Not advanced enough
Eddie | 08/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While the instructor seems knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic, the material itself may be disappointing for the advanced player. This was the case for me.
Advanced beginners and intermediate level players may benefit from this DVD. Maybe it's just me, but I do not think that E and A barre-chord forms should be considered advanced material. The same applies to the minor and 7th chords shown. Advanced to me would be something like an Eb9#11 or F13b9 (I took these from Classic Guitar Styles of Duke Robillard).
The use of overdrive/distortion when practicing (or teaching) should be avoided, as it may conceal some problems with the technique(s) being used. IMO, practicing/teaching should be done with a clean sound, unless the "effects" are also part of the practice. For example, when developing a specific sound with distortion, delay, chorus, compression, etc.
Some exercises are just like the ones I used to do on my first or second year of guitar playing. They were really good for me as a beginner. They don't add much to an advanced player.
Bi-dextral hammer-on sounded like an interesting technique. It is commonly known as "tapping" so again there was nothing new here.
There is an option to download a metronome and a tuner from their website, but Mac users are excluded since they don't have versions of these programs for the Mac.
There is no theoretical explanation preceding the exercises. For example, what about mentioning what is an arpeggio or what notes are used for the Am arpeggio? Probably advanced players will already know this, though. Anyone familiar with Steve Vai's duel in the movie Crossroads will already know about Am arpeggios :D
The camera sometimes focuses on places in the guitar neck where NOTHING is happening. For example, while playing a brief part from Ozzy/Randy's Mr. Crowley, which by the way I play a bit differently. I haven't listened to it in a while, but I'm pretty sure Randy also played it differently :-)
Overall, I think John McCarthy is a very good teacher. I'm raising my rating from 2 to 3 stars because of that. I wish I had something like this when I was starting out. Labeling the DVD as and "Advanced Program" is very misleading, though. I would recommend it to an advanced beginner or intermediate-level player, but not for a truly advanced guitarist."