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Lead Guitar Secrets is a decent product that can really teach you specifically on lead guitar skills and creating your own guitar solos. The set contains 4 DVDs giving you 7 hours of video instructions, an audio CD which has 99 full band jam tracks, an interactive CD-ROM which has 1-hour of video instruction and a 200-page book containing 188 musical examples. It’s perfect for guitarists who have solid grounding in most of the basic guitar skills and would like to move on to play lead guitar.
Dan Denley began playing guitar when he was only 14. He is a self-taught guitarist and classically trained musician. He claimed that he earned a bachelor’s degree in music history. Dan has been a member of 10 bands and has played in some large venue performances so he has a lot of playing experience himself.
Below is a list of topics that are included in those 4 DVDs:
- How to build finger strength, agility and picking speed
- Pentatonic scale in all five positions and all keys
- Connecting the five positions of the pentatonic scale
- Horizontal & vertical fretboard movement
- 2nd and 3rd string ascending/descending patterns
- 3-string box positions of pentatonic scale
- Intro to major scale & the 7 modes
- The 7 modes: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian
- Solo licks 1-50
- 14 Solos which were written to teach you solo techniques such as string-bends, common rhythmic patterns and licks, hammer-ons, pull-offs, alternate picking, slides, horizontal/vertical fretboard patterns, tone, etc. All solos combine concepts from DVDs 1 and 2.
- Delta Blues Solo #1 & 2: E pentatonic minor
- Rockin’ Red Hot Blues Solo: A pentatonic minor
- Rawk On! Solo: E minor & its modes
- Rolling Thunder Solo: A minor & its modes
- Jazzy Minor Blues Solo: Bb pentatonic minor
- Midnight at the Speakeasy: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian & Lydian
- Power Chord Rock Solo: Aeolian
- Hotle D’Amore: Locrian
- Heavy D: D minor
- Rhythm guitar parts for 14-solos: explanation, instruction & fretboard close-ups
- In depth study of how scales & chords relate
- Understanding modal theory
- Scale harmonization: what it is, how it works & why it’s important
- Scale-chord relationships (how to choose the right scale for your solo)
- Intervals, scale degrees
- Major, minor, diminished & augmented chords
- Minor scale & power chord harmony
The video is of high-definition quality. I noticed that the close-up shots on both left and right hands were actually used more frequently than those in his previous product i.e Amazing Guitar Secrets. Dan has a very relaxed teaching style and a likable personality. A minor flaw I would like to point out is that some of Dan’s explanations of certain musical terms might not be crystal clear enough.
Guitar styles covered in the video are blues, rock and jazz only. If you’re looking for other guitar genres, pls try Jamplay or Guitar Tricks. Both of them are membership sites that you need to subscribe to every month.
The audio CD includes 99 high-quality sound tracks as follows:
- Tracks 1-50: Solo Licks
- Tracks 51-71: Jam Tracks/Scale-Chord Relationship Exercises
- Tracks 72-99: Solos in various guitar styles. Each of the 14 solo tracks also includes a rhythm-only version so you can jam along with the band
The CD-ROM topics include the following:
- How to download, install & use free software to record your own songs
- How to use free internet tools & resources to learn even more scales & chords
- Key signatures: learn all sharp and flat keys (and their relative minors)
- Triadic major scale harmony
- 7th chord harmony
The Lead Guitar Secrets course book has 200 pages and includes a complete index by subject. It contains tab and traditional notation for everything discussed on DVDs as well as 99 tracks on the audio CD.
You will also get 3 bonuses:
- Progress Tracker – You will keep track of your daily progress and chart your improvements with this tracker at the back of LGS book (pg 193-200).
- Quick Start Guide – A 21-step plan that will guide you on how to use the course material.
- 10 Minute Video Tutorial: Direct Chord Substitution – You’ll discover how chords from the harmonized major scale can be grouped together in families: tonic, subdominant and dominant.
Dan provides email and phone support should you have any questions about the guitar course. An online forum with a small community will be at your disposal. There were some complaints about Dan not replying questions though. This has something to do with the fact that, as Dan explained it, he had moved his site to Guitarzoom.com.
USD 98.50 is a bit pricey. Anyway, you will have an option to make 2 separate payments. In addition, Dan offers customers in the U.S. and Canada free shipping.
Dan also offers you a 90-day money back guarantee. Make sure you confirm the exact guarantee/trial period because I saw the period is only 60 days on the contact page. If you request full refund of the purchase price, please bear in mind that shipping and handling charges are non-refundable. Of course, you need to return the course in a mail package to him so you will have to bear the shipping cost yourself.
It’s important to point out that this is not for a beginner who doesn’t know anything about a guitar such as tuning guitar or any other absolute fundamental guitar knowledge. If you are looking for a course that teaches you the basics of guitar you need to check out Gibson’s Learn & Master Guitar. I think that Lead Guitar Secrets is a decent lead guitar course which would suit those serious intermediate guitar players who want to master lead guitar skills. Having said that, I still think that customer support needs to be improved.
Dan is a very talented guitar player as well as a teacher. As of now, he has produced several great products including his latest product 6 Minute Guitar.
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