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The Complete Guitar Course (Reader's Digest) Hardcover – October 19, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Reader's Digest
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest (October 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076210662X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762106622
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–The information in this title could take a lifetime to fully absorb, which is a good thing. Fleming starts with a basic introduction: the care of the instrument, tuning, how to hold it, various accessories. The lessons cover hand positions, scales, and chords, and illustrate the basics of music theory and style with examples from famous songs. Mini-biographies of great guitarists and a discussion of their instruments and what they brought to their music are also included. The styles cover rock and roll, jazz, blues, classical, country, folk, funk, and salsa–a little something for just about everybody. The author backs up the profiles with easy-to-find song examples. There is also a handsome section with portraits of important guitar models and lists of musicians who have used them. Beginners will learn much from this book. It is a thorough immersion into the subject and a great starting place. It reads like a big glossy cookbook to which guitarists may return to sample the instrument's many possibilities.–Will Marston, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
This book is one of the few guitar books I've purchased that actually taught me something.
broken will
It begins teaching a rookie right where I need to start and does so without such extreme detail found in other books for beginners.
Papa Guy
Overall, it was a very good book, and a pretty good place to start playing a great instrument.
Done Macleaning

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Done Macleaning on March 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was skeptical about how "complete" a single guitar book could be, while looking for a starter course for my nephew. I've been playing guitar a while now, and am a decent guitarist with adequate musical theory. So, I was going to be very critical about the books I would be considering.
This one is pretty complete for a beginner and an enthusiast. It presented material that was solid and easy to understand. Each chapter/lesson of the twenty had theory and practice that gradually built up a competent and knowledgeable guitarist. Later chapters dealt with various styles of music, so there was ample room to grow, at least sample a musical genre.
Overall, it was a very good book, and a pretty good place to start playing a great instrument. It also makes a great refresher, with exercises, songs, and scales to keep an intermediate player's skills honest.
Although a bit easier for my level of playing, I enjoyed the exercises and the songs (some of which are popular modern published works, and not those inane, ubiquitous, royalty-free spirituals) included throughout the book. I believe even beginners will find the lessons doable and be happy with the progress they make. It's well written and keeps a proper level of difficulty.
Once completed, the new guitarist will be able to perform a variety of songs and styles, and understand a wealth of musical knowledge.
Buy this if you're interested in picking up the guitar, or want to play it better with some good musical background theory. Sure, it's easy to knock a book like this (which some reviewers have done), and, admittedly, I caught a few typos (but just by practicing the music, you can figure out what note was off in the sheet music). However, critics of this book tend to forget that there are not many decent guitar books out there. I contend that the courses are as complete as possible without an actual music teacher. It's better than current guitar books out there, and is worth getting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By broken will on January 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the few guitar books I've purchased that actually taught me something. Although I've only played for a year-I have bought alot of books online and have kicked myself in the [...] on most of them. If you are young in your guitar experience check it out-you won't be sorry. It shows the basics of how to change strings all the way to having a chord reference that is really helpful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Complete Guitar Course" is a single, comprehensive, step-by-step instruction book that will teach the reader all of the basics required for playing the guitar. Comprised of twenty 'user friendly" lessons that are profusely illustrated, easy-to-follow, and progressively skill-building, "The Complete Guitar Course" will help even the most novice aspiring guitarist to select the guitar that is the right kind for them; build chords and master simple melodies on the guitar; choose among rock, blues, folk, and classical guitar music styles; tune, change strings, and otherwise keep a guitar in top shape; achieve special effects on the guitar ranging from 'finger picking' to 'arpeggios'; practice playing the guitar using real songs (with scores of well-known and popular hit tunes); be introduced to inspiring and legendary players in all the guitar music genres from Andres Sergovia's classical acoustic guitar stylings to Clapton's electric guitar masterpieces. Offering the perfect approach to learning to play the guitar and a core addition to personal, music school, and community library Music Instruction reference collections, "The Complete Guitar Course" will enable any guitar student to perform beautiful music, have fun with their chosen instrument, and even embark upon a professional music career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rvlpilot on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A relatively unknown book and author, yet this is the BEST book I have found on learning to play the guitar from an extensive search and subsequent library of how to "learn guitar" books I now have in the search. I find most books on the subject use the same OLD method to teach, if it didn't work before why republish the same garbage?
This book is a refreshing new or different take on learning guitar and explains what and why your learning what your learning. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning to play guitar and continue to learn beyond the first lesson too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. K. Weber on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Great book, stuffed with much, and varied, information including the history of guitar and many guitarists. It will give the novice a good idea of what their likes are and what they might want to pursue in more detail afterwards.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joe on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Not surprisingly, this large glossy-paged book put out by Readers Digest is one of the prettiest guitar instruction books I've seen, and I own over 40 of them, collected over 15+ years of playing the instrument. Its 50-some pages of color photographs and descriptions of famous guitarists and famous guitars (nearly 1/4 of the book) make for absorbing reading. They are a feature rarely found in other books and can build your motivation. They will not, of course, tell you anything about actual playing. Another big use of space is a full page for each of the 20 chapters simply giving the title. The chapters do "cover the bases," but in a sketchy way, giving a quick pass on fingerstyle, country, rock, funk, classical, etc.

It's enjoyable to read in the same way that eating smorgasbord is, but don't expect much beyond the introductory. There's a pretty small amount of actual text for a book of over 200 pages. I got my copy from the library, perfect to browze through before nodding off. It is a nice supplement to a more indepth how-to book.
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