Tom Morello Masterclass Review – Learn the guitar techniques And rhythms

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Tom Morello Masterclass Review

Discovering your creative voice and style is one of the most challenging aspects of being a musician. For many guitarists, the journey is long, and it’s a constant learning process. Some guitarists find their sound quickly, while others need more time to do so.

But just because you find it hard, this doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Aside from constant practice, taking music lessons will greatly help you to find your unique style. One of the available online music lessons is Tom Morello’s MasterClass on playing guitar.

In this Tom Morello MasterClass review, we’ll take a look at the course, so you can see what you can expect to learn from it. By the end of this review, you should have a good idea of whether it will help you become a good guitar player or not.

Who is Tom Morello?

Tom morello on Stage

Tom Morello is an American Grammy Award-winning musician and a songwriter, singer, and political activist. He became famous as the lead guitarist of the band, Rage Against The Machine. He’s also a member of Audioslave and Prophets of Rage.

Morello became interested in music and politics while still in high school. He later attended Harvard University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies. After the disbandment of his previous band, Lock Up, he met Zack de la Rocha. Together, they founded Rage Against the Machine.

While playing for Rage, Morello became famous for his anger-fueled, scratchy guitar solos that mixed hip-hop and metal. His capabilities on the instrument allowed him to replicate the sounds of harmonicas and turntables, matching the intensity of de la Rocha’s notes.

For the past 40 years, Tom Morello has been expanding what people believe a guitarist can do. He’s played and written with some of music’s most influential figures, including Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen.

Tom’s music has evolved from mainly being rock, to incorporating EDM and hip-hop styles. Over time, Morello’s style of performing has changed. In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine included Morello in their list of the 100 greatest guitar players of all time.

Among Tom Morello’s notable songs are Bulls on Parade, Testify, Cochise, and Like a Stone.

Overview of the Class

Masterclass with Tom Morello Overview

In his MasterClass, Tom Morello teaches his own playing style of electric guitar. The course has 26 video lessons, which run for a total of 5 and 34 minutes. The MasterClass also includes a 187-page workbook, with demonstration notes from Morello.

Early in Tom Morello’s MasterClass, he talks about what he thinks is the most critical part of creating music—delivering one’s creative voice. He shares details of his creative road, from attending college in a dorm room to receiving numerous rejections from producers.

Morello stresses the importance of using your mistakes to find your music style. He explains that artists should not be boxed and limited by their influences; instead, they should aim to sound like themselves.

As it is a guitar-playing class, Tom Morello teaches how to create a rift. This part of the course is a treat to his students, as Morello plays on-the-spot riffs to illustrate his points and help students understand the lesson. He does a great job explaining the step-by-step process of finding riffs.

In one of the lessons, Tom discusses his creative approach to extracting sounds from his pedals. He also offers some guidelines on how to do this yourself. It is fascinating to watch him break down the familiar sounds from his records and see exactly how he creates those sounds.

Apart from the technical lessons on gears, fretboards, tone, and sounds, Morello also gets personal and shares how he was able to achieve the breakthrough in his career. He shares that the key is to stop looking for the perfect sound and to just let one’s limitations become the guide.

One of the course’s most inspiring and humbling parts of Tom Morello’s MasterClass is when he discusses the importance of constant practice. He explains that even though he wasn’t innately talented on the guitar, he became the world-renowned guitar player we know today through hard work and practice.

He also shares that he practiced for more than 30,000+ hours to cover his building blocks, including technique, theory, songwriting and experimentation, and improvisation. He stresses at the end of the lesson that with hard effort, everyone has limitless potential.

As Tom Morello discusses songwriting, he emphasizes the importance of demystifying and dismantling any barriers that might prevent people from creating songs. In addition to his valuable songwriting insights, Morello also introduces basic and pro ideas for songwriters.

The Tom Morello MasterClass is jam-packed with ideas, exercises, and tasks that you can apply immediately. The lessons are carefully and strategically divided into sections that deal with different concepts, before bringing things to a close with additional words of wisdom from Morello.

So you can understand the Tom Morello MasterClass even more, here’s the complete curriculum of Morello’s online guitar lessons

  • Introduction
  • Developing Your Creative Voice
  • Riffs
  • Gear: Pedals and Effects
  • Tones and Sounds
  • Tom’s Noise Chart
  • Tom’s Influences: Rock, Jazz, Classical, and Folk
  • Tom’s Influences: EDM, the Blues, and Hip-Hop
  • Practice
  • Technique: Developing Speed
  • Beginner Theory: Pentatonic and Blues Scales
  • Theory: Unlocking the Fretboard
  • Improvisation
  • Solos
  • Solo Case Study: The Ghost of Tom Joad
  • Rock Songwriting: Fundamentals
  • Riff Rock Writing: Verses and Multitracking
  • Riff Rock Writing: Chorus, Solo, and Arrangement
  • Lyrics and Melody
  • Studio Recording
  • Case Study: Killing in the Name
  • Live Shows: Philosophy and Nerves
  • Live Shows: Practicalities and Performance
  • Bands and Collaboration
  • Gear: Tom’s Guitars and Amps
  • Conclusion

As well as being a great electric guitar player, Tom Morello is also an effective teacher—he understands how to explain complicated technical terms, even to beginners. He was also generous enough to share his knowledge on more advanced techniques and concepts of playing the guitar.

Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons about Tom Morello Masterclass

Pros:

  • Tom Morello is a credible and effective teacher who is very comfortable talking on camera
  • There are actionable insights and tasks
  • The course has the right mix of theory and practice
  • The course has a great balance of practical and theory
  • The workbook is complete with tabs and traditional notations

Cons:

  • Tom Morello’s course focuses on a specific music style that might not interest a lot of people
  • Although the lessons are clear, Tom Morello’s MasterClass is still best for people with musical experience and an already established foundation

Who is this Class For?

Electric Guitar with Tom Morello
  • Fans of Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage
  • Electric guitar players who want to expand their skills in guitar playing
  • People who are interested in learning this particular kind of music
  • Songwriters and composers
  • Musicians who play other instruments but who are looking for ways to incorporate sound effects like riffs into their own music

How Much Does Morello’s Electric Guitar MasterClass Cost?

To take the Tom Morello MasterClass, you must have a MasterClass membership. This membership will also give you access to courses from different instructors, like Yo-Yo Ma, Herbie Hancock, and Carlos Santana.

At present, MasterClass has three plans:

  • Individual Plan: $180 annually ($15 monthly)
  • Duo Plan: $240 annually ($20 monthly), maximum of two devices
  • Family Plan: $276 annually ($23 monthly), maximum of six devices

While there is no trial or free plan, MasterClass does provide a 30-day money-back guarantee for any packages you buy, and you will get a full refund if you are dissatisfied with their services.

Users’ Experiences

User Opinions on Tom Morello

Those who took the class are thankful to Tom Morello for giving his take on teaching how to find one’s music style. They were inspired by the insights into a musician’s journey, which show what happens to most musicians before they reach stardom.

On the other hand, some students found the class content too technical, mainly because they were beginners. They would have loved to see Morello play more songs and explain the techniques in detail.

Most students agreed that after seeing the Tom Morello MasterClass on playing the electric guitar, they were interested in checking out and undertaking other music-related classes.

Conclusion

While skill is essential to make it big in the music world, finding one’s unique voice is what will truly set you apart from the crowd. 

Tom Morello’s MasterClass is a great way to learn how to do just that and more. His class is honest and transparent, giving a real picture of a musician’s journey. With Morello’s expertise and clear explanations, you will learn many guitar techniques that you can apply to your music.

The course might not be for everyone as it specializes in a specific kind of music and instrument, but those interested will surely enjoy and learn a lot from it. 

Overall, the Tom Morello MasterClass is a great investment for musicians who want to learn from one of the best. With Morello’s clear teaching style, the right balance of theory and practice, and the supplemental workbook you can follow along with, you will surely get your money’s worth with its great mix of theory and practice.

Martin Barrett

Martin is the editor in chief as Edwize.org. He has taken more courses than cares to remember. If he’s not watching back to back documentaries he is geeking out in the E-Learning space.