Guitar Method 1.2 is an invaluable piece of software. It teaches you how to play the guitar in a far more accessible way than book-based guitar courses. It’ll still prove useful once you’ve finished the course for the chord dictionary alone. To play guitar, start here – as far as I know this is the only Mac-compatible guitar-tutoring course.
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Guitar Method 1.2
Guitar Method 1.2 is a structured course aimed at beginners. The novice guitarist goes through the essentials of strumming, tuning and time signatures, all the way to bass note strums and finger-picking styles. The appendix dealing with musical notation is also very useful. You get 60 lessons, a hundred songs, and a running start in playing the guitar. The beauty of the program is the way it teaches. Multimedia is used throughout – 60 different videos show the guitar tutor (Kevin Garry) playing the songs, and talking you through the basics. A further three hours of audio files gives you more information and tuition. The animated fretboard shows you the finger positions and chord names – as the tune plays, helping you get to grips with their relationships with rhythm. The software’s use of Simplesound lets you play your versions of chords or songs into a computer, and then play the sounds back, giving you a fair idea of how you are progressing. It teaches 12-bar blues, music notation and rhythm patterns. Sadly, like most guitar methods I’ve encountered, the songs tend to fall into the old-time folk, blues and traditional categories. Essentially, this is a great way to learn guitar. You get one-on-one instruction when you want it, the tutor never loses patience, and I can’t think of a better package to open the doors to rock ‘n’ roll heaven for budding guitarists. Guitar Method 1.2 does what it says it does – teaches you basic guitar in an unpressurized way. You learn at your own pace, and occasional end-of-topic quizzes help you retain the information and assess your own success. eMedia has a couple of other products out, including a CD full of more varied songs and a more advanced CD, Guitar Method 2. CD 2 teaches you hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, vibrato, slides and barre chords – but the whole course is geared toward learning at your own pace. A couple of minor quibbles. The windows are pretty basic, without even the virtual chrome of Mac OS 9. Another negative is the impression I get that the software is built to run on 17-inch-plus sized monitors. Sometimes when using the animated fretboard, the top part of the page disappeared.