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My No-BS Guitar Alliance Review:

The Internet is chockfull of guitar teaching programs, all a little bit different in aims and methodologies. Guitar Alliance is a site claiming to take you from never having held a guitar to playing “serious rock and roll”. It is a member’s only website that has material pertaining to every skill level and both electric and acoustic guitars. There is a wealth of information at this website, and it is organized into a couple of specific groups.

Topics Covered:
When you first join you are directed towards the Guitar 101 section of the website, a great resource for beginning players. Included in this section is information on how to tune the guitar, read tabs, practice and most of the basics of playing the guitar. Another section is titled Technique. Here you will find out how to fingerpick, strum, warm-up, and you can even get a free metronome software download. There are also sections called Jam Tracks, and Licks and Phrases, which work on improvisation, phrasing, soloing, and interpreting popular songs. Testing is a section where you can put your new skills to work listening to different open string sounds, chords and key signatures. The forum is a rich resource for guitarists to ask questions, get tips or just chat with each other. The last section where an aspiring rock star should stop is called Riff-o-matic. This is a program that teaches you how to play popular rock songs. In this library are such hits as “Vertigo” by U2 and “Witchy Woman” by The Eagles. There is a sample program that comes with the membership called Riff-o-matic Lite; the full program has to be bought separately.

This is a site that should help every guitarist from beginner on up improve their playing. What I liked about this program is that they don’t hit you over the head with music theory. They also don’t force to do mind-numbing drills for days before letting you play actual music. With this program you can actually choose your own sequence of how you want to learn. That kind of freedom can cut both ways, though, as some beginning students might get to the point where they don’t know what to do next. Another thing I especially liked about Guitar Alliance is the Riff-o-matic program as it made it easy to learn some of my favorite popular tunes. The Riff-o-matic library is immense and the program is easy to use, though the fact you have to buy it separately does take some of its luster away.

The striking negative about this website is its total lack of video. Almost every other comprehensive guitar web tutorial at least attempts to provide some video lessons. I could not find a single video lesson on the Guitar Alliance site. This is a huge disadvantage to people, like me, who tend to be more visual learners. Also the website doesn’t offer guitarists the ability to slow down audio clips, which can be frustrating if you have trouble making your guitar sound just like the ones you hear on the recordings. Guitar Alliance is an Internet only entity, which is a decided negative if your computer has connection/bandwidth issues.

Bonus Materials:
In addition to the basic course, Guitar Alliance throws in a few extras with membership. There are, in fact, ten different bonus items that the Guitar Alliance people list on their website that come along with a membership. First is access to a large collection of MP3 jam tracks that can be downloaded off of their website. You also get 50, printer friendly charts of all the important chords, scales, etc. There are two books of songs called E-Z guitar collection, one for acoustic and one for electric. The fifth bonus offered is a bit unusual, Kenny Mann the architect of the Guitar Alliance website, promises to respond to all of your personal inquiries via the community forum. That seems like quite a commitment. They also throw in Riff-O-Matic volume 1.That’s fifty songs worth of material and also 50 classical transcriptions. Also included in the bonus section are fingerpicking lessons, and a tutorial on how to play lead guitar. Last but not least Guitar Alliance offers an upgrade from the yearly membership to a lifetime membership free of charge.

All in all Guitar Alliance is a very good resource for all guitar players regardless of skill. The combination of the wealth of content, easy to use web controls and extensive Riff-o-matic program make this one of the better guitar tutorials on the web. The people at Guitar Alliance must believe that, because they offer a 90-day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee on their product.

I, however, don’t think this is the best way to learn to play the guitar. The startling lack of video coupled with the dearth of any content outside of the World Wide Web puts the Guitar Alliance a couple of steps below the flagship of guitar web tutorials. Learn and Master Guitar is the best product you can find, and has an extensive DVD collection that you can watch without being connected the internet, as well as Jam Along CD’s that get you started playing with a real professional band. To learn more about this top-quality program, check HERE.

To your success,

Crazy Dave


...I'm off to the Guitar Licks!


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