eMedia Rock Guitar Method

eMedia Rock Guitar Method
Company: eMedia Music Corp
Price: $39.95 US

The eMedia Music booth at January’s Macworld Expo was bursting with sounds from guitars and MIDI keyboards and tutorial CDs. Company employees were exhausted at the end of each day on the showroom floor, stumbling away from San Francisco’s Moscone Center knowing they have the best-selling cross-platform music instruction software. Their new Rock Guitar Method is a superior product that helps beginners and intermediates to become better rock guitarists when used alongside diligent study and practice.

Not much resides within the colorful, standard-sized product box. The first thing to fall out was a cute small red plectrum, medium density plastic, with the eMedia logo and URL. Next came “Win a free guitar!” registration card, followed by brief installation instructions (Mac/Win), a promo brochure for all eMedia tutorials, and a single CD.

Drag and drop installation of 56MB on my prehistoric G3 iBook was effortless. I chose this older computer to test eMedia’s quality of coding and QuickTime audio/video, instead of my new G5, to simulate a typical user experience. Rock Guitar Method works in every Mac OS from 7.5.3 to the present (bravo, eMedia!).

Through 106 lessons, users proceed from elementary guitar instruction to advanced playing techniques. Seventeen descriptive Appendix topics address a comprehensive range of essential info, from tuning and positioning to “Musical Alphabet and the Fretboard.” Production values are outstanding, including spoken instructions, animated musical examples, and demonstration QuickTime videos.

Our friendly instructor is a youngish guy with short hair and a trimmed beard, who is heavy on distortion and amplified fuzz. His playing is clean and easy to follow, especially with help from the animated fretboard that appears as needed at the bottom of your display (full-screen at 800 x 600 resolution). Icons to the left of the tutorial pages contain throbbing rollover buttons for playing the audio/video samples, without any hesitation or hiccups.

Lessons can be printed, which is recommended for newcomers to the guitar. If you’re a lefty or a Hendrix wannabee, your entire instruction can utilize the optional left hand and/or upside-down fretboard. Impressive!

Rock Guitar Method is N-O-T a crash course for every kid who watched “School of Rock” and wants to play like Jack Black. (If you never saw the movie, rent it tonight. It’s a blast.) You’ll need patience and practice practice practice to become a decent musician. Consider this CD tutorial a worthy enhancement to lessons from a professional instructor (or that high school junior down the block who has been driving the neighbors berserk since he was thirteen).

Afraid to learn TAB (guitar notation)? No sweat. You’ll figure it out in a couple of lessons, without knowing how difficult it’s alleged to be. Having trouble following chords diagrams? Play Rock Guitar Method over and over (probably using headphones, for family sanity) and all will be revealed.

“Where do bad folks go when they die,” you ask? You’ll find out in Lesson 103, near the end of this highly-recommended, affordable CD. Power chords are in your future, and practice is your best friend.

eMedia Music can be proud to receive our MyMac.com rating of: 5 out of 5.

Now, let’s R-O-C-K!

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