When I first picked up Guitar Hero, I can remember thinking to myself, ?I wish I could play a guitar like this.? As a child, I had attempted to learn to play the guitar for around six months and then gave up in a huff because I was learning on an acoustic guitar, and I never could sound like the artists I heard on the radio. Not that I have anything against acoustic guitars, but electric is just so much more fun. Now, with the help of Guitar DVD: Total Scales Techniques and Applications from MJS Music and Entertainment, I have once again attempted to learn to play the guitar, this time with a shiny new electric.
I am not sure where I get the ideas into my head that I can take a crash course and be a guitar pro, but that is what I set out to do. Even after three months of dedicated work (by which I mean I pick it up each day expecting to play a new song), still no one wants to listen to my tunes. This is no representative of the quality of the DVD at all, but rather of my own follow-through, or lack thereof.
Mark John Stemal, the instructor, begins with the very basics, teaching you how to read music and tabs, the right way to hold a guitar, and then moves on to finger exercises and chords. The instruction is just the right speed for beginners, though pausing is necessary to practice the concepts several times as the Mark moves on to each consecutive concept rather quickly. Don?t expect to sit down with the DVD and be able to work your way through the entire thing in a day, or even a week, though. Learning an instrument takes many months of practice. I would suggest working on one concept that is taught on the DVD each week and spending two weeks, or so, on the more difficult topics. Each person learns at a different pace and the Guitar DVD allows you to learn at your own speed ? without the expense of personal lessons, but with a great teacher all the same. It may still be helpful to talk to knowledgeable players you for some evaluation and tips on how you can improve. For instance, I found out that I strum the string too hard and am still having trouble with finger placement on the frets without muting other strings ? things only someone who sees me play can tell me, but for concepts and theory, the Guitar DVD does what it sets out to do.
The great part about the lessons is that just about anyone can learn from them, no matter if they are just starting out or very advanced players. Introductory concepts and lessons may make up the beginning of the DVD, but advanced concepts and playing tips are added in throughout. For someone who is just beginning to learn how to play a guitar to an advanced player who wants to brush up on his theory or learn new techniques, the Guitar DVD, with its step-by-step guidance and someone showing you exactly what to do, is a great, inexpensive way to learn.
» By Stephan Mack, Plain Games. Published 5/9/2008 11:10:31 PM.