Having a private guitar tutor is undoubtedly the top method of learning to play the instrument competently, but the fact of the matter is that many people cannot afford the financial outlay that private tuition brings. Others may not be able to put aside enough time each week to practice what they have been taught, resulting in a frustrating repeat session the following week. For these people, properly structured video lessons would be an attractive alternative.
The most important concept when learning guitar is to have a structured plan to your practicing. It’s all very well learning bits and bobs from YouTube or studying your favourite band’s songs using dodgy tab sites, but this is a very slap-dash way of learning guitar. A properly structured course will help you to advance at the fastest pace possible and will ensure that you don’t miss out on any key ideas or develop bad techniques.
Metal Method Complete Basic DVD Course
I never had the luxury of being offered lessons when I started to play, so I spent some time on the internet researching learning materials and ended up purchasing the Complete Basic Course from MetalMethod. For the price of two or three private lessons I had all of the material I needed to learn guitar from and I had the joy of being able to progress at my own pace – I loved it!
Doug Marks has been running his Basic Course series for almost THIRTY years now and after feedback from students the course has seen several revisions over the years. The result is an incredibly polished series of lessons which will take you from knowing basically nothing about guitar to a very high level of competency. Rusty Cooley started to learn guitar using the MetalMethod course and if it’s good enough for him it is most certainly good enough for everyone else!
And don’t let the name put you off either. Although primarily aimed at teaching you how to RAWK, everything taught in the course is essential to all styles of music – not just rock and metal! The skills you will learn from Doug are the building blocks for a successful career in any genre…
The Basic Course is split up into six different ‘stages’. Here is a quick overview of the course but I encourage you to check out the website for more detailed information and video samples. Stages are available separately if preferred.
Stage One and Two
The initial two stages will assume that you know absolutely nothing about guitar whatsoever and start at the complete basics. Topics such as how to tune the guitar, how to fret a note, how to hold the pick and other beginner concepts are covered. You will also learn simplified chord shapes that are easy for a beginner to finger.
Stage Three is aimed at the advancing beginner to intermediate level guitarist and begins to cover lead playing techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs and bending strings. You will also learn the minor pentatonic scale across the entire neck.
Continuing on from Stage Three, Doug will now teach you some more advanced techniques such as vibrato, tapping, harmonics and string muting. You will also learn the natural minor scale across the entire neck.
By the time you reach Stage Five you should be a fairly competent guitar player and Doug will continue to hone your skills by emphasising improvisational skills in this section. This stage will teach you several leads which are then broken down and explained in detail in order to help you write your own solos.
The final stage in the Basic Series aims to tie everything you’ve learned together to make you a well rounded player. You will learn how to play by ear, understand how you favourite songs work and recognise chord progressions. Modal theory is also taught in this stage.
Help Is At Hand
If at any point you become perplexed with any of the material help is only a few clicks way! Head over to the friendly MetalMethod Forum where hundreds of other students and instructors will be more than happy to help you out. It really is the next best thing to actually having your own tutor sat next to you.
Where To Next ?
Once you’ve mastered the Basic Course and are ready to sign your first record deal there are plenty of other more advanced courses available from MetalMethod, including lessons from world famous shredder Michael Angelo Batio! The world is your oyster with MetalMethod!
I’ll tell you right now that if it wasn’t for Doug Marks I would not be playing guitar today
For more information:
The Complete Basic Course