TopTenREVIEWS - Silver Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Based on the bestselling book, Alfred's Teach Yourself to Play Guitar, our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winner, is the closest you can get to having your own music tutor. This guitar lesson software teaches both acoustic and electric guitar lessons with interactive video clips. Whether you enjoy the blues, country, folk, jazz or even heavy metal, you will find familiar music in the over 60 songs that Alfred includes in this step-by-step course.

This program teaches all of the basics – music notation, reading tablature, chords and scales. It also includes a playing by ear training program so you can learn to play your favorite songs without the sheet music.

However, Teach Yourself to Play Guitar lacks some important features such as left-handed instruction, rhythm lessons, and the ability to run repetitive loops.

Ease of Use
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8.8/10
Guitar Method
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar
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10
8.8
8.8
10
7.5
5
5

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar's lesson screen includes full-motion video and a handy navigation window on the left side. During a lesson, you can easily search contents, tune your instrument, look up chords, play a game, adjust settings or do some ear training. We found the unique scroll feature, which allows you to move quickly forward and back through the lessons, to be a convenient tool in finding the exact section you want to watch.

A noticeably missing feature in the program is a searchable music database. The 60 songs are only accessible through the lessons.

Feature Set
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6.3/10
Guitar Method
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar
Guitar Coach
ActionTab
Guitar Magic Evolution
D'Accord Guitar Method
Gitarrero Beginner
8.8
6.3
7.5
6.3
6.3
6.3
6.3

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar offers lessons through video instruction by a professional guitarist. Its accommodating interactive song player lets you adjust tempo, mix accompaniment audio and record. The built-in tuner and chord dictionary are easy to access and useful. This program also includes four games to add a little amusement to your learning.

As a bonus, an Essential Dictionary of Music is included which covers everything from definitions to theory to instrument and vocal ranges.

Although the program can track your playing through a piece of music, it only keeps up by the measure and not the note. It is also unfortunate that with all the songs and styles of music the software furnishes it does not have a song library to locate the songs anytime you want.

Ease of Installation
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10/10
Guitar Method
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar
Guitar Coach
ActionTab
Guitar Magic Evolution
D'Accord Guitar Method
Gitarrero Beginner
10
10
8.8
10
6.3
10
10

We did not experience any problems during the installation of this program. The only possible drawback is that the CD has to be in the disc drive in order to run the program.

Lesson Coverage
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7.5/10
Guitar Method
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar
Guitar Coach
ActionTab
Guitar Magic Evolution
D'Accord Guitar Method
Gitarrero Beginner
7.5
7.5
5
5
6.3
5
5

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar covers most of the basic topics needed to learn how to play the guitar including lessons on tuning the guitar, counting time, reading tablature and playing chords and scales. This product focuses on oral and visual instruction; it does not offer any written material for those that learn by reading.

The video lessons are quite effective, but, they are a bit short and do not cover subjects as in depth as some people may want. The lessons also do not teach intervals or rhythm.

Practice Tools
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7.5/10
Guitar Method
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar
Guitar Coach
ActionTab
Guitar Magic Evolution
D'Accord Guitar Method
Gitarrero Beginner
6.3
7.5
7.5
5
7.5
5
5

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar comes with a metronome to keep time and the song player allows the musician to adjust the tempo. The program has an animated fretboard and written music in tablature and standard music notation. It has an exceptional ear-training program that plays a sound and tests the students' ability to identify properly the exact note.

Although this program has the ability to record your performance, it cannot offer feedback regarding your technique. The only product we found that offers feedback is Guitar Workshop.

Help/Support
Compare
10/10
Guitar Method
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar
Guitar Coach
ActionTab
Guitar Magic Evolution
D'Accord Guitar Method
Gitarrero Beginner
10
10
7.5
8.8
5
8.8
7.5

Telephone and email support is available for Teach Yourself to Play Guitar. The navigation window supplies access to a 'How to Use this Program' section and a FAQ page is located on the products homepage.

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar Summary:
7.8/10

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar triumphs in the area of visual instruction. The combination of the full motion video with an animated fretboard gives visual learners everything they need to learn to play the guitar with guitar lesson software. The program is suitable for musicians of all ages and covers many popular genres.

This program hits the mark in almost all areas, but we really wanted to see more songs and lessons in a searchable database.

 
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