are much more than the great teacher. You are the master and my mentor. In my country, teachers teach only, but they do not care so much about my musical happiness as you. Forever I do not forget about you. I am happy to begin correspondence lesson with you when I am home and ready to begin again!
-Ovidiu Bihoi (Romania)
- Mike Ryan (Illinois, United States)
Nice job you did on the rock tracks CD, I've wanted something like this for a long time! I love the lessons we are doing with the CD too, what a huge learning aid they are! I can't wait to record myself improvising and send it to you again.
- David Bradley (Scotland)
.... The second lesson was awesome!! Thank you. I have gained a lot since I started taking lessons from you. My accuracy, speed, and all around playing has shot through the roof. As soon as I get a recorder, I will send you a copy of me playing. Take care!
- Jeremy Blank (Wisconsin, United States)
....I still take lessons from Hess. I think I started back in 2002. I have never actually met him yet, but I will when he will play in Quebec City this June. He was cool enough to arrange backstage passes for me and my girlfriend. As a teacher, he's massive! Really knows his shit and really really knows how to explain it all to me! I'm a way better player now because of him. The Opus 2 record is out of this world. totally massive!....
- John Rondeau (Quebec, Canada)
I owe it all to you Tom. I NEVER could have gotten this far without you! Thanks a trillion!
- Steven Campbell (New York, United States)
Hiya Tom, Your lessons are outstanding. Karen loves to practice her guitar now and she is thrilled about her improved song writing skills. She called me from Florida and told me to schedule more lessons with you for when she returns from her gigs down south.
- Phil D. for Karen D. (Illinois, United States)
You're badass man! i can totally shred now all over this damn neck and know what the hell I'm doing now too. Thanks man for opening up new doors for me!!!!!!!!!! See you next week. later, Marty
- Marty Panstler (Illinois, United States)
Francesco told me all about you remember? He is also a great player! The newest set of lesson you made for me are very challenging but I think they are exactly what I needed to work on at this time. So I feel my skill is really growing now! it is very exciting because now i can play the way I always only wished about 6 months ago! It is very cool! Thank you Hess!!!
- Stefano Boschetti (Italy)
I've been a student, follower and fan of Tom Hess for more than 8 years now. When I met Tom, I was just a kid in high school with a dream to be real professional musician. I now teach and play guitar professionally. Tom has helped me in so many ways, it would take forever to say it all. I learned a lot more from Tom than good guitar playing. I learned how to become a pro. He not only taught me what to do and how to do it, he went way out of his way (many times) to help me get better gigs and other musical opportunities. He didn't have to do any of that, he wasn't getting paid to do it, he just did it! Even though I don't live near him anymore I am his student even now via distance learning correspondence lessons.
- David P. (Minnesota, United States)
Finding you for my teacher was the best thing for my guitar playing. Lessons with you are my greatest investment.
- Johan Haland (Norway)
If you haven't heard about this already, This is a great program! It is worth every dollar. I'm a lot closer to achieving my musical dreams now because of my correspondence lessons with Tom Hess.
- Cyril Guers (Southern France)
...I got so sick of great guitar players that can't teach! Many of them don't really know what they are doing and others may know it themselves, but can't find a way to make me understand it! It was so frustrating. Your logical structure and easy to understand approach is invaluable. But the coolest part is, if i don't understand something, all I have to do is ask and you explain it in a new way and then i get it! You don't know how long I've been searching for this.
Jared Foster (Oregon, United States)
Your correspondence lessons are absolutely the best! Thanks for all your help.
- Laurence Goh (Singapore)
I did all what you taught about recruiting more students and it worked! I now have 45 students a week! Its the greatest feeling in the world (OKAY, maybe its only the second greatest) to be able to quit my old job and finally, after all these years, be the professional musician and teacher that I am now! I mean, whoa man, life is awesome! If it wasn't for you dude, I would probably still be working at that dead end loser job back in Iowa making like $8 and hour taking lessons from some dude that aint all that great anyway. Now I make more than 4 times that much cash with my freaken guitar teaching cool students!! Life is good bro, life is good!!! U DA MAN Tom.
- Derrik Sands (California, United States)
Thanks for the great lesson Tom! I can't wait for the next one, I'm practicing more than ever now, you really have me motivated now!
- Mike Borden (Ohio, United States)
...of course Tom is a great teacher, that much is obvious. It's all that happens behind the scenes, which some people may not be aware of, that is of the most value. He helped me get my first guitar teaching job and I know he has done this for some of his other students too. He even gave me (and another student of his) the excellent opportunity to go on tour with him in Europe last summer!
- Rick Vargus (Illinois, United States)
I met Hess during a really bad time in my life. After playing guitar seriously for 7 years, I was ready to give up on music altogether. That was when I first heard about Hess. His articles "Why aren't you a better guitarist", "Musical frustration" and others opened my eyes again. I became one of his correspondence students in 2003. I've turned my life around (both music life and personal life) and I'm making a good living in music now with his guidance I have faithfully followed. I feel I owe him a lot.
- Alan Alvursha (California, United States)
As a guitarist I be positioned on basis the unimaginable tower be called Guitar experience. When I practice without assistance, I understand,what I never reach a level of neoclassical guitarists. At that time, Fortune meets me with virtuoso guitar player and teacher Tom Hess. Almost 1 year as I working with this outstanding teacher and musician and simply very good person. Of course, I rookie as yet, but I think what my progress it is obvious. Work with Tom Hess to be of benefit - now I begin to understand using musical theory on practice. Very important what I improve thanks to his lessons my aural and improvising skills. Also I continue to advance general technique of playing. I just to thank one's lucky stars for working Tom Hess with me.THANKS.
- Andrei Salnikov (Russia)
Fortune smiled on me, to you brought me. I grow each day from seed to tree, now I am with happiness because my music studies are broad. Only with translation of English do I have bigger challenges. Contents of your lessons are of my favorites I have seen for my life. Large Gratitude to you Mr. Hess!
- Gabriel Rodriguez (Chile)
Tom Hess has the ability to help you cut right through the fat and get to the heart of what you want accomplished. His knowledge reaches far into the many fields of, and related to, music. If there is something you want to learn, he already knows everything about it, and is more than happy to share all of it with you. With his help, I've been able to figure out why, and how, I want music in my life. His passion for the art is no less than an inspiration to be around, and his approaches to teaching are all his own, and all effective.
- Sam Hastings (Illinois, United States)
I didn't study with Tom for very long, but it didn't take much time for his teachings to effect my playing drastically. I had been learning guitar from a friend who I used to work with, who had played for some time. He helped my playing but then decided that he himself needed to accelerate his abilities. He referred me to Tom Hess, which is something I'm still grateful for. When I started with Tom I was still in the beginning stages and uncomfortable with the instrument. After studying his teachings on things like pedal point, picking hand discipline, and the use of a metronome my abilities sharpened intensely in a very short period. They developed so much that I was actually able to produce a song, which Tom edited and recorded for me. Tom Hess is an incredible musician and also a great guy. We spent many sessions talking about music and art, which is something I am very passionate about because its a dream of mine to be a professional tattoo artist. Tom didn't just teach me great things about music though. He shared with me books and motivational tapes that explain how to conduct yourself so that there is no way you can fail at anything in your life that you want to pursue. He shared with me ideas and philosophies that changed my life. When I was with Tom I had an unfortunate encounter with a loss in my family. Also, I am recently taking on another family members fight against cancer. Life hasn't dealt me the greatest hands lately but because of Tom I have the tools and techniques to overcome anything that life dishes out. He didn't just introduce music to me, he introduced to me a whole new way of living, for which I am grateful.
Thank you Tom, from the bottom of my heart thank you and god bless
- Tony DeMarco (Illinois, United States)
Out of all the programs and teachers that I have had, none have been as effective as Tom Hess' program! I at first was suspicious about correspondence lessons, but they with Tom's help, my guitar skills have propelled further than I could have every imagined. Tom actually works with you instead sending you an impersonal package of scales and charts. He's always willing to answer my questions and help me advance to the next level. This guy is the real deal!
- Adam Fein (Pennsylvania, United States)
I have been taking your correspondence lessons going on two months and just got my first lesson on improvising. I am most impressed with the structure the lessons are in and how much I am enjoying them. I practice for at least an hour every night and I have not gotten bored with any of the lessons. I emphasize this because when I get bored, I loose interest, and that has been my problem throughout the years playing.
I am very much looking forward to continue with the correspondence and improvising lessons and for you to help me reach both my short term and long term goals. Thanks Tom!!
- John Bryant (California, United States)
First let me say I am very pleased with your lessons. The tips on organization are worth the price alone. That is one of my big problems. I feel that just by getting organized I am maximizing the time I have to practice and getting great results using the rest of the lesson content.
- Val Rios (Washington, United States)
I received the second Improvisation Training Class CD yesterday. Listened to it on the way to work today and wow! You are batting 1000. I have never been so excited about playing. Thank you.
- Rick Franklin (Texas, United States)
After 8 weeks, I can definitely say that the value of a good teacher can never be overstated!! I think you've packed more into those 8 weeks than all my previous teachers combined. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings. I did not know how much I was missing by studying on my own or with less capable teachers. I'm 100% satisfied with the way things are progressing. The articles are great motivators, always reminding me that the next breakthrough is just around the corner and not to get frustrated, and to always stay focused because my goals are within reach. It's good to know that all the great musicians have been through the same trials, self doubt, and frustration because it keeps you going knowing it can be done.
At first I was surprised at the amount of material in the lessons and was concerned I wouldn't be able to get through it all, but having a practice regimen has enabled me to keep pace and I've seen a substantial increase in my abilities both in theory and technique. Tom is a master instructor he knows what his students need and exactly when they need it to keep them constantly moving forward. If I hadn't started studying under Tom, I'd still be spending the next 20 years chasing my dreams. Instead, I'm on my way to playing the music I want to play, the way I want to play it.
- Fred Ferenczhalmy (Virginia, USA)
The lessons are going great. I think the most important thing that I am getting from your lessons is the mentoring, advice, motivation, plans/structure to reach my dreams. That stuff is priceless and extremely valuable.
- Samson Rowaro (Papua, New Guinea)
I feel a little strange at the beginning to get some correspondence course, but well, after reading your article I was convince. It's been three month now and I really can feel and hear the difference - rhythm, aural skill, theory knowledge, composition. Now, I understand what you mean with a good teacher and lot of motivation : I feel (no, I know!) I can reach my goal with your help. I hope one day I can get more often your lesson, it's really worth it. Thanks Tom, now I'm going back to work on my lesson!
- Sebastien Orban (Belgium)
Received the 14th lesson today, again all great stuff Tom. The Rhythm Guitar CD was awesome and I went through all of it once already. I was at Jonathan's house and we were talking about how his lesson with you are going too. We both spent about 15 minutes discussing how much we've progressed so much in the past 6-8 months with you. It was also the first time I was actually on your students forum [at Jonathan's house] I can't believe how much great stuff there is to learn just by reading all the great posts made there by some of your more advanced students. These guys must also be guitar teachers too, lots of really expert advice on there. I can see now your student's forum alone is more than worth the price of the lessons!
- Vlad Mears (Iowa, United States)
I have tried everything and am extremely motivated but you are the first person that has shown me the REAL possibilities instead of saying "grow up---here are some guitar acrobatics so go jerk off for a while". I appreciate that and am telling everyone about you. Even my wife, who is a music lover and my worst critic sees the difference in my playing in just one month. It comes from playing everyday and changes that I made, but without your help and encouragement, I would still be paddling away at nowhere.
- Daniel Faustmann (Wisconisn, United States)
AWESOME videos and superb playing! I want to thank you for doing these lessons so people like me can learn what they need to know from an experienced professional and not just a local teacher that, while they may be a good player, probably don't know how to teach! I would pretty much be lost without a good guide....and you're the best guide I could have asked for! Thank you again so much, anyway time to practice!
- Cody Abram (Oklahoma, United States)
I started taking correspondence lesson with Tom in January 2006. At the time, my playing had been stagnating and I was dealing with serious arthritis. I was quite frustrated and I felt I was going backwards. The songs I had been writing had all started to sound derivative of one another, and I couldn't seem to advance my playing. One year later, I can honestly say that those lessons represent one of the best investments in myself I ever made. Tom is not only an amazing player with a thorough knowledge of theory, he can communicate that knowledge in a way that makes it extremely easy to absorb. The lessons have been very well organized and the Improvisation Training Class has been absolutely invaluable. These materials are packed with literally hundreds of techniques I can use for extracting myself from compositional or improvisation ruts I might fall into in the future. I've learned numerous new ways of approaching the process of composition, and my playing has improved dramatically. I still struggle with the arthritis, but using the warm-up and practice methodology Tom taught me has helped me prove to myself that I CAN work through it and reach new goals.
- Ben Beasley (Maryland, United States)
For someone serious about music, there is no better, more efficient, or faster way to reach your goals than with Tom Hess. He's not only a master guitar player, he has mastered the art of teaching. He will help you identify your goals, decide what course of action to reach those goals, and if you put the effort in, you will have huge results. I've never had a teacher with a more fundamentally solid method than Tom Hess, in any class (any subject) or private guitar lessons. With enthusiasm for guitar, a ton of effort, and an awesome teacher like Tom, ANYONE can reach their musical goals.
- Ben Craig (Wisconsin, United States)
Thank you for another excellent lesson, it is even better than the previous ones! But mostly I want to write thanks to you for spending your time to answer my questions and for all your advice. Many of the advices are worth more than the cost of any lesson amount. And you advised without payment in your own free time - my German teachers never do it for the students! it will be a pleasure to finally meet you when you will tour again in Germany. I regret I did not know you when you were in concert last time here.
- Jan Mienert (Germany)
Music Careers Mentoring Program Student Feedback
Additional Student Feedback
The Music Careers Mentoring Program is an absolute must for anyone who is dead serious about succeeding in the music business. If your heart is set on achieving success in music and you are looking for guidance on how to do it, this program is for you.
Taught by an experienced pro, the program really teaches all the ins and outs of "making it" in the music industry. The program is more than merely "lessons on tape." There is a lot of "hands on" training taking place as Tom guides the students through a variety of reputation and experience building projects. You also have the unique opportunity to interact and establish positive relationships with other serious and dedicated musicians who are just as serious about becoming music professionals as you are! Where else can you find that?
Tom does a superb job of explaining the mental attitudes and beliefs that all successful musicians have in common and he also guides you step by step through some actual projects that will significantly boost anyone's reputation in the music industry even if they have zero prior experience.
I found myself transformed as a person is some very positive and empowering ways and I'm totally confident now that my success in music will only be a matter of time.
Tom, Thanks so much for all your help bro!
- Mike Philippov (Indiana, United States)
First off, because Tom Hess' name is attached to this class you know it is world-class instruction that you simply can't find anywhere else. A career in music is broken down and information is shared that most people spend a lifetime trying to figure out. I guarantee that if you follow the concepts and ideas in the MCMP you will see a significant difference in the direction of your career. If you apply the knowledge you gain you cannot fail. It amazes me that Tom would be so willing to give this information away freely. He continues to revolutionize the methods of guitar instruction.
- Tim Gibson (Wisconsin, United States)
Tom Hess's Music Careers Mentoring Program has taught the most incredible amount about the music industry and how to succeed in this industry. Through this program, I realized what I needed to do to become very successful in such a demanding industry. I can honestly say that without this program, I would never have become who I am today and reached the level of success that I have. Thank you Tom.
- Zack Uidl (Illinois, United States)
I had recently finished my music degree and felt like I needed guidance career wise. I had received very useful and informative careers advice in music school, but it didn't fit with my own goals. I was very impressed by the selection process Tom Hess uses to find people that would fit into this type of project. I feel very fortunate to have Tom Hess as my careers mentor, the information and the way in which he lectures is very inspirational. Also the projects are very interesting and important for furthering my career. I would and do recommend this program to anyone who is interested in furthering their career.
- Neil Mellor (United Kingdom)
When I first approached Tom Hess I was still searching for direction in my dream of having a career as a professional musician. I have believed for many years now that this dream was my destiny--but I was frustrated because I felt like things weren't progressing the way they should be, and I wasn't sure what steps to take next.
Tom approached me about entering the Music Careers Mentoring Program (MCMP) in the fall of 2005. This program has changed everything for me. I now wake up every day with a clear sense of purpose. I have many various projects and assignments I'm working on that will all further my music career.
Tom has been/and continues to be a great musical mentor to me. Tom has a ton of experience in the music business and had to learn all he is teaching in the MCMP the hard way. His combined experience and fresh approach has no doubt saved me years of struggling to find my own way. I felt for many years that I was wandering down a dark hallway....feeling around for doors or windows that could help light the path to my dreams. The MCMP turned the lights on all at once and showed me where I was and where I needed to go--and how to get there. Tom Hess is not only a great mentor, but I also consider him a friend.
Speaking of friends--maybe the greatest thing that has happened since I joined the program is that I've made a bunch of new friends. These people are not only very talented musicians but also great people. I'm sure many of them will be friends for life! As part of the MCMP we are constantly helping each other in our individual careers, and also working together on various projects. What a great thing it has been to have a support network of musicians from all over the world working together to make our dreams come true!
I am now more excited and fired up than I have ever been about my career as a professional musician!
- Nick Layton (California, United States)
Being in the MCMP has changed my musical career, as well as life in so many ways. Not only have I learned about many different aspects in music business; but as well what it takes to be a successful person in the industry. Before I was in the program I was hoping to become a great musician someday. Now, I am excited as I see my goals and desires getting closer and closer each day. This program is all about personal growth on many levels.
- Ysrafel (Oklahoma, United States)
The Music Careers Mentoring Program is everything I hoped it would be and more. It has helped me tremendously and will continue to do so long into the future. I now have a focus and a road to follow to achieve everything I want in music. The program is giving me the tools and insight to create my own opportunities and manifest my dreams into a reality.
Coming from the perspective of someone who already had a full-time teaching career in the Music Industry prior to entering the Tom Hess Music Careers Mentoring Program; it has still proven itself to be of major benefit to my career and to my growth as a person as well.
Tom Hess is the real deal! He has achieved major success as both a successful musician and recording artist, selling thousands of records worldwide, and as a teacher.
In the MCMP, Tom's approach is highly unusual in that he doesn't just give you a bunch of information about the industry and how it works; he also addresses the many other factors that are key to achieving success. For instance, he works on your way of thinking, and how to purge yourself of negative disempowering beliefs. He teaches you how to work with others, and puts you in many situations where group interaction is necessary to accomplish the projects that he assigns you. In short, he teaches you how to be a successful PERSON in general, and gives you the opportunity to apply these techniques to relevant industry-specific projects that will greatly enhance your career.
But not only is his approach highly unusual, it is also highly effective. Having taught hundreds of students myself, I know when I see an effective method. And I am lucky enough to be one who can live out this method.
You actually work on your career while being in this program. You don't just sit around and listen; you get up and act. It's hands on, it's a lot of work sometimes, and it's a lot of fun too. Since entering the program, my life and career has been changing direction, and has plotted a very positive course towards my goals and dreams.
Whether you want to improve your already existing music career, or want to build one from scratch, the Tom Hess MCMP is the place to be.
- Trevor Darmody (Ireland)
I must admit I was a little unsure about what to expect when Tom suggested I sign up for this program but within a matter of weeks this had all been turned around. I wish to become a teacher and professional recording artist and I have found every session of this program to be a great asset to my development. Tom has worked me harder than I have ever worked but the end result is that I know that I cannot fail to reach any of my goals with Tom's teaching and Mentoring behind me. I advise ANYONE no matter how much you think you know, to get involved in this course. You will not be disappointed.
- Jonathan Vipond (United Kingdom)
Tom, I know I've told you this before, but once again I have to say how your MCMP has been the greatest investment I have ever made in my music career and myself. Before joining this program I subscribed to the false Belief that you had to be a "rock star" to have a career in the music business. Thanks for helping me to learn the truth. I have made more Progress in my music career in the short time I have been studying with you than I did in the past 20-something years on my own and without any proper guidance. I keep reviewing past sessions and amazed at how much useful information is packed into each one. The motivational aspects have helped me to develop the proper mindset to be successful and the other topics (endorsements, tax tips, promotion, releasing CD's, etc.) have given tools and me the knowledge I need to reach my goals. After years of treading water I am finally accomplishing things; I will be on three CD's this year, and also release my first instructional materials. I especially love the fact that since I am running my own teaching business the cost of all of the sessions is a tax write-off for me!
- Paul Tauterouff (New York, United States)
The connections and opportunities alone that the Music Careers Mentoring Program creates are invaluable. And if that's not enough, you get information that pro musicians have spent years learning through trial and error (with out having to go through the trial and error process yourself).
- Mark Carozza (Illinois, United States)
- Angel Zamora (Mexico)
Hey! My name is Teemu Kleemola. I've been playing guitar over 15 years. Currently I'm studying in Tom Hess' Music Careers Mentoring Program and also via his Correspondence Lessons, with which I started out with in the start. After reading Tom's articles and playing and listening to the correspondence lessons I realized that Tom Hess is really something and studying with him is now invaluable for me. What the MCMP is for me is to have the right mindset in everything you do, to make effective plans to reach your ultimate goals, to start forming relationships with the right people, to be involved in great projects that help you to grow into the music business, to work with highly motivated and supportive forum members around you (many of which are already professional musicians) and to have a superior virtuoso guitarist, teacher and mentor who is totally committed to help you and show you the path to success by talking to you every ten days. If music is what you love and you want to have success in the music business, I recommend you to take serious forward moving actions on a consistent basis with the guidance of Tom Hess.
Thank you for your great job!!
-Teemu Kleemola (Itä-uusimaa, Finland)
The music Careers Mentoring Program is one of the best investments a musician could make to take their musical career to the next level. The amount of information is much valued lasting many times over, throughout a person's musical career. It has helped me tremendously, improving my level of success in the music industry tenfold. Tom Hess is a very personable, positive instructor, and he is also a great human being.
Thanks Tom for all your help Bro!
- Orest Dziatyk (Illinois-United States)
The value of the Music Careers Mentoring Program cannot be underestimated. Throughout the sessions, Tom Hess methodically paints the perfect picture of the highly successful, famous, wealthy, and professional musician and the steps one should take to reach such a goal. But this program goes FAR beyond a physical guide (i.e.: who to send your demo to, finding the right audience, marketing yourself, etc). Through planning and organization of the greatest care, Tom "dissects" the mind of the pro musician and points out each and every mental characteristic that led to that musician's success, and how they have led to his own success. Such a focus on the mental aspects of the pro musician is also essential in order to ensure sustained, long-term success in the music industry. This (along with many more topics) is covered in great detail throughout the MCMP. As far as how this program has helped my own musical career, I'm 100% confident that I will be able to attain ALL my goals (even the non-musical ones) because of Tom's teaching and mentoring. For that alone, participating in this program has easily been the single best investment I've made yet. It has literally changed my life.
- Ben Johnson (Illinois, United States)
I am very glad I decided to join the MCMP. I've used the information in the MCMP to greatly advance my own career. It has a lot of crucial info I haven't been able to find anywhere else. The MCMP has been an important investment that will pay off for the rest of my life. Thanks Tom!
- David Cardwell (Indiana, United States)
The Tom Hess Music Careers Mentoring Program is literally life changing. I was first hesitant about it because I didn't know anything about it and this could easily be a "fraud". Either way, I basically weight my options and noticed that if this was a fraud I would loose a couple bucks and I would at least KNOW about it. Well, its NO fraud and it has shaped my musical career in a way never imaginable. I was exited, scared, curious and felt like I had just taken a leap into the unknown. Thank God I did! I've always thought that I had a certain calling with music, but I never knew how to get to my goals and without a doubt, the MCMP has placed me in a road that will only lead me to success!!!! Now, you might think this is only a "positive outlook and hints to do things" Well it is, and its not. The MCMP literally shows you what to do, and if you don't do it, you fall behind in the class. You have to be prepared to work for your career and your success because it wont be given to you...but trust me, email me if you must, the MCMP will change your life forever!
With one thing left to say...
- Oscar Ortega (Idaho, United States)
Tom's MCMP has been to this point, hands down the most informative and eye opening experience for me. There are so many valuable lessons and topics that you will not find out there in books or various websites that are really just selling you a product. Although the MCMP is, in a sense a product that Tom sells, there is more to this than just reading about the music business. Tom is a pro and actually shares his insights and experiences on making it in the music business and as a "student" I am starting to take the right steps to get my music career going. There is a ton of things that I have learned thus far and the fellow students who are just as serious, are all great people. Tom is a very inspiring person, musician, teacher and mentor and I'm so glad I got involved with this program. Thanks!
- Tevis Maloney (Arizona, United States)
This is not a sales pitch. This is the real shit.
- Tony Bradbury (B.C., Canada)
- Andrew Greenhalgh (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
My investment in Tom Hess's Music Careers Mentoring Program (MCMP) for my own musical journey has been worth every penny. The returns I have gotten from this program are MANY! There is no question that I will continue to reap the benefits of this program long after I have completed it.
I took some time to ask others about the MCMP and did a lot of thinking before I applied. There were things I had in mind I wished to gain before I got started. I have received much more than I expected!
I really doubt there is any program like the MCMP anywhere else. This program addresses many aspects from the deep mental issues that can hinder or feed ones musical success, to ideas and wisdom about various topics related to the business, to practical exercises that can be used to build ones own personal musical resume. On top of that Tom has surrounded us with other "serious" musicians and quality people to learn from and to offer additional support.
Thumbs up for the MCMP!
- Randy Johnson (Ohio, United States)
Tom Hess is an intelligent person and I think he has a lot of experience as a professional musician. Also he has a lot of ideas, but the most important thing is that he is so organized and he knows what he is doing and he knows where he is going with that...and the MCMP shows proof of that.
MCMP is not magic; actually I thought that signing up for this program could be - a waste of money because it sounded like magic!!! But when I checked his website for the first time and I read his columns on ibreathmusic.com, I learned from him as a life example in front of me. To tell the truth -especially for people who haven’t signed up yet and they are reading my testimonial- Tom in his sessions makes you face your weaknesses and face yourself ... and .. MAKE YOU BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF... not only as a musician but also as a human being (at least it did so for me). So you will be able to decide if this industry is for you, did you make the right choice by choosing this career path or not?
-Tarek AL MALKI (Syria)
The first session I was impressed, then with each session after I was like this guy KNOWS what he's talking about, this is what I've been looking for (the mentor part from Think And Grow Rich). He was not only teaching what EXACTLY to do! But he was giving us the overall mindset (mind virus, a Good one to catch!) how to think about the music business, "Perception is EVERYTHING." He was also putting the puzzle pieces together of the music industry, and separating popular myth from FACT. He really inflated my ego when he told about how now in the music industry big record companies do NOT want drug addicts as opposed to popular myth that is spread by ignorant people who have only heard about what it was like in the 70's. I feel like now (and we still have more to go!) I could have a career or even manage a band to the big time. This is definitely worth it! I wish I had this when I was just starting out playing. GREAT JOB TOM!
- Anthony Lacey (Georgia, United States)
Being a part of Tom's Music Careers Mentoring Program is a huge honor for many obvious reasons. One of which is because I'm a fan of his music but also because of Tom's willingness to explain everything relating to the music business. I'm really beginning to understand how I can venture out into the music industry and manifest my own destiny. Tom really lays it out on the line on how exactly to go from that guy that plays guitar in their bedroom to the world class, touring musician. He lets you know the pitfalls to avoid and the express routes to take to reach your own dreams towards music and in your personal life. With that said, the gigantic amount of opportunities as well as the amount of talented guitarist I got to work with has made my future that much brighter. I can honestly say 100% that the Music Careers Mentoring Program was one of the best things I have ever been a part of, thanks Tom!
- Grant Hatfield (Florida, United States)
I started playing guitar when I was 12 years old. I saw AC/DC open up for Aerosmith at my first concert and I knew right then and there what I wanted to do when I grew up, just like millions of other kids that saw that tour and many others that followed. But I felt like I was different than many other kids out there that wanted to be guitar heros and rock stars. I truly felt that I had a gift; a calling that was taking me in a direction that was pre-destined to guarantee success. It was just a matter of time.
By the time I was 16 my band was playing bars 4-5 nights a week. We were announced on one of Detroit’s premiere radio stations as one of Detroit’s best up and coming bands. We had a fairly large following, especially for our age. This fueled my drive and made me even more convinced that the path I was headed down was leading me directly to a recording contract with Warner Brother’s. My goal was to be signed to them by the time I was 21 and I was on my way.
My grades in high school suffered a great deal because I was playing all the time. School just wasn’t important to me. You see, I didn’t really need school because I was going to be a rich rock star by the time I was 21 anyway. I decided to quit in the 12th grade to give me more time to focus on my music career. My mother and high school principal convinced me to graduate, so I did. But I had to go an additional half a year the following school year because of my grades.
A small price to pay knowing what laid ahead for me. Besides, it would be some great material when I started doing interviews!
Move ahead a few years. My band is broke up and some of them have moved to California. I’m playing with a few different people, recorded a song and did a video that was played on a local cable show on their debut show with Ozzy (yes, Randy Rhoads was in the band) and Sammy Hagar. This was cool and I was feeling like a soon to be rock star. My plan was to jam around until I decide what my next move is to get me back on track.
During this time I suffered a severe injury to my left hand, severing 2 tendons and 90% of the nerves. The doctors told me I would never play guitar again. I think you can imagine the feeling.
Through sheer determination, divine intervention and about a year of physical therapy and pain I persevered and was able to beat the odds and play guitar again. Although some damage was permanent and I had to learn to adapt. Now I’m thinking, "look at what I’ve overcome! If I can get over this nothing can stop me"! So I packed my bags and went to California to re-group with some of the old band.
Going to California was a dream come true. Guns-N-Roses had just hit it big out of the California club circuit, Warrant was big and about to leave and I was heading out to the land of rock-n-roll milk and honey and all was well. Just a matter of time now!
Some of the original band was reformed with a new drummer (who now plays for Unwritten Law) and bass player. We recorded, played the sunset strip and some local festivals and were having a good time doing so. We were going to NAMM shows and other places and meeting some of the biggest names in music. I just knew someone big from a record company was going to see us playing at a club and sign us on the spot. After all, that’s how it’s done, right?!
Two years later and still no deal, I get a call from a friend back home asking me to join his band. They had signed with a production company and had major label interest. They had a huge following playing the biggest clubs in Detroit. They wanted me to get there as quick as possible to record a few songs so they could send them to Virgin and Geffen Records. The manager was a previous executive at the Record Plant in New York and used to manage Ted Nugent in the early days.
THIS IS IT!!! I’m heading home now! Sorry guys I got to go!
Within two weeks I had moved back to Michigan, recorded three songs and was playing my first show with my new band. The place was packed! Everyone wanted to see the new guitar player in the band. Local music scene publications were printing stuff regarding the buzz going around about us getting signed soon. Over the next month we recorded many other songs and kept sending them to Virgin, Geffen and Warner Brother’s, at their request. Virgin was telling us they needed a big rock act because they didn’t have one at the time. They wanted us to be their answer to Def Leppard.
We were told to get our passports ready because they weren’t sure if we would be recording the album in New York or London. We were doing photo shoots, playing shows at bars and community center and recording constantly. We rented a bar that we played at frequently to record our rehearsals to watch back and improve on our live shows. We had a pro- soundman that toured with some huge names. We were on fire and I was ready!
We did a private showcase for Virgin Records and to our surprise didn’t get signed on the spot. They weren’t happy with our singer’s performance. Long story short we got rid of him and flew out my singer from California to audition for the production company we were signed with. They loved him, as I knew they would, but Tony didn’t want to move unless we had a record deal locked in. So we kept looking for the right person locally and to make a long story short the band broke up.
Disheartened and tired from the last four years I decided to take a break. This break ended up lasting 10 years and I got into a different career, got married and started a family. Wow, what happened to my dream?!
After time I realized that I had to create music. It was a part of me that I had denied for far too long and some personal events happened in my life that made me 100% certain that music had to be a part of my life again.
I started getting together with some old friends and having a good time. This time I knew what I had done wrong in the past and how to go about it the right way. You know the saying, if I knew then what I know now I would have made it? I got real serious and starting taking guitar lessons. I had ideas of how to make it work this time. I was older, wiser, had more resources, I could do it now. Or so I thought.
After trying the things I knew would work this time and taking guitar lessons from a teacher and getting nowhere for about two years, I stumbled onto Tom Hess. I was impressed with his playing, his credentials and his teaching philosophy so I decided to start taking correspondence lessons from him. I was amazed with the content of the lessons and his well thought out approach and method of teaching. I started learning at a rapid rate and watched my guitar playing skills improve dramatically in a short period of time. This bolstered my confidence and made me take a good look at my life and what I wanted to do. Where was I going with all this, anyway?
I started reading about Tom’s Music Careers Mentoring Program and became interested. I decided to sign up for the next class, which was a few months’ out. Very early in the program the question came up in a session regarding what my state of mind was about creating and establishing a career in the music business. How serious was I and how bad did I want this for my life? Was I passionate about it?
My mind set at the time was "It would be cool to be able to have some kind of career in the music business on top of what I do with my day job, if I could make it work. If not I'll do something and still enjoy and if I make a little money that's great".
Keep in mind I have a family, I’m a lot older now than I was when I was intensely pursuing a career in music, plus I’ve got a good job. I figured it was going to be too difficult have a real career in music. But hey, I’m sure this guy Hess can at least get me to where I am more active than I am now and if I make a few bucks, life is good. I had no idea how my life was about to change.
When I first started in music I thought I needed to work hard and wait until someone discovered me. Then when I was older and wiser I just knew I had the right ideas to make it. When I started Tom’s Music Career Mentoring Program I found out just how far off target I really was. I realized there was absolutely no way I would have been able to have a career in music with the direction I was going using the information I had drawn from all those years of experience in the past. What an eye opener!
I became very, very excited! It was like a door opened and I could see a clear path beginning. I thought, this guy is serious and he knows his stuff. As the program continued my mindset changed right in front of me.
I went from:
"It would be cool to be able to have some kind of career in the music business on top of what I do with my day job, if I could make it work. If not I'll do something and still enjoy and if I make a little money that's great".
"I will have a career in the music business and work in my current field while I build my music career. I will establish my short-term goals in a way that will get me to my long-term goals. I will assess my current financial and lifestyle situation and make adjustments that will not only improve my family's quality of life but will also position me to make the transition from part time to full time musician. Etc…."
I get hyped thinking about it!
Since starting the Music Career Mentoring Program I've seen a veil removed and my vision getting very clear. I can now actually see another career developing. I mean truly see it! Not just desire it but actually see how it can, and will, and is becoming reality in a practical, sensible, calculated manner. The lessons learned are so life changing and the information is real world application, not just philosophies that you have to figure out how to apply.
I'm actually seeing my new career in the music business slowly become a reality because it’s happening! Real applications that require you to actually follow Tom’s direction and complete the task when you’re done you haven’t just completed a class project. You’ve completed an item on the list of things that must be done to establish a career in music! And none of this was on my own list of to do’s. This program brings real, tangible results!
I am 100% certain that I am in the process of transitioning from my current profession to one in the music business. It’s happening right now!
It's just a matter of time. And I'm not talking like a hyped up "Amway" want to be that's trying to convince myself of something. This is the real deal and I am so excited!
I always wondered what I would do if I couldn't work in the field I am in. Especially, since I don’t have a degree my options are very limited in the job market. However, this program has given me a new lease on life and showed me how it’s actually done.
Now I can truly say, "If I knew then what I know now ……" I’ll spare you the rest.
Thanks Tom for offering this program. It has changed my life forever.
- Jeff Vivrette (Michigan, United States)
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