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The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking Paperback – January 1, 1992


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Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking + The Art of Solo Fingerpicking: How to Play Alternating-Bass Fingerstyle Guitar Solos (Guitar Books) + Beyond Basics: Fingerstyle Guitar, Book & CD [With CD]
Price for all three: $39.75

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Music Sales America; Bk & CD edition (January 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936799005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936799001
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I haven't started the next book but will soon.
Curlytopnred
There is also a CD included where Mark plays the pieces at both half and full speeds.
Raj
If you want to learn Travis picking, get this book.
Pentheselaeia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

200 of 203 people found the following review helpful By Raj on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mark Hanson is considered to be amongst the top instructors today in the fingerstyle domain. He regularly holds fingerstyle workshops and has authored over 30 books and videos, all on the same subject - fingerstyle guitar. He has also interviewed several fingerstyle authorities such as Leo Kottke and James Taylor.

This book is considered by many as the leading fingerstyle instruction book. There are several very good reasons for the high number of votes Mark's books receive; and WHY you should buy this book.

1. Travis picking (alternate bass with melody) is the foundation of fingerstyle guitar. Nearly every fingerstyle guitarist from Rev. Gary Davis to Muddy Waters to Robert Johnson to Leo Kottke and Chet Atkins has used the Travis picking method. This book is the bible of Travis picking.

2. The book requires no knowledge of the instrument. I couldn't switch chords comfortably when I received this book. In fact I only knew the C and G chords. With some patience and determination I learnt more than 30 chords by the time I was at the end of the book, and obviously I also learnt to switch between them effortlessly.

3. Mark lays out very logical examples throughout the book to ensure you are progressing the right way. There is a practice song after every chapter to make certain you are comfortable maintaining the rhythm and will face no difficulty if you encounter a similar pattern in any other song outside of the book. The instruction is very clear and there is absolutely no ambiguity even for a novice. It's almost like the author is holding your hand throughout. I am no dazzling guitarist (read no natural flair) and had no teachers while I was using this book. I waded through it without any major hold-ups.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on January 11, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the privilege of taking weekly lessons for a year and a half with Mark. He brought me to the point of not only easily picking James Taylor, John Denver and CSN tunes but also playing the complex instrumentals of Leo Kotke, William Ackermann and others. All in 1.5 years!!
Mark is a patient, thorough, kind and absolutely top notch teacher. He first started me out on this book (I could only play basic chords before then). How the book is written is as careful and clear as he is in person.
Learning guitar could be very frustrating. Before meeting Mark, I had invested in many guitar books and instructional videos. I now rate them all a C+ compared to this book which is a solid A.
Going through "The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking" is like taking lessons directly with Mark. It's that good.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have been playing guitar for a bit and have learned the standard 5-6 chords, but are no longer satisfied, then this book can get you to the next level.
Fifteen years ago, I picked up this book and tape set after a year of strumming away at Beatle, Dylan, etc.. tunes. It provided a simple and enjoyable entry into learing fingerstyle guitar. I have bought dozens of other guitar books and can say that this one was the best 'teaching' book I read. No jargon, no complicated charts, just a few simple practice patterns and some fun tumes to play. Also don't miss the companion book The Art of Solo Fingerpicking, which picks up right where this one leaves off. I still get a lot of kudos when I play the The Art of Solo Fingerpicking tunes to other musicians. No doubt, the best two book music instruction set I ever bought.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful By S. Hawkins on January 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll make it clear that I am a true fan of Mark Hanson and his instructional style. However, I simply don't care for this book compared to his others.

I find the accompanying CD to be loaded with a LOT of vocals while being weak on solo guitar tracks. I don't know that I'm like everyone else but when I buy a guitar instruction book, I want to learn how to make my guitar sing not listen to someone else sing. When learning a particular piece of music it is helpful to hear how it is supposed to be played. On this CD, the vocals squash any chance of that happenning. If you happen to play it on equipment with an equalizer of some sort you can tune down most of the vocals but regardless, I don't want to hear vocal accompaniment when I'm trying to study the instrument involved.

Personally, my recommendation is to start with Mr. Hanson's "Beyond Basics" Fingerstyle book/cd with a move directly to his "The Art of Solo Fingerpicking" book/cd. If you want to learn fingerstyle, these two will get you much further down the road than his "Travis Picking" book.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Hanson is a uniquely gifted teacher who doesn't condescend to the beginning guitarist and doesn't quickly lose the beginner like Kieth Wyatt. Step by step he takes you through difficult arrangements, so that with some practice you have some beautifully original tunes under your belt. He quickly disposes with standard open chords and opens up the neck of the guitar to exploration and discovery to a range of sounds. He doesn't go into theory which is either an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how you look at it. Personally, I would like to know some of the musical theory and couldn't think of a better tutor than Mark. I'm slowly acculmulating all his books. If you are going to buy a guitar book, let it be a Mark Hanson book!
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