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If you are looking for the best guitar DVD course which is nearly perfect, your search is over now. A Winner of the 2011 Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s Player’s Choice Gold Award, 2 Telly awards for excellence in the categories of Education and Use of Music & an AEGIS Award for Excellence in Education, Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar consists of 20 professionally produced DVDs, 5 jam-along CDs, a 100+ page lesson book, and a free online community and student support site. International shipping is available. You may watch the introduction video when you go to the site later. It really looks very professional.
If you’re a private teacher or a parent, now you can teach your students or your own child how to play guitar while learning yourself too! This updated Homeschool Edition not only has all the materials mentioned above but also includes 2 DVDs of teacher’s resource and a 68-page teacher’s guide book.
Steve Krenz is a trained musician with a degree in music as well as a wealth of professional playing experience. He has played professionally with a broad range of bands from a symphony orchestra, to jazz bands, to Grammy winning artists like Donna Summer, The Fifth Dimension, Israel Houghton, and Tommy Sims. Steve is an active guitarist playing and recording professionally in Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee. As a published author of several articles on various aspects of excellence in musicianship, he is also a sought after speaker and teacher conducting guitar-playing and music workshops across the United States and abroad. Besides, Steve Krenz’s professional teaching style is concise, thorough and easy to understand.
Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar includes 20 well produced DVDs that contain 20 learning sessions (over 40 hours of instructional video), a 100+ page detailed guitar lesson book that follows the contents of each session, and 5 jam-along CDs featuring 110 jam tracks and access to members only forum online. Below is a list of learning sessions of the 20 DVDs:
- Session 1 Starting Off Right
- Session 2 Reading Music & Notes on the 1st & 2nd Strings
- Session 3 Notes on the 3rd & 4th Strings
- Session 4 Notes on the 5th & 6th Strings
- Session 5 Basic Open Chords
- Session 6 Minor Seventh & Suspended Chords
- Session 7 Barre Chords on the 6th String
- Session 8 Barre Chords on the 5th String
- Session 9 The Secret to Great Strumming
- Session 10 Fingerstyle Guitar
- Session 11 Pentatonic Scales
- Session 12 Advanced Chords
- Session 13 Playing the Blues
- Session 14 Giving Your Playing Some Style
- Session 15 Electric Guitars
- Session 16 Advanced Strumming
- Session 17 Going Beyond the First Position
- Session 18 Jazz
- Session 19 Soloing
- Session 20 All the Chords You Need to Know
Let me break them all down for you so that you understand what you’d be getting when you purchase Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar.
Session 1 Starting Off Right
This session is really the most fundamental lesson in learning guitar for a total novice. You won’t be able to play the guitar if you don’t take your time to study the basics.
Steve will start off by briefly showing you the parts of an acoustic guitar such as the body, the neck, the sound hole, etc. After that, you’ll learn the names of the strings namely EADGBE i.e. from the thickest string (the 6th string) to the thinnest string (1st string).
Next, Steve will talk about the right guitar pick for a beginner and the proper right hand techniques. He is very detailed with his explanation so you should be able to grasp it very fast.
For the left hand techniques, he’ll show you how to hold the guitar neck and how to press your fingers on the fretboard the right way. If you do as he teaches you, you will not get the buzzing noise at all.
Learning how to read guitar tablature is also very important. Those 6 lines of the guitar tab staff will be shown in the video. Steve will demonstrate slowly how to interpret the numbers on the tab and what you should do with your fingers of your both hands. He will also go through several finger exercises with you in the video. His recommendation is to start off slow and then increase speed once you get the hang of it. That’s right! Slow and steady is the key in mastering the guitar!
Then, you’ll learn how to read chord blocks. Anything in this part will be explained clearly including how to place your fingers based on the diagram shown in the video, what you should do when you see a circle and an “X” and so on and so forth. The C chord and G7 chord are the first 2 chords presented in this session. Steve will show you how to practice strumming and switching between these 2 chords in his chord exercises. These 2 chords have quite the similar finger pattern so it’s a no-brainer.
The final lesson is about guitar tips. Steve is going to share with you some of the items worth getting right from the beginning. These items include an electric guitar tuner, a string winder, a guitar case, a metronome and a music stand. He also advises how to make your guitar easy to play and how to take good care of the guitar.
(Note: Assignment and workshop at the end of the video of session 1 are actually just the exercises that he has just gone through with you together in the lessons above so I’m just going to skip these 2 parts for this session.)
Session 2 Reading Music & Notes on the 1st & 2nd Strings
Learning how to read music is perceived by many to be very intimidating. Well, this is totally untrue. Steve is going to show you how to knock it out of the park easily. He will teach you his way of memorizing the musical notes/alphabet on the music staff. It’s quite effective and you should you use his method if you can’t find a better way.
Next, Steve is going to talk about rhythm which is the life of music. You’ll learn the time value and symbol of whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth note. He also has his way of memorizing them. Though I must say I have a better way to memorize the same. J
Of course, you’ll also need rests in music. He will teach you the time value and symbol of whole rest, half rest, quarter rest and eighth rest. He has his own tricks to remember these rests so pay attention to him.
The other 2 musical concepts are treble clef and time signature. Steve will describe the meaning or function of these 2 symbols. They are very easy. It doesn’t take a musical genius to understand these ideas.
After all these stuff, you’ll get to learn the notes on the first string (the E string). Finally, you’ll get to fret notes! Steve will even demonstrate how to mute or stop the string from ringing. Just play along with Steve in his first string exercises and you’ll do just fine.
Then, Steve will show you the notes on the second string (the B string). Again, learn the second string exercises by heart and you’ll have no problem at all.
Try to play along with Steve again when he plays first string and second string together in the exercises that follow. It might be tough for total beginners but you can always review the lessons and repeat the practice on your own.
In all those exercises, diagrams, tabs and musical notes are all displayed in the video so you can play along easily. By the way, you’ll get to practice your first 2 easy songs: Ode to Joy and Jingle Bells in the workshop section.
Session 3 Notes on the 3rd & 4th Strings
This session is relatively shorter. Before Steve goes on with the notes on the third and fourth strings, he will share with you another 2 musical concepts, i.e. ties and dots. They are very easy to understand. It involves simple third grade math.
Steve is also going to talk about eighth note and alternate picking. Alternate picking is a skill every guitarist needs to master. Try your best to play along with Steve in the eighth note exercises but take your time to repeat them on your own.
Next, you’re going to learn the notes on the third string (the G string) and the fourth string (the D string). The third string and fourth string exercises require you to utilize the concepts you have just learnt. They are a bit challenging and you might miss some notes or strike the wrong notes. One good thing about Steve is that he will give you encouragement and some tips to improve these basic skills.
There is a guitar tip in this session. Steve is going to show you how to improve quickly by using a metronome while practicing. It’s important that you use one because it forces you to be in tempo. He is also going to teach you the octaves.
You’ll get to play more songs as your assignment! The songs are Yankee Doodle, When the Saints Go Marchin’ In and Love Me Tender. Just play along with Steve again but this time with a metronome.
Session 4 Notes on the 5th & 6th Strings
Guess what? Steve shows you the notes on the fifth and sixth strings with an electric guitar. As you may already know, acoustic guitar and electric guitar have the same number of strings and notes on them.
Like the other previous exercises, he is going to take you by the hand and lead you through the fifth string and sixth string exercises. After that, he will review all these notes in the first position.
In order to master the guitar, you’ll need internalize the notes and that’s what Steve is going to teach you. It’s an important skill you need in playing C major scale. You’ll also get to play Minuet in C to make it fun to learn.
What about the notes in between the notes which you have not learnt? This is where you’ll learn about sharps, flats, naturals, whole steps and half steps. It may be a bit intimidating for some beginners but I would say that all you need is dedication and patience to nail them.
Next, you’ll learn about A minor chord and E major chord. Practice together with Steve in the chord exercises to switch between chords and memorize the chord shapes. This should be easy.
There are 4 songs you need to practice in this session’s assignment. They are Minuet in C, Simple Gifts, Minuet in G and Star Spangled Banner. Like what Steve says in the video, it takes hard work to learn the basics first before you get into the more advanced and fun stuff. So, keep it up!
Session 5 Basic Open Chords
Before you learn the open chords, you’ll need to know the proper left hand and right hand positions. Steve will show you how the good hand positions look like. Don’t ignore these basic skills because you need good habits while playing the guitar.
The open chords Steve will show you are the C, G7, Am and E chords which were covered in the previous sessions. He will review these chords for you one by one in detail. He also adds a new open chord which is a Dm chord. All these chord diagrams are displayed clearly in the video. He’ll play individual notes of each chord slowly and then together for you to listen. To make chord fretting easier for a total novice, he will even teach you some of the easy ways to play the chords.
Next, Steve will go through some basic open chord exercises with you. You’ll get to train yourself how to switch between the chords that you have learnt. For the exercises which contain eighth notes, you need a different kind of strumming. He is going to show you how to execute the strumming pattern without sounding choppy or awkward. Almost every beginner makes the same mistake so you have to listen to this guitar master. There is also an exercise which requires you to play quarter notes and eighth notes together.
The next batch of open chords are G, D7, Em and B7 chords. Knowing the chords and playing the chords perfectly are two different things. Steve advises that it takes time to play the chords without the buzzing noise. He also has some tips for you to avoid the noise. Eventually, you will get them right with some more practices. As a side note, diagrams for these chords are also displayed in the video.
After that, it’s exercise time again for this second batch of open chords. The drill is almost the same like what we had before. Play along with Steve in these open chord exercises and train yourself how to switch between them.
The final batch of open chords are D, C7, A, A7 and E7 chords. He will touch on how to eliminate buzzing sound again. There are also different ways to fret a chord, for example, the A chord. Steve will show you when and how to use each one of them.
The session ends with – you guessed it – more basic open chord exercises. However, some of the exercises are a little more complex than others. The changing of chords may be tough for some beginners but I’m sure with time and some practices, you’ll be able to get them right.
In the guitar tips section, Steve will share with you 2 concepts, i.e. changing chords at the proper time and Em11 chord. So what the heck is Em11? It’s something that every new guitarist shouldn’t be playing while changing chords.
This session is a bit longer. You’ll get to learn 2 new songs as your assignment and in the workshop. The songs are Morning Has Broken and America the Beautiful. Things are getting a little tougher now because you have to combine all you have learnt in these songs.
Session 6 Minor Seventh & Suspended Chords
Okay, it’s time to step up a notch. You’re going to learn 3 minor seventh chords which are Am7, Dm7 and Em7. Again, Steve is going to play slowly the individual notes of a minor seventh and then the whole chord for you. He will also demonstrate how to properly fret 2 strings together with a finger.
Next, you’ll play along with Steve in several minor seventh chord exercises displayed in the video. A few chords from the previous sessions are thrown into the mix as well. They really help you to strengthen your memory for all these chords.
While teaching you how to strum with ties, Steve is going to share with you the secret to great strumming. Pay attention to the difference between strumming pattern without tie and strumming pattern with tie. You’ll find the logic behind his secret to great strumming. I bet some local guitar teachers omit that!
Bravo! Now, you get to play some suspended chords. Steve is going to show you a trick on how to effectively play suspended chords such as Asus, Dsus and Esus chords. Learn it well but don’t tell others how to do it. Come on! Being selfish is a good thing for yourself. Play along with him in the suspended chord exercises and get yourself familiar with the trick.
In the guitar tips section, Steve is going to demonstrate 3 strumming patterns for you. Read the musical notations in the video, start slow and follow along. You might not catch the rhythm straightaway so don’t be hasty.
As for the workshop, the songs you are going to play are Scarborough Fair, Greensleeves and The Banana Boat Song. By now, you should’ve learnt all the skills necessary for these songs unless you skipped some of the previous sessions.
Session 7 Barre Chords on the 6th String
Barre chords are quite hard to master for total beginners, especially if you don’t have strong fingers. The good news is Steve is going to show you how to strengthen your fingers and how to correctly conquer the barre chords.
But before these, he will talk about the whole steps and half steps again which are critical in understanding the barre chords. To make things easier, the sixth string will be the focus of this session. Try to memorize the notes on the sixth string while you’re at it.
After that, you’ll discover Steve’s little tricks that make the playing of barre chords easier. Learn it by heart and practice more. You’d get better and better at it gradually.
Steve teaches you how to play F, Fm, F7, Fm7 and Fsus barre chords in this session. Practice along with him in the sixth string barre chord exercises in order to learn how to move the barre chords up and down the guitar neck.
Then, Steve is going to talk about how music works. It’s imperative that you don’t ignore this part because if you want to learn and master the guitar, you need to understand the building blocks of the music – major scales. It may take you some time to learn, but once you manage to nail them all, playing guitar becomes both second nature and fun as hell.
As a side note, you’ll get to practice songs like Home on the Range and Yellow Rose of Texas as your assignment and in the workshop section. Spelling the notes of each major scales in your book is going to train your brain to memorize them. Like what Steve said in the video, it’s just like your multiplication table. You just need to MEMORIZE them. Multiplication is tough but you managed to nail it, didn’t you?
Session 8 Barre Chords on the 5th String
Okay, let’s move on to the barre chords on the next string (the fifth string). Steve talks about the proper hand and finger position for playing barre chords again. He even shares how to move by only shifting your hand up and down the fretboard.
The notes on the fifth string are different from the notes on the sixth string. However, the same concept of whole steps and half steps still applies. Therefore, it should be easy to understand why the notes are where they are when Steve shows you them in the video. Playing each note on the string while naming them will help you to memorize them.
Steve is going to randomly say a note at a time and ask you to play the note on the fifth string. He even jumps around between fifth string and sixth string. If you can manage to find every note he says, you’re golden.
Next, Steve will teach you fifth string barre chords such as Bm, B7, Bm7, Bsus and B. Play with him in the fifth string barre chord exercises to familiarize yourself with moving the barre chords along the guitar neck. These exercises include some of the chords you learnt in the previous sessions.
Afterwards he will talk about key signatures in “How Music Works” section. You need to understand that sharps and flats in a key signature come in a specific order.
Then, you’re going to learn about minor scales. Don’t let these intimidate you and stop you from advancing. Steve is going to demonstrate in the video how to easily understand minor scales. You’ll also learn the relationship between major scale and minor scale. He will even share his trick on how to tell what key a piece of music is in. Learn this trick well because I don’t think every guitar teacher will teach you.
You’ll learn a new song in the assignment section. The song is Jamaica Farewell in F & G. You’ll get to play the melody and barre chords of the song. It takes time and effort to get this far. If you can master the tips and tricks you learnt up until this point, you will progress quite fast moving forward.
Session 9 The Secret to Great Strumming
In this session, Steve is going to show you the proper strumming technique. The right technique will make your guitar strumming sound natural instead of choppy. The secret has been shared before but he will remind you again right here.
He then continues to talk about simple strumming patterns by going through the strumming exercises with you. If you can remember the stuff you learnt in the previous sessions, you’ll make progress much faster. If you forget some of the things, you can always refer back to the previous sessions. For example, you might want to look up the chord shapes.
Soon afterwards, Steve will introduce another musical concept – intervals – in “How Music Works” section. There are some new terms for you to learn, namely, diatonic, major intervals, perfect intervals, harmonic intervals, and many more. It’s not easy to learn these but if you pay attention, you’ll have no problem.
In the assignment section, you’ll get to play some more songs such as La Bamba and The Wabash Cannonball Blues in E. Try to play all those songs in order to practice your strumming patterns or skills.
Session 10 Fingerstyle Guitar
Alright! Fingerstyle guitar is my personal favorite. I hope you’ll love it too. Here is a new musical concept – arpeggio. If you like to play with your fingers, you’re going to love it. Steve will share with you the proper fingerstyle technique. He will demonstrate how to position your thumb and fingers on the strings.
Go through the fingerstyle technique exercises with him slowly. Some exercises may be challenging so take your time to practice more. Once you get the hang of it, it’d be like your second nature and you’ll be able to play faster.
Next, you’ll learn how to fingerpick with a pick. You’ll need to learn this so that you can switch between strumming and fingerpicking really quick. Steve will then talk about Merle Travis style picking. Merle was a great country guitar player. Steve will show you how to play Merle’s fingerstyle guitar using a thumbpick. It’s a little bit tricky but I’m sure everyone can do it.
Steve will even show you how to play a classical guitar. He will mention about taking care of fingernails for a guitar player. Right after that, you’ll play along with him in the Giuliani studies exercises.
In the “Guitar Tips” section, he will share with you 4 keys for control and speed. Heed his advice because he is really the guitar master.
Finally, for the assignment, you can start to play some great songs, namely, House of the Rising Sun and Canon in D. I bet you know these songs. J
Session 11 Pentatonic Scales
Are you ready to rock n’ roll? Steve is going to delve into the skills which enable you to play solos and rock n’ roll stuff. You’re going to learn about pentatonic scales. He’ll explain in depth how to derive the pentatonic scales and show you the 5 pentatonic forms. The first form is the most used form so make sure you at least learn how to play the first pentatonic form. Ideally, you have to learn all 5 of them. It’s not that hard. Believe me.
Next, Steve will go through the common pentatonic patterns and their exercises with you. They are very easy to play once you memorize the pentatonic forms. Do practice them all. It’s going to take a while before you can play them in any key in any place on the guitar neck.
Steve will also demonstrate how to connect them like jigsaw puzzle pieces in an interesting way. Once you can play these pentatonic forms without even thinking much about them, you are able to solo using pentatonic scales anywhere on the guitar neck.
Let’s not forget about the most valuable skill in playing music – ear training. Like what Steve said in the video and I quote, “I want to not just be playing patterns on my guitar when I’m soloing. I want to actually hear musical ideas in my head and be able to play them through my guitar.” He even introduced a simple ear training exercise in the video.
Session 12 Advanced Chords
In this session, you’re going to learn advanced chords such as two chords, minor 11th chords and major 7th chords. These chords are going to add some colors, depths and richness to your playing. Once you learn them, you’ll be better than other guitarists who only know the basic chords.
Steve will teach you how to play the open forms of two chords, namely, C2, D2, E2, G2 and A2. Then, he will show you movable forms of two chords which are F2, B2 and G2. They are called movable forms because you can move the forms up and down the fretboard.
Next, Steve is going to jump to the major 7th chords. You’ll learn the open chords such as Cmaj7, Dmaj7, Fmaj7, Gmaj7 and Amaj7. Also, you’ll be taught how to form and move movable forms like Bbmaj7 and Ebmaj7 all over the neck.
Let’s not forget about the last batch of advanced chords – the minor 11th chords. Likewise, Steve is going to show you open chords (F#m11 and Bm11) and movable forms (Gm11 and Cm11) of the minor 11th chords.
Steve is going to share with you his secrets to separate yourself from the rest of the average guitar players in “Guitar Tips” section. I’m not supposed to share this, but anyway I’m going to give you a hint – the tip is about chord substitution. Do you see how resourceful Steve is?
Practice all the chords together with Steve in the workshop to get yourself familiarize with them. There are also some jam-along songs such as Rockin’, Suspended Smooth and Acoustic Groove. Try to utilize all the resources provided in this course and practice them all on your own.
Session 13 Playing the Blues
The lessons are getting more and more interesting. It’s time to play some interesting music genre such as blues. If you’re a fan of blues music, you’ll learn all the blues guitar fundamentals in this session.
The first thing you are going to learn is the blues notes. Steve will show you how to easily use these blues notes in your blues guitar playing without learning new blues scales. This is how the professional guitarists learn and play the guitar. He will even perform a blues solo just to demonstrate how to use the things you learnt in the previous sessions to play blues music.
After that, Steve will talk about blues chord progression. Listen to his teaching and pay attention to on-screen blues chord progression. This is what we call the 12-bar blues. It’s pretty easy to learn and everyone can understand it.
Steve is going to teach you triads in “How Music Works” section. The things that you’ll learn are major triad, minor triad, augmented triad and diminished triad. These are easy too.
Practice the blues scales along with Steve in the workshop. Also, play 12-bar blues together with him. It’s very easy. You can do it! Play the jam-along songs such as C Jam Blues and Johnny’s E Blues as well if you need more practices. He will even ask you to solo while he is playing the chord progression. He’ll also encourage you to train your ears and translate your musical ideas from your head to your fingers.
Session 14 Giving Your Playing Some Style
It’s time to add a little creativity or nuance into your playing style. That’s how the guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, etc. became famous because they have their own styles. If you want to separate yourself from the average guitar players, you MUST pay attention to this session.
The techniques that Steve is going to show you are bends, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, palm muting, Jazz Octaves, etc. He will explain in more detail to you how each of the techniques works. He will play a few licks in the exercises for each skill just to show you the right way to execute them. I believe some other guitar tutors out there won’t teach you some of the techniques accurately. Well, at least that’s my own experience. You can read the sheet music on-screen and play along to learn the proper way to perform all the techniques.
Some guitar tutors are just casual guitar players. You need a professional guitarist like Steve Krenz to teach you the proper techniques. That’s how I feel after I watched his entire video lessons especially the lesson in this session 14 of Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar and compared it to other guitar teachers whom I learnt from. I have corrected my own misconceptions after watching the lesson. By the way, Steve is going to demonstrate how to perform Eddie Van Halen’s tapping technique.
Once you get the hang of all these skills, you’ll be able to play some cool music by adding your own creativity into your guitar playing. Of course, you must first have a very solid foundation. I mean you should learn the first 13 sessions by heart and really let all the skills and knowledge sink in.
As for guitar tips in this session, Steve will introduce a capo to you and show you how to use it correctly. Then, he will teach you what harmonics are and how to properly play them. It’s a little bit tricky but you can master this skill easily.
As for the assignment, try to practice the jam-along songs such as Bending the Blues, Jazz Octaves and The Funky Mute on your own. Do you see how many guitar styles you can play now?
Session 15 Electric Guitars
In this session, you’re going to learn all things about electric guitars and rock n’ roll. Firstly, you’ll learn about all different basic types of electric guitars. Steve will also talk about the difference between single coil and humbucking pickups. He will also show you how to use a selector switch.
The Power Chords you’ve learnt in the previous session come in handy here. It’s not that difficult to figure this one out. Learn how to read power chords sheet music and play them from Steve in the power chords exercises.
After that, Steve is going to teach you how to play country chicken picking. He will show you how to play this style slowly so that you can see clearly the techniques he taught you before. He will also show you country bend and country arpeggio techniques slowly for you to watch.
Afterwards, Steve will introduce another skill called muted picking which you need to play R&B and funk guitar. Take note of the type of guitar pick and technique he uses in order to get that special kind of sound.
The other important thing in rock n’ roll music is the guitar effects. Steve will talk about distortion pedals in more detail. Pay attention how to adjust the input signal and output signal of the distortion pedal. He will also show you how chorus pedal and delay pedal can alter your electric guitar sound. You’ll also be able to watch how Steve uses his foot on a wah pedal.
In “How Music Works” section, you’ll learn another musical concept called harmonized major scale. Study it hard as it may come in handy. As for the assignment, you can play some power chord rock and power riffs by using the jam-along CD.
Session 16 Advanced Strumming
In session 9, we learnt about the secret to great strumming. Now, we’ll go beyond the rhythms that we normally play. Steve is going to teach you about sixteenth notes. You will practice along with him in the sixteenth note exercises, sixteenth note strumming exercises and strumming with accents exercises. You’re going to need a metronome for some of the exercises. It may be challenging for some of you but if you go slow, you’ll learn how to play quite a lot of different advanced strumming styles.
Next, Steve is going to talk about different types of acoustic guitars. He’ll also show you the equipment which you can use with the acoustic guitars. The most important thing is the lesson on how to manage feedback. That’s pretty much it for this session’s guitar tips.
As for the assignment, practice your advanced strumming by playing the songs in the jam-along CD such as Rolling Along, A Little Bit Rocky and Electric Funk. At this stage, you should be able to play a lot of songs. Have fun!
Session 17 Going Beyond the First Position
In my opinion, this is perhaps the most important lesson throughout the whole course. You’re going to learn how to play any key and any note on the entire fretboard. Steve is going to demonstrate how to master the entire fretboard just by using his “three notes on a string scales”. It’s going to be tough for your fingers because you have to stretch them like never before.
I’m not going to lie and say that this is easy. In fact, this is – again, in my opinion – the toughest lesson in learning guitar. However, if you have a very good memory, you might be able to learn it faster. According to Steve, he himself spent 3 months to get it under his belt. Therefore, don’t get discouraged if you struggle a bit there.
After that, Steve will explain what a triplet is. In the triplet exercises, he is going to use a metronome to train you up to speed. This is very difficult but if you think you can, YOU CAN!
In “How Music Works” section, you’ll learn another complex stuff. It’s about seventh chords. Steve is going to teach you major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, augmented seventh, diminished seventh and half-diminished seventh. These are very important so learn them by heart.
As for the assignment, play all the songs in the jam-along CD such as Triplet Scale Practice, Pop Ballad Groove and ZZ Shuffle. Practice DOES make perfect!
Session 18 Jazz
Jazz is probably the most difficult style of music to play. To get started, Steve will talk about the things you need in order to play jazz music, including the adjustment of your amp, the guitar pick, etc.
Next, he is going to talk about chord melody soloing. It’s not easy because you need to have a lot of practice to get the jazz feel right.
Major seventh chords, minor seventh chords, ninth chords, eleventh chords and thirteenth chords are commonly used in jazz music. Steve will teach you all the chord forms you require in playing jazz. The chord diagrams will be displayed on screen as well. It might be confusing but he will clear up the confusion for you.
He is also going to show you how to jazz it up. You’ll need to learn the chord progressions and how to add color tones. Afterwards, harmonized major scale which you learnt in previous session will come into picture again. There also can be a lot of ways to change the tone by adding different color tones or chords.
Here are the songs you can practice to play on your own as your assignment: All of Me, On Green Dolphin Street and As Time Goes By. Be patient with yourself. Sooner or later, you’ll impress the people around you once you know how to play jazz.
Session 19 Soloing
It’s time to let your creativity flow and imaginations soar. Steve is going to teach you how to improvise. He will give you all the tips you need to start improvising. You’ll learn what does or doesn’t make up a good solo. You need to know how to use the important elements of a good solo. In other words, you need to be able to make good soloing choices.
To demonstrate how to improvise, Steve is going to go through the chord tone soloing exercises one by one with you. Watch how he improvises properly and try to train yourself to do the same.
After that, you are going to learn some of the ways to hear the notes or a melody you want to play and play it yourself. Yes! Steve will talk about creativity as well as ear training. Heed his advice and practice ear training exercises on the jam-along CD. That’s your assignment for this session.
Session 20 All the Chords You Need to Know
There are more new things for you to learn in this final session. Steve is going to talk about abbreviations and inversions of all those chords you learnt in the previous sessions. Chord diagrams will be displayed in the video. Some of them are really complex. However, you’ll be able to understand and learn them all once you know the ins and outs.
Next, Steve will teach you something which is new to me, namely, Open E-B Drone Chords. Watch and listen how he uses this knowledge to play cool music. It really gives your guitar playing some character and some depth. Afterwards, he’ll cover diminished chords and augmented chords.
In “Guitar Tips” section, you’ll learn the keys to practicing effectively. He will share with you all his secrets on how to practice, how to warm up, how to play fast, etc. He’ll also talk about how to properly jam together with other musicians on stage.
Try to play the jam-along songs such as Friend, Funky Groove and Dancing on the Ceiling. Learn and then practice hard. That’s how you master that beautiful instrument and become a good musician.
That’s it for the detailed course breakdown!
Too much contents? Don’t worry. The detailed DVD menu will ease your navigation throughout the course. The course covers many styles of guitar playing such as blues, rock, country, fingerpicking, jazz, acoustic and funk so there’s literally something for everyone. It’s perfect for beginners. The first few DVDs only serve as a refresher for most of the intermediate guitarists.
Each lesson is divided into two main parts: an instructional video lesson demonstrated by Steve Krenz followed by a workshop time which is a play-along practice section. The video quality is of high definition (HD) and there are a few camera shots from different angles. The close-ups are great but they are not presented in split-screen style. Also, there are on-screen instructions, tabs, music notations and chord diagrams throughout the whole video course. However, I don’t really appreciate the fact that some of the exercises in the workshops show musical notes only instead of tabs. I need to refer to tabs on the lesson book quite often. Anyway, learning how to read musical notes is a must if you want to progress further in your music career.
While each DVD provides the lesson content, the 100+ page lesson book is referred to quite frequently. You’ll find a section corresponding to each lesson on the DVDs. If you buy the Homeschool Edition, you’ll get to learn how to properly and effectively teach your own students. Weekly practice log is at your disposal so you just need to make some copies to keep track of your students’ progress.
Those 5 jam-along CDs include nearly 100 tracks which were recorded by professional musicians in the real studio. One really cool feature of the jam-along CDs is that they recorded the guitar part in the left channel, so you can play along with the guitar track turned on or off by adjusting the balance on your stereo. You’ll also notice that, in the early part of the course, the jam-along tracks play at different speeds (slow, medium, and fast) so that you can gradually pick up your pace as you improve.
My only complaint would be the absence of cool tools such as online metronome which can help a student to internalize a clear sense of timing and tempo. Also, I couldn’t find any software and games which can boost a students’ memory in a fun and easy way.
In addition to the core materials mentioned above, the course is continually growing with lots more songs, exercises and tips being offered online via a special members-only portion of the website where you can post questions and discuss your progress. Steve Krenz will answer your questions personally, often the very same day, as will other students. This large community of students will often post videos of their progress for feedback, offer each other encouragement and support, and freely discuss their successes, setbacks, and challenges. The most amazing thing is that live lesson videos will be broadcast weekly or biweekly.
If you purchase only the Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar, the one-time price is USD 249. If you purchase only the Homeschool Edition, the one-time price is USD 269. It’s worth the money considering it’s a 2-year course using a 36 week school year. To sweeten the deal, monthly payment plan is also available.
Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar offers a 60-day money back guarantee with no questions asked. However, like many other DVD courses you can find online, you’ll need to return the course within 60 days in order to get your refund of the purchase price (excluding shipping and handling charges). Let’s not forget about the shipping charges which will be incurred for the return. Anyway, I seriously doubt that you’d want to return the DVDs because they are the best DVD beginner guitar course there is especially for the quality.
It is by far the most comprehensive and high-end DVD instructional program, and is being heralded as one of the best home study courses available on the internet. When I watched the videos, I felt like I was getting a private guitar lesson. Gibson’s Learn And Master Guitar and Homeschool Edition are the best bets for those guitarists who are still wondering which online guitar course to buy. I can’t think of other better way for beginners to learn and master guitar at their own pace.
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