Emedia Guitar Method 4 - Review

Emedia Guitar Method 4 - Review

Emedia Guitar Method 4 - ReviewA complete resource for any aspiring guitarist

Pros: Impressive level of detail. Good multimedia tools. Practical approach. Recording feature.

Cons: Slightly dated interface. Clunky navigation.

Bottomline: A well-specified educational tool that strikes the right balance between theory and practice.

Manufacturer: Avanquest

Learning to play a musical instrument is a painstaking process, so any piece of software that makes it easier is a valuable resource.

The formula behind Guitar Method 4 and similar programs is largely just an evolution from traditional printed guides. As such, the core material is a set of lessons that aim to take you from bumbling beginner to musical master. Where this kind of software lives or dies, however, is in how well it utilises sound and video, and here Guitar Method does its job well.

As you would expect, all practical examples provided in the lessons can be listened to by clicking on a button next to the text. These are numerous, and the quality and clarity of playback is good. Then there’s the chord dictionary, with images and audio to support each chord. There are also 50 videos to illustrate technique and styles in ways that text and static images can’t.

More impressive is the ability to record and listen to your own playing within the program and tune your guitar (provided you connect a microphone to the computer). Other worthy features include the choice between three audio playback speeds and the ability to view and learn songs in either traditional musical notation or guitar tablature.

In essence, then, there’s nothing sensational here, but this is a program focused on doing the simple things well. A total of 160 lessons is about as methodical as you could hope for, and the multimedia elements don’t come across as tack-on extras to support the printed lessons, but rather as the basis for the lessons themselves.

At every turn, features are rich and generous, and there’s little evidence of corner-cutting. Our only criticism is aimed at the program’s interface and navigation, which feel about 10 years out of date despite claims that it has been improved. A slick and crisp redesign, and a move towards a more browser-style navigation system, would do this program wonders.

As it is, though, this is a criticism of style, not substance, and we’re under no illusions as to which is more crucial. Overall, then, Guitar Method 4 is a highly recommended guitar instruction package.