Even though I'm a professional musician, I've never played guitar. Well, I tried but couldn't quite get the hang of it. No, I decided long ago that my instrument would be the beloved keyboard. But if I had a copy of eMedia's Guitar Method way back when, well I have to admit that I might be pluckin' strings today rather than pounding keys.
I don't actually have a guitar so I had to borrow one from a friend in order to test out this title. After I got the disc up-and-running (which went without a hitch), I plugged the guitar into my soundcard. For those of you with acoustic guitars, you can either use your computer's microphone (suggested by the program) or get yourself an electric pickup. Why plug the guitar in? Well, to tune it of course! Guitar Method includes a very cool automatic tuner that lets you play your guitar into the computer and then displays the pitch that the open string is sounding. Just line up the red marker with the correct pitch for each open string, and presto!
After the guitar was tuned, I proceeded to learn the right way to hold the instrument and watched a video about the different methods of strumming. As a matter of fact, there are over 30 of these videos sprinkled throughout the text that illustrate hard to grasp methods that just can't be learned by words and illustrations alone. I then learned how to read chord charts and how to use the built-in metronome (timing is everything in music you know). I was then presented with my first chord, G. And then my first song! Okay, so it was Frere Jacques but hey, you've got to start simple when learning a new instrument. I even got to record my performance and compare it along with how it was supposed to sound (key word here is 'supposed').
I still haven't actually gotten to the end of the disc but that's because I'm very meticulous when it comes to practicing, not to mention that there are over 60 lessons containing over 100 exercises. Suffice it to say, there's a lot of practicing to do. Eventually you get to play some more complex and cool songs like 'Scarborough Fair' and 'House of the Rising Sun'. So yes, this program is for all ages. Some other extras on the disc are a Chord Dictionary that includes fingering charts and recorded sounds for over 250 chords and an Internet Song Guide showing how to find chords and tablature for thousands of the most popular songs.
Guitar Method is a simple, straightforward, learn at your own pace tutorial package that provides a private lesson approach for beginners of all ages. Anyone wanting to learn how to play the guitar should buy a copy.