Thanks for the mention @Ed Seith Always here to help!Social media has its place, for good or for ill (as each person's desire and mileage may vary), but the point is clear, and we appreciate Jak bringing up the comparison.
I realize the SITE has become more merch and "brand" focused, but - and I might be biased - I really don't see it that much here in the forum/community. We sure need more activity overall and stuff, but I feel like the "guitar school aspect" of the site still has its DNA intact.
I know it can be intimidating to post your busted-ass Mary Had a Little Lamb video after one of the insane and super-polished videos, but the most important thing to think of is that those super-shredders are here to help you figure out how to get better.
(and if they're not, we try to identify and remove the videos of people who just drop in to promote their shit and leave). Don't be afraid to reach out to @Chris Johnston and ask about how he wrote that killer pop-rock song, or @SimonEichinger with questions about fucking INSANE technique. A lot more options on that front are COMING SOON now that we're getting ready to launch SynTV and make the site more real-time interactive.
And, you know, Syn spends a serious goddamn fortune on this site, and the lessons and the community and almost EVERYTHING here is free. Ain't nothing wrong with my Dude pushing some (actually seriously fuckin cool) merch to help keep it alive without bleeding him dry, and he's not marking shit up like the movie theaters do - whether you buy a t-shirt or a Synyster Custom, the price is competitive and the shipping is generally really quick (depending on your country).
Most importantly, as your community leaders, we are FEROCIOUS when it comes to protecting this site as a truly SAFE PLACE to be "musically vulnerable," and open yourself up to feedback.
Thanks for opening the dialog, @TheRedMageGuitarist !