IplayMusicWhat could be more fun for the holidays than a pink guitar? Not much, says Joy, who found her inner folk singer when we got a pink electric guitar from At first, the lessons threw Joy for a loop, but after an hour or two the frowns turned to smiles, and she says the lessons really rock (or “folk,” if you prefer).

A bundle with lessons, amplifier and an electric guitar sized to fit a young person’s hands and reach lists for $200, the same as the adult electric guitar package. There’s also an acoustic guitar with lessons lists for $100 to $130. (An acoustic guitar is the traditional instrument, the kind that has been around for centuries.) These seemed like very low prices to us, so we went to a busy local guitar shop to check things out. The owner said the prices were very low but the guitars were medium quality and a little difficult to tune. We had in fact broken a string trying to tune it. He replaced the string and tuned the guitar for us for a dollar.

The best thing about the iPlayMusic video lessons is that you can put them on “Loop” and let the teacher keep repeating himself until you get it. That’s something you can’t do with live lessons. After you learn the first three chords and a strumming pattern, you’re ready to play Sloop John B, popularized by the Beach Boys. Then it’s on to the Beatles, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley and others.

Fretlight guitarMust be because of the season, but a couple days after the iPlayMusic guitar we got another one for review from This one had LEDs that light up to show you where to put your fingers. The lessons start at the beginner level, and there are video lessons as well as software,  but much of the software goes way beyond the beginner level and seemed very complicated to us . You can get an adult-sized FretLight guitar plus software for $200.

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