These days there are a lot of ways you can learn the craft of playing guitar. Today you have more choices than at any other time in history. This is a blessing and a curse. There are some really great products out there, and there are some that are not so great. Especially as a beginner, it's hard to sort through the sales hype and determine if a product is worth investing your time and money into.
The goal of the Cyberfret.com Review Series is to help connect you with the guitar learning resources that are the best fit for you.
What is Learn & Master Guitar?
Learn & Master Guitar is a course that contains 20 professionally produced DVD's, 5 jam-along CDs, a 100+ page printed instruction book and over 190 pages of additional lesson material in pdf ebook format.
Learn and Master guitar starts you from the beginning, but is not only for those just starting to play guitar. Often as players reach a certain level, they find they are missing key pieces of the puzzle that hinder further progress. So I would say this course is specifically designed for the beginner, and the intermediate player who is missing those pieces. There are many advanced techniques discussed, but more advanced players would probably do better to seek out a product that targets just their level.
There are a large number of topics covered in this course; chords, reading music & tablature, strumming, fingering picking, soloing, theory, ear training, techniques like bending, slides and tapping…and the list goes on. Learn and Master Guitar also gives a great overview of how to play many styles of music such as Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, Funk and Classical.
One thing that stands out about this coarse is the instructor Steve Krenz. As I watched the DVD's I was struck by the clear explanations of the material. You can tell he has spent many years teaching guitar. Playing guitar, and having the ability to teach it are 2 different skills, and Steve Krenz can do both extremely well. Steve has a wide range of experience as a performer and teacher. He also has a degree in music, which is a huge plus.
The heart of the course is about 20 hours of video instruction on 10 DVD's This is professionally shot, high quality video. There are close-ups of Steve’s hands, and at times a split screen so that you can get a closer view of both hands simultaneously. All of the exercises that are being demonstrated are up on the screen. This material is also in the book, so you have the option of following along on screen or in the book.
Learn & Master Guitar is broken down into 20 sessions. This is a progressive course that takes your from the basics though some more advanced concepts. The sessions are broken down into sections.
In addition to the 10 core guitar lesson DVD's, this course comes with 10 bonus workshop DVD's These DVD's add more material to the 20 sessions on the other 10 disks. These disks really add a lot to this course in giving you more practice material to help you master the concepts.
This course comes with a 100+ page printed book that has all of the exercises from the DVD's and more. It's divided into sessions that correspond to the DVD's. It has a clear layout and design that makes it extremely easy to read and follow. This course also has a 190 page pdf ebook that covers the material from the 10 bonus workshop DVD's This ebook is equal in quality to the printed book, and you can easily print out the lesson material that you want to practice.
There are 5 Jam Along CD’s that you can use to help with your practice. Exercises from the book are played at a slow, medium, and fast speed. Steve and other professional studio musicians recorded the tracks on the CDs. So you get to practice with some real pros.
This is a top notch course, and I really can't say anything negative about the product itself. There is something on their website that I will have to disagree with. "Learn & Master Guitar is the only instructional package you'll ever need for total mastery of the guitar." There is not 1 product that is the end all, be all. Mastering the guitar is a life long pursuit, and you will probably own many other books, DVD's, CD's, and computer programs along the way. So besides that one bit of inaccurate hype on the website, believe everything else because this is the real deal.
The Bottom Line
This is an excellent product for learning how to play the guitar that I highly recommend. It covers all levels of playing, but is recommended for beginners and intermediate players. This is not a budget guitar learning product, but for the scope of the material covered and the quality of instruction, it is very reasonably priced. Keep and eye out, because it is often on sale. There is also an option to break up payment over 4 months. There is also a No Risk Guarantee. So if for any reason you decide this course is not for you, return it within 60 days and receive a full refund of the purchase price. Check out the Learn & Master website for more details, as well as some screen shots of the DVD and audio samples from the CDs.
This is hands down the best beginning guitar course that I have seen. And I have seen a lot in my 25 years of teaching privately.
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