My family received a copy of Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class Volume 1, the DVD and the Instruction Book, to review as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew.
This was very fortunate for us, as my older son wished to learn how to play the guitar. My son has no experience with the guitar, nor any other musical instruments, aside from a brush with the drums. So, beginning with Volume 1 was a perfect match. The only prior experience with an instrument I have is the piano. The guitar is new to both of us.
Although, you can purchase only the book (this would really be to buy additional copies for a class), we received the DVD and the book for Volume 1 for Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class. I would not encourage someone to only buy the book and try to learn how to play from it. It does not seem to be designed for that, but to be used along with the instructional DVD.
The DVD follows the lessons in the book, but adds more depth and instruction, starting with an introduction to the idea of worship music and the parts of the guitar. With the DVD, comes with a small booklet with simplified notes as to what chords to play during the lines in the song. The larger lesson book contains more detailed instruction with the actual sheet music.
The lessons include:
- How to Hold the Guitar and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
- “My All in All”
- “More Precious than Silver”
- “Take My Life”
- “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”
- Right-Hand Position and “This is the Day”
- “I Love You, Lord”
- Left-Hand Exercise
On his own, my older son looked at the first couple of pages for the book as an introduction to the course. Then, he watched an introduction to the course on the DVD. From there, he moved onto the first and second lesson. He was able to understand the instruction about the parts of the guitar and the placement of his fingers for the first two chords. But here is where he ran into trouble. As I said, he has no real experience with instruments. He does know that the musical notes for the first song in the book have different lengths and different sounds depending on their placement on the scale.
So, when it came time for him to start strumming the guitar strings and alternate playing the two chords that were demonstrated, I am afraid he got lost and somewhat frustrated and discouraged. I sat with him and showed him the little pictures above the words and scale that showed him where to play each chord. He then understood what he was supposed to do. But, this is where I had trouble understanding. The notes on the scale had different lengths and were different than the notes you played as you sang the song, but you strummed with the continuous same beat, and only changed chords where there was a picture above the scale. The only indication for us to change chords was to notice the words we were singing at the time we saw the picture up above.
This program seems to either assume you already know the song or you can sing the song according to the sheet music presented or this program wants you to be able to play right away and forget about trying to read sheet music for the moment. Being the sequential people we are, we felt like we must have skipped a few lessons and dove right into something we didn’t really understand.
I did appreciate, as I do believe music is a great form of worship and praise, Jean Welles’ introduction to learning to play the guitar and music as a form of worship.
I think this guitar class is great for those people who just want to know how to play songs and are familiar with the melody or can read sheet music to sing the melody. It starts out with a couple of chords and moves into different types of strumming or finger-picking methods and more chords. So, it does build in complexity as you move along and are able to get right to playing the guitar without getting bogged down with music theory.
There are different volumes for different levels of playing: Volume 1 is indicated as Beginner/Intermediate, Volume 2 as Intermediate/Advanced, Volume 3 as Intermediate/Advanced/Expert.
Each Lesson Book/DVD combination pack is available for @29.95, with other pricing for packages of multiple volumes.
If you are looking for guitar instruction, you can find more here about Worship Guitar Class.
To read what other reviews by the TOS Crew, visit the Homeschool Crew.
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