Song Xpress Guitar Videos
Classic Rock Vol. 1
- Aqualung INTERMEDIATE
- Long Train Runnin INTERMEDIATE
- Old Time Rock and Roll BEGINNER
- You Really Got Me BEGINNER
Song Xpress instructor Tommy Anthony is at the helm, and teaches four of the more popular guitar tunes ever written. "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "You Really Got Me" are both simple songs, so the bulk of the video is spent on the other two, more intricate selections. A good job has been done of paring down Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" to a single guitar part (from three or four guitars). The only problem with Classic Rock Vol.1 is there probably isn't enough time spent on the strumming patterns of each song to allow beginners to fully grasp how to replicate them. Additionally, Anthony strictly instructs viewers to only use downstrokes on "You Really Got Me", and then clearly uses many upstrokes while playing the tune 30 seconds later. These are all minor quibbles though, and this edition of the Song Xpress videos is still excellent. The pacing of Classic Rock Vol.1 is suitably methodical throughout, to allow beginner guitarists to participate fully.
Classic Surf Vol.1
- Miserlou INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED
- Penetration INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED
- Pipeline INTERMEDIATE
- Tequila INTERMEDIATE
Instructor Dan Warner walks viewers through learning several surf guitar classics, a genre of music that found it's way into some of the grunge music in the early 90's. This is a fun style of music to play, and can be harder than it looks! Several of the techniques (for example, the tremolo picking on the Dick Dale hit "Miserlou") can be rather challenging for even experienced guitarists to play well. Other tunes, like "Tequila", are a little easier, and provide a bit of relief. Warner does a good job of explaining each tune throughout, although be prepared; the pace of this video does move a little quicker than some of the others in the SongXpress series.
Heavy Metal Vol.1
- Crazy Train ADVANCED
- Paranoid INTERMEDIATE
- Rock and Roll INTERMEDIATE
- White Wedding INTERMEDIATE
This edition in the SongXpress series contains a nice varying selection of songs, well mapped out by instructor Dan Warner. There are some more difficult guitar parts here that are challenging for seasoned players, and make it a good choice for guitarists who already have a good foundation in barre chord and single-note playing. This might have been a nice video to include the guitar solos of each song (this, and the other videos in the SongXpress series generally avoid guitar solos), but they are left unexplained, most probably for the sake of time. No matter, there is plenty here to keep fans of hard rock and heavy metal busy for quite a while. One minor flaw: a few difficult strumming parts (eg. verse of Crazy Train) are glossed over by Warner with very little detail, likely because they would be quite difficult to explain. Nevertheless, this edition in the series is a whole lot of fun to play along with, and learn from.
Soft Rock Vol.1
- Danny's Song BEGINNER
- If INTERMEDIATE
- Melissa BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE
- Sister Golden Hair BEGINNER
This SongXpress release is a good tape for beginners looking to push themselves a little harder. While none of the tunes here should be insurmountably hard for beginners to learn, they are also not three chord tunes that can be learned in a minute. The gentle "If" is a great example of a song that isn't TOO difficult to play, yet sounds as if it is quite tough, and should provide guitarists with a song that they can use to thoroughly impress all their friends. Instructor Tommy Anthony thankfully deals a little more with right hand strumming patterns in Soft Rock Vol.1 than he does in most other videos in the series.
Inspirational Songs Vol.1
- From a Distance BEGINNER
- The Greatest Love of All BEGINNER
- Wind Beneath My Wings BEGINNER
- You Light Up My Life BEGINNER
There are some really nice arrangements of intricate tunes on Inspirational Songs Vol.1 that will make beginners sound very impressive. SongXpress instructor Magda Hiller does a very good job of explaining each song, and right hand technique is discussed more thoroughly than in many of the other videos. Hiller explains each tune slowly enough that even beginners shouldn't have to stop and review the tape many times in order to fully gather all the information they need to play the songs. On a critical note, there are several instances of chords being mislabelled (an Aadd9 is incorrectly called an A9; and at another point, a G/F# chord is called D/F#). Also, Hiller tunes her guitar down a half step on "From a Distance" in order to better accomodate her singing voice. So, in order to play along, viewers must also tune down a half step, which novices could find difficult. Still, if you're a guitarist with a solid ability to play barre chords, and a desire to learn these types of tunes, Inspirational Songs Vol.1 is certainly worth the investment.