GMTC Gospel Musician Training Center Review

GMTC Gospel Musicians Training Center

GMTC Gospel Musicians Training Center

Hearandplay GMTC Gospel Musician Training Center Review

This is probably less of a review and more about my initial thoughts on the GMTC Gospel Musicians Training Center as I only joined yesterday, however, I thought I’d just call it a review as it may end up that way anyway.

First I should mentioned that I am an advanced guitar player and a keyboard player that is basically progressing from the intermediate stage heading into advance. That’s all subjective I know and in the end it probably doesn’t really matter, but it does give people an idea where I’m coming from. I also don’t attend Church or have I ever in the past. ( No reason for this other than I simply wasn’t raised going to Church. Now I live in Japan which makes access pretty difficult. ) I love Gospel music primarily for it’s style and how soulful it can be. It’s wonderful style of music and very current I must say. I enjoy all types of music, but particularly enjoy Jazz, Funk, RnB, Blues, and Rock. Gospel Music pretty much covers all those genres very well which is why I am so glad to finally get involved.

So, I set out to find an alternative online instruction resource which lead me to the GMTC Gospel Music Training Center. Which is INCREDIBLE! Yeah, it’s that good. I must say first, I’m not a huge fan of the marketing tactics of HearandPlay, but they do work and ultimately they got me to sign up so you can’t knock it too much. I will admit it’s in your face marketing, but again it works for Hearandplay very well so I do respect it. I did have a lot of trouble finding info about the program which is why I decided to write something here about GMTC for those looking for additional info. It should be noted that it’s not easy to part with hard earned money, so I took a good looooong look at GTMC before signing up and in the end I went for it. I’m so glad I did. Here’s why….

The cost of membership is free for 30 days when you first start. After that it’s $37.00 per month and there are “upgrade” packages that save you roughly 20% if you pay 6 months or one year in advance. Overall, I feel the price point is excellent for what you get and AFTER signing up I felt more at ease about what was offered. Again, I had to get into the Gospel Training Center to really find out any info. Payment is by credit card only which might make some people uneasy especially in this economy where banks are not lending and credit card troubles are abound. I would much prefer a paypal payment system, but ultimately this works fine for me at least. You also can apparently cancel within the 30 days and keep your free gifts, no questions ask. This apparently is easy, but I don’t plan on trying it. I like GMTC very much thus far.

Some features of GMTC Gospel Music Center are as follows:

1. Each Video Lesson links to a Youtube video of the original song to get an idea of what you’re learning to play, an mp3 of the lesson, an ipod video of the lesson, mp4, midi files , pdf sheet music, and an iTunes link of original song for you to purchase. I really like the format of this as it covers all the bases. I also like how easy it is to find the original song for reference. Plus the downloads are FREE as a member. You don’t have to accumulate points or pay for any sort of download with respect to the lesson that I see.

2. There are two takes for every lesson. THIS IS BRILLIANT! You get a basic version and then a jazzed up or advance version. This is so fun to learn and work with. The GMTC does the BEST job of catering to all levels which I really like. All the chords, melody, and theory is broken down for each song along with ideas to create your own version. Sweet!

3. Members can rate lessons and read or write comments about each take. This is also fantastic for members to share thoughts, alternate versions, tips, and techniques about each lesson video.

4. You can view Online Members and initiate a chat with them via the new Chat Room. I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks simple. You can also view profiles and send messages to other members. There is no forum community that I see, but I find it’s not needed. The video comment section is enough and in my opinion the most relevant as it keeps comments on the videos available and music on the site. It’s more relevant, however, a forum may be nice for some people. I’m curious how GMTC would build it as they are pretty creative.

5. Lessons are broken down into categories which are as follows:
New – One new lesson each week on Friday. GMTC even tells you the upcoming lesson titles and songs for you to look forward to. I really like this as you KNOW something is coming and exactly when. Consistency is key here that most online training system lack.
Archives – It looks like one lesson is kept as an archive before you have to check the vault which contains all of the previous 200+ videos for gold members.
Beginners – Basic level instruction videos for those that need a place to start.
By Style or By Key – Organizes videos by key or style within the Gospel genre. Clever!
Organ – Video instruction that mainly deals with the organ. I like this variation.
Live Training – Twice a month, a live “Question & Answer” session is conducted. This again appears to be quite consistent.
Reality Footage – Live “behind the scenes” or on location video. Great stuff in here and fun to watch.

6. All members get a “Charter Member Special Discount” inside GMTC that gives 54% off on any DVD or download course (as long as you’re a member).

7. Vault Access – GMTC members who have been a member for at least 3 months will gain access to the video vault which contains all of the videos in the Gospel Music Training Center. Note that HearandPlay DVDS are not online as they are products. This apparently is all additional material which is FANTASTIC! If you upgrade your membership you get automatic access. This all sounds “shady”, but once I understood the system, it all made sense. Plus there is a wealth of info to work on before one will ever need the vault. It’s safe to say you have to pay at least $75 bucks for access if you had the free 30 trial month. This is really a deal after checking out all the tons of videos and info. GMTC could be more clear about this before people sign up, but it’s not really an issue once inside interestingly enough.

8. Loyalty Store Access – Here you have the opportunity to spend “loyalty” credits that you accumulate each month towards any of the HearandPlay DVD or download products. If I understand correctly, you get 1 credit each month and once you become a Gold member you get 3 each month. The price of DVDs is around 5 credits or so. Thus it could take 1-2 months to get a free product. NOTE that you get access to a viewing page and NOT necessarily the actual DVD. It’s unclear if you actually get anything other than access to the commercial product videos online. Nonetheless, you get to see and possibly download the material which is key.

9. Last but not least you get the “Foundation Lessons“. This is a 5 DVD online course that teaches you the fundamentals of keyboard/piano music. This is also BRILLIANT. The subjects are Fundamental Factory, Chord County, Pattern Paradise, Song Station, and Ear Elevator. You MUST view each lesson and pass a quiz with 80% correct before the next lesson is unlocked for you to watch. This is fantastic because it gives you a goal and a sense of accomplishment. The Foundation lessons are very well thought out, make sense, and will absolutely make you a better player. I really like this section in the GMTC. Note that this section follows or could be the exact same as the 12 disc package “MUSICIAN TRANSFORMATION” as the info appears identical. This is cool!

10. Free gifts..Yay! Indeed I was given a couple of bonus videos that were well worth the month’s subscription price alone. To be specific you get a $49 two-hour GospelKeys 102 along with a 45-minute mystery disc loaded with extra surprise tutorials. I haven’t received this yet, but I’ll update you when I do.

11. TWO Instructors offer lessons in the GTMC Gospel Music Center, Jermaine Griggs founder and Jonathan Powell. This is great because if one gets sick the other can fill in for consistency…laugh. I presume this is why there are at least two instructors on the site. I like this!! Plus there is variety and often it’s better to have a couple of different perspectives placed on one particular subject.

That’s not all, there’s probably more but I’ve only been on GTMC for two days!!!

Thus I highly recommend for anyone interested in Gospel Music, and especially those interested in Piano or Keyboard in general to check out the Gospel Musician Training Center. I am NOT an affiliate or fanboy of HearandPlay, but rather someone who just likes to play music and learn from all sorts of people. In fact, originally, the marketing techniques deployed by HearandPlay turned me off greatly, but ultimately the product was of high quality and it helped me become a BETTER PLAYER. That is the key!! The stuff just plain works as advertised and the GMTC system is legit. Plus they are consistent.

My goal of this post was to help those on the fence get access to some info that is “interestingly” absent online. I wish I had this info before I joined as it would have saved me all the worry and despair of whether I was going to get conned or not. I definitely would have joined with better peace of mind, but with that said, I’m thoroughly enjoying and “JAMMIN” on the material in GMTC Gospel Musician Training Center. I’m so glad I joined. Thank you!!

Now back to playing the keys!!

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17 thoughts on “GMTC Gospel Musician Training Center Review

  1. Hello everyone!

    This is a quick follow-up to my post above about my experience thus far joining GMTC Gospel Musician Training Center. I spent the week watching “intensively” the Foundation Section which includes Fundamental Factory, Chord County, Pattern Paradise, Song Station, and Ear Elevator videos. I successfully passed all of the quizzes (200+) questions and became “GMTC Certified” on the site. I also downloaded the “Musician Transformation” DVDs in both MP4 and MP3 format so that I could review and study in greater detail the contents on my iPod.

    I must say the information is FANTASTIC. I most definitely will be upgrading to a quarterly account (maybe even yearly) which will get me the Gold Membership status so that I can access the Vault which contains the complete song collection. I did notice that a new song was supposed to be released to regular members today so I thought, but it has yet to pop up on my account. Perhaps with the time difference here in Japan it will appear tomorrow, otherwise I suppose I’ll have to be a Gold member to get the new stuff.

    Overall, the GMTC Gospel Musician Training Center is incredible and certainly worth every cent hands down. I totally recommend joining GMTC for anyone with a strong interest in learning to play piano by ear or even to enhance there keyboard skills. Of course I can read music and will continue to do so, but I find the play by ear system essential to my song creation and improvisation fun. I am so glad I was able to get in to the GMTC as I know a while back it was only open to a few people.

    Anyways, back to GMTC to learn some new songs!! I can’t believe how many hours I’ve spent working on the foundation lessons and practicing the material. What an eye opening and rewarding experience. See you there and please say hello if you see me online.

    Jim Atwood

  2. After all the glory I have written about GMTC Gospel Music Training Center, I thought I would mention something in need of improvement.

    If there is one really glaring problem with HearandPlay.com it would be the horrible software they use for the zone.hearandplay.com forums. The Hearandplay forum is a magnet for spam, derogatory comments, and junk. The site also loads very slowly and is littered with outdated information.

    HearandPlay.com has a tendency it seems to launch new products, but then jettison it’s past products into cyberspace which then just becomes junk. Thank goodness there are no community forums in GMTC Gospel Musician Center, because it most likely would end up like zone.hearandplay.com.

    Probably the award though for slowest Gospel community forum on the web and one that is too big to be moderated is learngospelmusic.com. Check out that site for some serious wait time and members that need some serious moderation. I’m a new member there, but honestly can’t stay there for more than five minutes before I fall asleep waiting for the site to load. I even have an ultra fast fiber optic connection and it’s amazingly slow.

    Please forgive me for the slight ranting here, but I’m just trying to keep it real. Forum communities need to be moderated and they need GOOD software to run on. A successful forum in my book is one that runs on a fast server with excellent software. The moderation must exist, be fair and frequent. Plus the owner of the forum should be a regular contributor and not just someone who visits once a month. If you are a forum owner and are wondering why your forums aren’t taking off, especially in the quality department, it’s most likely because you are not on there contributing yourself. If you are too busy to have a forum, then I recommend not to start one. The Hearandplay.com forums fail because the founder of Hearandplay is not on them. Just my 2 cents.

    The gospelmusicians.com forum is much better, but not very active unfortunately. The founder does frequent the forums there and I must say people really respect him for it. Quality exists, moderation exists, and content is good. Well done!!

    What’s your favorite Keyboard Community Forum?

  3. Today I received the HearandPlay GMTC bonus pack in the mail. That was fast, taking only a week to get to my house here in Japan. Included in the package was Gospel Keys 102 “Harmonization Techniques for Hymns”, the Mystery Bonus Lesson DVD which contains a cool song with 2 takes. If you want to know the song title, just email me. There is also information included about how to download the “Christmas Keys” 3 hour course from the GMTC along with an instruction sheet on how the GMTC Gospel Musicians Training Center works. It’s a nice package all in all. I should add shipping was only $2.97 compared to $20 Wheatworks at showmethat.com charged me when purchasing the “Unlocking the Keys” DVD. Great DVD, but that shipping was a bit of a rip. Oh well.

  4. I should note there that the video instruction on GMTC is far better than the DVDs. Knowing what I know now, I would probably skip the DVDs and go for the GMTC subscription. You also get loyalty credits to eventually get the DVDs for free anyway so everything “good” pretty much starts with joining GMTC in my opinion. I am really digging the GMTC Gospel Music Training Center thus far. There are some great songs and grooves in there. Again I’m not an affiliate, rather someone who simply likes GMTC so far…LOL.

  5. The GMTC Gospel Music Training Center has now started to add “backing trax” to new lessons. No you can hear examples of play in the beginning, along with the actual instruction in the middle of each take. GMTC now follows-up by adding back trax at the end of the lesson videos so you can do a “play along”. This is fantastic and hopefully GMTC will consider adding additional Back Trax to previous lessons as well. Great stuff!!

  6. There are some new additions to the GMTC Gospel Musicians Training Center.

    1. Use Monthly Credits to buy Courses section has been updated. I actually used my credits for the a couple of the organ DVDs and the system works great. You can download both an MP3 and MP4 of the material so it’s the same as getting the digital download. Plus you can email for any bonus PDFs if required.

    2. A new “Theory Talk” video section has been added which will feature monthly videos on various musical theory topics.

    3. The Organ Lessons are now easier to access and feature multiple organ teachers. There’s some great stuff in there and now it’s very simple to access, watch, or download. I think there’s over 50 videos now with multiple takes. Simply awesome!

    Finally I must say that since I started the HearandPlay GMTC three months ago, it has been an incredibly positive and rewarding experience. I came from another online jazz music system which was really inconsistent and I’m so glad I’ve made the change to HearandPlay GMTC. It’s so much better. Great job HP!

    Regards,

    Jim

  7. This is just an update. I have now been in the Gospel Musician’s Training Center for almost 9 months now. I’m still going strong and it’s still the best out there for learning Gospel, RnB, Funk, Neo-Soul, and Jazzy type keyboard music. I still highly recommend it. Since my posts above there has been an incredible number of new videos added, Midi files added, and now the new Musician’s Breakthrough has been added.

  8. Hello Jim, I am interested in joining the GTMC . In addition i plan to get the Gospelkeys600 course. Since i can access this course with my membership, i just want to find out how many loyalty points i need to access this course and how many months i need to be a member in order to get access to it. Thanks

    • Hello there,

      These are the rules for the Loyalty Points in GMTC. The GospelKeys600 course requires 5 credits to unlock.

      About Loyalty Credits

      You get loyalty credits every month for remaining a dedicated member of the club.

      You get 1 loyalty credit per month until you become a gold member (which takes 90 days). Once you’re a gold member, you get a whopping 3 loyalty credits each and every month. That’s right! You don’t have to do anything but remain a dedicated member… and benefit from extra downloadable courses that normally cost anywhere from $39 to $97… FREE!

      Example: Peter joins GMTC. He starts with no loyalty credits. After 30 days, Peter gets 1 credit. After 60 days, he gets another credit for a total of 2. In the third month, he also becomes a gold member, which entitles him to a bunch of goodies, including 3 loyalty credits per month. This puts Peter at 5 credits. The next month, he’s at 8… then 11… then 14, and so on (assuming he doesn’t spend any).

      *Only available for gospel courses

      So it would take you 4 months to collect the 5 credits to unlock the GospelKeys600 course. If you sign up for a Gold Member account and pay quarterly in advance you likely will get it faster since you become a Gold Member right away.

    • Hello!

      Honestly, I didn’t know they had free memberships to GMTC. If you are referring to free 30 day trials, I am not sure. I haven’t heard anything about it. If I find anything out, I’ll post here. Thanks!

      Jim

  9. Hi there,

    Today I bought HearandPlay’s new software called “Back Pocket Band”. When I checked out I noticed they were still offering the free 30 Day Trial period for GMTC. However, you have to enter your CC info to apply. I don’t think they allow a free trial without your giving a credit card number. So the free month is still available. You also likely have to purchase a product as well to get to the trial offer page. It’s basically an “up sale” offer.

    Jim

    • Hello Jim,

      I have been a member of the GMTC for about over a year now; and I am now a Gold member. I have access to about everything in the GMTC site.

      I do like many of the lessons they have to offer on this site. There is much theory and information to learn and grasp. I even have skipped several months not even looking at this site because I get busy doing other things. I want to know if you have learned alot playing by ear since you have been a member for almost a year?

      I still have a problem trying to learn how to play by ear and find some of the lessons examples difficult to learn especially the numbering system used in different keys.

      I would like to know how to figure out what chord is supposed to be played next in song without being told what chord to play as shown in the video lessons.

      How is the new Back Pocket Band program? I have been getting emails to purchase that program.

      What success are you having with the GMTC?

      Thank you,
      Chuck

      • Hi Chuck,

        Great question!! I often think about my progress with GMTC and I can certainly tell you it’s been pretty good over the past year.

        I definitely feel my song playing has improved quite a bit, but I’m learning differently than I first expected. I usually try to learn a couple of songs per month. That’s my goal and so far I’ve been able to do this very well except I do sometimes forget songs that I learned over six months ago. I try my best to practice each song I learn every week. Right now I have learned about 12 songs really really well with GMTC over the past year. I’m quite satisfied with this because when someone wants to hear me play at home I can quickly rattle off 10-12 songs without issue. That usually is quite impressive for most of my friends. As long as I learn 1-2 songs per month I feel I’m getting my moneys worth. I also find I don’t like every song that J. Powell teaches which is to be expected. I generally like more up tempo songs and skip the really slow ones. I do have to play a couple though that are slow.

        By learning songs, I tend to understand better and remember chord shapes, patterns, alternate voicings, and scales for that key. I’m can definitely transpose the song but I’m not fast at it. Honestly if I need to play in another key, I usually need a few minutes or more to move things around. If it’s a difficult song, I may even need an evening to practice playing it in a different key. The important point for me is that I know how to move the song up and down the keyboard without the transpose key.

        The real test for playing what I’ve learned is by improvisation. I actually find the Jamal Hartwell DVDs at Gospelmusicians.com to be better suited for learning how to play something on the fly. Jamal’s latest DVD called “Fundamentals of Neo Soul” is fantastic at getting you up and creating songs on your own. That works if you like Neo Soul, but if playing more Gospel oriented music I generally stick to GMTC. Coming from being a guitarist a while back, I really like to create progressions and solo over them. Jamal’s stuff has been the most effective for me in that regard. With learning songs and ways to play them, I find GMTC the best. Recently I’ve also really enjoyed Vincent’s tutorials from VAMusicMinistry. He provides a mixture of songs and grooves that are really helpful in addition to GMTC.

        The Back Pocket Band program is excellent so far, but if there was one issue it would be that the same groove is played in all 12 keys. Yes, it’s important to play the same song in all 12 keys, but in my experience, each different key represents a different mood. I would have preferred a “different” groove in each of the 12 keys so that I could jam using different chords. With that said, I can still create different moods with each key by playing alternate voicings or inversions of course. I suspect Hearandplay will release more tracks. I also sequence my own tracks which creates variety as well. The Back Pocket Band program tracks are very good though and I’m very glad I purchased the product. It’s been very helpful to me.

        I will likely continue with the GMTC program because it gets me practicing a couple of songs each month. I enjoy keeping myself active in the community in so far as keeping up with what’s new and the latest songs. I also like how GMTC explains songs with different takes which helps me quite a bit. The second take usually contains rootless voicings which I am playing more of now that I use Back Pocket Band and create my own sequences. It would really be great if GMTC offered backtracks for the songs they play. Perhaps they will in the future.

        A few ways I learn to play chords using the number system are as follows:

        1. I learn the 145736251 progression in all keys. This incorporates all of the 7 chords and I like to substitute them as well. I also play this in both major and minor keys. Actually I mix the major and relative minor a lot.

        2. I learn and practice the circle of 5ths progressions.

        3. I learn my Quartals which includes 3 “inside” and 3 “outside” chords that fit in every key. These are awesome for passing chords and using with tritones.

        4. I learn my minor 9s and major 9s chromatically up and down. When doing a neo-soul groove this is excellent.

        5. I learned my diminished chords as I use these for passing quite a bit. J. Powell uses them extensively in the GMTC songs.

        6. I learn how to created suspended chords and use them as both passing and substitution chords. Again these are common in GMTC songs.

        7. Finally I keep my goals simple and obtainable. I learn 1-2 songs per month really well. The songs I forget I either don’t need to play or have replaced with a new song. My memory can only handle so many songs but that’s ok because I get better with each new song I learn.

        Hope my comments help a little. Feel free to ask any additional questions if you like. I’d be more than happy to add additional info or expand on my comments.

        Thanks for visiting my blog.

        Jim

  10. Hello Jim,

    Thank you for responding to my question. I have recently gone back to thoroughly checking out GMTC again; and I found great information on pass lessons in learning how to really play many different progressions and chords.

    It seems that you are advanced in your playing, which I would like to get to in the near future. I am like at an early intermediate level, so I really have to practice to learn progressions, extended chords, and the numbering system for all keys. I feel that I have to practice learning the songs found in GMTC before I can order and add the Back Pocket Band background.

    It would be good if they could add an efficient chat room, so that GMTC members could discuss problems and issues in learning the songs and progressions.

    Yes, Jamal Hartwell has good teaching videos and plenty of information to learn how to play piano by ear.

    Do you play by ear or by note? or both?

    I am really trying to learn how to play by ear and I have researched numerous courses online; and I still do not know what program to order?

    The following programs I have researched:

    1. Piano Magic
    2. David Higginson Professional Chord System
    3. Greg Howlett Church Pianist System
    4. Playing Piano with Rosa
    5. Gospel Chords by Creative Music

    It is good that I found your blog and that you are having success with the GMTC site.

    Thank you,
    Chuck

  11. I have encountered a few issues with Hearandplay’s GMTC lately which I hope doesn’t lead to problems with GMTC.

    1. JP no longer plays preview samples of the lessons. This is quite bothersome because I’m used to hearing the song before I learn how to play it. Not everyone knows these songs that are performed and the previews on Youtube are often cluttered or of alternate versions. I am not sure why Hearandplay GMTC has dropped playing the piano preview.

    2. Quite often, the Midi files and PDF music files are dropped from the lessons. These are helpful for learning advanced material but also help to again hear a preview of the music.

    3. There is a trend lately where Take 2 is simply a “Part 2″ rather than the two hand alternate. The two hand alternate has been completely dropped. I understand if more time is needed for the lesson but to sacrifice the two-handed lesson is interesting.

    Overall, Hearandplay’s GMTC is still quite good. I just can’t help but feel Hearandplay is getting a little lazy these days. I know that’s a bold statement to make, but without any announcements about GMTC changes it leads to such speculation.

    I still highly recommend Hearandplay’s GMTC, but changes are beginning to happen and I’m afraid they aren’t headed in a good direction. Hopefully this is just a blip on the radar screen.

    Enjoy!

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