If you've always wanted to learn guitar, this course makes it easy

Ellen McAlpine, CNN Underscored
Updated Fri May 22, 2020
You'll learn how to read music for guitar and even how to pick up on what's going on musically, just by listening.

If learning to play guitar is your new project or something you've always wanted to do, the Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lesson bundle from the CNN Store could be just what you're looking for. This $29 bundle covers all of the guitar essentials (guitar not included).

You'll get nine courses that break down techniques, music theory and different music genres. By the end, you'll have moved from beginner to advanced levels of guitar playing. The price of the bundle is great, considering the amount of information and material you're getting out of each course. There's just one instructor across the courses, so you won't be thrown off by suddenly encountering different teaching styles. The course is straightforward and to the point, to help you achieve your music goals. We went hands-on to check out this bundle and we have to say it did not disappoint.

The lessons

Over nine courses, Dan Dresnok will take you through the basics of reading music, hand positioning and strumming, all the way up to guitar techniques that you've seen your favorite musicians employ.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lesson bundle covers pretty much everything you'll need to know. Over nine courses, Dan Dresnok will take you through the basics of reading music, hand positioning and strumming, all the way up to guitar techniques that you've seen your favorite musicians employ. The course will train your ear to know what it's hearing. We like that the course bundle covers so much information, since there's so much to learn when it comes to playing the guitar like a pro.

The courses are broken down into video segments. Some videos, like the ones in the Guitar Lessons for Curious Guitarists course, run from 10 minutes to about 53 minutes. For lessons like this, you'll need to set aside much more time to learn a specific skill set, rather than maybe watching two or three videos at a time.

All of the lessons are taught by Dresnok. If you like his teaching style, you'll be happy to find him every step along the way. He approaches lessons with a sense of ease and explains things thoroughly. You'll see him with his guitar and a small whiteboard. Throughout lessons he'll switch back and forth from playing the guitar to outlining things on the whiteboard that you'll need a visual to understand.

If you scroll down from the videos, you'll find visual aids for what you're learning in each lesson. We liked that the course offered both video and PDF learning tools. This gives you the opportunity to go deeper into understanding things and really take your time with learning. Most of the PDF files you can view are short and straightforward. For example, guitar music looks different from music written out for the piano. It's nice to have not only the videos (where there are visual depictions of what you'll find on the PDF) but also a more detailed picture of what you're going to be encountering throughout your guitar playing experience.

Genres and jams

These courses break down techniques and tactics for approaching these genres. It's really neat that the bundle offers courses with such specificity.

You'll learn not only guitar techniques and skills, but how to play guitar within specific genres of music. There are three genre-based courses: Bluegrass for the Curious Guitarist, Blues for the Curious Guitarist, and Jazz for the Curious Guitarist. These courses break down techniques and tactics for approaching these genres. It's really neat that the bundle offers courses with such specificity. You'll be well rounded when it comes to playing music, and you'll have been exposed to styles you may never have heard before.

Of course, these lessons start with some basic information you'll have learned in earlier lessons. Things like scales, chords, and strum patterns will be reviewed. These are basic guitar techniques that you'll find change up a little bit, depending on the style of music you're playing. Once you get through adapting your fundamental skills to the genre you're playing, the video lessons dive deeper into classic rhythms, runs and short songs. You're getting the full experience and exposure to guitar playing and music.

There's also a course in the bundle to help you learn to jam, a cool skill to master. Jamming is improvising, without any sheet music, while playing with other musicians. If you know other people who sing or play instruments, learning to jam can mean collaborating with them on new music. The Guitar Jam Method course breaks down what you'll need to know. The video lessons in this course are organized by keys. You'll have already learned how to play scales, strum patterns, and other simple techniques. Here you fully combine your music theory knowledge with your guitar playing knowledge to come up with cool new music. Jamming is a perfect activity to pass the time at home and involve friends who play instruments.

Bottom line

You'll learn how to read music for guitar and even how to pick up on what's going on musically, just by listening.

The Ultimate Beginner to Expert Guitar Lesson bundle from the CNN Store is a great purchase if you're looking to build a new skill from the ground up. The course is only $29, which is an awesome price considering the amount of instruction you're getting, plus lifetime access to it. You'll be learning everything from the most basic skills to the most advanced — from how to read music for guitar to how to pick up on what's going on musically, just by listening. We like the bundle's consistency of instruction and found the videos to be comprehensive and easy to watch and listen to. We liked that you're getting both video instruction and hard copy images to coincide with what you're learning. If you've got a new guitar, or one that's been sitting around for years gathering dust, now is the perfect time to pick it up.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed prices at the time of publication.