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Beginner Guitar Complete Course Review by Kate Kessler

Jerry Jennings
Jennings Publishing
Reviewed in2015

So what do you do when your son develops a serious desire to learn guitar, goes so far as to purchase a guitar with his own money, but you don’t have the extra money yourself to do weekly lessons? I think Jerry Jennings, Beginner Guitar Complete Course, is the answer. It has been an excellent choice for us!

The Complete Course comes with: Beginner Guitar Complete Course Study Guide, Guitar 1 Start Out Jammin’ Book & DVD, Triad Magic Book: An Introduction to Guitar Chord Theory (with online video access included), Easy Classic Rock Licks DVD, Beginning Guitar Supplemental Exercises, Posters and Flash Cards. Each of these individual books are stand-alone resources and are individually around $20 on their own. This complete package is priced at only $89. One month of lessons at our local guitar store is $120. This resource has eight months’ worth of weekly lessons! 

The Study Guide is the key to using the program and is well-designed to hand to your student directly. (This is a good thing for those of you – like me – with little musical background.) The Study Guide begins like this:

Week 1:

Break out the Guitar 1 Start Out Jammin’ Book/DVD. Work closely with the video to make sure you’re getting your fingers in the right place. Most sections start with a how-to and then follow with a song using the chords or techniques you’ve just learned. Additionally, we will work with the Supplemental Book and online videos. 

Then the Guide goes on to explain which lessons in Guitar 1 – Start Our Jammin’, your student will be using, what the focus is for those lessons, and it provides the specifics for each day (page numbers, whether you use the DVD, and how the student should play along with the DVD, etc.) It also gives you the specific instructions for any other books you will be using for that lesson. (Week 1 uses both Guitar 1 and the Beginning Guitar Supplemental Exercises.) 

The Study Guide has 32 weeks of lessons and they progress step by step so my student has been learning right along with his digital teacher. My 15 year-old son said he feels the curriculum explains the concepts well (and he started with very little previous guitar knowledge). He felt the DVD kept him on track and he used it to “check and balance” himself to make sure he was doing the lessons correctly. He is progressing smoothly through the package and he is about halfway through the lessons. I am now listening to him play actual songs that I can recognize and that is extremely exciting to me (and to him!) He is really learning and I am thrilled with this product.

The program comes with posters and flashcards. The posters are 8.5” x 11” cardstock and are clearly printed with an eye-pleasing readable font. The posters are: Open Position Notes, The Staff, Triads, Key Signatures, and Circle of 5ths. The flash cards are: Time Signatures, Clefs, and Staffs, Key Signatures, and lastly, Note & Rest Values. 

I did the “set it and forget it” method of using this program precisely because I had no previous knowledge of guitar. I wanted to see if he could learn on his own because a lot of music programs promise this result, but not all of them deliver. This one does. I highly recommend Jerry Jennings’ Beginner Guitar Complete Course.

-Product review by Kate Kessler, Product Reviews Director, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2015