Guitar Class DVD review

May I say that I am awful at writing reviews.  I hate hurting someones feelings when I don’t like something and so I usually avoid doing them in the first place.  However when Around Zine asked for reviewers of a Worship Guitar Dvd right after my middle child spent a week begging for a guitar and guitar lessons I knew it was a God send.

The dvd came in the mail and we borrowed a friend’s guitar to try it out, all of us excited because we all would like to learn guitar but we refused to buy one unless we knew we were going to actually use it. And so, here is the good, the bad, and the so-so from a family of non-guitar players gone wild.

To begin with, as the name states, this is a Worship Guitar Class–meaning that Jean Welles (the teacher) is a Christian who is teaching not only playing the guitar but also how to use the guitar to worship God. The focus is on playing worship songs not on just learning how to play. This is great if you can already play a tiny bit or need a refresher, not so good if you are not even sure how to hold your fingers on the strings. The songs used are all worship songs my daughter (the one desperate to learn guitar) loves–for those who care there are no hymns–praise songs only.

The dvd comes with a small song book with all the songs, the words and chords to the songs, and a chord chart for each song. As with the dvd (which has Spanish subtitles and English audio) it is written in both English and Spanish.

The lessons are broken up into seven songs plus an introduction, the parts of the guitar, how to tune the guitar, and practice session. As far as we were concerned the how to tune the guitar session was of utmost importance as we had no clue. She quickly described the several ways of tuning the guitar but didn’t go into more than a brief overview. The kids were unable to follow what she said and I, with a background in wind instruments, was able to tune it only after repeatedly pausing and playing the how to tune section. After several attempts I decided it was good enough (it was an old guitar and who knows if it is even possible to get it completely in tune.)

The parts of the guitar was a quick overview as well and was good enough for what we needed at the time–we may go back and watch it again to review. I would like to have more to hang the different parts names on–for instance a brief explanation of what each part is or does or how it got its name plus seeing the name on the screen would have been helpful.

As I mentioned the songs were all fun praise songs that my kids like. For each song she briefly showed the chord and then went immediately into the song. Again I felt rushed and we kept having to pause the dvd. There was no explanation of the pacing for each song so we had to figure that out, and we had to look up the chords on our chord chart (a gift from a friend) or we could have looked in the book because she didn’t show more than the first chord nor did she explain how to hold your hands to hit all the strings.

Frankly I think this would be an excellent dvd for someone who already has a slight to working knowledge of guitar. For us, completely new to guitar other than my few weeks attempting to learn to play a chord in high school) it was a bit much without enough explanation. However, I think it has been perfect in that it showed us that yes, we do want a guitar and that we need to start by learning to tune it and some basic chords. Once we do that then we will get this back out happily and learn to play actual songs.