eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method
Review

On April 25, 2003, in Review, by John Nemerovski

eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method
Company: eMedia Music Corp.

Price: $59.95 US
http://www.emediamusic.com


I have been playing and teaching beginner and intermediate level guitar for over 40 years. Learning this instrument is easy for most people who practice regularly.

Music students pay $15 – $50 per guitar lesson, and a lot of that money covers instruction and repetition that self-starters and motivated self-learners don’t need to spend. At under $60 US for comprehensive instructional and reference material, eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method provides exceptional value for these students.

I remember being lukewarm to positive in my appraisal of Volume One, the beginner CD in this series. It has been revised since then. If it’s as good as this Intermediate CD (Volume Two), beginners now have a much better chance of learning from scratch.


From my first encounter with eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method (abbreviated as “IGM”), the experience has consistently been positive. Installation of the cross-platform CD’s software takes only a minute or two. Initial 23 pages of sensible, thorough Introduction and Tips cover all necessary instructions, commands, and options, including well-written and illustrated:

  • Animated Fretboard diagram
  • explanation of the Chord Dictionary and Metronome
  • description of Guitars and Their Parts, including holding, stringing, and tuning
  • details on Reading Chord Charts, plus Tablature and Music Notation.Once students are “Ready to Take It to the Next Level” the lessons begin with straightforward left-hand melody techniques. Subsequent topics include barre chords, right hand strumming styles, “Using Scales and Building Chords,” plus solo and fingerstyle methodology.

    One set of icons on the page of each song or exercise takes you directly to spoken short descriptions of a song’s history, or pithy comments such as “Use a pick so your fingers don’t fall off.” A different icon launches the Animated Fretboard’s display, playing the song or exercise while fret numbers display simultaneously with a running presentation of the notation or tablature for the piece. Very impressive, all of it, and not nearly as complicated as it appears from reading the above paragraph.

    Navigational arrows lower right easily take you forward or back one page, and the Tools and Goto menus at top offers complete navigation throughout the entire application, including:

  • Scale Directory and audio enhanced Chord Dictionary (REALLY GOOD!)
  • Tuner and Metronome
  • Self-recording feature.

    Additional observations:

    1. Set your screen resolution to one higher than 800×600 for best viewing.

    2. The IGM’s CD responds quickly and quietly when playing its instructional QuickTime sound and picture files.

    3. A special icon launches short QuickTime movies in which a very competent guitarist demonstrates the techniques0 with close-up camera on the active hand.

    4. Colored live embedded links take you directly to related chapters, if desired. (Is there a way to jump right back? I can’t figure that out.)

    5. Special mentions of differences between electric guitars and acoustic instruments are given, when appropriate.


    Instruction is segmented logically, with high-quality attention to detail. I plan to begin using the IGM software, movies, and sound files immediately with my students. Its cost is a bargain for the reference features alone.

    If you know your way around the guitar and want to “Take It to the Next Level,” IGM is easy to recommend. When all your prior instruction has come from a human teacher, the comprehension curve for this multimedia application will seem steep at first. Remember that repetition is your friend, music students. Take your time, practice a lot, and you’ll be glad you purchased eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method.


    Nemo’s MyMac.com “Q/D/S/V Standard” for all product reviews:

    Q = QUALITY, including ease of installation, performance, stability, and general happy relationship with everything on my system;

    D = DOCUMENTATION, both printed and electronic, plus appropriate website material;

    S = SUPPORT, in the form of email, phone, and web updates;

    V = VALUE, which includes both original cost and subsequent expenses.


    Depending upon previous instruction and self-teaching skills of guitar student, our rating is:

    MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5
    A very decent product. Worth the time and investment, but look for competing products.

    – TO –

    MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5
    Fantastic products! Well worth your money and investment. The best of its kind.


    John Nemerovski
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