Awhile ago I talked about a little company called eMedia Music, they specialize in creating self-paced music training CD-Roms and DVDs. I recently reviewed their Piano and Keyboard method cd-rom and it was really good, if a bit dry. After playing the heck out of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, I got it into my head that I wanted to learn how to play the Guitar. So once my buds at eMedia sent me a copy of the Essential Rock Guitar method DVD, it sat on my shelf for several weeks before I finally got around to purchasing my first Guitar. Being left handed my choices were limited, when I walked into the music store, they had ONE left handed Electric Guitar and ONE left handed acoustic guitar. After holding the acoustic one, I decided the thin electric one would be for me. The minute I held it, I was like, hmmm…This doesn’t feel like my Guitar Hero guitar. I went home and popped the Rock Guitar DVD in and slowly followed the instructions. The DVD is over two hours and teaches you everything you need to get start. My issue with it was, that it was really dry and bland. It’s all text and tutorial based.
Each fully interactive, multimedia lessons featuring an animated fretboard with right and left-handed views, eMedia’s multi-camera “Tri-View” video with close-ups, a song-based curriculum, English and Spanish instruction, tuner, interactive chord charts, music tracking and live performance audio. Bonus downloadable toolkit includes: metronome, personal digital recorder, chord dictionary, and digital automatic tuner. The titles in the series are Essential Acoustic Guitar, Essential Rock Guitar, Essential Bass Guitar. While the interactivity is fine, it’s just not flashy. There’s nothing there that would keep you coming back for more, unless you are really committed to learning your new instrument. Now most people don’t have the short attention span that I have, and most people who decide they want to learn to play a guitar are willing to put the work in to do it. For those people this is a great product, but I think it would work better as a supplemental to initial lessons. Especially if you are a left-handed player. While the DVD does support inverse frets, I found it hard to tell exactly what I was supposed to be doing and if I needed to reverse my fingering or if it was already reversed. The tutorials didn’t make that entirely clear. I was impressed with the fact that after only an 1/2 hr I was able to get around my guitar, and I knew some notes. When I tried out their Piano and Keyboard Method, I already knew how to play, so it was a nice refresher. Considering, I knew nothing about the Guitar, this didn’t suck me in the way I’d hoped. I think after I get my 2 free initial lessons and revisit this DVD, I’ll be rocking out in no time. I’m curious has Rock Band or Guitar Hero made anyone else consider getting a real guitar?
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By Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 4/6/08