Yesterday I was flipping around the tele and decided to check out what was on the On Demand TV channel. There's a great free service they have called Mag Rack, which the cable company bills as a video magazine rack. In particular there is a set of programs called Guitar Xpress, which is a bunch of free guitar lessons for everyone from the beginner on up. They have shows on getting started, chords, and how to play songs, etc. It's pretty cool, and it beats paying for guitar lessons.
So I decided to check out one program in particular called Basic Soloing. It was great. As sort of an intermediate-beginner, I have become interested in how to add a little spice to my guitar playing, more than just practicing chords, and I have been unsure of how to proceed. I know improvisation and good guitar solos depend a great deal on scales, but which ones to learn? This program showed me everything I needed to know to get going. I was playing and improvising with some basic blues scales in minutes, and since the show was On Demand, I could pause and rewind as often as I needed. What a blast!
Now I know nothing can replace regular lessons with a good guitar teacher, but when your budget is tight this Guitar Xpress thing is great. I can honestly say that I can take or leave digital cable, cable in general, and even television all together. This is the first time since Sesame Street and maybe the occaisional Nova or National Geographic special that the television has given me real value for my dollar. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an Am Pentatonic blues scale to practice.