What if you could create your very first guitar arrangement with minimal music theory knowledge and with the guidance of a professional guitarist every step of the way?
See what my students are saying...
Hi I'm Nathan Mills - classical guitarist, teacher, arranger, and founder of Beyond The Guitar. I've made a successful career in music from making unique classical guitar arrangements of music from movies, tv, and video games.
My YouTube channel, Beyond The Guitar, featuring these arrangements has built an audience of over 400,000 subscribers reaching over 50 million total views, making it one of the largest and farthest reaching classical guitar channels on the platform.
There are 5 roadblocks that cause guitarists to get stuck and fail to ever actually start or complete their own arrangements
If you're struggling to finish your first arrangement, or are intimidated to even start - you can probably relate to one or more of these statements...
#1: "I want to make my own arrangements, but I don't know where to start. There's so much to learn, it feels overwhelming..."
If this is you, you’re paralyzed by information overload, and all that information is making the arranging process feel more intimidating and out-of-reach.
You need somebody who’s been arranging for years to simplify the arranging process for you, to break it down into simple steps, and to show you what you should specifically focus on, and what you can ignore.
#2: "I'm not ready to make my own arrangements yet. I need to learn as much as possible first to prepare myself!"
It’s great that you have a hunger to learn, but the problem with this mindset is that you get stuck in an endless loop bouncing from youtube video to youtube video, blog post to blog post - learning all this music theory and different arranging tips, but never getting around to actually making an arrangement yourself because you never “feel ready.”
You need somebody to give you the opportunity to learn by “doing” as they guide you through your first arrangement - getting hands on and learning as you go through the process yourself.
#3: "I can't decide what song to arrange first... there are so many choices, and I'm afraid the song I pick will be too hard to arrange for the guitar."
If this is you, you’re stuck in the “paradox of choice.”
The more choices we have to pick from, the harder it is to actually make a choice. Or maybe you finally overcame that, settled on a song - only to then never finish your arrangement, because you got stuck on a section that was particularly difficult to fit on the guitar.
What if you had somebody pick your first song to arrange for you - a song that was guaranteed to fit nicely on the guitar, that was beautiful and yet simple enough to tackle for your first arrangement?
#4: "I can never finish an arrangement, because I'm not really happy with it... It's too simple... it needs to be perfect!"
Spoiler alert: perfection doesn’t exist in music.
We get stuck chasing this need for perfection in our arrangements and our playing, to the point that we never actually finish or even start an arrangement.
You need somebody to hold you accountable to keeping things simple at first - to help you actually complete an arrangement from start-to-finish, and then give you guidance on how you can improve from there.
#5: "I've started several arrangements, but never actually finish them because I always get stuck at a tricky section, give up, and move on to another arrangement."
There’s nothing more discouraging than looking back at the hard work you’ve been putting in with the guitar, only to see a bunch of half-finished incomplete arrangements…
It’s such an amazing feeling to finally complete something. To look at that arrangement and say “I did that, and it’s done.”
What if you had an experienced arranger guiding you through your arrangement, who is there to help you when you get stuck - so you can finally cross the finish line and complete that arrangement instead of giving up.
I've experienced all 5 of these roadblocks in some form or another across my career
Shoot, I have both a bachelor's and master's degree in classical guitar, studying all this stuff intensely throughout my university career - and still felt nervous tackling my first arrangement!
That's 6 years of ear training
6 years of intense music theory study
And 6 years of honing my guitar technique, in college alone!
Fast forward 5 years and over 100 arrangements later...
You know what made the biggest impact on my ability as an arranger?
Actually making my own arrangements!
You don't have to know a ton of music theory to make your own arrangements
You don't have to have a college degree in music
You don't have to be some crazy virtuoso with incredible technique!
The best thing you can do right now, if you want to make your own arrangements it to simply start and finish your first arrangement.
Simple as that!
Something special happens when you finally finish your very first arrangement
You get this instant confidence boost and the arranging process no longer feels as intimidating as it felt before - because you’ve gone through it, and you know that you can do it.
This starts a beautiful cycle.
That confidence boost from completing this first arrangement gives you momentum and motivation to tackle a 2nd arrangement, which gives you more confidence to tackle another arrangement and on and on…
And it gets easier and easier and you get better and better each time. But it all starts with this first arrangement...
A beginner arranging course built from the ground up with 2 purposes in mind:
1. To simplify the arranging process
Teaching only the musical concepts you absolutely need to make your own guitar arrangements - showing you that you don't need to be a guitar virtuoso or know a ton of music theory to start making your own arrangements of the music you love!
2. To guide you step-by-step through your first guitar arrangement, from start-to-finish
Teaching you how to arrange by getting hands-on, and actually arranging a beautiful piece of music yourself - laying a foundation that will jumpstart your confidence in arranging and prepare you for all your future arrangements that you've only been dreaming of making.
If you put in the work and follow along with every step laid out in the course...
You'll come out in the end of JumpStart Arranging with your very own complete guitar arrangement!
"I found this course to be profound in that it forced me to get to the FINISH LINE on an arrangement. By only using the bass and melody, I found that I had the 'scaffolding' to go by.
This took away the intimidation of how to start (and searching for full chords), and gave me the motivation to keep going.
I feel like I can take this approach for any song now, and then build chordal content upon that scaffolding of a bassline and melody. What an epic course!"
The material in this course is divided into 2 main areas
Here's a sneak peak of what you'll learn inside the 9 main video lessons of JumpStart Arranging:
Module 1: 5 Principles To Jumpstart Your Ear Training
- I walk you through 5 key principles to jumpstart your ear training and enable you to listen to a piece of music and efficiently identify the melody and harmony notes you’re hearing, and quickly find those notes on your guitar.
- These principles include my “Busy Street Analogy” that will help you understand how to actively listen to music and isolate specific notes from the mix
- We discuss listening for relativity in the music to help guide your ear from one note to the next, so you don’t feel like you’re starting from scratch when attempting to identify a new note.
Module 2: The Functional Ear Trainer
- We dive deep into my favorite ear training app, breaking down its uniquely effective approach to ear training called the “Alain Benbassat” method - showing you how you can use this approach to turn your ear into a finely tuned arranging machine.
- We’ll cover the basic music theory surrounding scales and keys, showing you how to use that knowledge to make things incredibly easier for your ear by narrowing down the possible notes you can expect to hear in a given song.
Modules 3-4: Musical Ear Guitar Exercises
- Give you the opportunity to practice all of these ear training concepts hands-on with your guitar using real musical examples in my Musical Ear Guitar Exercises.
- I show you how to use what I call the “contextual approach” to simplify the process of identifying the notes you’re hearing in a song, and translating those same notes to your guitar.
Modules 5-8: Your Arrangement
- I break the arranging process down into small simple steps as we work together to make your first guitar arrangement, from start to finish.
- These lessons make you feel like you’re right here in the studio with me working on an arrangement alongside me as I share every detail of my thought process throughout the entire experience.
- As you progress through your arrangement, I’ll teach you how to use the layout of the fretboard to make your arrangements easier to play and fit more naturally on the guitar.
Module 9: Your Next Arrangement
- I give you a roadmap with steps to follow as you tackle your next arrangement - showing you how to capitalize on the confidence and momentum you’ve gained from completing this course.
"I have been playing fingerstyle guitar for 5 years. I have always made excuses for not making my own arrangements. I don't know why, but I was scared of arranging my own songs...
A month ago I started to really get tired of playing other people's arrangements so I decided to start studying with Nathan - I can't believe how much of an impact that had on me.
Today I finally completed my first fingerstyle arrangement, and even though it might not be super complicated - I still love playing it because it is natural and came from my mind.
Most of the time, all we need is a little push..."
With 9 modules and...
Over 2.5 hours of value-packed video lessons
Downloadable mp3s and printable resources and worksheets including the JumpStart Arranging Checklist that breaks down all the content in this course and the arranging process into manageable action steps that you can tackle and check off at your own pace
I created JumpStart Arranging to be the best resource out there for you to begin your arranging journey with as you make your first guitar arrangement.
It eliminates every excuse and every barrier that's getting in the way of you making guitar arrangements and playing the music you love
Looking back at the 5 roadblocks to arranging we discussed earlier:
- If you’re the person who doesn’t know where to get started and is paralyzed by information overload
- JumpStart Arranging gives you a clear step-by-step path to follow through the arranging process, and eliminates that feeling of overwhelm by focusing in on the limited musical knowledge and skills that you actually need.
- If you’re stuck in the endless blackhole of youtube videos trying to learn everything you can about arranging before actually trying it for yourself
- JumpStart Arranging gets you to take action, and gives you the opportunity to learn how to arrange for the guitar as you go through the process yourself.
- Or maybe you’re just stuck on what song to arrange first
- JumpStart Arranging solves this by picking the song for you. It’s a simple yet beautiful piece I composed for violin and cello, that I can guarantee fits nicely on the guitar and is simple enough to tackle for your first arrangement.
- Maybe you’re paralyzed by your desire for your first arrangement to be perfect
- JumpStart Arranging helps you reject this false concept of perfection and shift to a mindset that focuses on completion instead - starting with a simple foundation that enables you to actually complete your first arrangement. A foundation that you can then build on and improve upon with each future arrangement you create.
- Lastly, maybe you’ve started several arrangements - but fail to ever finish them because you get stuck or lose steam
- JumpStart Arranging will help you finally cross the finish line with a completed arrangement, because for each step of the arranging process - after giving you a chance to attempt it yourself first - I show you what I would do there. So if you get stuck at any point, you can watch ahead and I’ll give you a nudge in the right direction, so you can always keep moving forward with your arrangement.
"Been super happy joining here. I never thought I would be able to make my own arrangements, especially fingerstyle.
I've made about 10 arrangements in less than 1 year now and it's still mindblowing!"
JumpStart Arranging is for you if...
- You want to make your own guitar arrangements but keep getting stuck on 1 or more of those 5 arranging roadblocks we discussed in the section above
- You’re tired of scouring the internet all alone, trying to piece together all the knowledge you need to make arrangements - and want the guidance of a teacher to walk you through the process.
- You have at least 6 months to a year of fingerstyle or classical guitar experience, but little to no music theory knowledge. No prior music theory knowledge required here!
- You’re willing to put in the work to make your first guitar arrangement as long as you’re following a proven method that allows you to work at your own pace
- You might have already completed an arrangement, but still consider yourself a beginner arranger and feel you would benefit from completing another simple arrangement under the guidance of a teacher
- You’re interested in the idea of making your own arrangements but aren’t sure if you’re ready to invest a ton of time or money into learning the process. JumpStart Arranging gives you an affordable option to test the waters, learn the process, and make your first arrangement without a huge time commitment.
This is NOT for you if...
- You’re expecting an all-encompassing arranging method that teaches you absolutely everything you could ever possibly need to know about the arranging process, along with a bunch of advanced music theory. JumpStart Arranging is all about simplifying the arranging process and helping you to take action by teaching you the necessary musical concepts you need to make your first guitar arrangement.
- You plan to binge through the video lessons without putting in any work or following along with the action steps. This course is designed to help you create your first guitar arrangement from start-to-finish, but if you’re expecting results without getting hands-on and doing any of the work yourself - you’re missing the point.
- You’re a more experienced arranger, having already completed several of your own arrangements, and are looking for a method to level up your arranging skills. This course is a better fit for beginning arrangers, so you’d be more interested in my Arrangers Academy - my private monthly guitar arranging program and community.
So I'm sure you're wondering... How much does JumpStart Arranging cost?
To get this caliber of musical training, I’ve paid over $1,000 each for music courses at a university.
And I charge $100 an hour to teach my arranging methods to my private one-on-one students.
But I want to make this knowledge as easily accessible and affordable as possible for any guitarist out there who wants to experience the joy of making guitar arrangements for themselves…
Don't forget: it's completely risk free
So much planning and thought went into the method I’m teaching in JumpStart Arranging because I so want for you to be able to finally start making guitar arrangements of the music you love and to guarantee that you’d come out of the course with your first arrangement completed.
As you go through the course, I’m confident you’ll see all the value I’ve packed in there - but to make it a no-brainer deal for you I’m giving you a 30 day 100% money-back guarantee with your purchase of JumpStart Arranging today.
You can go through the course, check out the bonus material, follow the steps, complete your first arrangement under my guidance - and if you don’t love it in the first 30 days of your purchase, send me an email and I’ll refund you immediately.
No questions asked, no hard feelings.
If JumpStart Arranging doesn't work for you, I'd much prefer for you to take your money and invest it where you will be happier and get results. I just want you to be able to play the music you love!
Now I mentioned bonus material...
Because I wanted to pack as much value as possible for you inside this course - if you sign up for JumpStart Arranging today, you'll get access to a phenomenal bonus training.
BONUS: Fretboard Mastery - The Key To Creative Freedom ($40 value)
Fretboard Mastery is one of my best arranging trainings, previously only available to my Arrangers Academy students. But you get it for free with your purchase of JumpStart Arranging.
After you complete your first arrangement, Fretboard Mastery will enhance your skill as an arranger with 3 extra modules teaching you:
- How to build chords and create your own unique voicings to make your arrangements stand out
- The drill I used to memorize the fretboard in only 2 weeks
- How to accompany melodies with chords, so you can play both simultaneously no matter where the melody travels around the fretboard
"So, my game-changing moment... my first arrangement that almost failed. I was stuck, having trouble getting the right notes.
Nathan gave me exactly what I needed to keep going, and I managed to finish it!
If I didn't have Nathan as a teacher on the other side, at that exact moment, would I have continued pursuing the idea of playing music I love on the guitar?
Thinking back and being completely honest with myself, I don't believe so. As a self-taught guitar noob, it's more likely I would've given up - thinking arranging is just for experienced musicians only..."
So here's what you're getting today when you join JumpStart Arranging:
All 9 core JumpStart Arranging video lessons with over 2.5 hours of value-packed step-by-step training ($200 value)
- BONUS: Fretboard Mastery Training with 3 additional bonus modules to help you take your arrangements to the next level ($40 value)
Total value for all of this amazing training = $240
You're seconds away...
When you login to the private members area, you'll be able to access the entire JumpStart Arranging program and begin watching video lessons immediately.
You can take the course on any device you like: computer, tablet, or phone. As long as you have internet access, you have access!
Oh and by the way, when you join you get lifetime access to this material - even if I update and add to it in the future.
JUMPSTART ARRANGING PRO: 90-Minute Bonus Masterclass ($80 value)
With the JumpStart Arranging Pro bundle - in addition to the JumpStart Arranging course itself, you get access to the JumpStart Arranging Masterclass:
A 90+ minute bonus video training in which I answer many of my students' most burning arranging and guitar-related questions.
In this masterclass, you'll learn:
- How to master the 2 main fingerstyle guitar percussion techniques so you can use them in your own arrangements
- How to identify chords by ear
- 3 arranging tricks I use to make my arrangements easier to play and fit more naturally on the guitar
- How to identify a song's time signature by ear
- My top tips for learning to play cleanly, without mistakes
- and much more!
Access To The Exclusive Beyond The Guitar Academy Discord Server ($30 value)
JumpStart Arranging Pro also gives you access to my private community on Discord where you can chat with other students, ask questions, and get feedback and encouragement.
Interacting with other like-minded guitarists who are learning alongside you will give you incredible motivation and accountability to keep pushing yourself and improving as a guitarist each and every week, even long after you've completed the course material here!
Because with the lifetime access you're getting to the JumpStart Arranging course, you'll also get lifetime access to my Discord server with JumpStart Arranging Pro.
JUMPSTART ARRANGING PREMIUM: A Custom Arrangement Review From Me ($100 value)
No matter how closely you follow the instructions and step-by-step guidance in JumpStart Arranging, there's nothing more helpful than getting direct customized feedback from me, your teacher...
With JumpStart Arranging Premium, you'll be able to go through the course and complete your first arrangement - then whenever you're ready you can "cash" in on your one-time custom arrangement review from me.
- Send me a video (and notation if possible) of you performing your arrangement - whether it's the arrangement from the course or another arrangement you completed afterwards
- I'll watch through your video and look over your arrangement and record a custom video for you giving you feedback on your arrangement, technique, musicality, notation, and anything else I think you need to improve as a guitarist and arranger!
Working with me one-on-one usually costs a minimum of $100 alone, but you're getting this custom video review ($100 value) + the entire JumpStart Arranging program (including the bonus Fretboard Mastery modules = $240 value) + The JumpStart Arranging Masterclass ($80 value) + access to the exclusive Beyond The Guitar Academy Discord server ($30 value) all for one low payment of $147.
Imagine a few months from now...
You could still be stuck exactly where you're at right now:
Dreaming about making your own arrangements and playing the music you love, but never actually following through and making it happen.
You're slowly losing interest in the guitar and dread practicing because you're just spinning your wheels with no clear direction...
You could have not 1... not 2... but 3 or more arrangements of your very own completed!
Feeling more confident as a musician with your love for the guitar rekindled.
Excited to pick up your instrument every single day to play the music you love.
Looking back and seeing the progress you've made with each new arrangement you've completed, and falling in love with the creative challenge of the arranging process.
It all starts with your very first arrangement - and that's what JumpStart Arranging is all about.
Join JumpStart Arranging today, and let me help you make that first arrangement - so you can finally start making the music you love, and making it on your own terms!
Questions & Answers
I have literally zero music theory knowledge and have never attempted to make a guitar arrangement before, will this course be too advanced for me?
I've already been making my own guitar arrangements for a while, so I'm looking to learn more advanced concepts. Is this course for me?
What's the difference between JumpStart Arranging and your Arrangers Academy?
I'm an absolute beginner at the guitar, is this course for me?
I have a busy schedule - will this course take a lot of time?
I play fingerstyle, but on a steel string guitar. Is this just for classical guitarists?
P.S. Don't forget that when you join JumpStart Arranging you are joining risk-free. You have an entire 30 days to jump into the course, watch all the video lessons, check out the bonus trainings, follow the steps, complete your first arrangement under my guidance - and THEN decide if it's right for you.
See you on the inside...