Hands-On Review:eMedia Blues Guitar Legends Lesson CD-ROM


Blues Guitar Legends Lesson CD-ROM


The best way to learn guitar from the legends is one-on-one. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to one-on-one lessons with the legends, especially with those blues legends who left this mortal coil long ago. In place of those private tutorials, however, comes the "Blues Guitar Legends" lesson CD-ROM from eMedia.


The CD-ROM format is perfect for practicing musicians, and eMedia has been a leader in the field of guitar instructional CD-ROMs for years. The "Blues Guitar Legends" disc is yet another in a line of superior products from this Seattle-based developer.


Listen and Learn, Watch and Learn

"Blues Guitar Legends" allows guitarists to listen to the original artists performing 10 classic tunes (including B.B. King's "The Thrill is Gone," the Allman Brothers Band's "Statesboro Blues," Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Crossfire," Freddie King's "Hideaway," and six more), then see exactly how the song is played using multiple layouts, including music notation, tablature, and on an animated fretboard in real time. Metronome functions also allow for slowing the tunes down to accommodate easier learning. Too cool.


Graphic and Audio Excellence

The eMedia graphic team has really nailed it with this product, including nice magazine-style layouts of full-length artist biographies and text-based lessons for each song, not to mention the high-quality work they put into the animated fretboard, which can be manipulated by the user for best viewing angle. It is this fretboard that most users will spend hours with, and the learning experience it generates is unmatched. And the sound coming off this disk is, of course, CD quality, so even when you're not working on the songs with guitar in hand, you can listen to them on any audio-only CD player.


The sheet music and tablature can be referred to in static format, or used dynamically, with highlighting of the notes as they're played, and even better, through looping, which helps players learn difficult sections. And don't forget that metronome function mentioned above: the tempo of any song can be adjusted to slow down Stevie Ray's or Buddy Guy's more blistering licks.


And That's Not All

The eMedia "Blues Guitar Legends" package also includes an automatic tuner that allows electric or acoustic players to tune by playing into a computer microphone, full and simplified versions of each song along with MIDI tracks and looping features for ease of learning, and a recorder that allows the player to record their own tracks. And you get all these features in one nifty CD-ROM package for a mere $29.95? Compare that to the price of private lessons. www.emediamusic.com


- Austin Moca