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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Danbury, CT
Posts: 40
Re: On LIne Guitar Lessons

This was a bit of an addiction for me as I travel quite a bit for work and cant commit to a local guitar teacher. I'm lefty playing right and started a little over 2 years ago and practice whenever I can. I have Learn & Master Guitar, Doug Marks complete guitar course, Doug Doppler Diatonic theory, the John Petrucci dvd. I did Jamplay and also subscribe to Songpond. I'll give you my thoughts on each and if you want more detail, just ask.

I started with "Learn & Master guitar" course (~$150 they have specials all the time and if you dont buy the extras they will make you offers again later)with Steve Krenz, which is a home study dvd set of about 20 or so DVD's. It's well thought out and organized. The book and production quality is very good. My problem with this course is that its set up as a true lesson plan reading music. I had/have a hard time reading sheet music as admittedly I didnt spend as much time in this area as I should have and skipped along. I struggle with this course because Steve expects you can read the music along the bottom of the screen. I have to continually pause apply the "F_A_C_E" or EGB... associations to get through it. I still use but not often. I find Steve to be like the strict teacher you hated going to see in school but the one you remember most because they knew how to set you straight.

Doug Marks- Complete Course ($25- 40) is good when you get frustrated and just want to learn how to play something. He teaches more in tab and his primary focus is the pentatonic theory. Production quality is...ok. The video quality of him and his hands is great. Although the tab he shows to play along to, was probably done on an early 1990's computer. All of his lesson plans are on the dvd's in PDF. It works its just not as good as the Learn & Master series. My younger niece also learning guitar (13 yrs old) like to make fun of Marks hair.
Doug Doppler's Diatonic theory ($30-40) is an excellent compliment to Doug Marks. Its not something to start with at all but Doppler answered so many questions for me that Marks didn't cover. Doppler is focused on learning the fretboard above all other things. He expects that you know the basics but reviews them quickly as a point of reference "excellent". (after you see it you'll know what I mean.) I think this dvd is a must.

John Petrucci ($20) was a show off video on how fast he can play. (at least at my level) I sold this dvd but the one thing I got out of it was the stretching routine for not just your hands but your arms, shoulders and back.

SongPond. (~$15/mo subscription) I like this site. I think its better than Jamplay at breaking down actual songs and the songs you buy you own. So you can subscribe and then cancel the following month and still access the songs you purchased so you can practice them whenever you want. They do offer technique lessons during the month that you lose access to when you cancel. The strumming techniques are very good.

Jamplay ($10-20/mo subscription) I liked this service but its time based. If you dont have time you waste your money. I tried this for 3 months. The genre courses are very good but you have to spend time picking your teachers. They have quite a few good ones but they also have some bad ones that are boring and sloppy. Comparatively the lessons for Hotel California and Back in black are much better on song pond. The blues course were very good but I found better on youtube.

Beyond this I've purchased various books too. The only one I highly recommend is Fretboard logic. Learning the fretboard is a must. If you cant find the notes you cant play.

I know this was long but I hope it was helpful. If I could do it over again I do wish I had more time to actually play with a local teacher for constructive feedback. This is the part that you miss out on when you home study. My tips are search youtube and learn as much as you can there. You'll find alot of different stuff there. Above all buy a metronome, without it, you'll be fixing bad habits for a long time.
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