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After reviewing Dan’s Ultimate Guide To Chords, I have to admit that this is the best guitar chord guide I have ever seen. If you look around the internet, you can hardly find such a course that not only shows you the fretboard diagrams of the chords, but also teaches you the principles of chord construction in a relaxed and easy way. Seriously, you won’t get bored with this course because you will have a total of 11 hours of video tutorials to guide you through the chord building principles. In this course, you will get 8 DVDs with 9 hours of video, 2 CDs with 43 full-band jam tracks, 2 CD-ROMs with 2 hours of video tutorials, 179-page book with 308 musical examples and a quick-start guide.
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.
Not all advanced guitarists know how different types of chords are formed. Most of them can play very well but can hardly create their own solos or songs because they lack the knowledge of chord construction and chord progression. Dan teaches you which chords sound good together and why by using the Roman numeral system which is rarely taught by most of the guitar teachers you can find out there.
The course includes the following items:
- 8 DVDs with 9 hours of video teaching you:
– major/minor open-position chords
– barre chords
– 7th chords of every kind: major, minor, dominant, half-diminished, fully-diminished
– extended chords: 9ths, 11ths and 13ths
– 6th chords: major or minor chords with an added 6th
– suspended chords: like Asus2, Esus4
– add chords: like Cadd9, Dadd4
– altered dominant chords: when the 5th or 9th of a dominant chord is raised or lowered a half-step
– slash chords: like G/D would mean that you’d play a G chord with D in the bass
– how to write your own songs
– how to harmonize the major and natural minor scale using triadic (3-note chords) and 7th chord harmony (4-note chords).
– must-know strumming patterns
– movable scale patterns of the major scale (6th and 5th string root) in 1 and 2 octaves
– scale degrees: learn to identify each note of the major and minor scales
– 103 common chord progressions in various styles
– various styles for electric and acoustic: blues, rock, pop, jazz, folk, country, soul, funk etc.
– how to use direct substitution (chord embellishment)
– string-scratching: creating funky rhythmic patterns
– syncopation: how to transform any boring rhythm into a funky jive
– the Roman numeral system: how to quickly analyze songs so you can learn new music fast
– major and relative minor key signatures
Like all other Dan’s courses, the video is of high-definition (HD) quality. The close-up shot on fretting hand is on the top right hand of the video. I would prefer it to focus on the hand closer so that a beginner can view the chord fingering clearly. Dan’s teaching is very thorough, organized and natural.
- 2 CDs with 43 full-band jam tracks which enable you to jam with a full band (drums, bass and guitar). You may adjust the balance setting to completely cut-out the guitar track so you can jam without the guitar track.
- 2 CD-ROMs with 2 hours of video tutorials which show you how chords are created from scales, how the Roman numeral system works, the difference between triads and 7th chords, so on and so forth, by using the notation program (Finale Allegro).
- a 179-page course book with 308 musical examples that follow the DVDs and a complete transcription of each jam-track.
- a quick-start guide which is a 16-step roadmap on how to use the materials above.
Dan provides email and phone support should you have any questions about the guitar course. There will be dedicated support staff to handle all customer issues. The service is good. If you purchase the Platinum Edition, you’re going to have access to the lifetime membership to Ultimate Guide To Chords owners’ site which contains additional video lessons.
There are 2 editions: Gold Edition and Platinum Edition. Dan offers you free shipping for Gold Edition at USD 89.50 (half of the original price when it was launched). The Platinum Edition is quite overpriced at USD 199 and there is no free shipping. Now, the difference between these 2 editions is that Platinum Edition grants you access to lifetime membership to Ultimate Guide To Chords owners’ site. It’s worth every penny if you’re a music theory junkie like myself.
Dan also offers you a 90-day money back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with the course, you can request full refund of the purchase price (shipping and handling charges are non-refundable). By the way, you will need to bear the shipping cost if you return the DVD course back to him.
Unlike other chord guides you’ll find on the internet which only show the fretboard diagram and strumming sound of the chords, everything you need to know about chords is included in Ultimate Guide To Chords. It covers music theory in great depth so apparently it will benefit beginner, intermediate and even advanced guitar players. It’s my opinion that learning how or where the chords come from is far more useful than just memorizing the fretting position of the chords. You probably won’t be able to find any other online courses that teach you chords by using videos.
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