It won a silver medal in the Acoustic Guitar Readers choice poll in 2008 and I’ve seen many opinions (good and bad) about Learn and Master Guitar (LMG) on the web. Now it’s my turn to check this guitar course out and give you my Two cents.
Opening the kit, I found 20 DVDs, five audio CDs and an instruction booklet; a bit intimidating seeing so much information and potential. I could see someone thinking to himself or herself that this is way too much to learn and being overwhelmed.
As I examined the contents, I began to see the system.
Each DVD contains two of what are called “Sessions.” A session goes over an aspect of learning the guitar. IE, scales, chords, styles, etc… and is about twenty to thirty minutes long. Steve Krenz, the course creator and instructor, walks you through each session with examples and explanations. At the end, a review and assignments from the book are given and then you are expected to practice. If you need help practicing, that’s where the “Bonus Workshops” come in.
Bonus Workshops: (Expanded Edition)
The bonus workshops are meant to as a companion to your session discs. They are an in depth review of what you have learned. Krenz will go over the exercises that were assigned and give tips and pointers on how to move forward. An aspect I liked in the bonus workshop was the “And your ready to move on when” section. This is where the instructor gives you a checklist of measurable goals that you need to accomplish before you can move onto the next session or disc. Goals like, memorize the string names and/or know a certain scale in any position. Anyway this is a good way to keep an impatient learner on track.
Jam Along CDs:
These are audio CDs that contain the audio of the assignments and accompaniment tracks. I like the instrumental tracks because I would jam and solo over them. I guess that’s where the name “Jam Along” comes from. These CDs are a valuable tool in ensuring that the assignments are played properly.
What will you learn:
If you follow the course exactly how Krenz designed it you should have a solid foundation in guitar that will help you move forward into more intermediate/advanced playing. Throughout the course, the sessions and assignments will address cores skills that I believe are important in learning the guitar:
- Knowledge of the many different types of guitar playing (fingerstyle, blues, jazz, flatpicking, Rock, etc…)
- Reading music (Theory, Scales, Chord Types)
- Musicianship (Interpreting the music and making it your own)
- Improvisation (Jam Along CD’s)
This all depends on your patience and discipline to not skip around the course and follow the course to the T.
Would I Recommend Learn and Master the Guitar?
I have to admit that I was skeptical about these courses but after reviewing them, I would recommend them to my friends and to you. But only if I feel that they were right for you.
Who is LMG right for:
- If you are someone that really wants to learn guitar but can’t afford lessons or doesn’t have access to them.
- Road warriors: If you are on the road a lot and need to kill time in the hotel room.
- Someone that works well alone
- Self motivated (It will be you and only you to get you to practice)
- Someone who is well disciplined: You must follow the course to get the maximum benefit
Who LMG might not be right for:
- Someone that is not self-motivated
- If you like to ask questions. It’s kind of hard to ask the DVD a question. However, there is a forum on the LMG website that might fit that need.
- Young children (ages 6- 10 or so). There is a quite a bit of information and a child might get overwhelmed. Although, a parent/adult learning along with a child might be a good application.
- Already know how to play guitar and looking for advanced lessons. The last couple of DVD’s might fit that need but probably not worth the cost for just a few DVD’s
The cost, $249 for the expanded and $219 for the original, might seem a bit high but compared to taking lessons; it’s the equivalent of one to four months tuition depending on what the instructor charges per lesson. *At the time of this writing, there is a sale of $100 off any of the lessons.
If you follow the sessions and practice the assignments as laid out, you will be rewarded with a solid foundation in your quest to learn the guitar. Mastering it? Probably not. That comes with many years of practice and study. Even then, I don’t think there is enough time in ones life to truly “master” the guitar.