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My No-BS Unlock the Guitar Review:

When I first visited the website for the Unlock the Guitar course, I couldn’t help but notice the large banner that claimed I would be able to improve my guitar skills 150% in just one weekend! If you know anything at all about playing the guitar, you probably have the same negative reaction that I had to such a statement. Becoming a good guitarist takes a lot of hard work and commitment, and anyone who thinks they will make significant progress in just three days will be sorely disappointed.

While I was tempted to turn away in disgust and give up reviewing the product right then and there, I decided I would stick with it and examine the materials to see if the company deserves the benefit of the doubt. My conclusion…not really. Here is what I discovered.

Course Components:
The author of this course is Jared Crebs. He has been a guitarist and teacher for many years and says he was motivated to produce the course because so many of his students were frustrated trying to learn to play by following traditional methods. Unlock the Guitar is available as an ebook which can be accessed online right away, or as a traditional, spiral-bound lesson book that will come in the mail. The electronic version is considerably cheaper than the other, so most people will probably go that route if they choose to invest in this program at all.

The book claims to teach students some unique muscle memory techniques that will drastically cut the learning curve for novice guitarists. I believe that you do need to train the muscles in your hands and fingers to become a good player, but I have serious doubts that there are any “secrets” to the process. All musicians need hours and hours of good old-fashioned practice, and there is just no way to get around that.

The course also claims to provide enough pictures of people playing so that you can avoid tiring your muscles as you practice by adopting the proper posture. As anyone who has ever played guitar can tell you, it is a very physical pastime, and you need to start slowly to build up calluses on the fingers of your fretting hand and become comfortable holding your instrument. Good posture might help, but this does not happen overnight, or even in one weekend.

The Unlock the Guitar course does offer one thing that probably would be helpful to beginners. There are a lot of short audio clips called “Press and Listen” files. These start with chords played slowly one string at a time so that you can hear what each note of the chord should sound like. They don’t have to be downloaded, and can be heard by simply clicking a button on the website. Someone who has never played before will be able to match his or her sound to what is played in the file. The files progress to include some riffs and rhythm patterns for students to imitate. It’s always good to listen to someone demonstrate what you are trying to learn, so these segments may aid some people.

Bonus Materials:
There are several bonus books that are included with your purchase of this course. The first is a “Perfect Chord Chart” which claims to reduce your frustration with learning chords because it shows pictures of the hand positions needed for each chord as well as a traditional chord diagram. I guess that might be useful, but seeing a video demonstration or taking lessons from a live teacher has got to be a better way to learn a proper hand position. Next comes something called “Beginning Singing Techniques” that promises to help you overcome stage fright and even “tone deafness.” I think that anyone who could solve those two problems by simply publishing an ebook would become an overnight millionaire. Alas, I am sure that it is just not that easy. Finally, there is a book called “150 Popular Songs with Four Chords or Less.” This one might actually benefit a beginner who is tired of playing the same songs over and over but does not know many chords.

Jared Crebs says that he has had students of all different ages learn to play the guitar by using his course, and the website is full of so-called “unsolicited testimonials” from these people. Everything I know about learning the guitar tells me that the most that can be gleaned from this book is a very basic knowledge of a few introductory chords. This is a perfect example of a time when something that sounds too good to be true really is.

As you can tell, it is my opinion that there is not much in this course that is worth your money. It is a lot of hype and hyperbole, and cannot deliver on all the promises it makes. If you are looking for a quality course that really will help you become a good player, try my top pick, Learn and Master Guitar by Steve Krenz. It uses DVD video lessons to instruct players of all abilities in many guitar styles. It also has an active members’ web forum that provides support and feedback. It is the best course you can find at any price. To read my full review of this dynamite series, click HERE.

To your success,

Crazy Dave

 

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

 

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