Looking for an affordable and convenient way to start learning guitar? eMedia Guitar Method is the program for you. Version 5, the software’s latest incarnation, sells for just $47.96. It’s available either as a downloadable installer or as a CD, with free shipping for US-based customers.
Aspiring guitarists who are short on time will find this an especially attractive option. Unlike subscription websites, eMedia Guitar Method only requires a one-time payment, so you can take your time without worrying about racking up the monthly fees. With over 180 lessons included, you’ll also get a lot of mileage from that $48, so there won’t be any immediate need to buy more resources just to sustain your progress.
eMedia Guitar Method’s 182 lessons are divided across 10 main topics, which you can browse through the readily accessible menu. The lessons ease you through the building blocks of guitar-playing, starting from differentiating types of guitars and tuning your instrument up to more advanced lessons. Eventually, your lessons will cover topics like fingerpicking, reading tablature and standard music notation, and even some style-specific techniques like rock strumming.
That said, eMedia Guitar Method is more of a general purpose course overall, so don’t expect in-depth instruction on specific genres or styles. You also won’t get instruction about certain skills like playing by ear or improvisation, which could have otherwise gone a long way towards pushing you past intermediate level. Curiously, the software’s syllabus skips over essential topics like scales, though similar omissions of tricks like slides and hammer-ons are a bit more understandable. As a quick scan of the lesson menu will tell you, this software is more interested in helping you acquire a good foundation of skills and knowledge that you can build upon later on your own.
That doesn’t mean eMedia Guitar Method leaves you to fend for yourself either, though. Each lesson comes with a good amount of detail, using split-screens and close-ups to give you a good look at important elements like hand and finger placement. The software also features an array of useful learning tools, including some controls that let you loop particular song sections, a metronome, and an animated fretboard that shows you how to form particular notes or chords correctly. Additional features like the Note Tracker and Instant Feedback let you keep track of the notes and melodies you’re playing. Resources like the chord dictionary build up your guitar knowledge, and the digital recorder offers a quick way to check on your playing’s overall sound.
However, eMedia Guitar Method doesn’t give tailored tips to address your particular trouble spots, unlike some of its competitors. You also don’t get a quick way to track your skill progress, though you can at least bookmark your place along the syllabus so it’s easier to resume where you last left off.
eMedia Guitar Method uses a library of more than 70 songs to help you learn — and presumably to keep things interesting, though the selection might come off a little dated to younger users. Unfortunately, there’s no option for user-uploaded tracks or easily downloadable content, so you can’t expand the software’s song library. This isn’t a big issue, but if you’re serious about putting in the hours (or if you’re picky about the songs you’re working to master), the library might lose its luster quickly.
On the whole, eMedia Guitar Method is designed more for absolute beginners, so advanced guitarists are better off spending their money elsewhere. eMedia has other level-appropriate products that you can check out if that’s the case.
eMedia Guitar Method has a support center with an extensive FAQ section that covers most basic questions. For specific concerns and issues, you can open a new support ticket, send them an email, or call up their dedicated phone line. eMedia also has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Google+ that you can follow for news and updates.
What's the Verdict on eMedia Guitar Method?
eMedia Guitar Method Review – Conclusion
Overall, eMedia Guitar Method is a helpful and comprehensive guitar lesson package for beginners. With over 180 lessons out of the box, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of your money. A highly organized syllabus and thoughtful lesson design will help smoothen out the bumps in your learning process. Considering the scope of the lessons and the array of helpful tools that you get in one package, the lack of a progress tracker and the limited song selection are minor sticking points. Check out eMedia Guitar Method today!