We’d all like to make quick progress on the guitar.
But quick progress will never replace a solid foundation.
In this review of the Keith Urban Player Guitar Set, we’ll look at whether or not you should use this method, but also show a few other options that will help you build a solid foundation of playing.
I’ll explain exactly what you get with the set, who it’s designed for, and also cover some alternatives for those looking to take their guitar playing to the next level.
Let’s jump in!
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What to Know About Guitar Instruction Methods
Every beginner guitarist is looking for a way to improve his or her skills quickly, and that's the promise Keith Urban makes with this set.
If you're a complete beginner—someone without a guitar or any knowledge of how to use it—you'll probably learn a lot.
But if you know anything about playing guitar or already own one, this isn't for you. Go ahead and skip down to the better alternatives below.
Keith Urban promotes the set as focusing purely on songs and ignoring most other guitar techniques. Before buying it, make sure you're happy with this method of instruction.
What The Keith Urban Player Guitar Set Has to Offer
The kit is advertised as being 50 pieces!
That's an enormous number for a "guitar learning kit".
So let's break down exactly what you get.
The first three pieces are a guitar, strap, and case.
The guitar is said to be hand-designed by Keith. While it looks nice, most reviews online complain about the quality of the instrument (we'll talk more about reviews in a minute).
It isn't a bad choice for a beginner, but if you're going to be playing for years, you'll need to upgrade.
It also comes with 17 accessories like a cleaning cloth, adjustment allen wrench, eight picks, six strings (one full set), and a chord chart.
Some versions also include a capo. These aren't the highest quality accessories you can find, but again—they'll do the job if you're just starting.
The last 30 pieces are the instructional DVDs, called 30 Songs in 30 Days.
Each lesson teaches a new song (15 by Keith Urban and 15 classics).
What You Can Get Out of the Keith Urban Set
If you're just starting, the Keith Urban Player Guitar Set has a few nice benefits I'll list here.
But if you're not starting from scratch with your guitar knowledge, you're best served looking at the alternatives below.
It's a Great Starting Place for Your Gear
The kit comes with a lot of accessories you'll eventually need as you develop your guitar chops. And let's be honest—it's a lot easier to buy the gear all at once than piece by piece.
If you're a complete beginner, this can be handy if you aren't sure which brands and type of guitar accessories would be best for you yet. As you continue to learn and improve, you'll probably want to upgrade most of the gear, but it's an excellent starting place.
This is a Guitar Set with Lots of Star Power
Let's face it:
If you're a Keith Urban fan, there's nothing cooler than playing the guitar he designed while he teaches you how to play it.
The guitar is heavily branded with Keith Urban—it says Urban on the headstock near the tuning pegs, and has the logo between frets. If Keith Urban is your thing, this is your guitar.
You'll Quickly Learn Classic Guitar Songs
If your goal with the guitar is only to learn songs, the instructional DVDs in this kit are perfect for you.
Keith has stated himself that the kit doesn't touch on theory, reading music, or anything other than songs. So if you're just looking to know a few classic songs by memory, this can be a great place to start.
Make Exciting and Fast Progress
Every guitarist wants to make quick progress, and this set is designed exactly for that purpose. Each lesson teaches the most basic chords you need to know.
Guitarists the world over know that a handful of chords give you the ability to play dozens of songs, and the instructional program takes advantage of that effect. After just a few hours of learning, you'll be able to play a lot of songs.
If you're just starting, this can be exciting and keep your motivation high.
It's Recommended for Beginners
If you're intimidated by complicated music, this can work perfectly for you. It's also a good solution if you're buying it for someone else (especially a child).
The program is designed to make guitar playing easy, and it skips over anything that's too complicated or difficult. If you're just looking for an introduction to the instrument without needing to read music, you can get the basics of guitar with this set.
Where Can You Buy It?
This is available on the official website, however it's usually listed at a cheaper price on Amazon. Check the current price here.
Mixed Reviews: A Mediocre Guitar with Helpful Beginner Instruction
The reviews online are mixed.
Most of the positive reviews are short and written by beginners who bought this as their first guitar (or as a gift for someone else).
The most critical reviews focus on the poor quality of the guitar, noting that it just is a low-grade instrument and requires a lot of adjustment to get it to sound great.
Most of the expert guitar players who purchased the set were disappointed with the quality of the guitar.
Overall, this isn't surprising.
The fact is that a professional will be disappointed with any guitar at this price point, but it still might work for an absolute beginner.
Just remember that as you progress, you will eventually need to upgrade the instrument.
Reviews on the instruction are generally of two sorts:
- This was an excellent way to learn the basics!
- Learning the guitar is hard, you can't learn 30 songs in 30 days
The truth is, the instruction won't allow you to play the songs like a pro, but you'll get the basic gist of the chords.
Better Alternatives to Take You Further in Your Guitar Playing
Giving an alternative to the Keith Urban Player Guitar Set is hard because it encompasses so much.
I'll break it down into guitar alternatives and instruction alternatives.
Get a Better-Reviewed Guitar
At the low price point ($200-400) of the Keith Urban Guitar, you're not going to find a perfect instrument.
However, some guitars have better reviews than the Keith Urban Guitar. If you're a beginner, you're going to find these instruments easier to play and learn with.
The first is the Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar, which has five stars on Amazon. Most of the reviews praise the higher-quality materials used to make the guitar.
Another option for those who don't want to spend a lot is the Jasmine S35, which also has five stars on Amazon. Reviewers praised the instrument for strings that are easy for beginners to use.
These are clearly much better options for the guitar side of things.
Learn Keith Urban Songs in Print Form
The guitar set only has videos—no print music—so it's almost impossible to review the song without skipping through the DVD again.
If you want to learn Keith Urban songs using easy chords, buy his book!
Keith Urban already wrote a songbook, teaching beginners how to play 26 of his hits.
The book, called Strum & Sing Easy Guitar: Keith Urban, is just a few dollars on Amazon.
If you want to learn songs not by Keith Urban (including some of the pieces included in 30 Songs in 30 Days), check out this list of easy guitar songs to play.
Try Online Guitar Lessons (My Recommendation)
If there's one thing this set got right, it's that video guitar lessons can be a powerful way to learn.
The problem with the method Keith Urban teaches is that you'll only learn chords, which means you're limited to playing backup on a few songs.
If you want to take your guitar playing further—including soloing, writing your own music, or playing lead in a band, you need to understand other aspects of guitar playing.
Thankfully, online guitar lessons have evolved to a point where you can learn all of that and much more.
Even if you're a beginner, you can quickly progress to soloing over basic songs with the right type of online lesson.
If you're looking to take your playing to the next level, check out my top recommendations for websites that offer lessons online.
Give Your Guitar Skills Room to Grow
If you're a complete beginner, the Keith Urban Player Guitar Set can be a way to get started with the basics quickly.
It's usually on sale: Click here to see the current price.
But if you're looking to develop your skills further, this will limit you.
If your goal is to progress beyond the basics, look elsewhere.
You can start with a better guitar for the same price, and online lessons that will teach you much more than just 30 songs.
This all-in-one package can only take you so far...
Final recommendation: Check out my full review of Guitar Tricks which is my top recommendation for learning the guitar.