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My Electric Guitar employs the same successful formula as its siblings which means that anyone who is familiar with any of eMedia's other instrument titles will feel very comfortable with My Electric Guitar. It allows the user to learn the electric guitar at his or her own pace while moving through the game.
My Electric Guitar is organized into lessons which work like pages in a book. There are about 60 lessons included in the game, which will help the user master the basics of the electric guitar. The idea is that once the program teaches the basics, the user will then be able to read music and understand most of its notation, allowing them to be able to pick up most songs and play.
My Electric Guitar is narrated by an animated guitar named Rocky who leads the user through each lesson. He provides a voice which reminds the user about various techniques they should be working on, or what new information has to be known about the next lesson. A lesson typically consists of one of a few possibilities. It can be a song, an exercise to practice chords or techniques, a new technique that needs to be learned, or a short game that tests the concepts of the previous lessons. There is a lot of material packed into these 60 lessons, and with enough discipline to learn and practice, My Electric Guitar will do a great job teaching the basics of the electric guitar.
My Electric Guitar obviously focuses on teaching the user how to play the electric guitar. It spends most of its time teaching the basic chords and fingerings necessary to play most songs, as well as going over some of the techniques that are important to playing (such as the palm mute, hammer ons, or power chords). It is fun and easy to follow, with many tools to help along the way.
In addition to Rocky's explanations, there are a number of other features that aid in the learning process. Every song or exercise includes an audio option, this plays the song while highlighting the notes as it goes along. In addition, an animated fretboard will pop up that illustrates finger positioning on the frets for each note of the song. Probably the most helpful feature is the inclusion of video guides. These supplementary features explain and illustrate many of the new techniques introduced. These show a live human correctly performing the new techniques in order to reduce confusion and reinforce the learning. With all of these features, every new concept is reinforced multiple times by text, pictures, sounds, and video.
Several other less obvious though no less important features are included in the game. A tuner is available that listens through the computers microphone, to tune the guitar. In addition, many small games interspaced throughout the program keep kids interested and ensure they are learning the material as they progress through the game.
Rocky, the animated guitar, is the star of the game. He is fun and upbeat and is able to capture the attention of kids where a regular teacher might have difficulty. It starts off very slowly, explaining the basics of the guitar, what each part is called, how to hold it, how to set up an amp, and how to pick correctly, among other things. My Electric Guitar soon settles into a rhythm that will become familiar to the student. By the end, the student will have learned a variety of essential techniques and fingerings allowing him or her to play most simple rock songs. Another great feature about My Electric Guitar is that the focus of the program is squarely on rock. Since they know that these are the songs most kids want to play if they are learning electric guitar, it teaches everything from AC/DC to Black Sabbath and more, allowing kids to feel more connected to the songs.
As complete as this program is, it cannot give feedback tailored to each individual. Therefore there is no way to ensure that the student is not forming bad habits or is playing correctly. It would be wise to have a teacher check up on them from time to time to ensure that they are correctly learning what they are supposed to. In addition, My Electric Guitar would also work great as a supplemental tool to regular lessons. Kids might be much more willing to practice with Rocky there to guide them, than simply playing out of a workbook on their own.
My Electric Guitar is very simple to install. It has an autorun feature included so all that is required is to pop in the CD and to follow the onscreen instructions. If a child is at all familiar with the computer, they would have no problem with this. The navigation of the game consists only of two arrows on the bottom corner of the screen, one leads to the next lesson and one goes back to the previous. It is simple and intuitive which allows anyone to use the program effectively. Unfortunately, this does mean that My Electric Guitar progresses at the user's pace; therefore it does take discipline to spend the necessary amount of time on each lesson. It may be tempting to simply move on when one grows bored of a lesson as opposed to when they may actually be ready.
My Electric Guitar is a great way to learn the electric guitar. With this novel learning tool provided by eMedia, learning to play is easier than ever. My Electric Guitar is a smart choice for any student.
PC: Windows XP/Vista, Pentium II or faster cpu, 64 MB RAM, CD-ROM, sound card .return to top of page
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