Jamorama Lead Review
Jamorama Lead Guitar is a series of lessons aimed at guitarists who have learned to play chords and read tab, who want to learn to play lead / solo guitar. It's a natural follow on course from the original Jamorama course, which is aimed more at beginner players. It's now part of their Jamorama Deluxe edition product.
All the course contents are provided by immediate download from the Jamorama Deluxe website members area.
Course Author / InstructorBen Edwards, the instructor and creator of the Jamorama series of guitar lessons is an experienced guitarist, teacher and performer, having had several years' experience playing lead guitar with a band callled 'DegreesK'.
Course Contents - What You Get
From the Jamorama Lead Guitar members area, you get access to the following resources and downloads:
Course Description - What's in the Lessons?
The core of the Jamorama Lead Guitar course covers the so-called CAGED System of lead guitar patterns, and puts these in context for playing solos and lead guitar parts. The E-book is split into 11 chapters:
Each lesson presents some theory about the different major, minor and pentatonic scale patterns, as well as showing and describing how to play a particular lead guitar technique (e.g. hammer-ons, string bends, etc).
Also, each of the lessons links to specific jam tracks, and includes the lead guitar TAB for those tracks. The lead guitar parts for the jam tracks have been designed so that they are appropriate for what you've learned so far in the course.
SupportSupport for Jamorama Lead Guitar is provided through some help pages on the members area, and also a support ticket mechanism to submit questions to the RockStar Recipes support team.
Overall - Our Verdict
The Jamorama Lead Guitar course gives a very good introduction and foundation to playing lead & solo guitar, with comprehensive coverage of the CAGED system. It assumes that you can already play the main open and barre chords, know the main notes on the fretboard, and can read guitar TAB.
If you're not yet at this level, since you purchase Jamorama Lead now through the Jamorama Deluxe course, you'll automatically get the full regular Jamorama course included, so you can use this to get up to speed easily.
The course lessons provide a good mix of written, video and audio content. I liked the way that each course chapter has a clear focus statement at the beginning, so you know exactly what it's going to cover, and what you should get out of it.
Also I liked the way each lesson presents some theory, but then also teaches you a specific practical lead guitar technique (e.g. string bends, hammer ons, slides) and combinines all of these in an appropriate jam track, making learning the content easier.
The jam tracks themselves are of good quality, and cover a nice broad range of styles. Having the two versions of each jam track, one with the lead part and one without, is useful, especially being able to reuse the one without the lead part to jam over with other lead guitar parts. They also seem to increase in difficulty too, as you move through the course, which lets you see how you're progressing.
I particularly liked the chord progression tool technique, which helps you work out the key a particular song is being played in. This is especially useful when playing along with a real band, and improves your ability to jam with others.
A couple of minor negative points, one is that although the video clips are referred to in the lesson text, you can't just click on them to bring up the video clip. This isn't too much of a drawback though, as they are clearly labelled, and you just need to have the folder containing the video clips handy on screen.
Another is that the video clips themselves are fairly basic, just showing each exercise being played once, at full speed. This is fine, in terms of linking up with the written lesson content, but it would just have been nice to see a bit more explanation happening in the video clips.
Finally, I felt that some of the jam tracks were a little short, it would have been good to have these be a bit longer.
Overall, Jamorama Lead Guitar gives a great overview of the CAGED system for learning the major / pentatonic scale patterns, and the main lead guitar techniques. It also does a good job of putting these patterns in context with some quality jam tracks. It doesn't go quite as in depth as Guitar Scale Mastery, but would be good for someone looking for an overview / intro to playing lead guitar.
Price and Guarantees
Jamorama's lead guitar course is now included as part of their Jamorama Deluxe Edition product. The price there currently is US$99.95. This includes their entire Jamorama standard rhythm guitar course, so you get all that as well. This version also includes a 30-day trial membership to their 'SongPond' site, where you can get video lessons on specific songs.
They have a 60-day money back guarantee on the course, if you decide it's not quite right for you.
For more info on this course, or to order, visit the Jamorama Deluxe website.