Amazing Guitar Secrets Review
Amazing Guitar Secrets is a DVD based guitar learning system and companion web site. The lessons are intended for beginner to intermediate guitar students while the website provides printable materials and a customer support area. The lessons are instructed by Memphis based musician Dan Denley who holds degrees in music and claims to have been in over 10 bands playing all over the state of Tennessee.
We ordered the basic package for $47.00 which includes the following:
- A 2 DVD set featuring 17 video lessons
- Access to a website that has nearly 400 pages of guides
- The “Amazing Guitar Secrets Guide Book”
- Guitar Theory Made Easy
- Quick and Easy Way to Play Rhythms
- 20 Strength & Agility Exercises for Guitar (w/ 20 audio samples)
- 30 Ready to Play Chord Progressions (w/ 30 audio samples)
- Minor Scale Mania (w/ 30 audio samples)
- Mastering the Major Scale (w/ 10 audio samples)
- How to Solo with the Major, Minor, & Blues Pentatonic Scales
- A Course Progress Tracker
- Access to 49 online video tutorials covering various aspects of guitar playing
- Guitar Codex chord and scale training software for PC or Mac
The premium () package provides all these materials in a printed manual. Also included in the Gold package are a 30 page guide “Advanced Chord Progressions for Guitar” as well as a CD with 30 Jam Tracks to practice along with. The Gold package upgrade makes the course a total of $97.00.
The first Amazing Guitar Secrets DVD covers the expected basics like guitar familiarization and reading tablature. Of special note was the time spent improving the beginners finger strength and dexterity. From there it’s straight on to tuning, common chords, and riffs. Along the way Mr. Denley often uses popular music to remove some of the dry formality we’ve seen in other guitar courses. He shows compassion for the beginner’s experience which can be crucial to motivating new students. By the time the first DVD is complete. New guitar players will have good familiarity with the mechanics of playing the guitar, and a comfort level that will allow them to tackle the stylistic concepts yet to come.
On the second DVD and the student will jump right into trills, minor scale tone, and barre chords. This allows even more song playing with the basic strumming students already know. We would have liked to see more instruction on strumming here, as just enough is taught to advance the student to the next lesson.
From there exercises with the pentatonic scale improve the students musicality and dexterity setting them up to learn even more advanced techniques. Mr. Denley’s relaxed nature keeps the mood light and easy as tougher concepts get covered. Finally the course moves on to bends, vibrato, hammering, tapping and tremolo picking. Once the student has mastered the basics of these techniques they’re confidence should be soaring.
This course should take roughly 30-40 days to compete with the included practice materials.
Each lessons video is in DVD format using the 4:3 aspect ratio (not widescreen). We were also able to get the DVDs to play in our PC’s DVD player. The video quality and titling are less than spectacular but don’t take away from the quality of Mr. Denley’s instruction.
The audio clips are in standard .mp3 format. They should play in most computers built in the last decade. The audio clips can be played independently or downloaded in batches enabling full offline practice.
The guides are all in Adobe Reader (.pdf) format and are also downloadable for viewing offline.
There is an online forum for Amazing Guitar Secrets students with roughly 2000 members. We’ve seen several posts on this forum by internet spammers selling many things you might not want your children to see. We’d advise that users avoid the forum till this gets fixed.
Extra Tools & Features
Amazing Guitar Secrets includes a plethora of extra manuals on the accompanying website. Also on the website were instructions for downloading and installing the “Guitar Codex” chord and scale training application. We found this to be helpful if unspectacular.
The course also includes 49 video tutorials that cover various technical aspects guitar playing. Skills like “How to Read Chord Charts/Diagrams”, “How to Play Major 7th Chords”, and “Playing Rhythmic Patterns” are covered. We found it helpful to have these videos ready along side of the DVD to repeat whenever necessary. Keep in mind many might not have access to a computer, television and practice area all at once though.
Student support is provided via FAQ, phone and email. At the time of our review the forum looked like it needed more moderation as we found quite a bit of spam throughout the forum threads. This however does not take away from the functionality of the course materials themselves.
Amazing Guitar Secrets costs $47 dollars for the standard package and $97 dollars for the Gold package (which includes the Jam Tracks CD, and a full printed manual). Dan Denley is also selling a package called “Guru Guitar Secrets” for $47 dollars which looks to be an updated version of AGS.
Payments can be made with your credit card or PayPal account. Access to the website is granted immediately.
Amazing Guitar Secrets offers a better than most full 90 day money back guarantee. It’s no questions asked, simply return the DVDs for a refund.
Amazing Guitar Secrets represents a yeoman effort in the learn-at-home guitar lesson space. We were most impressed by the presentation by instructor Dan Denley. We also enjoyed the plethora of extras. All course materials were downloadable and therefore portable. Students will be able to take their lessons on the road and continue learning in the way that many internet courses do not allow. Amazing Guitar Secrets is a solid if unspectacular guitar DVD course.
Note – If a DVD course best suits your needs we recommend
Gibson’s Learn & Master Guitar which can be had for as little as $49.00 up front.