Being able to play a musical instrument has been a dream for me, especially guitar.
I went on the internet and searched for the best guitar courses, and Tom Morello’s course on electric guitar was the most recommended. It was in MasterClass.
Hence I decided to try and give it a shot. I am glad that I did. Tom Morello’s MasterClass had the perfect blend of theory and practicality in teaching.
In this article, you’ll get to see a detailed review of Tom Morello’s MasterClass, how the lessons in his MasterClass are, the pricing, who it is best suited to, etc.
I also answer the ultimate verdict – “Is Tom Morello’s MasterClass worth it?” towards the end.
A Short Summary:
If you are running out of time, here is a short summary of Tom Morello’s MasterClass.
You’ll be able to learn the following:
- How to develop a creative voice
- Making Tom Morello’s signature sound
- How to practice after learning a technique
- Different approach to recording at a studio
- How to balance live and studio performance
Suitable for: Amateurs who’d like to learn Tom Morello’s music style, electric guitarists who want to learn creative techniques, and music enthusiasts who want to explore different genres using an electric guitar.
The number of lessons: 26 lessons
Duration: 5 hours and 30 minutes
Quick verdict: With professional teaching, a perfect balance of theory and practical knowledge, and effectively helpful workbooks, Tom Morello’s MasterClass is a great option. You also get an exclusive noise list directly from Tom Morello.
A glimpse of Tom Morello’s MasterClass:
Tom Morello’s MasterClass is beautifully curated with all the necessary elements that any guitarist would love to learn. I mean, the practical lessons were immaculate.
His MasterClass is broken down into 26 long lessons with 5 hours and 30 minutes of watch-time. Don’t worry; it doesn’t feel long. You could simply jam to his lessons and complete them within a week. At least that’s what I did, and it was effective.
Like other courses in MasterClass, Tom Morello’s MasterClass also provides additional PDF formatted workbooks with detailed information about Tom Morello’s teachings, creative assignments to practice, and helpful tips to follow.
A dedicated student-only community forum is also available in Tom Morello’s MasterClass, where you can raise a question, share feedback, or ask any doubt.
Tom Morello MasterClass Lessons Explained:
Tom Morello’s MasterClass has well-curated content throughout his course, where he talks about handling the guitar, learning the art, and also creating music with it.
Compiling Tom Morello’s MasterClass would be challenging because there was much learning, but I will highlight the best takeaways clubbed together.
Without further ado, shall we begin?
1. Introduction – Tom Morello
The introductory lesson into Tom Morello’s MasterClass was pretty basic, where he introduces himself and lists out all the things that he’ll be discussing in the course.
"A musician's or artist's responsibility is a simple one, and that is, through your music to tell the truth."
It was exciting to know about what I’ll be learning in his MasterClass beforehand.
2. Boosting creativity in your voice
Tom talks about the importance of having a creative voice in the creation of music. In Lesson 2, he also guides you on how to develop and enhance it effectively.
“We offer a stark contrast to the bland escapism that chokes the charts.”
You get to know great insights about how he developed his voice in a creative, flexible way to make music.
Here, he doesn’t talk about ‘actual voice’ but the thinking and effort to find your tone followed by significant lessons on understanding the art of creating riffs.
He also combines different tones and produces a new mix, which is impressive.
3. Tunes & Tones
Lesson 4 was all about playing with innovative tones and making sounds using pedals. Tom uses his instrument and demonstrates the practical aspect of it as well.
“Let's talk now about practice and process. You practice technique to get your fingers where you want them to go. You practice theory to understand where they can go and why."
He also drops impactful tips and shares the benefits of using a small gear, which I instantly noted down because tricks like this can be helpful to any learner.
Later, he discusses going from playing an electric guitar in a studio for recording to performing on a stage for a live audience, which was brilliantly explained.
4. Tom’s exclusive sounds
In Lesson 6, Tom shares his sound library, which comprises 13 unique beats and sounds.
"You play live and write songs. You practice that to bring the theory and the technique and create art with it. And you seek inspiration to make that art something that's meaningful to you and you can communicate to others.”
He calls this the “noise chart,” which had such a good collection of sounds to take inspiration from. This is why I love MasterClass; you get exclusive content directly.
To name a few, I’d say Playing with teeth, Cello delay, and Feedback toggle. Though these sounds are simple, it is very effective while learning music.
Like the chart, there are other ways Tom recommends you to curate a sound library.
5. How to practice
Usually, the instructors in an online course will not cover the practice sessions and how to utilize the takeaways from the course into action, but Tom steps ahead.
“Music, I think, is best when it honestly explores personal demons, and it stirs around in the silt of the psyche to find out what's really there.”
In Lesson 9, he shares innovative techniques while practicing, followed by some valuable theoretical lessons to keep in mind.
NOTE: I’d recommend paying full attention to this lesson because every detail Tom shares are beneficial and effective in learning as a music student.
6. Writing lyrics to a melody
If you thought Tom Morello’s MasterClass is only about learning guitar or any musical instrument. You are probably wrong because Morello also teaches you how to write mesmerizing lyrics along with melodies.
“My music is made for the people who are willing to stand up to change this world themselves.”
He is a great teacher when it comes to breaking down things from their complicated nature. Like, poetry might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he carefully tells you how to start, where to start, and also when to start with the writing after making music.
It was more like an insightful class on writing. There was no musical teaching here.
7. Recording at the studio
There is nothing big in the “Studio Recording” lesson because Tom basically talks about using instruments, multitracking, working, and collaborating with his team.
“There's a lot of injustice in the world and it's what I sing about in my music and what I try to confront in my life as an activist.”
He also briefs about the variety of approaches a musician can do at his studio. You get to see how things get done systematically without any lagging visually.
Later, he suggests using creativity to your biggest advantage while recording.
8. Farewell to music
In Lesson 21-24, Tom does an in-depth case study on a few of his works, gives practical advice on live shows, and effective warm-up tips to stay ready.
“I think that new artistic challenges help you grow both as a person, as an artist, and then they feed back into your other work, and tend to magnify it.”
He also discusses the crucial factors to consider when joining a band and shares his experience collaborating with producers, which was interesting to know.
After all that, he concludes his course as a summary and finishes in style.
Who is best-suited for Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
As I was taking the course, I figured out that the technical teaching in his MasterClass is suitable for the following:
- Amateurs who’d like to learn Tom Morello’s music style.
- Electric guitarists wanting to learn creative techniques.
- Music enthusiasts who would like to explore different genres.
- Fans of Tom Morello as he gives some insights into his work.
Even if you are a beginner, you’d learn a thing or two about creating music using electric guitar because Tom breaks down critical concepts in manageable lessons.
What did I like about Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
There were a lot of things that I loved about Tom Morello’s MasterClass. They are:
Resourceful Workbook 📖
The workbook acted as a helping hand for me to get going with the course. I mean, study materials, musical notes, and extracts were handy for learning.
Using the workbook provided with his MasterClass, I followed along with Tom Morello when he was teaching riff in electric guitar playing.
Sometimes, even when I get confused with Tom’s teaching (which is rare), I simply turn up my workbook and easily understand the concept in the selected lesson.
Beautifully Curated Content 📝
The course was well-structured in a way that it was easier to understand being a beginner. I learned various aspects of creating sounds with detailed explanations, and the lessons were adequately arranged, leading to no confusion.
Also, you get insightful learning from handling an electric guitar to making music with it. This way, I learned electric guitar playing right from scratch.
Excellent Teacher 🎸
Apart from being a great musician, Morello was an excellent teacher, which was quite surprising to me. As mentioned earlier, the entire course is neatly delivered.
He included a practical approach in his teaching, which was unique compared to other instructors in MasterClass because it is usually overlooked.
Effective Practical Tips 💡
Along with the teaching, you also get an array of tips and tricks which are practical and effective in learning guitar lessons better. Often when I was doubtful about using a certain technique, Tom would suggest a tip to back up my approach.
I’d suggest having a note while taking the lessons because you get plenty of tips throughout the course which cannot be found elsewhere.
- Learn Electric 🎸 Guitar From One Of The Best Guitarist
- Learn How To Create A New Tune
- Easy To Grasp Lessons
What I feel can be improved in Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
Although I liked a few things about Tom Morello’s MasterClass, I feel some downsides can be improved. They are:
Not suitable for Advanced Guitarist
Like I said previously, the course did not feel like it was made for everyone. It felt like Tom Morello assumed that his students already knew about the electric guitar.
Though a beginner can survive the course, it is quite hard to follow up on some core lessons and demands before learning about the foundation.
Even the tips are different from other musical courses and cannot be grasped by everyone; hence you cannot take this course as the prime education for learning an electric guitar, but if you are an experienced guitarist, then it works!
As there are quite some tracks that Tom plays in his MasterClass and tells the students to follow, there was no complete set of backing tracks to keep up with him.
Although you can learn from playing the electric guitar, it is hard to follow improper backing tracks. I felt it was entirely missing in Tom Morello’s MasterClass.
What is the cost of Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
Unlike other online learning platforms, MasterClass has stepped ahead and introduced an interesting pricing plan which allows a user to access all 100+ courses in 10+ niches handled by brilliant celebrities by paying for a single course.
That is, All-Access Pass, which is priced at $180/- billed as $15/- per month. You additionally get helpful workbooks, creative assignments, and simple tasks.
If you are getting multiple benefits at a single plan, I think it’s a win-win situation.
I’d suggest taking as many courses as you want if you are going to purchase because the more courses you take, the more valuable your purchase gets.
For instance, I can recommend a schedule if you are confused about taking courses in MasterClass. You can plan to take a course from a different niche for a week.
This way, you’ll end up learning multiple skills from incredible celebrities while completing four courses in a month in a productive way.
Like, you can learn Cooking from Gordon Ramsay MasterClass, Scientific communication from Neil DeGrasse Tyson MasterClass, Singing from Christina Aguilera MasterClass, and Writing from James Patterson MasterClass.
There is also a 30-day refund policy in MasterClass if you are not satisfied with the teaching in the courses offered by MasterClass.
What do you need while taking Tom Morello MasterClass?
Though it is essential to have the required instruments for a music course, Tom gives equal importance to both theory and practicality, which is fair.
Hence he does not pressure his students to have all the expensive gadgets and equipment but recommends a basic guitar, which is more than enough.
You can later purchase an advanced one after you have progressed a bit.
Alternatives to Tom Morello MasterClass:
If you are still not convinced or satisfied with Tom Morello’s MasterClass, don’t worry. While searching for musical courses online, I also came up with other excellent options to try out after completing Tom Morello’s MasterClass. They are:
- Hans Zimmer MasterClass “teaches film scoring.”
- Deadmau5 MasterClass “teaches electronic music production.”
- Carlos Santana MasterClass “teaches the art and soul of guitar.”
If you had previously purchased Tom Morello’s MasterClass, with the All-Access Pass, you could still take these courses without paying any extra charges, which is great.
Final Verdict Of Tom Morello MasterClass Review
To wrap up and conclude, if Tom Morello’s MasterClass is worth it, I’d say yes.
With professional teaching, a perfect balance of theory and practical knowledge, and effectively helpful workbooks, Tom Morello’s MasterClass is a great option.
Although few downsides are considered, the plus points overlap the downsides easily. You get an exclusive noise chart directly from Tom Morello, which is helpful.
Overall, it was an incredible experience to learn from one of the living legends.
FAQs On Tom Morrello MasterClass
How much is Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
Tom Morello’s MasterClass comes with an annual subscription that costs $180/- per year billed at $15/- per month.
Who can take Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
Amateurs who’d like to learn Tom Morello’s music style, electric guitarists who want to learn creative techniques, and music enthusiasts who want to explore different genres can take Tom Morello’s MasterClass.
Is Tom Morello’s MasterClass available for free?
Unfortunately, Tom Morello’s MasterClass cannot be accessed for free.
How many lessons are there in Tom Morello’s MasterClass?
Tom Morello’s MasterClass is broken down into 26 lessons which take around 5 hours to complete entirely.