Fender Presents Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar — A Guide for Beginners offers a good demonstration on the basics of playing acoustic guitar.
While the DVD titled “Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar,” the material is not specific to acoustic guitar playing. In fact, most of Keith Wyatt’s demonstrations are shown with an electric guitar.
This DVD would be a good choice for the complete beginner who will be starting guitar without a teacher. Pre-teens may need some adult guidance, but teens should have no problems grasping the lessons. After a lesson on tuning the guitar, Keith Wyatt clearly explains and demonstrates the mechanics of:
- Forming Chords
- Playing Single-Note Lines
I like the video’s approach to teaching chords. The first lessons describe how to play the simplest two-note (power) chords. From there lessons progress to teaching major triads, then minor triads, then dominant seventh chords.
The video format is to present a three- to four-minute lesson. Then students are directed to practice the material against the backing tracks. The backing tracks are professionally recordings with bass and drums. They offer a nice, lively accompaniment for the student to practice with. Another nice wrinkle, these tracks can be set to loop continuously.
After the chord section, the lessons teach single-note playing as based on the minor pentatonic scale and the major pentatonic scale. Keith Wyatt describes how to play notes smoothly in “legato” style. He also offers some ideas for improvising single-note lines by varying the rhythm.
The DVD concludes by demonstrating how to add hammer-ons, and pull-offs to single not playing.
What I like about Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar:
- Good presentation by Keith Wyatt. He clearly explains and demonstrates the lessons.
- Nice keyboard graphics to display chord fingerings and scale fingerings.
- Keith Wyatt offers some good tips and suggestions for playing and practicing the lessons.
- Lively backing tracks with looping capabilities.
- I like the approach of teaching chords by building from two-note power chords up to four-note dominant sevent chords.
- It’s a good source of information for someone who may have just bought a guitar and asks, “What do I do now?”
What I don’t like about Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar:
- The video is not really specific to acoustic guitar playing and could be a bit misleading.
- A final lesson on how to apply the lessons learned would be helpful. For example, how to play along with a simple song book, or suggestions for learning guitar with method books.
I can recommend Fender Presents Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar as a good starting point for a beginner who is learning guitar without a teacher. By itself the DVD will give the beginner enough basic material for several weeks’ worth of practice. Once completed, the student should have no problem continuing with simple songbooks or a level one method book.