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4.7 out of 5 stars25
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on April 28, 2003
This book is essential for any guitarist hoping to make it in the world. Sight reading is very crucial, as it is the language of music. If you couldn't read, then how good of a job could you get. The bitter truth is, if you can't sight read, what kind of gigs are you going to get?
Back to the book. This book approaches sight reading with a very meticulous approach. It first examines a particular rhythm, then gives tons of differnet lines that go with that rhythm.
This book is in my hands at some point the day after school. My reading has improved drastically since I bought this book.
All in all, if you want to be able to read, buy this book and play away!
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on January 14, 2006
This is a useful and challenging book, extremely helpful as a structure for mastering the discipline of playing tight rhythm in a multi-guitar group. To some extent the principles are simple common sense that could be worked out without any book, but Leavitt's exercises provide a ready-planned progressive development path that helps a student to get the balance between perfecting what they can already do and pushing on to try new things.

The print quality of this book is adequate but not great - the paper is coarse and the ink is smudged in some places, especially stave lines and 'full-body' notes (crotchets and quavers). In other places (particularly titles and explanatory text) the ink is under-applied, leaving the text faint and therefore harder to read.
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on October 29, 2008
I wouldn't be caught dead playing any of these exercises in anyone else's presence but you can always reharmonize and throw out the childish phrases once you've mastered the exercises and then they can be interesting assuming you know how to do that. This book forces you to think in terms of rhythm which can be immensely helpful to your improvisational skills. You get many variations on 4/4 and 3/4 time but no grace notes, 16th notes,sextuplets etc. You can always play around with those variations once you master the basics in at least a few positions and octaves. I suppose this book is aimed at beginning to intermediate guitar students(beginners could play these melodies while I think it would take an intermediate student to play the chordal accompanyments which are pretty good especially with the suggested extentions. The reason I bought the book is it gave me ideas just reading through the teaser pages and I wasn't disappointed when It arrived in the mail. It will help your sight reading skills but if that's all your interested in, you've only brushed on the book's potential. A more advanced follow up book would be nice which would include more advanced rhythmic concepts and perhaps cooler melodies and harmonizations.
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VINE VOICEon January 10, 2014
This is not a book I would have just bought to practice out of. Then my guitar professor made this book a requirement. I have to say I'm glad he did! This book has elevated my playing in a short time. The exercises aren't easy though, especially if you are new to jazz. but they are musically pleasant, not boring and you will learn a lot from each one. If you're serious about learning how to play guitar this book will help you get to a higher level.
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on June 15, 2015
I'm loving this book.
Loaded with a collection of Studies that challenge your reading attention to detail.
A subtle change in rest or note length with throw you if you're not paying attention and this book will keep you on your toes. The melodies are fun and the chris patterns are good comps if you work with a teacher or student.
Highly recommend this to serious guitar teachers and self-taught students of the 6 string.
Chops chops chops!
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on October 22, 2005
I use this book in conjunction with Reading Studies for Guitar. It has just about every quarter note and eighth note rhythm one can encounter. Your sight reading will improve immensely.
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on April 26, 2011
It does have a lot of rhythmic practice, but I couldn't bring myself to "use" it. Not engaging enough - I found myself often just sightreading/practicing to real music, and I've gotten to a point where I'm not sure it's worth going back to this.

As others have said, this isn't professionally typeset, just (neatly) written manuscript that is perfectly legible.
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on February 7, 2015
These are wonderful for any style of guitar playing. You should study these rhythms along with any guitar method. They are great for building
technique on the guitar! They are also good for anyone who wants to explore different rhythms for the guitar!
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on October 28, 2010
This is one of the best sight reading books I've come across in awhile. You can get a lot of mileage out of the exercises in this book and I think it's one that guitar teachers out there should have to work with their students on sight reading. First off you can use the same exercise multiple times to explore different positions on the guitar, helping you or your students become more familiar with the fretboard. The melodies are all single line and unfingered so you can focus on playing the notes rather than playing the fingerings (a trap some guitarists fall into.) What's really great about this book is that you can also work on your rhythm and counting at the same time as you're working on sight reading. The other Leavitt book on sight reading is mostly in eighth notes all the way through, this book has all kinds of great rhythms that are syncopated and spicy that will literally force you to keep on your toes and count if you want to play the exercise correctly. Also you can either get together with a friend or play with your teacher or student, because there is a lead sheet attached to each exercise. Playing in this duo format is another good way to practice sight reading because it forces you not to stop and make corrections and to move forward and keep reading. So to recap on why I think this book is an essential to anyone's sight reading library, you get to work on fretboard knowledge which gives you multiple uses of each exercise (lots of bang for the buck), you work on single line reading that is approachable even for poor readers, you get a good solid rhythmic workout with each exercise which reinforces solid musicianship, and you can play alone or with another person which besides being fun, is just another great way to practice ensemble playing and sight reading. Check this book out it's a solid buy.
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on April 28, 2013
Really will help the intermediate student with sight reading rhythms.
Very musical exercises that get gradually more difficult as one gets deeper into the book.
It has a " Jazz " feeling to it and quite a relief from the ever so dull Mel Bay Books.
Anything coming out of The Berklee College Of Music is going to be good and this is no exception.
William Leavitt is brilliant.
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