Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Review: Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class (DVD)

For Sierra's 8th birthday (at least, I think it was her 8th birthday?) she desperately wanted a guitar. We bought an acoustic child's size one with booklet and CD for a semi-decent price. However, it went relatively "untouched" after the initial "unwrapping" ceremony.

Fast forward to Abby. On a warm summer's day, she decided to "teach herself". (Because by then we'd lost the booklet/CD. Ahem.) She spent several hours strumming away in the sun while a gentle breeze blew through her long hair. (All that was missing from that picture was a crown of flowers and dancing squirrels.) Then about two weeks later, the fascination was over.

Shortly thereafter, Ethan was bitten by the "I'm gonna be a rockstar" bug. A "bug" that passed through him with the same unfruitful results. :o/

Now they play Guitar Hero and think they're uber-cool. (Oooo! Talent!)

All of this unnecessary preamble to say, when we received a copy of Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class Volume 1 on DVD for review, I had some seriously high hopes. I was sure that this program would provide the necessary "spark" for someone in this family! And I was right....(sly grin)

Jean Welles Worship Guitar Class provides step-by-step instruction in beginning acoustic guitar. The lessons are taught by Jean herself, in a very sweet and gentle manner. The first lesson--which covers parts of the guitar, proper tuning, reading notes and understanding chords--culminates with students playing "He's Got the Whole World" with just two notes! (Pretty impressive!)

Granted, it does take awhile to get the finger switching down, so you may find yourself starting/stopping the DVD player a lot as you go along. (We certainly did!) Not only that but if you're doing it right, playing the guitar kinda hurts your fingers. From what I've been told by professional guitarists/musicians, you have to build callouses up on your fingertips in order to play without pain. But until then? Yeah. It's gonna be rough. :(

Volume One contains 7 lessons and songs that you can progress through at your own pace. Song titles include:

  • He's Got the Whole World
  • My All In All
  • More Precious Than Silver
  • Take My Life
  • Lord, I Lift Your Name On High
  • This Is The Day
  • I Love You, Lord

The entire course consists of four DVD's (28 songs, 50 chords) that provide instruction in both English and Spanish (that's Spanish subtitles--not spoken Spanish). A companion book is also available for each volume.

You can purchase each DVD for $24.95, each companion book for $5.95, or a DVD/Book set for $29.95. Bundle packages are also available and range in price. (Click here for details)

The website comes equipped with free video clips (including the first lesson), helpful articles and more.

Personal Thoughts:

The children tried several lessons but have no desire to continue. Playing the guitar simply isn't their thing. But remember how I said I was right about this sparking someone's interest? Well, that someone happens to be my husband! Dean absolutely LOVED it! In fact, he's considering ordering the rest of the course for himself. (Who would've thought?!)

Overall, I found the course to be a good product for beginners. The lessons are short 'n simple to understand (read: not overwhelming), yet progress fast enough to foster a sense of accomplishment. If you don't have access to private (or group) music lessons, this is a decent alternative.

If guitar isn't your thing, you may want to check out their nifty looking Christian Drum and Percussion course! (You know...for Grandma's house. Wink-wink)

I give Worship Guitar Class 1.5 thumbs up; Dean gives it a high five and a resounding "Woohoo!!" The kids give it one thumb up :)

* As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received this product for free in exchage for an honest review. No additional compensation was provided and my opinions are strictly my own.*

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