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Choosing A Guitar Instruction DVD

Updated on October 15, 2011

Using a guitar lesson DVD is a great way to learn to play the guitar from the comfort of your own home. However, there’s a huge variety to choose from, and it can be hard (especially if you’re a complete beginner) to know which one is best for you.

In this article we’ll take a look at how to choose the best guitar DVD for your needs.


Why Use A Guitar Lessons DVD?

Guitar lessons videos are popular for various reasons. These include:

  • They are much cheaper than lessons with a private teacher
  • Video lessons enable you to see exactly how to sit and to position and move your hands, as they usually feature close-ups of both hands. This is the next best thing to having a live teacher demonstrate the technique in person.
  • With a DVD, it’s very easy to skip to the relevant sections, so you can focus on what you need to know.
  • You can also play each part is over and over again, as many times as it takes for you to thoroughly understand it. This is one advantage that guitar videos have over a live teacher!
  • A huge variety of video guitar lessons, covering just about every type of guitar and musical style that you might want to learn.
  • Guitar instruction videos give you access to tuition from world-class guitarists, who would probably not otherwise be available as teachers.

Selecting A Guitar Lessons Video

So, how do you choose the guitar instruction DVD? Here are some of the things that you should consider when making your choice:

  • Firstly, you should check the credentials of the instructor. Are they an expert guitarist? What is their teaching experience and style like? It's important to learn from somebody who knows what they're talking about, especially if you’re a complete beginner.
  • You should also consider the production quality of the recording. Professionally produced DVDs will generally be of high quality, but if previews are available, you should always check these out before buying.
  • Next, you need to find a DVD which teaches exactly the kind of techniques that you want to learn. This sounds like a no-brainer, but with the huge variety that’s out there, it's important to check the exact list of contents before you buy and not just rely on the title. If you're only interested in advanced blues techniques, you don’t want to end up with a general guitar instruction DVD that’s aimed at beginners!
  • You should also check that the format of the DVD is compatible with your DVD player (or your computer if that’s where you're going to be watching it). Many guitar instruction DVDs are designed for a worldwide audience and don’t have region encoding, but this isn’t always the case, so make sure that you'll actually be able to watch your new video before you buy it.

Types Of Guitar Instruction DVD

Guitar video lessons may teach general guitar techniques, or they may cater towards those who are looking for information about specific types of guitar or particular musical styles. They may also be aimed at complete beginners or at intermediate or advanced players. Here is a list of some of the most popular and reputable guitar video lessons in each of the main categories.

General Guitar DVDs

General guitar lesson DVD's are usually aimed at complete beginners, and will cover all the fundamentals of guitar playing that are common to all styles, such as basic rhythm techniques, chords, scales, individual notes and so on.

Acoustic Guitar DVDs

As the name suggests, acoustic guitar instruction DVDs focus on those techniques which are exclusive to playing acoustic guitar, although more general skills will often be covered too. These generally refer to the steel string acoustic guitar, as opposed to nylon string classical and flamenco styles.

Electric Guitar DVDs

Electric guitar lesson DVDs are usually focused on rocks and other popular styles, and may also cover subjects are exclusive to the electric guitar, such as using effects.

Classical Guitar DVDs

Classical guitar lesson DVDs show you how to play the nylon string classical guitar. It’s generally recommended that if you are serious about learning the classical guitar, you should have lessons in person with a teacher, as correct technique is especially important in this style. However, a good classical guitar DVD can provide an excellent supplement to private lessons.

Flamenco Guitar DVDs

Flamenco guitar lesson DVDs are not as widely available as many of the other types, as this style of playing is more difficult and less widespread. However, there are still some excellent recordings available, although as with the classical guitar, it is best to have lessons in person if possible.

Blues Guitar DVDs

Blues guitar is another very popular style that is catered for by producers of guitar instruction DVDs. Many of these assume you already have a mastery of the basics of guitar playing, and are now looking to specialise.

Country Guitar DVDs

Country guitar is another popular style that relies heavily on finger picking techniques. Some of the best country guitar DVDs include:

Jazz Guitar DVDs

Jazz guitar is another specialist style for which video instruction is available, although there is not as much of a wide choice as in some of the other genres.

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