If you've never touched a guitar before, eMedia Guitar Method v5 makes the guitar approachable. With the help of guitar instructor Kevin Garry, Ph.D., you can learn how to play guitar with over 180 simple lessons and over 70 songs. This technical guitar lesson software teaches you the difference between each type of guitar, how to string the guitar and, as you progress, how to read music. The software includes some interactive tools, like a digital recorder, a listening tool and a tuner, but it lacks any kind of progress tracking or interactive feedback. Still, with a strong focus on fundamental playing techniques, Guitar Method is a great resource if you are picking up the guitar for the first time.
When you're looking for guitar lesson software, the most important aspect is the number and depth of the lessons. For beginner guitarists, Guitar Method offers 10 chapters with more than 170 lessons to teach you everything you need to know about the guitar. Beginning with types of guitars and moving to basic hand placement, this guitar software makes you comfortable with your guitar.
When you're ready to learn how to play songs, the software teaches you how to read tablatures and standard music notation. You can switch between the two as you like. While the software does not track your mastery of the subjects, it does bookmark your progress. If you need to take a break, you can always come back to it and pick up where you left off.
Unfortunately, a few crucial skills are missing. You will not learn how to improvise or play by ear, and the software does not teach scales, hammer-ons or slides.
Guitar Method has a good range of practice tools, including a metronome and the ability to loop and adjust the tempo of different sections of songs. Whether you're having trouble with the bridge of a song or you don't understand a lesson, these tools let you keep trying until you get it.
This guitar lesson software includes a digital recorder so you can listen to your practice to identify trouble spots. However, it does not have the tools to help you compose or mix your own music or to add accompaniment. It also lacks interactive games found in programs like Rocksmith, which can be a great tool for making you more comfortable with your guitar. In place of interactive feedback, you can use a listening tool that highlights notes as you play them correctly. It does not tell you when you've played a note incorrectly, and it does not offer tips for improving your techniques.
Guitar Method has all of the extra features we look for, including left- and right-handed settings. It has a chord dictionary that provides finger positions and audio samples for more than 250 chords. It also includes a digital tuner that uses your computer's microphone to listen to each string. This tuner only works for standard tuning, though, so you'll have to use another tuner to experiment with alternate tuning styles.
Guitar Method includes a comprehensive in-program manual, a help section and a troubleshooting guide. The help section includes a link to technical support and contact information. Customer support is available by email and telephone.
If you're picking up a guitar for the first time, eMedia Guitar Method v5 offers a wide range of lessons and songs to teach you the fundamental skills you need to start playing the guitar. It uses several excellent features and tools, including a digital tuner and recorder, but it lacks progress tracking. For learning crucial basics, like reading music and positioning your hands correctly, Guitar Method is among the best guitar software you'll find.