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eMedia Guitar Method Review by Heidi Strawser

664 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105

eMedia Guitar Method is “the easiest way to learn guitar.” It is a cd-rom program suitable for either Windows or Mac. This program is ideal for beginners of all ages. It contains over 160 lessons, taught by professional guitarist Kevin Garry, Ph.D., from the University of Colorado at Boulder. With this program, you can learn how to play either acoustic or electric guitar at your own pace. Techniques are demonstrated in full-motion videos. You can play along with live recordings or MIDI tracks (that you can slow down or speed up to suit your needs or style).
I was thrilled with the opportunity to review this product! Both of my daughters had received guitars for Christmas. We had no idea where to even start, as far as learning how to play them. My 14-year-old took one guitar lesson at a local music store. She was not impressed; she felt that the teacher moved too fast. She wanted me to learn with her, so I found a guitar and bought it for myself. Now we had three guitars in our home and were clueless as to how to play them. We couldn’t even tune them. So when eMedia Guitar Method arrived in the mail, we were so excited to get started.
The first time we sat down at the computer with our guitars, we were able to tune them on our own! With a simple microphone, we got our guitars tuned in a matter of minutes. Now we were getting somewhere! After just a few more minutes, we were playing several chords and even a few simple songs. My parents, who had purchased the guitars for the girls, said they would be happy to hear us play a Christmas song by the holidays. After two lessons, we could play “Silent Night” with confidence! By Christmas, our repertoire should be much expanded.

These lessons are easy to follow, and they start out with the basics, such as stringing the guitar. They move on to simple chords and various strumming styles, including modern rock strumming and power chords. The lessons continue on with tablature, playing melodies, finger picking, and standard music notation. In addition to the automatic tuner, the program includes over 70 songs (including famous hits from various genres--rock, blues, folk, country, and classical), an animated fretboard (which displays fingering positions as the music plays and can be changed to suit left-handed players, like me), and a 250-chord dictionary. It also includes a digital metronome (to help you keep a steady pace) and a digital recorder (so you can save your recordings and play them back).

I really cannot say enough good things about this program. The instructor is excellent and very understandable. At a price of $59.95, this program is comparable to just a few weeks of guitar lessons and covers so much more than could be learned in those few lessons. I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed with this program. We have only covered the first 26  of the 164 lessons. I can only imagine how much more we have to learn and how much more confident we will become. Though not designed specifically for homeschoolers, eMedia Guitar Method is an ideal addition to any home learning program, and would be great for self-starters who have a desire to learn guitar. The many hours of guitar lessons and practice can be easily converted to music credit for any high school course. I would highly recommend this program and will definitely be telling friends about it.

Product review by Heidi Strawser, E-Book Reviews Specialist & Marketing Assistant, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2008