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130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You're Willing to Work, It's Gold
I've been playing guitar for nearly 20 years but have always been frustrated by my limitations. My only formal training was an intro guitar class in college and a few months worth of private lessons some time later. I taught myself to finger pick to an intermediate level but have never been very accomplished on lead playing and am not versatile at all. I recently stumbled...
Published on January 4, 2011 by Doggymcnuggets

versus
78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the expanded version!
As other reviewers have said, this is NOT the expanded version with 20 session DVDs, despite the product picture showing that. I bought it hoping it would be, but will be returning it now. You need to buy the expanded edition to get the 20 DVDs, which apparently is much more useful since the other 10 DVDs contain detailed bonus workshops for each of the 20 sessions...
Published on November 27, 2011 by Elena Black


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130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You're Willing to Work, It's Gold, January 4, 2011
I've been playing guitar for nearly 20 years but have always been frustrated by my limitations. My only formal training was an intro guitar class in college and a few months worth of private lessons some time later. I taught myself to finger pick to an intermediate level but have never been very accomplished on lead playing and am not versatile at all. I recently stumbled across some info on the Learn & Master Guitar series on a couple of guitar websites and thought it sounded interesting. As I researched the course, I found it nearly unanimously praised and I eventually decided to bite the bullet and spend the $150 (it seems that the course is nearly always "on sale" on their website). I am so glad I did, just wish I'd had this course 20 years ago!

My problem has always been simple ignorance - I had no idea where to begin. This course does a great job of guiding the player from the most basic principals through to more advanced studies. The instructor on the videos is very warm and is a good teacher - he takes things slowly and methodically and explains everything clearly (and he is also a great guitarist). The course does a good job of keeping things dynamic, mixing theory with hands on learning and offering a number of different resources to help the learning process - the DVD sessions, lessons from the workbook, and CDs with accompaniment tracks to jam along with. The content is also quite diverse - you'll work on strumming, finger picking, soloing, chords, scales, rock, blues, and jazz styles, and on and on. The videos are well produced and have a really pleasant vibe. Each session has a suggested time period for mastering that session's material based upon an assumed practice schedule of 15-30 minutes per day. Some sessions may take a week, others a couple of weeks, etc. I think the time estimates are fair for beginners, though some more accomplished players and/or those with prior music theory knowledge may move more quickly through the course. One other very helpful part of the course is the online experience. There is an active community of online users and forums at [...] and the instructor interacts there from time to time in addition to the help & encouragement found from other students.

There are two real sticking points for this course in my opinion. First, your practice time will be self-directed, so lazy folks may not be motivated to follow through. I think this type of course is best suited to self-starter types who are disciplined enough to practice without someone else making them. A flip-side benefit is that you can learn at your own pace based upon your existing skill level and your time availability. Second, this course is pretty heavy on the music theory. For people who just want to learn some cool-sounding riffs and rock out, this course may not be your thing. This series really is about learning and mastering the guitar, and that cannot happen without learning some good solid music theory. This is a strength in my opinion but I know it will turn some others off (heck, I was a 10 year old kid taking piano many moons ago, and I remember how little interest I had in learning to read music!). Highly recommended if you've got the time and inclination to work hard - if that's you then this is money very well spent! This course was initially sold independently but later branded under the Gibson name. It's no wonder Gibson picked it up, it's really good.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the expanded version!, November 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As other reviewers have said, this is NOT the expanded version with 20 session DVDs, despite the product picture showing that. I bought it hoping it would be, but will be returning it now. You need to buy the expanded edition to get the 20 DVDs, which apparently is much more useful since the other 10 DVDs contain detailed bonus workshops for each of the 20 sessions. Amazon needs to correct their picture for this listing to only show 10 DVDs instead of 20.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best guitar course available (by far), May 16, 2010
This review is from: Learn and Master Guitar, Expanded Edition, Steve Krenz, 20 DVDs, 5 Jam-Along CDs & Lecture Book, from Legacy Learning (DVD-ROM)
This is a review of "Learn & Master Guitar" with Steve Krenz. Steve Krenz is an amazing instructor. He obviously has years and years of experience teaching guitar to a wide variety of students. The video and audio quality is outstanding. The use of split screen is very effective. For example, showing simultaneous views of right hand, left hand, and the music staff and/or tablature.

This course comes in two editions: the original edition (119) and the extended edition (149). (There is also a home school version.) I purchased the extended version, which supplements the 10 DVDs of the original edition with 10 additional DVDs with practice workshops. I highly recommend getting the extended editions: playing along with Steve on the additional workshop videos is a very effective means for you to learn the material covered in the associated lesson.

This course is (by far) the best video instruction course for guitar. According to the Learn & Master website, this is intended to be a two year course of study. Some folks may be put off by the relatively high price of this course. But consider this: Lots of folks (or their parents) will gladly spend 20 to 60 dollars per week for guitar lessons, without realizing that two years of instruction can easily cost 2000 dollars or more! If I were you, I would spend 1000 to 2000 dollars on a nice guitar, then spend the next two years with this course. Another consideration: Even if you go to a guitar instructor, he or she will probably not be as good (complete, methodical, and accurate) as Steve Krenz. In my youth, I took guitar lessons from several instructors. They were all great guitar players; but they failed to teach me fundamentals that every guitar player should know. "Learn & Master Guitar" is carefully designed to include the skills & knowledge required by all guitar players.

One small drawback to this course is that it may (only at the start) be a little boring for the eager young guitar player who (impatiently) wishes to immediately have some fun playing chords. If you are one of these eager young folks, then I recommend that you first get Fender's "Getting Started on Electric Guitar" or "Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar." Either of these will get you started playing chords straight away. This can certainly be a lot of fun, and will perhaps motivate you to get serious about guitar. With that motivation, you will then be ready for "Learn & Master Guitar."

Steve Krenz covers a lot of good music theory in this course (a little bit each lesson); however, I highly recommend that you also get the Hal Leonard "Music Theory for Guitarists" book (by Tom Kolb) and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory" by Michael Miller. These books will teach you all about keys, tempo, chord construction, chord progressions (the chords to play in any key), and scales.

While "Learn & Master Guitar" starts off with a very basic introduction to reading music, it is NOT based on sight-reading music (as the Berklee courses are). If you wish to learn how to read music, then (by all means) get "A Modern Method for Guitar - Volume 1: Book/DVD-ROM Pack."

Here are a few of the topic covered by "Learn & Master Guitar" (go to their website for more detailed information): How to hold the guitar and pick, right and left hand positions, tuning, notes in the open position, basic music reading (for notes in first position), notes on the 5th and 6th strings (for barre chord and power chord placement), basic open chords (major, minor, seventh, suspended), barre chords with roots on the 5th and 6th strings, strumming (strumming patterns), finger picking, pentatonic scales (movable patterns for all keys), modes (movable patterns for all keys), advanced chords, playing the blues, basic techniques (bends, hammer-on, pull-off, vibrato, palm muting, etc.), advanced strumming, jazz, soloing.

The workshop portion of the DVD (and the extra workshops in the extended edition) are very effective in helping the student learn the guitar. It is like having your own personal instructor. The great thing about the DVD is that you can back up and repeat the instruction as much as you need. When learning the guitar as a beginner, our brains can sometimes learn something new in 30 minutes, but it then takes our fingers a week or more to master what we have just learned. When you go to a guitar instructor, you do not have the benefit of the instructor's help during that week of practice. With this DVD set, you can always replay the DVD to compare your progress against the instructor's playing.

Another great feature about this DVD course is the inclusion of "Jam Along" CDs. I converted these CDs to MP3 files, which I then play through a guitar amp or effects box (along with the guitar).

A teenager or adult will have absolutely no problem going through this course without an instructor's help. Most children will probably benefit from adult guidance. I read on the "Learn & Master" website that the home school version of the course comes with a booklet that is intended to help a parent guide their child through the course (even if the parent does not play guitar).

If you are concerned that your child's interest in guitar might just be a passing fancy, then get either one of the Fender "Getting Started on . . . Guitar" courses first. If, after that, your child has enthusiasm for learning guitar, then the "Learn & Master Guitar" course is your best course you can find. In fact, I feel that it is better than having a live instructor for the beginning guitar player.

Afterwards: There are some great guitar instruction videos available online. For example, search for videos from Berklee, Justin Sandercoe, Joe Satriani, and dolphinstreet. Justin Sandercoe has the best videos (that I know of) for learning string bending and vibrato.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an outstanding value and high quality guitar course, May 12, 2008
If you prefer to buy one curriculum of material that is well organized instead of a bookcase full of booklets that don't tie together very well, this is the course you have been looking for.

This starts from zero and teaches you exactly what you need to know to really learn to play guitar. You will develop knowledge and skills in theory, music reading, technique, variety of styles, etc.

The course is appropriate for beginner and intermediate level guitar players. Many who think they are intermediate level will find they are beginners when they tackle this course.

The course will take most people 10-14 months or more to complete, but when you are done you will be able to read music (treble clef, anyway), understand how music works (thoery), you'll have a basic understanding of acoustic and electric gear, some effects, what you need in an amplifier, and other basic gear. Most importantly, you will have learned how to play guitar, and will be able to speak, read and write the language of musicians, and will have the basis to take your playing into any genre and develop further. You will have developed technique for a variety of styles, and will be able to play notes, chords, rhythms, and actualy know what you are doing, and why.

The course is supported with an active discussion board and many users worldwide. Also blogs, a user sponsered yahoo site, user contributed materials, and more. The author participates in the discussion boards and answers questions as well.

It is well organized, the instructional design is very good, you can see where you are going (unlike with lessons) and you can do it at your own pace, at your own time. I'm not knocking lessons, they have their place, but I think this is an excellent way to learn to play guitar if you are committed to learning.

If you aren't, buy a tab book and plink out some notes you can't name. If you are looking for a magic potion or something that will turn you into a great guitarist in a month...sorry - that does not exist. Join the ranks of the guy who ranked this a "1".

The course is well done, not a scam, and highly recommended. It is professionally produced and a good value at the new price listed here of $229. I paid slightly less buying it on sale. I bought this new, it was worth every penny. Make sure you get the full course with bonus materials, they are worth the extra money. At around $200, this delivers what you might get from around $1000 worth of lessons. Google Learn and Master Guitar and make sure you buy it on "sale".

Update 2011 --
I have continued to play and learn and this is still the best music instruction course I've found for any instrument.

I noticed this listing is for the "Original Edition" which I think does not include "bonus sessions". See the learn and master guitar site and make sure you get the version with the bonus materials. The basic course is often on sale for $100 to $150. For $200ish you should get the bonus materials.

I have been taking Bass lessons recently and I am reminded that lessons lack structure and conceptual context, and are expensive. My prior estimate that this $200 course covers what you might expect to get out of $1000 in lessons -- is wrong. You get what you might get from $3000-$5000 worth of lessons. Buy the course and start here. THEN take lessons if you want to develop further.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gibson DVD & CD GuitarCourse, February 7, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Recently, I completed the 5th lesson of the Gibson DVC and CD guitar course. Overall, it is a great course. The instructor, Steve, is very talented and easy to understand. The guitar tips he provides are great. Thus far, I have learned a lot, and for the first time in my life, can read music.
At times, I do feel that too much material is covered in a single lesson and feel slightly overwhelmed. When this happens, I listen and follow the instruction in smaller chunks and practice until I master them. Other than that, the instruction is well packaged and presented.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you will need this + hard work, January 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The dvd's and cd's are great. The book is my favorite part of the package. For learning I really needed a printed book with a well planned songlist.

Don't buy this if your not willing to work hard. If you're not sure about learning, try other things.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Guitar Lesson Course There Is!, January 11, 2010
By 
Jamkou "jaykou" (Indianapolis, Indiana United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Learn and Master Guitar, Expanded Edition, Steve Krenz, 20 DVDs, 5 Jam-Along CDs & Lecture Book, from Legacy Learning (DVD-ROM)
I purchased this about 9 months ago but just started the lessons one month ago. It is the best lesson system I have ever seen. I already know how to play a little guitar and over the years have picked up many systems but found them frustrating and hard to follow or stay interested. This system feels like you are right there getting one on one teaching. Great exercises and workshops. The other thing that is attractive is that you start playing songs very quickly into this program and that keeps people interested and excited. Practice 15 minutes to a half hour, five days a week, and within one year, I bet you will not believe the skills you will pick up. I really have nothing bad to say about this lesson system. The DVDs are very well done, easy to navigate and follow along with the workbook. The price is just right as well. I finally found a system that goes along with my busy schedule. I am a surgeon who never had any time to sit and take grueling lessons. With this I can work at my own pace. Stick with it. I am definitely going to.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd Had this Course Years Ago, January 23, 2010
This review is from: Learn and Master Guitar, Expanded Edition, Steve Krenz, 20 DVDs, 5 Jam-Along CDs & Lecture Book, from Legacy Learning (DVD-ROM)
I've been playing guitar for nearly 20 years but have always been frustrated by my limitations. My only formal training was an intro guitar class in college and a few months worth of private lessons some time later. I taught myself to finger pick to an intermediate level but have never been very accomplished on lead playing and am not versatile at all. I recently stumbled across some info on the Learn & Master Guitar series on a couple of guitar websites and thought it sounded interesting. As I researched the course, I found it nearly unanimously praised and I eventually decided to bite the bullet and spend the $150 (it seems that the course is nearly always "on sale" on their website). I am so glad I did, just wish I'd had this course 20 years ago!

My problem has always been simple ignorance - I had no idea where to begin. This course does a great job of guiding the player from the most basic principals through to more advanced studies. The instructor on the videos is very warm and is a good teacher - he takes things slowly and methodically and explains everything clearly (and he is also a great guitarist). The course does a good job of keeping things dynamic, mixing theory with hands on learning and offering a number of different resources to help the learning process - the DVD sessions, lessons from the workbook, and CDs with accompaniment tracks to jam along with. The content is also quite diverse - you'll work on strumming, finger picking, soloing, chords, scales, rock, blues, and jazz styles, and on and on. The videos are well produced and have a really pleasant vibe. Each session has a suggested time period for mastering that session's material based upon an assumed practice schedule of 15-30 minutes per day. Some sessions may take a week, others a couple of weeks, etc. I think the time estimates are fair for beginners, though some more accomplished players and/or those with prior music theory knowledge may move more quickly through the course.

There are two real sticking points for this course in my opinion. First, your practice time will be self-directed, so lazy folks may not be motivated to follow through. I think this type of course is best suited to self-starter types who are disciplined enough to practice without someone else making them. A flip-side benefit is that you can learn at your own pace based upon your existing skill level and your time availability. Second, this course is pretty heavy on the music theory. For people who just want to learn some cool-sounding riffs and rock out, this course may not be your thing. This series really is about learning and mastering the guitar, and that cannot happen without learning some good solid music theory. This is a strength in my opinion but I know it will turn some others off (heck, I was a 10 year old kid taking piano many moons ago, and I remember how little interest I had in learning to read music!). Highly recommended if you've got the time and inclination to work hard - if that's you then this is money very well spent!

**1/4/11 Update: [...]
Another nice element of the course is an active online forum community. The instructor is fairly active in interacting with students in certain areas of the forum and there is much encouragement and help to be found there from other folks using the Learn and Master series. It's no surprise to me that Gibson picked this course up and branded it under their name - it's good.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is *NOT* the Expanded edition! Only 10 DVD's!, November 25, 2011
This is not the same as the expanded edition. The photo erroneously shows 20 dvd's when in fact the home school gibson edition is the same as the standard edition plus the extra teacher printouts and such. The bonus discs are NOT included in this package!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teaches the fundamentals, June 4, 2009
By 
C. Neitz "evoman" (Calgary, AB Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I started learning guitar from the esteban beginners course wich was more entertaining and fun.. you start learning songs imediately, but I found that I was lacking the fundamentals. I have friends who strum guitar, but can't read music and have allot of fun, but their playing is quite limited. I think it is worth it to learn the basics and theory which is what this course does. It is not easy and it may be a while before you impress someone with your playing so I might reccommend doing another course as well so that you have some fun while getting through the dry first part of this course, but it is still well worth it to work your way through this one. It teaches you what you would learn in school without attending school... also when you go to school, in addition to the cost of school, you would still have to buy a text book which this course includes.

I have to say that my guitar playng has come a long way and this course has helped me allot.
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