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Elmore Music‘s products are web-based combination of professionally recorded digital audio and video clips, images and text specially designed to fast-track your mastery in all aspects of guitar. There are a total of 14 Elmore Music’s mini-courses which you can purchase each course separately at a one-time price. You also have an option to include a free 14-day trial bonus called Ultimate Guitarist Learning Center Access in your purchase.
The main instructor, John Gorbe, is a C.F. Martin professional artist. He has a bachelors degree in music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa. Besides, he is also endorsed by Minarik guitars, Black Diamond strings & Penndel Guitar Accessories. It’s claimed that he has 17 years of teaching experience and is also a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors. As a side note, John is a soft-spoken, resourceful and professional guitar teacher.
If you arrive at the site later, you can view 56 free videos (4 free videos for each mini-course). Those 14 mini-courses are as follows:
- Beginners Guide To Guitar
- Acoustic Guitar Mastery
- Classical Guitar Mastery
- Chord Mastery
- Strumming Mastery
- Finger Picking Mastery
- Scale Mastery
- Lead Guitar Mastery
- Chord Progression Mastery
- Country Guitar Mastery
- Bluegrass Guitar Mastery
- Jazz Guitar Mastery
- Blues Guitar Mastery
- Rock Guitar Mastery
Each mini-course contains approximately 20 to 30 video lessons. You can check out all the lists of lessons when you visit the site later.
All lesson videos are standardized and have enhanced-definition (ED) quality at best. There is a split-screen close-up on either left hand or right hand in the top right corner of video. The camera angle is alright but I think it would be better if there were multiple camera shots.
The written online materials accompanying the videos are instructional text, chord diagrams and tabs. You have options to print and bookmark the materials. However, I found that the bookmark function was faulty because I couldn’t find my bookmarked lessons. Also, if you’re looking for musical notation, you’ll not find it in this product.
It’s highly advisable that you watch the online videos of the product only if you have broadband internet access. Otherwise, the videos will stream very slow. As an alternative, you can download and save the videos which work on both PC and MAC. If you purchased the hard copy as well, you would save yourself the trouble. The hard copy is a cd rom which is compatible with a computer. The contents are video clips and a PDF file with written instructions.
Now let’s have a look at the bonus Ultimate Guitarist Learning Center. There are 6 submenus for you to select: latest lessons, online courses, download courses, popular songs, post feedback and ask questions.
- Latest Lessons
This section contains all the latest video lessons instructed by John Gorbe. Each lesson has a short lesson description but no tab included. Having said that, on-screen small chord diagram, on-screen tab and video instruction are suffice for your learning.
- Online Courses
These are online multimedia courses which cannot be downloaded and saved to your computer. One of my favourite courses is the Song Writing Secrets. It’s a set of interview audio clips with an American songwriter. Who is the songwriter? It’s best that I don’t spill the beans. Here is the list of courses in this section:
- Online Guitar Lessons
- Acoustic Guitar Methods
- Finger Picking Fundamentals
- Jazz Guitar Techniques
- Speed Guitar Techniques
- Strumming 101
- Total Blues
- Dynamics Soloing Concepts
- Song Writing Secrets
- Guitar Leads
- Guitar Backing Tracks
- Download Courses
These are multimedia courses that you are able to download and save to your PC or MAC. The following are the downloadable courses:
- The Ultimate 12-Day Guitar Learning Program
- Advanced Blues Guitar Secrets
- Beginner’s Guide To Country And Western
- A Beginner’s Guide To Guitar Effects
- Chord Concepts
- Beginner’s Guide To Creating Killer Chord Progressions
- A Beginner’s Guide To Classical Guitar
- Guitar Style Guide
- Powerful Performance
- Rock And Blues Improvisation
- Rock Guitar Techniques
- Scale Mastery
- Popular Songs
Each song has a performance video and an instructional video. Again, you will not find tab but you can learn to play by following the step-by-step instructions from John in the video. New songs will be added regularly so you will not run out of songs to play.
- Post Feedback
Whether you have a positive or negative feedback on the product, you can just post it right here.
- Ask Questions
Whenever you’re stuck in a rut, you can always ask the tutor questions. He is a very resourceful and helpful teacher.
I almost forgot to mention that the bonus also included software i.e. ScaleTool and EasyChord which you can install on your computer. The ScaleTool covers a dozen types of scales such as Ionians, melodic minors, harmonic minors and harmonic majors. The EasyChord is like a library for you to look up almost any chord from power chords to thirteen chords.
The backing tracks include basic practice tracks, drum tracks, bass tracks and synth tracks and so on. However, it’s kind of hard for a novice to figure out how to customize and combine these tracks to create a new track. These do not come up to my expectations.
Besides the “Ask Questions” section and the email support, there is no other way you can get extra support when you have problems. I really feel that Elmore Music should consider to start a forum.
The one-time price of instant download and hard copy of a mini-course is AUD 57. I recommend to purchase only the instant download without the hard copy at the price of AUD 37. It’s because if you purchase the hard copy and decide to ask for refund afterwards, you will need to return the hard copy to Elmore Music which will cost you freight charge. There is also a free 14-day trial of bonus Ultimate Guitarist Learning Center Access which will be billed at AUD 12.95 per month after 14 days. In summary, each mini-course is sold at a competitive price but actually it’s pretty expensive because you need to buy a few mini-course in order to complete your mastery of guitar.
Chris Elmore, the owner of Elmore Music, promised to refund your money within 30 days with no questions asked. This is a real deal.
Overall, Elmore Music is a decent product with a lot of information. I would recommend it to beginners and intermediate players. However, I personally think that those mini-courses are not so cost-effective for beginners. Anyway, they are still only amounts to a fraction of what private lessons cost. Intermediate players who want to focus on one or two guitar style will find it very worthwhile to invest in the product. As for the bonus, it’s really worth a try.
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