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The team over at Guitar Tricks has once again impressed me with their effort to put together this amazing product. It’s undeniably perfect for all the folks who don’t know anything about guitar and want to explore how to play blues music. Guitar Tricks Blues Learning System comprises 12 DVDs of video lessons, 4 CDs of backing tracks, 2 notation books and some guitar software/applications. It’s important to note that this package is basically a DVD version of blues lessons available in core learning system of Guitar Tricks online video lessons. This simply means that if you have already subscribed to their online unlimited full access membership, you don’t necessarily need to buy this product. Unless you need the DVD version for some reason like having a slow internet connection, you would be better off spending USD 249 somewhere else.
There are mainly only 2 instructors: Christopher Schlegel and Anders Mouridsen. Christopher covers the guitar basics while Anders focuses on teaching you the tricks, techniques and skills of blues guitar. Anders’ matter-of-fact style of teaching has convinced me that he is no doubt the master of blues style. He has recorded and performed with some famous artists such as John Fogerty, Taylor Swift, Faith Evans, Pink and Nouvelle Vague.
Don’t worry if you’re a total novice, Christopher will take you by the hand and guide you every step of the way. I like the way he delivers his teaching. It’s very effective and thorough. He really enlightened me with a lot of good advice especially on music theory which I think not many instructors out there would ever teach me. You will find these beginner lessons in 5 DVDs. The contents are as follows:
Guitar Fundamentals 1:
- Chapter 1: Correct Posture and Technique
- Chapter 2: Basic Knowledge
- Chapter 3: Introduction to Chords
- Chapter 4: Playing Melodies
- Chapter 5: Playing Full Chords
Guitar Fundamentals 2:
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Music Theory
- Chapter 2: Introduction to Minor Chords
- Chapter 3: Scales and Chords and Triads
- Chapter 4: Introduction to Reading Music Notation
- Chapter 5: Simple Songs Using Chords and Scale Notes
- Chapter 6: Learning and Practicing the Rest of the Minor Chords
- Chapter 7: Practicing Major and Minor Scales
- Chapter 8: Introduction to Barre Chords
If you’re a beginner, it’s imperative that you complete Guitar Fundamentals 1 & 2 and learn them well. If you don’t, you’ll have a very hard time to understand what Anders is going to show you in blues style level 1 and 2. He will not get down to the nitty-gritty of the basics all the time. Instead, he will show you straight away the ingredients of blues music. Below is the list of blues style chapters compiled in 7 DVDs.
Blues Style Level 1:
- Chapter 1: First Law of the Blues Intro to the 12 Bar Form
- Chapter 2: Blues With Power and Barre Chords
- Chapter 3: Minor and Dominant Blues
- Chapter 4: Blues Rhythm and Feel
- Chapter 5: Start Your Own Blues Playing
- Chapter 6: Blues Tone and Equipment
Blues Style Level 2:
- Chapter 1: From The Crossroads Start Soloing
- Chapter 2: In Context Minor and Blues Scales in Performance
- Chapter 3: The Three Kings
- Chapter 4: Creative Techniques
- Chapter 5: More From The Crossroads
- Chapter 6: Rhythm, Turnarounds, and Alternative Forms
- Chapter 7: Regional Blues Styles
The DVD menu looks pretty sleek and is easy to navigate. Most of the video lessons are of high definitions (HD). Based on my keen eye, some of the lessons are not. This is the only imperfection which I can find in this package. There is no split-screen shot but the close-ups are great. You can view both hands very clearly especially the fretting hand. One bonus feature that DVD version has which you will not find in online version is the on-screen diagram such as tab/notation, chord and scale pattern.
You can always refer to these diagrams which are also included in the 2 lesson books which have 100 pages each. The books also cover all the lessons with tips and supplemental content. The first book contains guitar fundamentals 1 and 2 while the second book contains blues style level 1 and 2.
You’ll have a blast with this course if you like jamming. There are 4 CDs containing 129 backing tracks which can be played on any computer or CD player.
You’re going to be mesmerized by the glossy, cool software that this program has to offer. They are absolutely useful computer applications like ultimate metronome, ultimate scale finder, jam station, ultimate chord finder, fretboard trainer and reference tuner – almost the same software that you will get if you sign up their online video lessons. For more information about the software, please refer to Guitar Tricks Review.
The support you will get from Blues Learning System is absolutely the same as the support you get from Guitar Tricks online video lessons. They include email, toll free number and forum with a huge community. The support is great but I just think that it would be even better if there is a live chat.
If you really have the passion for blues music, this DVD course worths every penny you pay. You can’t find any other private guitar teacher out there who demands a one-time fee of USD 249. Also, no teacher will repeat the same lesson as many time as you request. Period.
Blues Learning System DVD course has the same standard period of money back guarantee as the online version i.e. 60 days. If you’re not satisfied with it, you can return the package to them and receive a full refund (less shipping and handling costs). It’s common sense that if you return the package, shipping charges will be incurred again on you.
Considering that this program contains professionally produced multimedia contents, I rated it 5 stars. It has outperformed many other online blues guitar courses, though I think the support feature can be improved further. It’s definitely a number one choice for beginners and intermediate blues guitar players.
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