Latest updates and news

How to quickly gain new students

Are you looking at building up your total number of students? Here's a quick and very effective way to win over some 'new' students:

Call your past students

Over time you will build up a large list of past students. It's actually very easy to win at least some of those past students back with a quick phone call. Compared to handing out flyers, advertising or putting effort in on social media, calling past students is very effective and simple.

While you could simply call your past students and see how it goes, following the strategy in BQA-08 will greatly improve your chance of success. Check the guide out and contact us if you need some help planning for your calls.

So take some time to read the strategy in BQA-08 and win yourself some 'new' students.

New Training Course: The $100 per Month Challenge

Do you have an idea for a guitar related product or service you could sell online? Perhaps you have an idea for a guitar method book or an online course to teach beginners how to play basic songs. Whatever your idea is, there is the potential to earn an income from it. As explained in EXP-00 multiple streams of income are an excellent way to increase your financial security as a guitar teacher.

The $100 per Month Challenge is simple: earn at least $100 per month consistently online selling your own product or service.

The reason for the $100 target is also simple: a lot of effort needs to be put into your online business before you can start to expect results. Too many people give up early because they don't see results instantly. The $100 per month target is a way to tell when you've put enough effort in that results will start to follow.

Here's a sneak preview of one of the examples the course uses:

This is the number of page views a website has built up over time. The website in the example follows the exact method explained in the course. In the beginning you can see that the website didn't have many views. In fact, it took the website almost 12 months to begin earning $100 per month consistently. But look at the long term trend - after all the hard work, the website continues to grow to this day and earn significantly over $100 per month. As you can see, the website shown has almost 12,000 page views per month. The point is that by following the strategies explained in the course and sticking to the $100 challenge, you can also create your own online business that can earn you a significant income.

Find out more about the $100 per Month Challenge here

This is a 'Level 2' course which means that to be able to access this course you must first complete the Guitar Teaching Business Fundamentals Course. Level 2 courses cover advanced topics so the business fundamentals course is needed to cover the basics first.

Have any questions about this course? Contact us here

Student stage practice at stickandstrum

Guitar Teacher Interview: Shane Nicholas at stickandstrum

This interview is with guitar teacher Shane Nicholas from stickandstrum. Shane offers great insights into what it's like to be a multi-instrument teacher running a very unique studio. While most guitar teachers focus on traditional styled lessons either one-on-one or in small groups, Shane gives his students a lot of variety in learning options. From a guitar teacher's point of view it's great to see how Shane puts his strengths to work to create a unique learning environment for his students.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where your studio is located

The new stickandstrum studio is in Riverchase. It is conveniently located with easy access for those seeking music lessons in Hoover, Pelham, Helena and Alabaster.

I have been teaching privately for almost ten years. I began as a guitar instructor, quickly added piano lessons and added bass, ukulele, and drum lessons as the years progressed and I saw that people were interested.

Shane Nicholas from stickandstrum

Shane Nicholas from stickandstrum

So, you teach guitar, bass, drums, piano, and ukulele? How does teaching all those instruments help out your guitar students?

It’s a mouthful to have to list all of those, isn’t it? I do teach a variety of instruments and I love it. For me, it helps to keep me fresh because my day is constantly changing. I’m not sitting in the same chair teaching the same type of student for hours on end. An afternoon on a typical day might see me teaching a group drum class for ages 6-12, followed by an intermediate guitar student that is working on songs for his band, followed by a teen student working on songs for her upcoming CoffeeHouse gig, followed by a preteen ukulele student working on songs from Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, followed by an advanced guitar student working on songs for his High School jazz band, followed by a middle school band working on Lorde, Adele, and Owl City tunes. It keeps me on my toes and gives me energy as I am constantly changing gears.

At first, I tried to keep all of the instruments separate. I tried to be a guitar teacher. Then a piano teacher. But, it’s not who I am. I’m not just a guitar teacher. I teach multiple instruments and that’s what makes what I do unique. Once I embraced that, students and parents could really see a difference. For one, I have the ability to jam with students on a variety of instruments. It’s fairly common for me to grab a cajon and accompany an acoustic student or group guitar class, drag a guitar student over to the drum set so that we can jam together and he can get a feel for playing with a drummer, or show students how different instruments interact with what they are playing. As I’m working with bands (and the students within the bands) I have a unique perspective in that I have a big picture overview of the entire band and song but also work with each student in the band individually. So I can help a bass student on his part while explaining (and even demonstrating on guitar or drums) what it will sound like and how it will fit in the big picture.

I have also seen quite a few students pick up a second (or even third) instrument while taking lessons. Unless you are going for virtuoso status, picking up a second instrument will probably help you to become a better guitarist. I know that I am a better guitar player because I play bass, piano, drums, etc. Each instrument gives you unique insight and abilities. Your rhythm develops on a whole new level once you know how to play drums as well. Your understanding of chords and theory may drastically improve if you learn how to play chords, scales, and inversions on the piano. Instruments are a lot more interconnected than most people think and I find that picking up a second instrument is fairly easy for most students.

You help students form bands and solo acts which is something most teachers can’t help with. How do you do that?

As my students grew in numbers and ability I found myself in an interesting predicament. I teach most instruments (guitar, drums, bass, piano, and ukulele) and do big recitals each Spring. I found that many of my intermediate students were losing focus and getting bored. They worked hard and enjoyed themselves during the early stages of learning an instrument and saw immediate gratification as they gained skills and ability. Once they reached the intermediate stage, change comes slower and more gradually as they begin to refine their skills. Without an outlet and a goal to strive towards, many students were getting bored and starting to pursue other options. So, I started to put my students into bands for recitals. I would form a band with a couple of guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and maybe a keyboard player. In the early years, I would sing or bring in friends to sing along with my students. The recitals were a major success, including our ALL BEATLES recital in 2012!

As the success of bands started to take off I also had a growing number of students interested in singing and playing acoustic instruments (acoustic guitar, ukulele, and piano). Last year I started doing a CoffeeHouse each semester to give these students a first taste at performing. We set up a location to look like a CoffeeHouse with tables, chairs, snacks, coffee, and a cool stage design. I want it to feel as authentic as possible for students while also making it a very laid back and safe environment for beginning performers. The students that play in the CoffeeHouse each semester now range from my “pro” students who have performed numerous times at these events and other local gigs to students that are playing in front of people for their first time. I have had quite a few parents come up with tears in their eyes thanking me after a CoffeeHouse and telling me that they had no idea that their child could do that! We have just finished up our 4th CoffeeHouse and they are always a lot of fun!

As these two sides of the studio grew (bands and acoustic acts), it only made sense to combine them. I took some of my most confident and talented acoustic artists and let them be the frontman for a band. I currently have three student bands (with a few more in the pipeline) that are entirely student led that play songs ranging from The Beatles, Imagine Dragons, Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Lorde, and more!

What are some of the things accomplished by the bands and solo acts that you’ve helped create?

We are just getting started with local gigs, but in the past two months we have played at the Vulcan Run 10K in downtown Birmingham, a Fall Bazaar in Helena, and the Bucs Bazaar at Bumpus Middle School. We have had great crowd response at each show and have quite a few gigs on the horizon in the Spring. People see these kids rocking out (most are in middle school) and are blown away. We also strive to be respectful and professional at each show which goes a long way.

Student stage practice at stickandstrum

Student stage practice at stickandstrum

Each year we do a big Spring recital that showcases not only the bands and solo acts, but also the beginner students that are working their way towards that goal. It’s a great way for advanced students to look back and see where they were a few short years ago while also inspiring up and coming students as they get to watch older students perform. We also do a CoffeeHouse each semester for acoustic students that has great success. Students also take their abilities into their local churches and schools to perform.

With the new studio, I will be turning over more responsibility to the students in each band. Students will create logos and designs for T-Shirts, posters, and other advertising and merchandise. Students will take over social media for their bands. They are GREAT at this! One of my students setup an Instagram page for his band ( and within a few hours they had almost as many followers as my studio page! I will also begin letting them work with the website more so that they can get a better feel for marketing and promotion. I promote leaders in each band to help run practices, pick set lists, and keep everyone in line. Our two current websites are and and work is underway on websites and social media accounts for our two new bands that were formed last month.

Walk us through a typical guitar lesson and how it is different to the standard format.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a typical guitar lesson, haha! In my early teaching years I think I stuck to a much more traditional path. Almost all of my students were beginners and I would go through a method/lesson book one song at a time each week. After a few semesters of this, both me and my students were bored out of our minds! I started incorporating riffs and songs they wanted to work on and things started to improve.

I don’t really have a typical student, so it’s hard to give a concept of a typical lesson but I’ll take a stab at it.. I have learned that when you help a student to find his or her passion, then you have just unlocked his potential. If a student comes to me without knowing what they want to work on (or if they are a complete beginner) we work through foundational material. I want to make sure that whatever they decide to play, that they have a taste of everything and the capability to play it. Within the first year with guitar students, I generally try to cover basic guitar tab, reading treble clef, and guitar chords in the key of G. By the time the foundation is laid, most students have an idea of what they want to work on. My job now is to find things that inspire them and push them forward, whether that be a song that we are working on or the opportunity to play at an upcoming gig with a band.

One of the things that really sets stickandstrum apart is that we take lessons with a goal in mind. A lot of guitar instructors and students go through lessons with no real sense of purpose. When people walk into my studio they know: I am here to learn to play in a band or perform as a solo act. Now, it may take a few years for them to reach these goals but they have a purpose and they can see other students that are just a little further in their journey playing with bands and playing gigs.

A challenge for many bands and solo acts is to get out there and get gigs. How do you help with that?

I think you have to play to your strengths. I have been incredibly fortunate in a variety of areas. Most guitar teachers are also musicians and have made contacts through that. I use different musician contacts to set up student gigs much like you would if you were seeking a gig for your own band. The thing that has really helped me is the parents of my students. Many of them have a variety of contacts that I would never have thought of. For example, one parent is an avid runner and marathoner. She and her husband are close friends with a guy that helps to put together most of the local races around town. A lot of these races will have bands along the course and some will have bands at the finish line. We have already played one race and are looking forward to doing a few more in 2014. We also played at a fundraiser for a local middle school a few weeks ago. One of my parents was the head of the PTA group that was setting up the fundraiser. That was an awesome experience as we were able to provide entertainment, but I also made some great contacts, and picked up a few new students.

Another big one for us is social media. stickandstrum’s Facebook page is constantly being updated with photos (we have a professional photographer that does our events), videos (I use my iPad or iPhone for now), and other updates. I also make sure that all of our performance videos in addition to random student update videos are on our YouTube page. I can tell people about how great stickandstrum and lessons are all day but when they can see videos of what these kids can do… that sells itself.

Let’s be real though.. Who doesn’t want to see a band of middle school guys that ROCKS? I’m anticipating a lot more gigs in the spring as word of who we are and what we are doing starts to spread.

Your new studio opened at the start of the year (2014). How is it different for your students?

There are a few things that I’m really excited about. The first is the overall feel and attitude of the new location. It has a vintage recording studio vibe with a nice lounge area for students and parents. First impressions say a lot and I want to make a good one here. Secondly, students have access to a bigger variety of instruments. I have the ability to keep various guitars, banjos, ukuleles, and other instruments out on the wall for them to try and experiment with. Want to try your song on a six-string banjo instead of your guitar? Go for it!

stickandstrum lounge area

stickandstrum lounge area

The facilities for group classes are also greatly improved. I have six electric drum sets for my group drum classes and the response from students has been excellent. There is a stage area for bands and acoustic artists to practice and record videos. I’m currently working on setting up a small studio and recording area for students to record themselves and put together demos. I could go on and on.. There's a lot of new features available to students and a lot more to come in 2014!

What advice do you have for a guitarist wanting to form a band or solo act in 2014?

For beginners, the first step is just getting the guitar in your hands. The first few months are often the hardest so put yourself in a position where you can see others achieving goals around you. It will help to inspire you and drive you forward. If you see someone your age on stage rocking out to The Beatles or Imagine Dragons in front of hundreds of people you have to be able to visualize that you can be there too. It just takes hard work, dedication, and time.

For people that already play guitar and are looking to get plugged in somewhere, start playing with people. Find some friends and start a band. Like a lot of people, I got started as a teen with a few friends in my garage. I am able to help students and guide them with bands, but ultimately it is up to the student to find that drive within themselves and go for it.

Get started! What are you waiting for?

How do you use technology in your studio?

Technology has moved SO fast in the last few years! When I first started teaching, the only way to learn a song was if a student brought me a CD and brought a printed out sheet of TAB. I would often have students bring me TAB for a song that I had never heard without bringing a CD and I wouldn’t be able to teach it because I didn’t know the song. Now, I use my iPhone and iPad. I can instantly pull up any song that a student wants to learn and the guitar TAB or chords for it. There are apps like Songsterr that make learning songs so much easier and we can always look at covers and tutorials on YouTube. I was initially afraid of these things taking away from my business, but they have only helped!

I also frequently do video recordings for students. I can record a quick video demonstrating a technique on their phone and they can go back and rematch it during the week. This has helped tremendously!

Check out stickandstrum's website for more information or shout out to Shane at stickandstrum's Facebook page or Twitter. Thanks Shane for providing this excellent insight to your unique lessons and studio. Say thanks to Shane by sharing his interview using the social media buttons below.

Why offering discounts hurts your guitar teaching business

A common practice among guitar teachers is to offer discounts as an incentive for new students to sign up. The idea is that a discount will give an extra push to somebody unsure whether they should go with you or not.

While it sounds smart in theory, there's some big problems with offering discounts:

It cheapens you and your lessons

When you see a product at a store in a 'discount bin' what's your first impression of the product? Sometimes you will recognize it as a great deal but most of the time you know that products that end up in discount bins are usually junk that the store is having trouble selling. The same thing happens when you discount your lessons. Instead of being seen as a quality product on the top shelf, you're basically throwing your lesson service into the discount bin. While potential students won't consciously think this way, they will subconsciously. There have been various studies that have shown that people actually a product or service as lower quality when it's discounted. In other words, simply lowering your price is enough to make people think your lessons are low quality!

It can cause issues with other students paying full price

Let's say you start promoting a big discount on your lessons for new students. You promote it on your website, social media account and offline using flyers and posters. How do you think one of your current students will feel when they see that new students are getting a better deal than them? Does that send the right message to your loyal students?

The chances are that your existing students will feel cheated when they see that any new student will be getting a better deal than them. There are two possible ways most people deal with situations like this. The student will either ask you for a discount to remain a student or they will keep paying the same rate but will likely hold some resentment against you. That's not the way to keep your students happy and thank them for their loyalty.

Discounts can hurt your existing students and tarnish your reputation in their eyes. Do you really want to risk a relationship with a loyal student for the chance of gaining a new student at a lower rate? It's never smart to risk your current students for a chance of gaining new students.

How much will you lose from that discount?

Many teachers don't realize how even a small discount can negatively impact your income. Let's say you offer a small $5 discount off your lesson rate. What does that mean from your point of view? It means that you're basically throwing away $260 every year - per new student! So you might be thinking "yes I'd be earning less, but at least I will have a new student". That's only true if the discount causes a new student to choose you. The problem is that a $5 discount isn't likely to change a potential student's mind. Discounting from $30 per lesson to $25 actually won't make much difference to whether a student chooses you or not. The chances are that any new students you gain would have been happy to pay the $30 anyway. So the $260 you're losing for a new student is likely for nothing. People generally only change their minds on a purchase when the discounts are significant. So if you offered a $10 discount you're likely to gain new students that wouldn't have chosen you before. But this time you would now be losing $520 per year. That's an expensive way to gain a new student!

If you are considering discounts, remember that there's always a cost involved with a discount. Most of the time you're better off looking at other strategies.

Discounts lose their meaning over time

If you gain a new student by using a discount, over time the student will forget that they're paying a lower rate than usual. So the student will stop thinking "I'm getting a $30 lesson for $25" and will start thinking "These lessons cost $25". This means your discounted rate will actually become the standard rate in the new student's mind. You lose all benefit from the discount while still losing money on it.

When you compare the long term effects of a discount to alternative strategies, it just doesn't make sense to even consider offering discounts. Yes you will likely gain new students using a discount and it will feel like you're doing the right thing, but when you consider the alternatives, it just isn't a smart choice.

Alternatives to offering a discount

The big problem with discounts is that they reduce the 'perceived value' of you and your lessons. Instead of being seen as valuable service that offers great quality lessons, you're sending the message that you're a cheap service similar to products in a discount bin.

There are two far more effective strategies you can use than offering discounts:

A free trial lesson

Many guitar teachers already use this option and it's a good starting point. By offering a free first lesson you're giving yourself the opportunity to prove to a potential student that your lessons are worth the fair price you have set. Free first lessons don't cheapen your image and they don't cause resentment with your existing students. We highly recommend you offer free trial lessons instead of discounts.

From an income point of view, let's say your usual rate is $30 per lesson. Instead of offering a $5 discount - which would lose you $260 a year in income - you offer a free trial lesson. How much do you lose from that free trial lesson? $30. Think of it this way, would you rather pay $260 to gain a new student or $30? When compared this way hopefully you can see how bad discounts actually are. Potential students are far more likely to take up the offer of a free trial lesson compared to a discount so it's a far more effective strategy.

Offer something extra of value

This is the best option by far and sends all the right messages to potential students. This is what we encourage guitar teachers to do because it actually raises your value in the potential student's eyes rather than destroy it like a discount does. The strategy is simple: offer something extra for free to any new student.

There are so many different things you can offer such as:

  • A capo or other guitar accessory as a gift
  • An eBook
  • Free access to an online course or VIP content on your website
  • Free 30 minute skype lesson outside of normal lesson times
  • A pack of guitar flash cards
  • Service of the student's guitar (eg: new strings, truss rod adjustment, clean)

So why is this more effective than a discount? It's because the new student is getting something extra as a bonus. You're giving the student more value than normal rather than trying to offer a lower price (and lowering your perceived value). This is how you should think as a guitar teacher rather than thinking about discounts.

Giving away an eBook or a capo doesn't cost you much (if anything at all), but it leaves a lasting impression on the student. The reason we work hard with our members to help them start selling their own online courses or launching their own products or extra services is because we know how big a difference those extra products and services can mean to your success.

Advanced Strategies for Serious Teachers

Too many guitar teachers take the 'trial and error' approach to their teaching business. Instead of guessing your way through your business, get it right from the beginning. The following resources will get you started with best practices and avoid the mistakes so many other teachers make.

BPL-08 - Set the right rate for your lessons that sends the right message to potential students

EXP series - Learn how to add value to your guitar lessons and grow your guitar teaching business

BMK series - Use effective marketing strategies to attract the right students for you

SWOT Analysis course - Analyze your local market to figure out the best way to promote your lessons and attract the right students

If members would like assistance in working out an effective strategy to encourage new students to sign up, contact us here and we'll give you a hand.

The key message to remember here is that discounts reduce the value of your lessons from a prospective student's point of view. Instead of doing something that reduces perceived value, look for ways to give students something of value extra.

New Reports for Members

Members now have three different reports you can request to help you improve your guitar teaching business' online presence. You can request up to one report per month which is a great way to keep track of any changes you make to your website or to keep track of your online position over time.

The three reports available are:

SEO Report

This report analyzes how easily potential students can find you online. We will take a look at what keywords and phrases your website is currently ranking well for, what keywords you should be ranking for, and provide recommendations on how to improve your website's ranking. This is a thorough report that explains in plain English what you need to do to attract more visitors to your website and how to outrank your competitors.

Find out more about our SEO Report for Guitar Teachers here

Website Analysis Report

While it's easy to put a website together, building an effective website is significantly harder. Large businesses invest massive amounts of money to make sure their websites work effectively. This report will give you a thorough picture of your website's current effectiveness and how to improve it. We will look for any problems and issues to fix, look for ways to improve performance and provide plenty of recommendations to get the most out of your website.

Find out more about our Website Analysis Report for Guitar Teachers here

Social Media Report

Social media is a very effective way to reach potential students and build your reputation as a guitar teacher. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to work out how to use social media properly. We've researched hundreds of different guitar teachers and how they use social media and we know what works and what doesn't. This report will analyze the way you are currently using social media and provide you with detailed recommendations on how to achieve better results. Examples are provided so you will know exactly how to implement the recommendations.

Find out more about our Social Media Report for Guitar Teachers here

These reports provide you with specific advice on improving your online position as a guitar teacher. While our Business Guides can help you achieve better results, the advice in these reports are tailored around your situation and your goals. The reports are free as part of membership so request one and use the advice to build your long term future as a guitar teacher.

New podcast episode on social media

Our latest podcast looks at how you can use social media to achieve your goals as a guitar teacher.

While social media has been around for a long time, it's an area not many guitar teachers are taking advantage of. Our researched uncovered some great examples of using social media well, but unfortunately there were a significant number of guitar teachers using social media poorly. This episode will explain how you can avoid the mistakes so many other guitar teachers are making.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why you should consider using social media and how it can help you
  • Common mistakes and misunderstandings to avoid with social media
  • Two effective strategies to attract new students and grow your reputation

Check out Episode 4 of our podcast for a brief introduction to social media. After listening to the podcast you can read through our BMK guides for more specific strategies. Our 12 week course spends an entire week covering social media so enroll in the course to learn how to use it effectively.

If you have any questions on social media after listening to the podcast, use the contact form on that page to ask us.

New Resources in October

Here's a quick summary of new resources made available in October. We're constantly adding new lesson plans, guides and courses so check back regularly to see our latest updates.

Business Guides:

BWS-06 Website Usability Testing - this guide provides you with an effective method to improve your website's performance. You will identify how people use your website and what areas are causing problems.

BTD-02 You Can't Find Any New Students - it can be extremely frustrating when it seems you cannot find any new students. This guide will help you identify possible causes and work on attracting new students.

BPL-12 Lesson Policies and Agreements - while having lesson policies are important to keeping your business running smoothly, policies improperly set up can cause problems. This guide will help you set up effective policies and decide how to present them to your students.

BMK-13 Guitar Lesson Tear-off Flyer - a simple tear-off flyer can be an effective way to attract more students in your local area. The template provided gives you a simple starting point you can customize and print off.


Teaching Guides:

TPD-01 Myths About Learning - there are a lot of myths around teaching and learning. Read through these commonly held myths to ensure you don't mistakenly fall for one of them.

TBP-03 Students With Low Motivation - low motivation is a symptom of a completely different problem. This guide will help you identify the cause of low motivation and help your student overcome it.

TBE-03 Teaching Songs - learn best practices for teaching songs to your students.

TBE-04 Teaching Scales - learn best practices for teaching scales to your students.

TGP-01 Setting up Group Lessons - if you want to start offering group lessons, this guide will provide you with everything you need to get started and work out what type of group you would be best suited to teach.

TGP-02 Keys to Group Success - group lessons need a completely different approach to one-on-one lessons. This guide provides you with key principles and ideas to use in group lessons.


Podcast Episode 3 - a few different career options are discussed to give you an idea of what other directions you could take as a guitar teacher.

Podcast Episode 3 Now Available

Our latest podcast episode covers the career side of being a guitar teacher. It's a good idea to consider what different options you have as a guitar teacher so you can make an informed decision on what you want to achieve.

The episode will explain:

  • Why it's important to consider different paths
  • Choosing the right path for you and your goals
  • Various paths and their benefits with examples

Even if you've already been teaching for a number of years it's worth listening to the different options as you may discover an option that suits you better than what you're doing now. Access the episode here and subscribe to it in iTunes if you want future updates.

New podcast episode available

Episode 2 of our podcast for guitar teachers is now available on iTunes. This new episode will explain how to build up your trust and credibility as a guitar teacher. This is a topic that's often misunderstood. Unfortunately it's a bit more complicated than most guitar teachers think.

In the episode you will learn how people will determine your credibility as a guitar teacher and how it impacts their decision to choose you or not. You will also learn how you can build up your credibility by looking at specific factors that influence it.

Check out the podcast here and subscribe to it in iTunes to receive updates on new episodes. A new episode will be available every month and if you haven't already, you can listen to Episode 1 here.

New Podcast for Guitar Teachers

If you listen to podcasts we've put together one covering all aspects of running a guitar teaching business. The episodes will cover the business side as well as the teaching side so you can become a well rounded teacher.

A new episode will be released every month and each episode will focus on one specific topic.

If you use iTunes you can subscribe and listen to the podcast here

Otherwise, you can listen to the podcast on our site. Check out the Podcast Section for updates on new episodes.

Our first episode covers the fundamentals of how to approach marketing your guitar teaching business. This is a commonly overlooked topic but very important. In the episode we discuss common problems other guitar teachers experience with their marketing and how you can avoid those same problems. Check out more information on the episode here and be sure to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes to get updates.