How do you learn to play the guitar? Thanks to the power of the Internet, it may no longer be tablature books or watching DVDs. One of today's top guitarists, Avenged Sevenfold's Synyster Gates, remains a student of his craft and he's joined with his father to launch the Synyster Gates School, a community-based online portal for information where fellow musicians can help one another master their craft.

Loudwire's Josh Bernstein spoke with Gates for this edition of Gear Factor, sponsored by Sweetwater, to discuss the online school that was the culmination of a longtime plan with his father.

"They get to hang, teach each other and we're on there all the time answering questions. The secret is, with online education, you cannot get a good education with even 1,000 videos. There's just multiple chasms, and maybe it's a problem with the learning experience, and so we have people helping out other people with those things," says Gates. "Having a very communicative based system makes a world of difference."

The guitarist says that one of the coolest things he's seen so far is how the beginners have contributed to the community. "I found it fascinating that the coolest people on there are the beginners. Once they've gotten over a hump, they can more easily relate to those who are having a difficult time and tell them, 'This is what got me over the hump.'"

Those interested in learning more about the Synyster Gates School may do so at this location. It's important to note that it is free to partake, so if you're looking to learn how to play or to improve, you can take advantage of the Gates school community.

As for Avenged Sevenfold, Gates says that he loves the band's commitment to work and pushing the boundaries. "Life is work and we just keep chasing the dragon," says Gates.

Check out the full Gear Factor interview above. And for all your music gear needs, be sure to head over to Sweetwater's website.

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