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My No-BS Review:

" Metal and Shred Heads Welcome!"

If you are a guitar student and have a dream of being able to play like Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, or Jimi Hendrix, I think you may be interested in a guitar course called Metal Method. The basic lessons are taught by Doug Marks, who is an experienced guitarist and teacher. His course consists of instructions in six stages. Doug began producing short video lessons as far back as 1982 and eventually combined them into a full DVD course for students who want to learn the solos and licks common to metal music. The MetalMethod course has been completely revised over the last two years, and now I think it feels up-to-date, and cutting edge.

Who will benefit?

While MetalMethod is designed to appeal mostly to fans of hard rock and metal music, the techniques taught would also benefit guitarists who are into blues or classic rock. In other words, if you want to play lead guitar, this course will help you reach that goal. The series starts at the very beginning of learning guitar, so no experience is necessary for a student of the course. If you are a lover of the acoustic guitar, you will find some techniques that will help you learn, but I think you should know that all the lessons are demonstrated on an electric guitar by Doug Marks. Some parts of the course apply only to electric instruments, so I don't really recommend this course for strictly acoustic players.

The course consists of six DVD Stages. Each Stage has four lessons that are intended to last about a week. Therefore, a beginner can expect to cover the material within six months with diligent practice and consistent study. That does not mean that you will be a pro after half a year of study, but you should have the basis you need to keep building your skills and a good place to review the fundamentals.

As you are practicing, Doug Marks recommends that you record yourself playing the exercises. Then listen to the way you play. If you can honestly say that you sound like a pro and are playing perfectly, proceed to the next part of the course. If you hear any mistakes, you need to keep working on the material at the current level.

The Lessons

All the lessons follow the same format, which has Doug Marks beginning with an introductory talk. He will let you know what to expect from the upcoming lesson, and what topics will be covered. Then, Doug will demonstrate the techniques for the day with close-ups of both the right and left hands. At the end, there is a guided practice session where you can play along with the instructor and try to sound like him. The plan is for you to return to the material throughout the week until you can play the songs and drills without mistakes. Then you are ready to go on to the next lesson.

As an example, the first two stages of the MetalMethod course are designed to be used by beginners. Stage One covers topics like buying a guitar, tuning your guitar to the instructor's, tuning your guitar to itself, understanding 4/4 time, and an introduction to reading tablature. Stage Two teaches the student to make smooth chord transitions, understand power chords, play several types of scales, and use many different strum patterns.

Stages Four and Five are the parts of the course that really focus on becoming a lead guitarist. They teach you about improvising, adding harmony, using vibrato, and developing techniques like slides, bends, and muting. Stage Six gets into the music theory you will need to increase your skills and guitar knowledge.

Animated Tabs

I think the animated tabs that come with MetalMethod are an interesting addition to the course. If you are used to reading tablature, you know that its disadvantage is that you cannot tell by looking at the diagrams just how long you should hold each note. You need to be familiar with the song in order to figure that out. The DVD course has animated tabs that pop up during each lesson. You see the tab diagram along with a little blue line that lands on each note or chord and shows you how long to hold it. It's a pretty clever way to help students learn a new song.

You can purchase each DVD separately, or save some money by buying them all together. MetalMethod's website also offers some other products that you can purchase in package deals with all or part of the basic course. This may be especially beneficial if you have some experience with guitar and don't need to go back to the very beginning. If you want to focus on adding some great metal solos to your repertoire, you can read the descriptions of each part of this course and start at the point that will benefit you the most.


Overall, I think that Doug Marks and his course can teach you what you need to know to develop your skill as a lead guitarist. His instructions are clear, the course is well produced technically, and the information he covers is just what an aspiring lead player needs to know. If you really want to play like Jimi or Eddie, this is the system that can help you reach your goal. You can click the following link to visit the official Metal Method website.

To Your Success,

Crazy Dave

I'm off to the Guitar Licks!



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