Battle of the Beginner Guitar Courses DVD Courses

The holiday season sees more new guitar players than any other time of the year.  If you just received a guitar, you may be overwhelmed with all of the options for guitar courses.  There are thousands of different books, DVDs, websites etc to help you learn to play the guitar.

In my new series- “Battle of the Guitar Courses”, we'll be reviewing some of the best guitar courses on the market.

In this first installment, we will be looking at 3 guitar courses aimed at the beginner in DVD format.

First up is Nate Savage's Beginner Guitar System

beginner guitar system

Taught by instructor Nate Savage, the Beginner Guitar System is a 6 DVD, 4 CD, 1 Book course designed for the beginner.

Here are some highlights of the course-

Lesson Book

The spiral-bound workbook includes everything you need to progress through the entire Beginner Guitar System. It features examples of every exercise, scale, and chord covered on the DVDs. You'll get detailed explanations of each section, so you know exactly what to do next.

All of the play-along songs are fully notated out, so you can follow along with Nate while watching the instructional DVDs.

The lesson book is a great companion to use when you’re not watching the videos and as a refresher if you need to refer back to a previous lesson.

Lesson DVDs

lesson dvdsThe Beginner Guitar System contains 6 lesson DVDs.

The 6 Discs included can be broken up into 25-30 individual lessons.

The lessons start with basic techniques such as holding your guitar and proper hand positioning.

DVD 2 covers single notes and chords

DVD 3 covers scales and lead guitar

DVD 4 discusses theory

DVD 5 and 6 feature play along songs

Multiple Angles and On-Screen Graphics

lesson shot

Besides straight video each lesson uses on screen graphics such as chord blocks, sheet music and guitar tab to illustrate points. The video quality is amazing, and they have taken advantage of picture-in-picture technology to supply multiple angles for each lesson.


Play Along DVDs and CDs

play along dvd shotIt’s become some what standard practice for both guitar lesson dvd and online courses to provide backing tracks for practicing.

The Beginner Guitar System has gone one step further and created play along DVDs where you can see the full band playing on screen.

There are 10 songs available on the Cds and DVDs. On the CD there are 3 versions of each song. One without guitar, one without guitar but with a metronome track and one with the guitar part.

Each practice track covers a genre of music you’ll learn through out the course. The quality of the backing tracks is fantastic.

Online Support

An online support forum is available exclusively for owners of the Beginner Guitar System.


The video quality is fantastic with this course. This makes watching the lessons very enjoyable.  Its not as in depth as other courses but is a great start for the beginner.  Nate does a fantastic job as the instructor and the jam along section is a lot of fun!

There are 2 available options for the course- a $97 DVD option and a $77 online option.  If you would rather not have the physical discs, you can save yourself $20. There is also a 90 day money back guarantee.

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Next up- 6 Minute Guitar from

Dan Denley and the team at Guitar Zoom have put some of the most popular guitar courses out there and introduced us to the popular guitar instructor, Steve Stine.

6 Minute Guitar

The name “6 Minute Guitar” comes from  every lesson being approximately 6 minutes long and after each lesson you can practice till you got it perfect. Since this course is on 20 DVD, you can imagine how much material there is to learn.  This is a great way to learn as the videos are not long and learning in short frequent bursts will keep your motivation high.

The details:

It contains 20 DVD’s, one CD with 49 jam tracks, downloadable tab book and several bonuses.


The DVD is about the main basics:
– Parts of your guitar
– How to hold your guitar.
– Proper picking techniques.
– Choosing strings for your guitar
– Learning string names and numbers
– Tuning your guitar
– Using harmonics

– Proper hand positions
– Reading tabs
– Picking exercises

– Maintaining your guitar
– Reading chord diagrams
– Learning your first chords
– First chord progressions
– Finger exercises for faster picking and chord changing

DVDs 4 and 5
– Learning the notes on fretboard
– Simple strumming exercises in the three most important time signatures: 4/4, 3/4, 6/8

DVDs 6, 7 and 8
– Soloing with backing tracks

– Most important chords for guitar

DVD 10
– Most common strumming patterns

DVD 11
– Major scale in all seven positions, in all 12 keys, over the entire fretboard

DVD 12
– Seven modes

DVD 13
– Minor scales: Natural, Harmonic, Melodic

DVDs 14 and 15
– The #1 scale for guitar
– Guitar techniques like: Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, bends, Double-stops, Vibrato, Trills, Slidings, Tapping…

DVD 16
– Five different categories of barre chords

DVD 17
– Three must-know barre chord forms. Dominant 9ths, Minor 9ths, Altered Dominants.

DVD 18
– Learn how to recognize different chords by their type

DVD 19
– Fingerstyle: Finger Picking, Travis picking, Country-blues style

DVD 20
– The wrap up
– Three blues song forms: The Delta chug, The minor blues, The quick-turn blues
– Introduction to jazzy blues rhythm called the funky strut

For around $158 with free shipping and bonuses, this course is a real bargain!  Its great for beginners as it gives a taste of a wide range of topics from which a beginner can then branch off from.  Click the image below to watch some preview videos from the course


And Finally, Gibson Learn and Master Guitar

Gibson Learn and Master Guitar– Winner of the 2011 Acoustic Guitar Magazine Players Choice Award among others, this has to be one of the best courses out there for learning to play the guitar. Its got 20 DVDs, 5 jam along CDs and 100+ page book with free online support

This is a high-quality, step-by-step video instruction that takes you from beginner (or intermediate) all the way through advanced instruction. It is a complete step-by-step video instruction course that takes you from any skill level, even if you’re a total novice, through the advanced skills training used by the pros. Not a beginner? Just skip through the basics and jump into the more advanced training. Here are some Free Guitar Sample Lessons from the Learn and Master Course.

This is a monster course.  I dont think there is a more complete course out there.  It covers more topics and styles then any other guitar lesson dvd and has to have at least a year’s worth of lesson content.

Course instructor Steve Krenz has the perfect demeanour for a self study program. While he doesn’t rush through topics he takes care not to over explain either. If you’re ready to make the commitment of the recommended 20-30 minutes a day to learning and practicing the guitar, this course is perfect.

The course book and jam track cds are the perfect companion to the dvds and round out the whole package.  All are really high quality.

Some people may be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the course.  20 DVDs is a lot of material but remember, guitar playing is a journey and the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar course is definitely a journey.  I think it has to be the closest thing to getting a year’s worth of private lessons as you can get.

Price wise, its right around $149.  That might seem like a lot but for the amount of material you get and how long it will take to get through it, its a bargain!

Be sure to check out the free Gibson Learn And Master Guitar App for iPhone, Droid, and Intel as well.

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