Review: Lick Library's Learn to Play Lynyrd Skynyrd
(Chris Bereznay | Posted 2009-03-26)
A few weeks ago we received a copy of the new Lick Library: Learn To Play Lynyrd Skynyrd DVD for review. My original thought was that I was going to need a whole day or at least a whole evening to play around with the video as I couldn't really fathom how I could just spend a few minutes here and there with it and come back to it on another day and finish the review - so naturally I procrastinated. After several more days of monkeying around with other gear, and swearing to myself that I would make time, I finally stood up to my busy schedule and sat down with the video. First steps first, though, so I tuned up my Strat for some serious jamming.
As soon as the DVD spooled up, I was immediately impressed by the easy to navigate menu system and the way the lessons are broken down into sections and "passages" in chapters on the DVD. This really made it quite easy to spend a smaller block of time over the course of a few days to learn some of my favorite songs from Lynyrd Skynyrd and gone were my fears of investing large blocks of time that I didn't have to devote to the learning process.
Without actually trying this product out, it might be hard to believe that the experience could be relatively easy and uncomplicated. You might assume that you'll be grabbing for the remote or your computer mouse every thirty seconds, but in reality the pace of each lesson and passage is just right. What's more, having Danny Gill (a former student of Joe Satriani) across from you on the screen is like having a guitar teacher ready to show you each note in painstaking detail, with the patience and willingness to let you mess it all up and rewind a hundred times if necessary. Danny is easy to understand and the hand positions are easily discernable, which really makes this format invaluable as a teaching/learning aid.
Featured on this specific video are Freebird, Sweet Home Alabama, Simple Man, Tuesday's Gone, and Gimme Three Steps - literally five of Skynyrd's best jams all on two DVD's with step by step lessons on how to play each song. There are over three hours worth of lessons in the set. Based on what we've seen in the market, this is a common arrangement for Lick Library DVD lessons, so you can expect more of the same if you choose lessons relative to another band or group from this publisher.
In summary, although you can learn at your own pace with the Lick Library DVD's and the lesson material is excellent, my guess is you'll end up somewhat frustrated if you aren't at least an intermediate or advanced level player with a basic understanding of positions, chords, and techniques such as hammer-on's, pull-off's, multi-string bends, finger picking, etc. If you fit into this target market, though, what you're getting is a really great deal on some fantastic guitar lessons. At the time of writing, the cost of the set is 24.99 GBP, which converted to dollars for those of us on the other side of the pond comes out to about 36.50 USD. For three hours of lessons, in most major cities in the U.S., you could pay up to $120 USD! Given the professional instruction included here, and the fact that if you purchase the set, you are learning exactly what you want (not Mary Had a Little Lamb or Beethoven's 5th), the Lick Library DVD learning experience is a great way to further your portfolio and skill set.