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The Musicademy Beginners Worship Guitar Course Review by Tina Rice

Oak Tree House, Berry Lane
Hertfordshire WD3 5EY UK
+44 (0) 1923 28 28 78

Musicademy Beginners Worship Guitar Course is just what the name implies--a beginner guitar course. This 3-DVD course is designed to teach a beginner all that he or she needs to know to play contemporary worship songs such as "Here I Am To Worship," "God of Wonders," "Forever," "Blessed Be Your Name," and more.

Volume 1 begins at the beginning (tuning your guitar) and moves into simple chords and strumming patterns. Andy Chamberlain instructs throughout Volume 1. He has an extremely pleasant speaking voice, and his manner is encouraging. He gives directions clearly, and the on-screen graphics help the beginner to see where to place the fingers to play different notes. Also included in Volume 1 are interviews with worship leaders and musicians, drumbeats to play along with, directions on how to hold a pick, and numerous helpful tips for playing in a worship ensemble.

Volume 2 picks up where Volume 1 left off. More chords are introduced, along with power chords and notes on the neck. A student who goes through Volumes 1 and 2 will be able to play along with many popular songs. The final volume, Volume 3, teaches chords up the neck, use of a capo, and finger picking. All three volumes are suitable for acoustic and electric guitar players. Mr. Chamberlain uses several different electric guitars. The interviews with worship leaders and musicians are excellent and very encouraging.

In my family, we have three guitars and five guitar students. My husband is an intermediate beginner. He did not find Volume 1 to be beneath his ability or babyish. My three daughters and I are all beginners, and we found the instruction helpful.

When I spoke with Mr. Chamberlain about practicing and pacing lessons he said, "For a basic rule of thumb I always get people to leave their instrument out and easy to access and just try and do a little every day rather than a large chunk a few times a week. Even if you just commit to 10 minutes a day, you will start to develop muscle memory quickly. If you enjoy it you will probably do it longer than 10 minutes, but that amount of time won't seem like a huge commitment to begin with. Try one lesson at a time and then repeat it as necessary. Think of the DVDs as a tool to use and return to over and over again until you master a concept, and prepare to spend about 2-3 months to become comfortable."

I think the Musicademy Beginners Worship Guitar Course is an excellent resource for most beginning or intermediate guitar players. The one drawback is that many students lack the discipline to use the product as suggested. My daughters all started off "gung ho," but after a few weeks they had to be continually reminded to practice. When they took piano lessons from a live teacher, I had to remind them to practice, but I had backup from the teacher in this area. With Musicademy Beginners Worship Guitar Course, students will not get a live teacher asking them about their practice habits. The child or the parent will have to be diligent in keeping up a consistent practice schedule. Despite this drawback, I give this program an A!

Product review by Tina Rice, Contributing Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2007