Most helpful positive review
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This may be the easiest way to learn the guitar--EVER!!
on November 27, 2008
I hate guitar lessons. More than that, I hate guitar lesson books. Of course I want to play the guitar. It seems everyone in L.A. can play the guitar but me. I can play piano, and I can make random noises on my drum, but guitar books just don't seem to work for me. But I like this one--a lot!
It's a picture book. There are a lot of instructional picture books these days, with lavish full-color illustrations and short paragraphs, snappy headlines, and they all make learning look easy, but not all of these pretty books are created equal. I know this because I have read every one I can get my hands on, no matter what the subject. What makes this particular picture learning book work is that behind the pictures and snappy headlines and short paragraphs, someone who knows how to teach took the time to put everything in order and not take things too fast. The result is that you don't get instructions that skip around or seem to jump ahead, leaving you behind if you are not keeping up with every step.
There are several guitar learning techniques I have never seen before, such as the Easter Bunny Gets Drunk At Easter string mnemonic memory key. I tried to devise one of these for myself a few years back, but this one is much easier to remember, and the fact that someone who knows how to teach guitar finally thought to add this to page 12 (nice and early in the lessons) gave me great hope that I too could fumble my way into campfire fame, if not slash and burn rock stardom (well, someday). See the images of the book I uploaded to see exactly what you will find in this book.
Chords are the basis for learning and playing guitar, and they are not so hard to remember as they are a pain to figure out what to do with. I have learned how to play several chords from other books, simply by looking at where to place my fingers, but then I get lost. Okay, so now I know a chord. What next? And what about single notes? Learning guitar can get very frustrating, very fast, when you are simply following along plopping your fingers here and there and not hearing any songs, and not being able to play something "on demand." This book removes that frustration by taking you quickly through a series of baby steps that familiarize you with the essential skills you need to play single notes and chords, and whatnot, and only then gives you progressively more advanced exercises.
What I like most about this style of teaching is that each technique is its own segment in the larger chain, so that you can go back and focus on the one thing that is giving you trouble, and return to the part of the course where you were and practice properly (and successfully). There is no getting around the callouses you need to build up on your fingertips, but this book works equally well with electric guitar, acoustic, or even a lute!
Advanced techniques appear (also in tiny, easily digested segments) after you have had time to play around with basic chords and single note exercises. Chord theory is laid out in ways that almost seem simplistic. I remember my friend trying to teach me chord theory a few years back. His IQ is somewhere north of 150 and so was his teaching methods. i understood the words he was saying, but nothing would stick when I picked up the guitar. With this book is was much easier, to the point of absurdity really. All in all, this is (in my humble opinion) the perfect way to learn guitar if you don't have a teacher to stand over you for weeks on end while you wrestle with your guitar. I like the spiral binding, as the book lays flat nicely while you practice. And it is short. In 64 pages you learn everything you need to actually play and practice--enough to get to that next level, that of learning your favorite songs by reading sheet music and impressing friends and strangers. It's simple, and it works, and the DVD is a nice bonus that shows you "in real life" everything you learn in the book.
**Highly recommended** (and it is really inexpensive considering what you get)
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