Set the stage: I am in front of a monitor, about to perform some awesome licks. I leap into a wicked guitar solo and start it off pretty good. Then comes the really fast part and I mess up so many chords. I clench my guitar neck in frustration and try the song again. No, I’m not playing Guitar Hero. Instead, I’m actually playing real notes and chords written for guitar, on my actual instrument, with the help of eMedia’s Guitar Method Version 4.
eMedia is a company that makes and sells software that helps aspiring musicians learn to play an instrument. You can learn guitar, bass guitar, and others. There are many variations of the software, like Rock Guitar Method, or Advanced Bass Guitar Method. And they have tools in the software, like a metronome, a digital tuner (you can use it with the built-in microphone on your Mac used for iChat), and an animated fretboard, with dots showing you where you put your fingers and which fingers you put down. It’s very helpful.
Once you’ve mastered the guitar method, then you can get add-on packs that contain more songs for you to play, like Behind Blue Eyes by The Who, Georgia on My Mind by the late, great, Ray Charles, and Before You Accuse Me by Eric Clapton, all of which are included in their Guitar Songs, Vol. 1. There are a lot more songs to appeal to many musical tastes.
You might be thinking, “Whoa! How can one CD replace a human guitar teacher?” Well, it can’t take the place of human interaction. But it comes pretty close, which is great in times when you can’t get to a real teacher, only have a short window of time to spend on playing your guitar, or are trying to brush up on your skills. It helped me learn a lot of new songs in only a couple weeks. All in all, the titles from eMedia Music are some of the greatest, if not the best, instrument teaching software to come along in a long time.
The Windows system requirements are: a Pentium or better Intel processor, Windows 98 or greater, and 16MB of free RAM. For Mac users: a PowerPC processor, OS X 10.1 or higher, and 16MB of free RAM.
Thomas Fogel, Posted 12/20/2007
For more information on eMedia’s Guitar Method Version 4 visit: www.emediamusic.com