3MGI Testimonials

Do you like small, snippet-like testimonials?

The ones that say: “The course was amazing, I’d recommend it to anyone!” or “Wow, I can’t believe I got so good in so little time!“.

I don’t. Since most sites use them I imagine they work, but I like the exact opposite. I like the meaty testimonials where it’s clear a lot of thought was put into writing them.

If you agree that longer real testimonials bring the most value, you’re in the right place.

So without further ado, here are 8 real testimonials from a few of my students (I haven’t edited anything out but have added some formatting to make it easier for you to read).

For some of these students, I’ve added a recording of one of their assignments so you get to hear what they sound like after 3 months.

As always, if you have any questions that haven’t already been answered, I’m an email away.

Noemie A.

I was born in a house with a guitar. As a kid, my mom would sometimes play a few songs, and I looooved it!

As I grew up, I would start grabbing it now and then and tried playing a few chords, for a few minutes, until my fingers hurt and I would put it back, nicely, at its place. This is the sad destiny of so many living room guitars. They don’t get the most of their guitar lives. It is sad! And that’s exactly how I started to feel about my own life: I knew I could get much more from this guitar in my life than just a few minutes of bliss every month. I really wanted to learn to play properly, and I felt this way for years. There was always a good reason for me not to start taking classes: too expensive, not enough time, other priorities, and the ever going “guitar, piano or drums?”, which eventually led me to not learning any of these instruments properly… *frustration*

And then, Tristan’s class came onto the scene. I immediately knew this was the solution to my long-lasting problem:

  • an online class: so convenient and flexible, especially since my living room (and my life) now also hosts a toddler
  • a “bootcamp” kind of class, that put me full force into something I had long been craving for – loved the challenge, loved the fact that you can see yourself take off, sometimes with pain, but always with joy
  • a class that engages you in being accountable for your progress
  • and most importantly, a really amazing teacher: Tristan is such a great pedagogue, and really manages to keep you engaged, motivated and to give you the confidence you sometimes lack to go the next few chords

After 3 months of 3MGI classes, I can turn back and confirm that taking this class was one of the best decisions I’ve taken in years. I overcame the bad reasons that were sticking me to the ground and now, I can run (this sounds lame, but you see the picture).

I can now play for hours, and although I still have tremendous room for improvement, I feel so happy I got to this point already.

Thank you Tristan!
And if anyone is still reading this: go for it, you won’t regret it.

Here’s a recording of Noemie playing and singing a version of “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M.  (week 10 of the course)

Andrew P.

Before starting 3 Months to Guitar Independence I didn’t even know how to hold a guitar, let alone play a cord.

Learning the guitar has been one of my greatest fears. My fear that I’m not musical and if I tried to learn, that I would find out for sure that I wasn’t.

Early on I got to address my other major fear of singing. I remember getting one of the first assignments to submit a song that we sang. I remember saying to myself. “I didn’t sign up for this”. Over the weeks I began to find my voice, it felt liberating to feel what wanted to desperately come out of my body for years. I now want to play even more with my voice.

I’ve yet to complete the course yet, although I play almost everyday. And love it, I can play a few of may favorite songs and also feel like I can put different chords together and create my own lyrics. It feels like a creative outlet as well as a cathartic experience. I can now feel how powerful music is, and how playing it is beyond rewarding.

Tristan’s video’s were well done, and at times I had no idea why we were doing some of these exercises, then one day these would all come together.

I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn, and I’m grateful to Tristan for creating this wonderful course!

Anne L.

I was drawn to this class primarily because I really trusted Tristan, both as a musician and as a teacher. He is really attuned to the learning process, and also cares a lot about people, which is a fantastic combination.

When I started, I wasn’t even sure how to hold a guitar, and my fingers hurt just trying to push down a few strings. A little over three months later, I can play songs!  I’m not ready to go out and perform on stage, but the difference between before and after is striking, and I am confident that I have enough building blocks in place that I will be able to get as good as I want to. It’s just a matter of setting a goal and practicing.

Submitting assignments each week pushed me way out of my comfort zone, but I could do it because I knew I could trust Tristan not to judge, but to delight in what I *could* do, and to offer really helpful suggestions for how to get just one little bit better.

Sometimes it was hard to find the 30 minutes to practice each day, but I’m so glad I did. If you’re going to take the course, definitely make a commitment to yourself to have integrity around that. Better yet, find a partner to take the class with and help keep each other accountable, because as soon as you start slipping, it’s hard to get back on track.  I went through the program with my husband, which was great.

If you appreciate great teaching, have a decent sense of pitch and rhythm, and are willing to push through a little discomfort on the way to learning something new, I highly recommend this course. It was confidence-boosting and fun, and I am thrilled to have taken it.

Ian M.

Some time ago I was living in a student house and, as many people did, I decided to buy a guitar so I could jam along with my student friends, making ‘beautiful’ music. One hundred and fifty pounds later, I was the proud owner of Takamine Jasmine acoustic guitar and after some initial strumming, accompanied by a half hearted attempt to play that chord change at the beginning of Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen, I put the guitar to one side and went off to do something else.  Some time later I returned to the guitar only to discover that some twenty seven (27) years had passed by…

It seemed a shame to waste my guitar so I gave it to my daughter who could already play the classical guitar very well and would no doubt make much better use of an acoustic than I had – not difficult.  This of course is just like me.  Many’s the time I’ve started off with great enthusiasm for something or other only for it to rapidly ebb away, to be replaced by a belief that I simply could not succeed at whatever it was.  Guitar was just one of many failures.

But in around June last year something changed.  I read a very interesting article on Medium about kitesurfing (something which I knew nothing about) which struck a chord – not because I really wanted to learn to kitesurf but because it made me think I might actually be able to finish something.  And that was when I first heard of Tristan De Montebello and perhaps more pertinently, 3 Months to Guitar Independence.  I started reading Tristan’s website – About the Start – which talked about a number of interesting things and it was then that I read about his course.

It sounded too good to be true.  Apparently I could actually learn the guitar in three months with just twenty minutes practise a night?  This ticked all the boxes in my brain – practically no effort required to learn to play guitar finally after all these years… True to form I thought, well why not?  Even I should be able to practise just twenty minutes a night, fire days a week right?  How hard could it be?  When can I start I wondered.  Sadly not immediately, I’d have a few months before the course would start.  It began to sound all too familiar to me but having to wait just continued to build my enthusiasm.  The course finally began in November last year and I think there were around 25 other people who also signed up – for a fee that at the time I considered very cheap but now consider an absolute bargain.

Initially it was very difficult or rather it wasn’t difficult in the least.  If anything, it seemed a bit too easy and by the end of the first week I think I had already learnt a tune – not a complicated one but a tune none the less.    Week two followed (as it does) and despite some sore-ish fingers I was really enjoying playing and just a couple of weeks later those sore fingers were a distant memory and I was a rock god.  Well, perhaps not a god exactly but I began to feel that I actually could play.  I didn’t want to stop and I did want to practise.  Then Tristan asked us all to pick our favourite song and then learn to play it.  I know that sounds unlikely and frankly fairly daunting but by this time it actually seemed like it might be possible.  Tristan checked that is actually was achievable first but from my point of view it seems that all the suggestions I made could actually be done.  And a couple of weeks after choosing my song (and I mean song) I was playing and even singing it too.  It wasn’t all easy but the more difficult things came later, long after the chances of me dropping out had become zero – there was no way I’d stop and there is now no way I will.

Sadly the three month course is now over and I miss it.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still practising (every night) generally for at least an hour and I’m learning new things all the time but I miss playing along with Tristan and his multi-instrumentalist friend Danny.  There’ll be other songs and chords but it’s thanks to Tristan and 3 Months to Guitar Independence that I have to spend most evenings trying to persuade my daughter that it’s now my turn on the guitar.  Maybe after 27 years it’s time for me to go out buy another guitar.

Hey Tristan.  I have a long term problem with learning French.  Come on, I know you speak French.  How about a French course?

This is Ian singing “Yellow” by Coldplay 

Peter M.

I have been one of these students who once gave it a try to learn playing the guitar, and (as I see it now) due to the wrong approach and likely wrong teaching, gave up fairly quickly again. I always had somewhere in the back of my mind to learn playing the guitar again, and almost by accident stumbled over Tristan’s 3MGI course proposal.

My guitar skills were close to zero when I started this course, as the few things that I learned some 15 years ago, I hardly remembered.

I was rather quick in signing up as I felt from the beginning that this is exactly how I wanted to approach it: in a flexible, online and short-horizon way that three months is! Of course, I did not know anything about Tristan and “About the Start”, whether the offer is trustworthy or whether my money would be gone without receiving anything in return. Also, I was not sure whether I could commit to spend some time every day on practicing, but I knew that I had to push myself as I otherwise would never learn it. In the end, the outlook of being finally able to learn what I always wanted to won and I was more than happy that I took this decision!

Staying on track with the course’s progress was tough for me, as I had A LOT to do in my job during that time, and as we as a family grew with our baby boy around. There could not be a worse time that I could think of to learn the guitar, as I felt constantly: how do I find the time to practice?

However, and that is the miracle for me, I managed to continuously put in the minutes and hours during the week, and thanks to the pedagogic way of Tristan’s teaching preparing myself what the hurdles are and where persistence is needed. Certainly, the assignments to submit helped push me to progress and stay on track. And the fun of many videos, the songs to play and to work on raised my motivation extremely high.

I am proud of myself what I could reach within these three months – which is what I did not believe I could do at all. If it was not for learning to play the guitar and be prepared to independently continue and learn new techniques, chords and songs by myself, the course was also worth for me to show me what is possible and how I can push the limits for myself!

I can recommend this course to everyone who always wanted to learn the guitar, who always felt and feels that there is so much time needed to get there. It is possible, and with my hectic time in job and family, it was definitely possible to do that. It can be done with 3MGI!

This recording of Peter singing “Hazard” by Richard Marx is from week 8 (!) of the course.

Praveen T.

This course did very much live up to its billing – getting to guitar independence. I had a guitar but  did not know how to play guitar before joining this course- couldn’t play a song or for that matter, even a single chord.

I can’t say that I had any particular fear before joining this class. In the scheme of things, it is much less expensive than taking private lessons. And actually, I didn’t even realize that Tristan was going to be doing individual, periodic feedback from our recordings. That was a pleasant surprise – both scary and motivational – and I definitely didn’t fully appreciate the value that would bring. He put a tremendous amount of time and care into the feedback, even preparing individual videos for us.

Going into the course, the biggest question was whether you truly could get up to guitar independence in just a few months. I was skeptical. But what intrigued me the most was that Tristan was going to focus on folk songs (Bob Dylan, REM, etc.) so I figured the lessons would be highly practical and I wouldn’t be bogged down excessively with lessons on things that I couldn’t immediately apply.

If I remember right, the class says that you need to practice  a consistent 20 minutes of a day.  For me, at least, I needed much more practice. It takes a good 20 minutes just to see the videos and get oriented to the lessons for the day. I was very happy to have that break of a week in between the first half and second half of the course to catch up on the lessons. I definitely required much more practice. And instead of continuing to push forward in what I felt was a sub-standard way, I doubled back to the early lessons instead in order to continue to work on fundamentals before pressing forward.

The other part of the course that was very interesting was that Tristan focused on really amazing songs and techniques right from the get-go. So you really were motivated because everything he was teaching was so compelling.

Since I am in my mid-40s, I was mainly doing this just for fun. I always wanted to learn guitar. I can’t say I was ever thinking about quitting the course. However, after several weeks, I felt that I got more than my money’s worth. And I was thinking about stopping because I had made so much progress so quickly and I thought that was enough. But Tristan’s lessons were so interesting that I really forced myself to keep going and to finish the course.

I would recommend this course to those who have wanted to play guitar for a long time but didn’t really know where to get started. What’s interesting about the course also is that not only are you playing guitar by the end but you also have a nice survey of guitar techniques that give you a broad overview. It’s a very nice summary where after the course, you can decide in which areas you would like to go even deeper.

I felt that the course overall is very high quality and undersells itself.  Tristan also has a very interesting background – his academic and corporate career.  His very non-traditional background in comparison to a typical music instructor must be at least partially responsible for how he was able to connect all the dots in a very interesting manner and create a very special course.

Jason Y.

I am Jason Yau, a VP of Engineering at Dwell and Founder of Auctiv Sunscreens. I live a busy life and I don’t have time to learn anything new. I also did not want to know what it felt like to not be good at something again.

Before starting Tristan’s course I had bought 4 guitar’s and learned how to play none of them. It wasn’t necessarily because I was busy, it was because the thought of learning something new at 30 years old with two jobs seemed impossible. I learned about Tristan’s course from a friend who is a professional golfer by the name of Andrew P—. He put it simple: I’ve always wanted to learn how to sing and play guitar. Tristan de Montebello, one of the best guitar teachers in the world is teaching us how to be comfortable with a guitar by dedicating 20 minutes a day to learning. I thought if a professional athlete has time to do this so could I.

I was scared. Our first assignment was for us to write a song and sing it! “Nope”, I said in my mind. There wasn’t a chance I was going to do this.  Then I read the note Tristan follows up this assignment with which told us not to worry about how it sounds, that’s not important. What is important is to get all the nervousness of trying something awkward out of the way so that we could now just focus on just learning what we’ve always wanted to do. He was right. I did it, and I’ll never look back.

The point is, Tristan broke down his course into very digestible steps. Small steps, that would get us to the next step. Ultimately I learned how to play some of my favorite songs which if he had told me I’d get here I would never never believed myself. The best part is Tristan is very responsive and has amazing feedback. This is not your typical online course, it actually feels like you have 1:1 attention with Tristan.

Tristan has taught me more than just a few songs. He has taught me how to apply the various techniques and process that we learned in the course to learn any song. I have already recommended this course to my family and friends.

Nobody is too busy to learn how to play guitar. Hit me up, I’ll sing you a tune!

Here’s Jason’s version of “Arms of a Woman” by Amos Lee (Week 10).

Maud V.

To all you guitar-lovers and music-enthusiasts wanting to expand your skills and musical knowledge, this course is exactly what you’re looking for. Just imagine, 3 months from now you will be able to play some of your all-time favourite songs in front of family and friends, singing and strumming away happily.

Before I started this course, I had already played an instrument for a little over 10 years, but I had stopped a few years ago and wanted to get back into playing music. I have always loved the guitar, and am constantly listening to acoustic versions of my favourite songs. So I knew about musical theory before the course started but I didn’t know anything about guitar and how to approach this new learning process.

Before the course started, I was a little anxious about learning through video tutorials only, and not having an actual teacher next to me to watch over what I was doing and correct me if my position was wrong for example. I also hoped that I would manage to find the time to apply myself to practising and learning at least once a day. I think this is a really important mindset to keep when you want to learn a new instrument: if you are not committed to practising very regularly, you won’t progress as well as you could do.

I finally took a leap of faith and signed up for the course. 3 months later, I’m so happy I did ! I can’t believe I’ve come this far in just 3 short months. I definitely feel like I can now play around with my guitar and learn new songs on my own. Of course, it takes a lot of work and nothing comes without practice, but it’s a wonderful feeling !

Throughout the course, you go through Tristan’s video tutorials, to guide you through learning new skills. They are always really clear, easy and fun to follow. Each week you also have to submit one or two assignments (audio or video), so that Tristan can check individual progress and give you personal feedback. I found that extremely useful and an important way for me to check that I was on track through the course. Everything is designed to help you learn basic skills quickly, and be able to start playing actual songs pretty fast.

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn guitar, whether you do have a musical background or not. As long as you are willing to practise and focus on the learning experience for a few weeks, you will have fun and enjoy it. Moreover, you will learn all about how to acquire new guitar skills, so once the course is finished you can still continue learning and practising new songs.

Just take that leap of faith and sign up, you won’t regret it !

Here is Maud’s beautiful rendition of  “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. (This is her final week 12 submission.)