Reviews

Keith Urban’s Player Guitar Package Reviews

Keith Urban’s Player Guitar Package Reviews

Keith Urban’s Player Guitar Package is a 50-piece set which promises to teach new budding guitarists 30 songs in 30 days.

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About Keith Urban Player Package by HSN.

Country music star and American Idol judge Keith Urban lends his name to this guitar and lesson package sold through HSN and promoted on late night infomercials. The 50-piece set includes a guitar, 30 DVD lessons, 8 guitar picks, guitar strap, a set of strings, polishing cloth, Allen key, chord poster, and padded guitar case.

On Day 1, you’ll learn the basics of the guitar, how to tune it, and two chords. This will allow you to play your first song, “Live to Love Another Day.” One the second day you’ll learn a third chord which opens up the ability to play numerous songs, such as “Sweet Home Alabama.” Additional chords and songs are added over time.

Below are some of the statements and claims made in the 30-minute infomercial which heavily aired throughout 2015:

  • Hand-crafted guitar designed by Keith.
  • You’ll learn 30 songs in 30 days, which are included on 30 DVD’s. 15 songs are by Keith Urban, and 15 other classic songs are also included.
  • One testimonial states, “I was convinced it was a $1000 high end guitar.”
  • The guitar is handmade, and takes 3 months to produce.
  • Strings are lower to fret board than standard guitars, the neck is narrower, and a special coating is included on the strings.
  • Available colors are Rich Black, Brazilian Burst, and Military Green (added in late 2015)
  • The entire set is a value of over $1300
  • “All wood” guitar including spruce tops and mahogany arched backs.
  • Interior tone bar and scalloped x-bracing.
  • Almost 250,000 player guitar packages sold

Cost

The set costs $299.95, or 6 payments of $49.99. Shipping is $19.95 for standard shipping, which takes 4-6 weeks. Rush delivery (7-10 days) is $39.90, while “extreme rush” shipping (3-5 days) will cost you $49.90.

In early 2016, an upgrade to free rush shipping was offered, along with a free capo.

You can only purchase the set via the official website, although additional Urban models are also available at HSN.

The official product website is playerbykeithurban.com, which was registered in April 2014. Earlier Keith Urban guitar models were sold on HSN.com, which also operates the current official website.

Other models

The guitar featured in the 2015 infomercial is not the first Urban guitar pitched by HSN. It appears that Urban has released several guitars via HSN over the past few years, including electric models.

Reviews

You can find a host of reviews for various HSN Keith Urban guitars which have been posted on YouTube since late 2013. Reviews for the guitars are not generally as positive as Urban’s lesson DVDs which are included in the set.

One reviewer of an earlier guitar model noted that he kept his expectations down and was pleased with the guitar, but “It’s not gonna put Martin (a high-end guitar manufacturer) out of business.”

Many customers who have purchased the HSN Keith Urban guitars have stated that the instrument required being “set up” in order to perform optimally. Setting up a guitar is the process in which a technician makes certain adjustments to optimize the instrument. Such adjustments include intonation, action, neck adjustment, pickup height, etc. Replacements or upgrades of some components may also be made during this process. The cost to set up a guitar varies, but can run anywhere from $25 to $100 (or more), depending on the technician and the work required to be done. Some DIY types like to set up guitars themselves, but caution should be used if you are not familiar with how to properly set up a guitar.

The review below features the Keith Urban Brazilian Burst guitar. The reviewer notes that it is made from a very light, thin wood and includes plastic components. He states that he replaced the saddle and nut, put on new strings, and the sound of the instrument improved greatly.

It would appear that those customers most pleased with the guitar are those who made initial minor adjustments to the instrument. While there is a small percentage of commenters who have stated that they were happy with the guitar (and most of those required additional set up), the consensus appears to be that the guitar is not as well made as a Yahama that can be found at a comparable price.

If you take the additional steps to have a guitar tech give your Keith Urban guitar a look, you will find it to be a decent entry-level guitar. The DVD lessons are well-suited to beginners and should help many new players get over the hump and learn to play a few basic songs.

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An obvious benefit to the lessons, especially to fans of Keith, is that you’ll be learning directly from Urban how to play his own songs.

Alternatives

Several established manufacturers such as Yamaha and Ibanez produce respectable starter guitars in this price range. Purchasing a guitar locally by a known brand will allow you the convenience of comparing multiple models to suit your individual tastes. As far as the lessons go, there are, of course, untold numbers of free guitar lessons to be found on YouTube, but fans of Keith Urban will likely appreciate his unique personality in the 30 DVD lessons.

Some consumers have expressed interest in the DVDs independent of the guitar itself. It does not appear that these are sold separately, although we did spot a few for sale on eBay and Craigslist.

A much less expensive alternative to the DVD set is the 2013 book by Keith Urban Keith Urban – Strum & Sing Easy Guitar which details how to play 26 classic Urban songs. That publication can be found for under $10.

Bottom Line

The Keith Urban Player Guitar package has been met with somewhat negative reviews for the guitar itself, although many have stated that the instrument can be salvaged with an inexpensive setup and new strings. The DVD lessons by Urban himself, however, have been met with mostly positive feedback.

Fans of Urban, or those who may not mind having the guitar properly adjusted, may find the package to be an acceptable purchase. Those who are looking for a good starter guitar may want to shop around at a local music store before investing in this product.

Be sure to read dozens of additional reader comments on our Lockerdome page.

Updated January 9, 2016
Originally published February 2015

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  • Peta Pellegrini

    He is my fav but doesn’t make guitars for south paws disappointed much

    • Daniel W

      HSN has them for both left and right handed players

  • Kristi H

    I have this the part of the lessons Keith is in are great. However the only one little thing people should be aware of is that Keith demonstrates to you the chords for each song and the structure of the songs (For example in the first lesson you have an intro where you play a G chord for 8 bars and then a verse where you repeat that and then you play a C chord for 2 bars and so on.) What they don’t tell you is when it comes time to actually play all the way through the song it’s not Keith playing with you anymore. They bring in professional musicians who sadly on some of the lessons don’t play the songs the way Keith explained to you. It’s designed for you to be able to play along with them and use what the musicians are playing as a guide but good luck keeping up with them when what you’re taught to play is completely different than what they’re actually playing. (For example in the first lesson Keith teaches you to play Live To Love Another Day with simple down strokes and a palm mute. But the new musician who takes over to play the song all the way through does not use a palm mute and does not use the strumming pattern Keith told you to use either because the guy named Ben is using up and down strokes.) Once it’s time to play the song all the way through they basically take half of what Keith taught you and toss it out the window. At that point you’re left to figure it out for yoursel with no help. It’s very frustrating for someone who’s new to this and wanting to learn but can’t because of the inconsistency in the lessons. I’m thinking of just skipping the first few and move on to the ones where the musicians they broight actually play something that’s consistent with Keith’s half of the lessons.

    • contel

      I’m SOOOO glad I’m not the only one who noticed this. I’ve been losing my mind because everyone I see doesn’t play the friggin’ song like he teaches you to play. I wanted to at least knock out the first lesson, but maybe I should move on to something more consistent with his teachings, like you say.

  • Tom

    Just received my guitar today that I ordered. Packaging was great but when opened the soft guitar case to see the guitar inside, the headstock was broken off on the right side (high-e key side) from the tip to the nut. I heard a lot of negative reviews of damaged guitars upon arrival like replacements sent out were other people’s returns, but c’mon….can’t get it right by now?!

  • Greg Kisinger

    I tried playing the guitar a couple times in the past, but was never successful – got frustrated and quit. I recently received the Keith Urban Player Guitar package and couldn’t be happier. The acoustic guitar appears very well made and my local Guitar Center tech checked it out and said “this is one of the best
    Keith Urban guitars I’ve seen, no setup required”. I’m a fussy guy and I agree. I won’t be playing 30 songs in 30 days, but instead I’ll take my time to master each concept. I’m almost through the first DVD and feel like I’ll succeed this time. I definitely recommend this approach to learn the guitar.

  • wharfrat

    Before buying any Guitar do the research and find out where it’s made,if it’s made in China it will be cheaply made and of poor quality,if made in South Korea like Epiphone is it will be of better quality but not the best,the only two companies in America who make top quality Guitars are Gibson and Fender Stratacaster, a Gibson is very expensive but can be played for years and years and never have a problem and if something goes wrong Gibson will repair it and make it right,that won’t happen with a cheap guitar,your on your own, so it is worth buying quality even if monthly payments are made,the end result will be the best music a player can make and not a cheap lookalike just to have a guitar with a stars name on it that will only make him richer and you’ll get the short end on the stick.

    • Ronald Minard

      Your wrong Epiphone makes quality guitars, I own one and it is better than any fender I have played. Get your facts straight.

  • allseasons111

    To be honest I have been fixing guitar for 20+ years. The guitars come out of the same factories in China as the most popular brands. Epiphone, Fender, Jay Turser, Ibanez, Takamine, Ovation, Lag.. The quality is actually very good on the URBAN guitars. Like any guitar and when I say this I mean EVERY GUITAR.. They require setups and to maintain the guitars quality as the guitars is made of wood. The wood changes with the weather.. literally. Three times a year, At least have your guitar adjusted. The upkeep on any guitar will exceed the guitars value overtime but you will have a good playing great sounding instrument.

    Keith makes a nice guitar. You just have to maintain it properly the same way you would maintain a Gibson or a Fender and Don’t kid yourself .. A good portion of the guitars Gibson and Fender make are not that great…. I sold them for MANY years I know.. Hope this helps

    Yours truly,

    Non-Biased Guitar Technician and More Importantly Guitar Player

  • Ann

    Wow, being a total novice, I just ordered the Denim Blue acoustical (not knowing the difference between the types anyhow but figuring the electrical was somehow louder). Since I do not want to aggravate neighbors while learning, the acoustical is probably quieter, right? Anyway, I had to have the blue Player. So pretty! But after reading all the horrible reviews (many on HSN) about it arriving broken, with the front plate off, (or coming unglued soon) etc. I just may send it back. After all, I have no idea what intonation is. Will I know it has bad intonation if I don’t play songs yet? Will I hear that strings are flat or stretched and know which ones to adjust? Way too much for a beginner like me.

  • Dirt Farmer

    We ordered the guitar for our granddaughter and when she opened it up the inlays in between the frets were coming out. When we called them, at first they refused to make an exchange for a new guitar but after much badgering they talked to a “supervisor” and allowed us to return it. We will see if the new one is as poor in quality as the one we got.

  • Maria Drouyn

    I want to order the brazilian burst color guitar doing 6 payments of $49.95.

  • Eric Johansen

    I am a long time player (over 26 years). My wife purchased the guitar and lessons for my daughter for Christmas. The guitar had a loose tuning nut and the top string is so close to the edge of fret board that it is difficult to get a good tone on it. I’ll keep it as a throw around for camping trips etc. but it isn’t worth $50.

  • Paul N

    The commercial indicates that the guitar Keith is demonstrating is equipped with an electronic pickup, however the guitar that you are buying is not.

  • dan sheeran

    Im thinking of getting the acoustic version for my son’s 16th Birthday. Would anyone recommend just going to a local store and finding alternative or getting the Urban model and just having the strings replaced locally before I give it as a gift? Thanks.

    • waffles

      The general consensus seems to be that getting an adjustment will make it a worthy instrument. Shopping around locally is always a good idea, especially because you can examine the instruments yourself.

  • Lester Churchill

    I agree. I just received my Player package. Now, I’m a long time guitarist, and I was looking for songs to add to my repertoire. I already own several higher end Yamaha’s, so I wasn’t interested in the guitar in the first place, but it’s an all or nothing deal. HOWEVER, the DVD’s were what I was interested in, and the price of the entire package is well worth the instruction received.

    The guitar that I received is attractive. However, it’s going to need new keys and strings. Its intonation is horrible. Once I get those things addressed, it’ll be a nice guitar for visitors to play (NOBODY plays my Yamaha’s but me). It’s a better choice than those horrid old Estecrap guitars (although his guitar instruction is pretty good, too).

  • Mike

    I bought the acoustic player. The intonation was really off. I have a low end Yamaha I bought used for $125 that sounds better. I called a local technician who said it would cost $95 to set up. I opted instead to complain to HSN. I asked them to pay for the set up or send me a new guitar. They sent a new guitar and the intonation is a little better but the body is scratched up. I think I got somebody else’s return. I am going to send the replacement back and have the first one set up.

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@accroya

James White specializes in internet hoaxes, travel, product reviews, and social media.

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