PRS & Music Education: An Interview with Tyler Larson // Music Is Win

Posted Dec 12, 2016

Artist / Behind The Gear

Paul Reed Smith and our company believe that guitar building is an ongoing process of discovery. In the same way, we believe guitar playing is an ongoing process of discovery. And of course to be discovering means you need to be learning!

In this blog post series, we interview music educators who love PRS and have built businesses that educate tens of thousands of musicians.


Tyler Larson // Music Is Win

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric website "Music is Win." His entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician along with insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons receive millions of video views per month, and his online guitar courses tout thousands of students with a cumulative 4.7 rating on Udemy. Tyler is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has been teaching guitar for over a decade.

Through his company, Music Is Win, Tyler posts a new video every single day on YouTube, ranging from his own unique style of guitar lessons to humorous skits and other content that resonates with the guitar community. His YouTube lessons cover tricks, tips, and techniques as well as basic to advanced music theory, and everything in between. These videos serve as a sample of what’s available in his extensive guitar courses, such as his flagship course "Guitar Super System."

Q&A With Tyler

PRS: What inspires the ideas behind your funny guitar-related videos?

Tyler: The ideas I have are directly related to the experiences I’ve gone through in real life. Sometimes I exaggerate the scenario for comedic effect, but the skits I write will usually hit home with any guitar player, which is why I think they’re so popular. For example, there’s a video where I sit down to practice my guitar scales. After an internal battle with my subconscious, I begin a mindless, high-gain shred session over a backing track instead of having the discipline to continue my practice with a clean tone and metronome. That video is called “How Guitar Players Practice,” and has millions of views across social media.

PRS: How did you learn guitar, and what led you to help teach others?

Tyler: I became serious about the guitar during my junior and senior year of high school. I started out playing along with my favorite bands at the time, such as AC/DC, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. I developed a pretty good ear and learned how to mess around with the pentatonic scale, which made me feel like I was the best guitar player on the planet, of course. That quickly changed when I attended Berklee College of Music. That experience really humbled me and also made me understand what effective teaching felt like from a student’s perspective. This, along with my kind of goofy personality, helped me form my own instructional style. Being a fairly tech-savvy guy, I took to the internet to try and carve out a niche in the guitar education community, using my skills with audio and video production to convey a more cinematic experience than the typical online guitar lesson. As I’ve refined my approach, I’ve created a more personalized “hangout” with my viewers, while the content of the video still remains clear and to the point.

PRS: What is one tip you would share with a person picking up a guitar for the first time?

Tyler: It’s not about how long you’ve been playing; it’s about how often you play. Somebody who picks up the guitar for two hours twice a month for ten years is not as proficient as somebody who plays for 15 minutes every day for one year. Especially when you’re starting out, that consistency will build the initial finger strength you need to make massive progress in a very short amount of time. If you need specific advice on what to practice, I have a course called "The Best Beginner Guitar Course Ever," which is exactly what it sounds like.

PRS: What is your favorite PRS gear and why do you choose to play PRS?

I’ve been fortunate enough to own and play a lot of high quality instruments in my life, so I feel qualified to say that PRS guitars are simply better than any other manufacturer’s offerings, from the construction to the tone to the versatility, and everything in between–not to mention the looks. My PRS SC245 is my favorite piece of gear because it was the instrument that I made true breakthroughs on, both musically and professionally. It’s become the face of my brand, and has facilitated the skills I need in order to continue to improve and produce for an audience that is constantly demanding more. The only issue is that I’ve been lucky enough to use a Floyd Custom 24 for a course PRS has sponsored, and that ridiculous machine is currently making my SC245 a little jealous.

Check out the Music Is Win video below for an example of one of Tyler's lessons!

Creating Beautiful Chord Progressions

And for a more humorous example of Tyler's Videos, check out Guitar Jokes:

Tyler's newest course, "Modern Rock Guitar Techniques" launches today. Click here for a 50% discount off of the course.

You can watch the course preview below!

For the full catalog of Tyler's offerings check out his website HERE!

Follow Tyler on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.