I have just reviewed the next best thing to sliced bread! Well, okay, that's a little overdramatic, but not much! Jean Welles has put together a wonderful product! She has videotaped herself teaching guitar lessons! There are three videos in the set, and right now they are in English only, but there are plans in the works for DVDs in English and Spanish as well.
It's a great concept! She begins by introducing the parts of the guitar, very basically, so everyone can follow along. Then she begins with chords that anybody can play. So many "how to play" courses don't start at the beginning, but Jean does! She also teaches strumming, which I find is the hardest part about learning to play the guitar. There are actual strumming patterns introduced, and she does it so openly that you can really see what she's doing - there are close ups of her hands on the guitar, and there is a little booklet that comes with each video showing the strumming patterns, as well as the chords and the words to the songs.
The really excellent thing here, besides the ability to see how to do it, is that all of the songs you learn are wonderful worship songs that you or your child can play while you have worship at home, or they can play for themselves to have some time with God. Each video can be used as a truly unique devotional time as well. Jean's focus is on the Lord and it is wonderfully evident! Eventually, you will learn enough to be able to play worship songs in church, especially if you come from a small, wonderfully accepting church like I do! My husband has owned a guitar for 10 years now, but has never been motivated enough to learn how - he is a visual learner, and once he started these videos, he has hardly missed a day of practice. He pops in the video, and sits and plays right along with Jean!
The instructor recommends spending about a week on each song, but that is totally up to you, or your child, whomever is playing! You can spend as much time on each video as you like, as it's so self-pacing! The skills on each video lead into the next, so if you are a brand new, never-picked-up-a-guitar-before player, start with video number one. Even if you are a middle-of-the-road beginner, it wouldn't hurt to start with the first video, as you will whip through it and get used to her method of teaching. Jean is articulate, and very clear in her speech. This is a ministry for her, and her love for the Lord is evident throughout her website and her videos.
These videos are reasonably priced, and really are a much needed blessing to the homeschool movement! So many of us desire music lessons for our kids, but simply can't afford them. Well, now you can! The sound quality on these videos isn't the greatest; they are home produced so don't expect anything fancy or slick. What you get is Jean sitting with her guitar, playing worship songs, and teaching us how to play along also! The website is great to visit, and there is an e-mail list you can sign up for to receive messages from Jean and to share with her your journey!
These videos will be a staple in our home; I plan on using them for all four of my kids! If someone in your family has a desire to play guitar, but doesn't know where to start, start here! The list of songs in each video is on her website, but just to name a few here, there's All in All, More Precious than Silver, Lord I Lift Your Name on High, and that's just on the first video! You will learn seven songs on each video, and you will also learn, besides different strumming patterns, picking patterns, and bar chords as well. It's like having a private music lesson in your own home!
Try them - I can promise you won't be disappointed, and you won't be wasting your money on just another music product. This one is different - try it and see!