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145 Reviews
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253 of 257 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best choice for anyone just starting--really!
I just happened upon this book by chance when first beginning my quest for literature on guitar instruction. Simply put, I didn't want to pay for lessons from the very beginning if all I needed were some basics (holding the guitar, tuning, learning the parts of the guitar, some basic tunes and chords, etc.) to get my feet wet. I was previously intimidated by guitars...
Published on August 17, 1999 by zmorosini@chelsea.mec.edu

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too basic
The book title is misleading. I thought it would be comprehensive, including scales, chords etc. However, too much of the book is devoted to extremely basic guitar questions, ie how to tune, clean and hold your guitar. Not enough material about playing the guitar.
Published 23 months ago by jk


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253 of 257 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best choice for anyone just starting--really!, August 17, 1999
I just happened upon this book by chance when first beginning my quest for literature on guitar instruction. Simply put, I didn't want to pay for lessons from the very beginning if all I needed were some basics (holding the guitar, tuning, learning the parts of the guitar, some basic tunes and chords, etc.) to get my feet wet. I was previously intimidated by guitars and guitar playing, sure it was hopelessly complicated. Evans' easy and approachable text, very good illustrations and slow, step-by-step instructions totally changed my outlook. I've learned so much already, and I barely play four chords well! Although most of the tunes you learn early on in the book aren't necessarily "popular" ones, they get the job done. Later on in the book you learn the skills to approach any kind of music. In my opinion, it's the best bargain out there. My only suggestions would be a spiral binding and accompanying CD for future editions.
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130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Absolute Beginner, February 23, 2001
I wanted to learn to play guitar but had no idea where to start. I didn't even know how to change the strings on my guitar. Luckily I found this book. This book teaches you everything you need to know including how to string, tune, and hold your guitar. I learned to play chords and finger picking faster than I ever thought possible. The slow, iterative approach builds upon previous lessons which give you the skills to tackle the next lesson. A lot of books I have seen throw you right into the deep end which can be frustrating for beginners. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to play a guitar. If not for this book I probably would have become frustrated and quit playing before I even began.
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158 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO TECHNICAL JARGON IN THIS BOOK!, September 8, 2003
By 
Mickey Armes (Reno, Nevada USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar (Paperback)
Most how to books for "beginners" are laced with technical jargon that only someone with a working knowledge of the subject could understand. Not so with this book. I have no knowledge of the guitar and can actually understand this book. A must buy for the beginner.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to follow even for someone who has never played., January 6, 1999
By A Customer
This book is helping me play notes and chords that sound good and I never have played anything.If looking for the perfect starter book this is it!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Beginning Lessons, December 8, 2008
By 
Alex Rifman (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar (Paperback)
Since deciding to learn to play guitar, I have purchased THREE different books, and this one is the only book I use. Despite the fact that this is the only book that doesn't have an attached CD, it is the most useful!! The author's 30 years of teaching experience shines through, particularly if you allow yourself to read through the text and then try the lessons (don't skip around). Each page builds on the previous lessons, and you'll be playing simple tunes in no time.

I *HIGHLY* recommend this book above all others.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relearning to play..., June 26, 2000
By 
Don R. (Baytown, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
After having my guitar stolen 20 years ago, I lost interest in ever playing again. But now I have rekindled interest to reteach myself to play, most importantly to teach my son to play. This book has helped tremendously in relearning everything that I had forgotten about the guitar.The lessons are simple to follow with step by step finger placements and illustrations.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Place To Start For Beginners, July 3, 2007
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This review is from: How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar (Paperback)
I found this book to be useful as I'm a beginner to playing guitar. Near the back of the book there are pages with all the chords, so I can print songs off the internet, and have the chords available in the book so I can teach myself to play. The only negative comment that I would make is that although there are many sample songs in the book to learn, I didn't know many of the songs so I wasn't sure how they were supposed to sound - a little frustrating, but a good book nonetheless.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Instruction Book for Beginners, January 24, 2011
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This review is from: How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar (Paperback)
I've been attempting to play the guitar on and off for the past five years. During which, I've received casual instruction from friends, and have taken expensive private lessons from guitar teachers.
This book is better than them all!

Yes, this book is basic. It teaches guitar as if you've never come across one before: from the parts of a guitar, to how to position your hands, to how to purchase your first guitar, and how to keep your nails before playing. It also teaches how to read sheet music and tabs, and offers advice on how to practice (a little each day, never in front of others). This might be a negative for those who already know these things (in which case, 20% of the book isn't useful to you), but I thought I knew these things only to discover my form was off (e.g. position the strumming hand slightly behind the sound hole) and that I should learn to play with my fingers before using a guitar pick.

This book is incredibly comprehensive, with one lesson building on the next. You'll learn basic and barre chords, brush stroking, 3 types of finger picking, and a little bit about hammer ons, pull offs, note bends, and harmonics. What's more, you'll learn how to take care of your guitar (ex. what it means if there are buzzing noises; how to travel with your guitar).

My only tiny complaint is that there are a few exercises with songs I've never heard of, so there was no way to know whether or not I was playing them correctly (ex. Tum Balalaika - Yiddish Folk Song, or Early One Morning- English Folk Song; Yankee Doodle I knew).

If you're a beginner like me with minimal exposure to guitar playing and music theory, this book is for you. Certainly use this before taking lessons (which, from personal experience, is a waste of money until you can't go any further on your own).

Thanks to this book, I am currently at the height of my guitar playing prowess. I will be going back to it for a long time.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great beginner book, September 14, 2005
This review is from: How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar (Paperback)
I got this book for my 12 year old son who is just starting guitar. He is taking a guitar class but wanted to get a head start before lessons started. This book is great and easy for kids to follow.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful book, September 30, 2008
By 
ewoh46 (Upstate NY, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar (Paperback)
This book helped me out within five minutes of opening it. I have no time in my life for taking guitar lessons so I had been using the internet as a resource for learning to play as well as another book that I have. I had some basic skills, two scales, and a few chords in my arsenal but had been struggling mightily forming the C major chord. I was getting frustrated and thinking maybe my hands were too small and my fingers too fat to play this basic chord (and more complicated ones as well). One look at the drawing (from the player's perspective- rather than the front of the fretboard- of the left hand fingering of C major and I realized that I was going about it all wrong. My wrist angle was too perpendicular. I copied the drawing, and presto- C major. So I was quickly encouraged again.
There is nothing flashy about this book, but I have been having FUN going through it- which is pretty important when practicing and the whole point of playing the guitar I think. Rather than just show you where the notes are on the fretboard (which it does in the back as a reference) you learn them by playing simple songs like Beethoven's Ode To Joy. Very cool and I'm already impressing my wife even though it is pretty easy. I also like that it teaches you to read sheet music which I can't wait to learn (once I master the skills deemed necessary to get to that point). So buy this cheap book and have fun!
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How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar
How to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the Guitar by Roger Evans (Paperback - December 10, 2001)
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