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eMedia Blues Guitar Legends

Manufacturer: eMedia Music Corp.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided DigiFreq with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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So you say you play the guitar and you want to learn the blues? What better way than to study the music of some of the greatest blues masters around? eMedia's Blues Guitar Legends gives you all the tools you need to study and learn the music of ten original blues recordings as performed by the players that made them famous. These songs and players include:

- Statesboro Blues, The Allman Brothers Band
- Smoking Gun, Robert Cray
- Early In The Morning, Buddy Guy with Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton
- The Thrill Is Gone, B.B. King
- Hide Away, Freddie King
- Boogie Chillen, John Lee Hooker
- Cherry Red Wine, Jonny Lang
- Crossfire, Stevie Ray Vaughan
- Hoochie Coochie Man, Muddy Waters
- Back Door Man, Howlin' Wolf

To get you in the mood, Blues Guitar Legends provides artist biographies and photos. If you're looking to do some serious research on the subject though, you'll have to look elsewhere. There is only one photo per band provided, and most of biographies are only one or two pages long. But research isn't the main purpose of this title. When it comes to the music, Blues Guitar Legends belts it out.

For each song listed above, you are provided with a basic chord/lyric chart as well as the full guitar arrangement in both music notation and tablature. If there are two guitar parts in the song, you get notation for both on separate pages. Of course, having the notation for these songs isn't all that special, but Blues Guitar Legends goes much further. Click on the speaker icon and you get to hear the original tune in full CD quality. Not only that, as the song plays, you will see the notes in the music highlighted. In addition, Blues Guitar Legends provides a fretboard display, so that as the part plays you can see the finger numbers and positions animated for a much easier learning experience.

When you're learning a new tune, however, it's usually difficult to pick it up at its regular tempo. Blues Guitar Legends doesn't let you control the speed of the audio playback. What it does do though, is provide additional playback via MIDI. In this mode, you can adjust the tempo to your heart's content. And playback via MIDI provides the same music notation and fretboard feedback as with audio. But what about those difficult passages? Well, just drag your mouse over a section of music to highlight it, and Blues Guitar Legends will loop that section over and over so you can practice it until you get it.

Blues Guitar Legends even provides some tips to give you some insight on how the parts should be played. And for all you Line 6 POD owners out there, the program gives you the settings needed so you can emulate the same guitar sound hear in each song. That's very cool. There are also some basic tuner, recorder and metronome features that can help you during your practice sessions.

Blues Guitar Legends runs on both the Mac and PC, and since it is an enhanced CD-ROM, the CD tracks can be played in any ordinary audio CD player so you can enjoy the music even if you're away from your computer. Any guitar player interested in playing the blues will find value in this package.

One thing to note: Blues Guitar Legends doesn't teach how to play the guitar. If you need dedicated guitar instruction, you should look into the Guitar Method 1 and Guitar Method 2 products, which are also manufactured by eMedia.

For more information: eMedia Blues Guitar Legends
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