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Reviews of Guitar Breakthrough DVD

Reviews of the DVD

David Hodge: (Editor GuitarNoise online guitar magazine)
David Hodge

Len Collins' Guitar Breakthrough "It's here to show you the solutions to all your problems and musical worries" Taking up any musical instrument is a challenge, to say the least. And in an age where we tend to think in terms of moments, it's very easy to conveniently forget that knowledge of any sort is not something we achieve spontaneously. It has to be discovered, absorbed, processed and then used repeatedly in order to become part of our lives.

Despite knowing this, there are no end of websites, books, tutorial CDs and DVDs which proclaim that, with their assistance, you can become a virtuoso guitarist in a week, a day, an hour, thirty minutes. Whatever.

This is one reason why Len Collins' Guitar Breakthrough DVD is a bit of a breath of fresh air. Len understands that learning is a lifelong journey. He even addresses this on one of the pages in the Resource Materials section of the DVD, saying, Guitar Breakthrough is not a teach yourself to play guitar program. It's here to show you the solutions to all your problems and musical worries.

The Guitar Breakthrough DVD consists of seven lessons spread out over the course of three hours on this two disc set. Essentially, you get to sit in on these lessons as Len works with either Collin or Matt, who are at various stages of development in Len's program. At the conclusion of each lesson, the scene changes to two young guitarists, Rob and Alex, who are jamming at home and conveniently putting the skills learned in the lesson just passed to practical use as they work on songwriting and arranging.

Len's teaching style is comfortable and disarming. He's the eccentric uncle at the family table that is both good for a laugh and for pearls of wisdom. Because what Len is trying to teach (more on that in a moment) is usually presented so cut and dried, there are all sorts of minor entertaining moments, usually brought onscreen by animation. And there's a bit of a storyline, too, just to keep you both entertained and on your toes, involving brothers in bands, sisters who are sisters, nuns who make sandwiches and other objects of affection. Seriously.

While all this silliness is going on, though, you find yourself learning. In Fretboard, the first lesson, Len starts out by teaching the notes of the fretboard and does it quickly and painlessly. It's a bit scary how easy it is to learn and you also have to wonder why people make such a big deal about not learning them.

But this is part of the dichotomy of the guitarist. It is certainly possible to learn the instrument without knowing notes, without reading music, without doing anything but copying what someone says. People often spend more time arguing why they don’t have to read music than it takes to learn how to! Len understands this and tries to provide his students with reasons for learning and, for the most part, he's good at this. The lesson on Reading Music is clear and concise.

The ultimate goal of Guitar Breakthrough is to give you enough knowledge, enough musical tools to take you to the point where you can improvise and solo. So once the first two lessons are under your belt, you move on to Scales,then Chords (the four basic chord types), then Chords with Hats (suspended chords, sixths, sevenths and so on), Modes and then the final lesson, Expected Changes, which deals with the non-diatonic chord progressions one often runs into in music.

This is a lot of material. Just about all of Guitar Breakthrough is about using your brain, along with practice, gets your hands to the point where you can play what you hear. And, correctly, Len spends much more time on building that foundation than on all the things you'll see and do once you've got the tools to work with. In other words, this DVD is going to help get your head in a position where it can help your hands, and get them both on the same page.

To help with this, each disc has a section labeled Resource Materials. There are over three hundred pages of resource material. A lot of the pages are reaffirmations of what you've learned in the lessons. There are also ready-made charts of chords, scales and other charts that are all discussed in the actual lessons.

If nothing else, going through this DVD may make you have enough of those slap your forehead moments and send you back through all the other books and DVDs you've collected because you've suddenly figured out how everything fits together.

Guitar teachers may want to give this a go as well, and let Len do some of the work for them!

In short, while Guitar Breakthrough may not cure all your music worries, for a lot of people it will carry them through to a point where they can start to make better progress.

As long as it doesn't make you dream of nuns delivering sandwiches, you should be alright.


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People say such nice things... 

Just out of interest.
I spent 3yrs at college learning music and music performance.
I also attended evening classes on modes and workshops with well known artists including a Blues weekend on the Isle of Wight. And a weeks residential course with the European blues association at Exeter University but never really learnt this stuff. Why don't they teach it properly like you do! Why don't they teach it properly like you do!

I bought the DVD from after seeing a clip of it on youtube.
It's an extremely good instructional DVD, the best one I've used! A unique view of music reading brings creativity and knowledge together all in one lesson.

Great fun, with loads of information to read and to play along to!
Learning the note names, that was a big leap in my playing. Also, the relaxed, 'guitar lesson' setting was great. Watching the DVD also improved my mandolin, banjo and ukulele skills.

Excellent. The user-area is extremely useful and easy to use. It's great to be able to print the course material and go through it in slow time.
The DVD is a goldmine of information which is presented in a very creative and enjoyable manner. I think the Eureka moment within the DVD is when you so eloquently describe how the natural chords for a scale come from its modes.

Review posted on
This is an excellent. Unique DVD suitable for all guitar players wishing to understand how to play correctly which in turn, enables you to achieve the results
you want! The teaching is done in such a manner that you feel you are the actual pupil in the DVD. It's a fun way to learn. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to begin learning or just wishing to improve on the knowledge they already have. Excellent value!


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Steve Blason 

This is an excellent easy to view, laid back and clearly explained DVD.  There is a simple philosophy in life that anything you strive to achieve and more importantly excel at then it is fundamental to learn it absolutely right from the onset. As you then progress armed with a completely solid correct base it leads you to a higher competence and far more proficiency. This is entirely true and applicable to both learning to play and playing the guitar. This is where this DVD succeeds.

The DVD has no false claims or cliches such as: "Learn to play in a day"..............Simply you can't!,  "The fretboard solved in an hour"........That was also not possible! "This book gives you the knowledge and notes for you to be a great guitarist"............It was all in Tab.....Another £20 down the drain...........but I'm sure I wont be the first or last to have bought into any of the above!

What this DVD does is lay down a very firm but also a very versatile foundation of guitar playing and musical knowledge.  As with anything the DVD in itself is not a magic wand in providing instantaneous proficiency. It still requires a firm personal commitment combined of course with many hours of practice . However what you do get by combining your time with the knowledge that the DVD simply and cleverly explains is an unlimited and unrestricted knowledge base to progress into literally any musical genre and style.  Quite simply the whole musical 'mystery' is very simply and practically unraveled leaving absolutely no boundaries whatsoever to progress to whatever level you want.  If you want to learn the guitar properly and have the platform to be truly great .......then very simply this DVD is it.


Stanley Leonard (US guitarist)

"Great DVD - Suitable for all ages and all abilities. This well laid out and easy to view DVD not only allows you to understand all aspects of reading and playing music but also shows others going through the same learning process.  Anything that you do not understand on first viewing can simply be replayed and viewed again or help can be found in the resource material section.
Stanley Leonard 
The first thing that I can say about the Guitar Breakthrough DVDs is that they are easy to watch. To date this has been the only Instructional video that I have been able to enjoy from beginning to end. With every other video I have felt an obligation to watch it.

I began playing guitar at 19 years old and am now 23. In four years I have taught myself the most challenging playing techniques that many considered to be the gateway to virtuosity. I could sweep pick, string skip, and tap all night, but I knew nothing about theory. Guitar Breakthrough takes the musician from the ground up. I was able to relearn my instrument without starting over. 

Thanks to Guitar Breakthrough I can say the notes that I am playing almost as quickly as I can play them. I can translate tabs into chords and sheet music and easily determine the key of a song. I can write harmonies for almost anything a fellow guitar player can shell out. Guitar Breakthrough is a MUST HAVE for your learning arsenal.

I started taking lessons a few months ago, and at the end of the year my instructor asked me if I would be willing to teach for him!

With Guitar Breakthrough I was able to grasp the concepts that I found to be either bothersome or impossible to learn in a way that was fun and informative. Everything on the video was explained in a manner that could be easily understood, without insulting the intelligence of the viewer.

I want to compare this product for a moment to Doug Marks Metal Method. The Metal Method DVD Series is considerably longer, and much less entertaining than Guitar Breakthrough.

The theory presented in Metal Method is explained in TAB,in which there is no real learning compared to traditional sheet music that is taught in Guitar Breakthrough. In just seven lessons with Len Collins I have taken more steps towards to becoming a better musician than I did with 6 DVDs with Doug Marks.

Guitar Breakthrough is considerably less expensive, more entertaining, and more informative. In all ways Guitar Breakthrough is a wiser purchase.

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Free Online Users Area

Free access to the Guitar Breakthrough Users Area when you buy the DVD

As a bonus, registered users of the DVD can login to the incredible Guitar Breakthrough Online Users Area, 400 pages of totally free to use, print, download and keep Guitar Breakthrough facts and knowledge. Also included in the Users Area are original articles to read and posters for you to download and get printed.

The Guitar Breakthrough online Users Area is the perfect companion to the twin DVD box set. Plus a direct email link to the author Len Collins who will reply as soon as possible. Len cares about the progress of every one of his guitar students.

Written by Len Collins. The Guitar Breakthrough DVD will encourage you from basics to brilliance

7 unique guitar lessons that accurately recreate the relaxed, friendly and humorous way professional guitar tutor Len Collins teaches.

All 7 lessons are suitable for Beginners, Intermediate and Professional guitarists

Copyright © Len Collins Guitar Breakthrough 2004