Not A Good Method
F. Scott | Colorado | 06/21/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This method is not very well organized and is not something a person trying to learn the blues with something that can help them grow along the way. There are a few things of use but not much for the price. The flashy dvd guitar playing is over done and not necessary. People buy this stuff so that they can learn and not something to watch someone else show them how good they are after years of playing. I would not recommend this to anyone but would advise them to look for something with better instruction and not just bits and pieces. Try something with a book/cd like the book by John Ganapes...Blues You Can Use. It is put together as a real teaching method."
Excellent blues guitar course; but get the entire course
SeekingTraveler | 05/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do not make the same mistake as I did. I bought the "Learn to Play Blues Guitar Level 1" DVD. It was great; so I decided to buy the Level 2 DVD. When I went back to Amazon to order the Level 2 course, I discovered that I could have bought the COMBINED course (Level 1 and Level 2) for the price of the Level 1 DVD by itself. The combined course is sold as "House Of Blues Presents: Blues Guitar Course." (Although it is marketed as "House of Blues," it is really another Rock House product with John McCarthy) That product comes with a full-size booklet, the Level 1 DVD, the Level 2 DVD, and two backing track CDs (so you can learn by playing along with drums and bass). As I said, you can buy the Level 1 DVD (the one you are looking at now) or the ENTIRE course (Level 1 and Level 2 combined) for the same price.
A few words about the course. I have many Rock House guitar instruction products (such as Rock House Learn Rock Guitar - beginner, intermediate, advanced). As with all of their DVDs, the production values are very high. As with all courses I have seen with instructor John McCarthy, the instruction is very well designed (building from simple to more complex knowledge and skill) and instruction is very effective. While this DVD is a stand-alone course, it is probably best to have finished another beginner course before taking this blues course (such as the Rock House DVD or Fender's "Getting Started on Electric Guitar").
Here are some examples of what is in Level 1: Tuning; chords for blues progression in the key of A (both open chord and barre chord versions); fingering patterns for pentatonic scale in the key of A minor (teaches the 5 basic patterns which can be moved up and down the fretboard for any key); picking; techniques such as bending, hammer on, pull off, slides, and vibrato; blues lead; 12 bar blues progression; example blues riff.
Level 2 (which you will need to buy separately or as part of the "House Of Blues Presents: Blues Guitar Course") covers the following additional subjects: Blues in the keys of E and C, pentatonic scales in the keys of E and C, advanced bending techniques, jazz chords, jazz-blues fusion, lead techniques, advanced blues rifts, combining major and minor scales, sixteenth note lead patterns, circle of fourths.
I only have one criticism of this course: John does not spend enough time teaching vibrato. He basically just demonstrates a vibrato, and then tells you to practice until you can do it. A popular free video website has much better instruction on vibrato. I think this professionally-produced DVD should have provided instruction at least as good as those amateur videos.
This is a great course. Highly recommended. Also consider supplementing this course with the booklet "Blues You Can Use" by John Ganapes. For considerably more money, try "Learn & Master Blues Guitar" (by the same folks who make the great "Learn & Master Guitar" course)."
Great for the beginner
J. Crenshaw | Georgia | 04/05/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love playing the guitar and making music. But that of course does not make me any good. This DVD however does, help. After watching this video with a little practice I feel I have a much better basic understanding and appreciation of blues music."