Posted By: Ryan1956
Piano with Willie - 01/05/12 03:46 AM
Looking for input. Anyone have a membership to Piano with Willie? It seems it's more for people who have been playing a while (not for beginners).
It looks like nobody here has a Piano with Willie membership, so although we'd love to help you, we can't.
Posted By: Rickster
Re: Piano with Willie - 01/06/12 12:02 AM
Please forgive me, but who is Willie?
Posted By: dmd
Re: Piano with Willie - 01/06/12 12:32 AM
The Review is a fair assessment of the site. I was a member for a couple of years. I am no longer a member. I downloaded enough material to last me a lifetime.
Posted By: arcticE
Re: Piano with Willie - 01/31/12 02:33 AM
I just finished a one year "Gold" membership which allows access to all of his lessons in all categories; Jazz (very extensive), Rock (Not very extensive, but seems to be filling out), Blues (extensive), Latin (pretty extensive), Gospel (extensive). I had taken classical lessons for about 10 years, and felt I needed a break. I was learning how to read dots on a page, and learning some very valuable technique, but felt I was missing something. Willies lessons really helped me understand the piano better from a improvisational and theory standpoint. The ability to just sit down and create was a great feeling.
Willie's older lessons from a couple of years ago are not produced nearly as well as the more recent lessons. I felt he did a very admirable job updating his site, giving more and better camera views. His most recent lessons just before my membership ended gave you a view of his hands on the keyboard, the notes lighting up that he was playing, AND the note name, i.e C#, Gb, etc. to make it easier to see and "understand" what was going on. I felt it was a VERY helpful site to me. My theory grew by leaps and bounds. There was a lot of variety as well. One month I would be working on some Blues licks/theory/songs, then the next month I would hop into one of his Gospel lessons, then the next couple of months I would study Jazz. It gives you a lot of flexibility to explore different genres and how they relate to each other as well.
Piano with Willie is a small, family owned business and you can tell he and his wife take the business very seriously. He has a pleasant personality and you start to feel as if you really know the guy after awhile. He's casual, fun, and puts a lot of energy into his lessons.
I have tried a few different "tutor/teacher" type sites online. i.e. French lessons, guitar lessons, and felt after extensive research that Piano with Willie was the best site out there (that I could ever find) that offered so much. Other than Justinguitar, but that guy is a freak with his generosity and I dont expect anyone to be as generous as he is. Yes, it can be tough to come up with $400-$500 bucks to pay for a year all at once on Willies site. If you get on his mailing list, I have observed that a couple/few times a year he will run specials that allow you to take 20% off new memberships which really helps cut the cost down. I was paying $50/lesson for Classical lessons from a private instructor which was well worth it. So when I purchased his full year all access subscription it was only the equivalent of 6 lessons. To me it was a very good deal.
There are a few flaws to his site, for example sometimes the note name showing up above the flashing key is an enharmonic note and not in the correct key. It may say C#, but what it should say is Db. I think that is a fault in his software that he is using/was using. If the past is any indication, that is something he will be updating/fixing in the future.
Two more quick things. First as I mentioned, he really seems to be dedicated to making the site more user friendly, more technologically advanced, and higher quality video as he went along. You can see the evolution through his lessons. Secondly, REMEMBER that you can also download TONS of lessons to your computer as well. I made sure to download slightly more advanced lessons so that when I was finished with my subscription I literally have another years worth of study downloaded to my computer.
As to your specific question re: perhaps it being better suited towards a more intermediate/advanced student, I don't think so. I think if you are a beginner there is an enormous amount you can get from his site, and you get to do it at your speed, on your schedule. I would recommend his site to a beginner if the money was not a major deal breaker.
Best of luck whether you choose to use his site or not.
Posted By: Edtek
Re: Piano with Willie - 02/01/12 02:25 AM
I tried Willie and was very impressed. He has materials for beginners (how to read music etc.) up to very advanced.
He's very detailed and complete in his presentations and has hundreds of sample videos posted on YouTube. Search for "Piano with Willie" or "Jazzedge".
BTW, Willie sells DVDs of all his lessons but he doesn't want people using screen captures for his online lessons. You can DL all the sheet music, mp3s and midi tho and he does let you accumlate points towards DLing his online lesson videos.