It's said that music lessons can contribute to a higher level of intelligence. Many tests have shown that students who practice an instrument do considerably better in school. But many of us get involved in the music making process because it brings us happiness and it's a lot of fun too. Unfortunately, traditional music lessons can be very expensive. A typical half-hour private session can run you anywhere from $15 to $20... sometimes even more! The introduction of multimedia instruction programs is beginning to change all that and you may soon be substituting a computer for your teacher.
The folks at eMedia showed us how well a computer could perform the task of teaching guitar with their Guitar Method 1 CD-ROM, which is a program for beginners. Now they've done it again with their newly released Guitar Method 2. This latest volume in the series is geared toward intermediate players and in addition to new lesson material, also contains some new program features.
The new music-tracking feature allows you to follow along visually as the songs and exercises are played. You can also now fast-forward and rewind any of the audio and video examples. Subtle improvements such as audio quality and an improved interface make the lessons more enjoyable. Of course the built-in automatic tuner, recorder, metronome, and chord dictionary are still here. And the Internet Song Guide has been updated with references sprinkled throughout the lesson material.
Speaking of which, Guitar Method 2 contains a whole new library of exercises with 30 more top-notch videos and 3 hours of audio by Kevin Garry. You'll learn all about hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, vibrato, and barre chords. You'll also learn about different strumming styles in the rhythm section and new playing techniques in the fingerstyle section. Some music theory material is included about reading music, scales, and modes. And you can now choose whether you'd like to see the music displayed as tablature or standard music notation.
There are a variety of styles covered, which should keep most folks satisfied. Some of the songs include All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan & Jimi Hendrix), Too Much To Lose (Jeff Beck), Jet Airliner (Steve Miller Band), Drive On (Johnny Cash), Time In a Bottle (Jim Croce), and Spoonful (Cream & Eric Clapton). You'll also find plenty of rock, blues, classical, country and folk tunes by other favorites like Bach, Beethoven, and the Grateful Dead, etc.
eMedia has come through with another excellent volume in their growing series of guitar tutorials. As I said about volume 1, anyone wanting to learn how to play the guitar should buy a copy.