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Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar Paperback – January 1, 1999

16 customer reviews

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Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar + Bluegrass Guitar Classics: 22 Carter-Style Solos + Fretboard Roadmaps - Bluegrass and Folk Guitar: The Essential Guitar Patterns That All the Pros Know and Use
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Product Details

  • Series: Teach Yourself Bluegrass
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Music Sales America (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825603250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825603259
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ghost of Metal Past on August 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I think this book would be most useful for guitarists who have some experience with the instrument in a different type of music. With several years of playing rock guitar, this book made learning some basic bluegrass style and building a basic repertoire a snap. Someone who has no knowledge of music or other experience on the guitar may not find it so easy.

There are quite a few songs in tab, some good intro and ending licks, strum patterns (all played on the CD). I feel for the price more songs would have been nice. One negative thing is that the singing on the CD (for those with lyrics) is some of the worst I have ever heard in any genre. But the point of the CD is learning the instrument, not enjoying the vocals, so I guess it can be overlooked.

All in all, not a bad book for a lower-intermediate and above guitarists with no prior knowledge of bluegrass.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Beverly F. Schlegel on October 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Super beginning bluegrass instruction. Great deal for twelve bucks. The CD is wonderful and makes it easy to play along. There are "breaks" versions and "backup" versions of all the songs in the book--I found that very helpful! The songs are extremely simple renditions of a few traditional bluesgrass songs such as Pretty Polly, Nine Pound Hammer,Foot Prints in the Snow, Rolling in My Sweet Baby's Arms. I learned "Salt Creek" from it. I already knew a pretty good rendition of Dan Crary's "Soldier's Joy" and I think the verson in this book is very simple. A bit too simple for anyone but a true beginner. There a nice section devoted to reading tab and also playing some very basic bluegrass licks. Definitely worth $12 if you are a beginner. Intermediate/Advanced players should pass--you probably already know everything in the book. Super beginner book.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "mdw7" on June 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is good in that it provides something for the beginner to the intermediate. I've owned it over a year and haven't made it through yet. The CD is helpful, as all of the songs in the book are on the CD. The arrangements for the songs are well-written and vary in level.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SilverFlash on November 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
For guitarists wanting to learn bluegrass, I recommend, "Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar" by Russ Barenburg. It contains many bluegrass classics and all of them are included on its CD. Each song is played twice, once with lead guitar and once with rhythm only for practicing. (Which is a nice feature because most instructional CDs want you to use the balance control to isolate the rhythm part, but most "boom-boxes" these days don't have that control anymore.) While none of the songs are played really slowly for beginners, Russ isn't burning up the strings either. The songs are played at a moderate performance pace - suitable for learning. The music on this CD is so good that I often listen to it in my car just for fun.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bean on June 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book from a local music store and have had a blast working through the material. I've played guitar for a few years and have always loved listening to and watching bluegrass, but never knew how to get started. This book taught me everything I needed to know in terms of picking patterns, hammers, pull-offs, slides, and more. The wide variety of songs, both for back-up and for soloing, proved to be very helpful. The CD was also extremely helpful because it has back-up tracks for all of the flatpicking solo songs like "Salt Creek" and "Blackeberry Blossom." This book was very helpful to me and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to get started with flatpicking/bluegrass.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richmond on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great for learning to flatpick bluegrass music. I prefer some of the arrangements to those in Happy Traum's book, and the inclusion of 2 versions of each song on the CD make this great for those with less Bluegrass familiarity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Crafty Mom on April 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't really use this book as an instructional tool, but I do play some of the songs. The print makes the tab a little more difficult to read than other books that I own, but it's still pretty clear. The song selection is nice. The CD is a bonus, but the singing was distracting. I should also mention that the songs are presented in tablature only, so those who are looking for standard notation will be disappointed. My husband owns the Teach Yourself Bluegrass Banjo book. The books don't include exactly the same songs, but there are several of the same tunes that we can play together. I found Mel Bay First Lessons Flatpicking Guitar Book/CD Set to be much more helpful in learning to play bluegrass guitar, while Bluegrass Guitar Classics: 22 Carter-Style Solos is my favorite collection of easy bluegrass songs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is best for guitar players who have some experience of the instrument, already know their way around the fretboard and can play competently in another style (for example rock or folk guitar). It also helps if you can finger-pick effectively. A guitar-beginner may find the book more of a challenge.

Techniques covered include rhythmic notation, using a flatpick for upstrokes and downstrokes, hammer-on, hammer-off and slides, tips for the left hand; using flourishes, bass runs, and how to play in a band with other musicians: lead playing with alternating pick strokes, and soloing.

The featured songs are illustrated in guitar tablature, and backed-up by a CD (the singing on the CD BTW is dire, but that's OK as the guitar work is very helpful).

All in all, the book offers a good grounding in the bluegrass style.
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