Drummers are the heart and soul of a good band, but I guess guitarists have their place. So now you understand my bias. I'm not a guitar player, but I've watched them play over the years and I've even enjoyed it. I've even considered, off and on over the years, learning to play myself. The DVD Easy Guitar Scales seemed like a good one to add to my collection of instructional videos.
It was a well done educational video. As with any instructional video, I couldn't follow or recall everything the first time through. It will require additional viewing and lots of practice. The tutor doesn't really rush through the material, but if you're not familiar with the guitar and nomenclature it's tough to follow. At least it's not boring, though.
There are no explanatory notes, such as which string is which, what a fret is, how to place fingers, how to tune. This video assumes a basic knowledge of these things. So be prepared. What I really liked about it was that it didn't contain any fluff at all. It gets right down to business as soon as you hit "Play." We see a solid shot of a man holding his guitar and a voice over begins to explain the first scale, the C major. We watch his fingers work on the frets. There is musical notation on screen. Simple and effective.
The video reviews major and minor scales and how they form the basis for certain musical styles; it discusses key changes, half and whole steps. They also cover patterns in a variety of musical styles and cultures. If you haven’t quite appreciated where scales and keys and octaves and such fit into whatever musical style you prefer, this video may very well alter that. So, it’s not just for learning to play scales on the guitar; it’s musical instruction as well.
It was actually much more informative than a Peavy DVD I’ve also got. Being able to focus on the guitarists finger positioning and the accompanying tab is useful. Additionally, the scales are demonstrated at different tempos.
The DVD is distributed by MJS Publications and the guitars were provided by Gibson – and if there is a guitar that’s got my favorite tone, it’s a Gibson. This DVD was produced last year and MJS has since added more titles to the Guitar Scales series.