There are many gifted guitarists who make videos for students. I know; I own most of them. However, too many that are wonderful guitarists have no gift of teaching. It is like a brilliant mathmetician teaching class, but no one can pass the class. He does not possess the gift of teaching.
Stefan Grossman does.
This is an excellent set for those who wish to learn fingerpicking (I also strongly recommend Happy Traums Fingerstyle 1-3 from Homespundotcom; here at Amazon). Both teachers:
1. communicate in a non-threatening, non-ego, gentle manner. They encourage students.
Ever walk into a guitar store, have an employee with a haircut from the '80's demo a guitar for you with wild screaming licks, and then feel humiliated when he hands it to you? Well, this is not what you get.
2. Anticipate tough spots for students. A good teacher will instinctively know when to slow down, and in this case, when to recommend the Pause button: go and practice, and then come back!
3. Build "line upon line, precept upon precept". What this means is this: DO NOT skip any songs. Why not? Even if you do not like a song, DO NOT skip it. Grossman and Traum both have picked out songs that build upon each other. You will find that one song has a note sequence in it, perhaps a small and relatively easy one; and then the next song will be similar, but slightly more complex. As you progress through the DVD lessons, you will find that you are increasing in your understanding and your ability.
4. have real value. What do private lessons cost? $ per hour? What if you could take lessons from some of the countries greatest players? This is what it is like to "sit at the feet" of some of these great teachers. Herein lies the greatest value. Take for instance, Stefan Grossman's "How To Play the Blues" volume 1. This is in the Key of C. It is under 2 hours in duration. I have gone through it carefully, bit by bit, stopping to practice, and then "meeting" with Grossman for the "next lesson". This one DVD may end up equaling 6-12 weeks of private lessons, depending upon your level and how quickly you learn. THEN, perhaps a year later, you will find that you go back and review those same lessons, only know you have learned to add in your own touch (called "signature") and the DVD retains its value to you. This 2 DVD set may really end up equaling you months of lessons. How much would that cost you locally? Here it is about $40 for a single lesson, under 1 hour. If you take lessons once per week, in 12 weeks, you have paid $480. With the DVD here, you have saved yourself $440 AND can revisit it anytime you wish.
One more note about DVD lessons. You will find that if you are serious about learning, you will be spending a lot of hours "with" a teacher. If you do not like his demeanor, or personality, it will rub on you and you will be limited in your learning. If a teacher is overly in love with himself, for example, it does not work that way with me. You have to be comfortable with the teacher. On one lesson, Stefan describes his voice as "frog like" in a touch of humor. You can see him blush. He is a very humble teacher, who, like Happy Traum, seems to love to impart the music that they are so passionate about. It is contagious.
Just a few recommendations for teachers like this who have put out wonderful DVDs for guitarists, or, in Traum's case, will play the role of "host" to a player and he skillfully slows down the guitarist to help the student. I wholeheartedly recommend: Stefan Grossman, Happy Traum, Artie Traum, Pete Huttlinger, Ernie Hawkins, John Miller, John Sebastian, and a few others. Their web sites have video clips to let you experience the teacher to see if it is something you might like. If a personality suits you, go with it, stay with it, and learn. It is a rare gift to have men so incredibly talented musically, to also possess the gift of teaching. This DVD will surely example that to you!