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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing Rock Guitar Paperback – March 2, 2010
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This puts me in a weird situation when it comes to looking for guitar instruction books. I'm a total beginner on guitar, but I know how to read and I know theory and scales. Most beginner guitar books are very rudimentary for me. Usually it is late in the book before it gets to stuff I don't already know. That was my first concern before buying this book, particularly as it is a "Complete Idiot's" Guide.
Well, I'm happy to report that this book is definitely a worthy addition to my collection. I did have to mostly skip over the first couple chapters, but after that there was some very good and useful information.
I particularly like how the author deals with strumming. Most other books I've looked at deal with strumming from mostly an acoustic guitar perspective. That is, they teach you about strumming up and down over all the strings in the chord you are playing. However, I quickly learned with the electric guitar that you can't usually do that. You have to break up the chord into chunks and strum bits and pieces, particularly when distortion is involved. This prevents your rhythm playing from becoming a muddy mess.
Another thing I've disliked about other beginning rock guitar methods is that they seem to present only the basic power chords. Yes, power chords are a huge part of rock and this book points that out and gets you well trained in those. But they aren't the only thing. Fortunately this book deals with fuller chords as well. You just have to remember, as I stated above, not to strum them out in full when you have distortion turned on. The author even gets into ways to add nice ornamentations and spice to your rhythm playing. Kudos for this.
So I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to learn rock guitar, even if you are coming from another instrument with a knowledge of theory. If you are not the book still has you covered so fear not.
I first stumbled upon David Hodge on the excellent Guitar Noise web site (...). In my opinion, he is an excellent teacher, and in fact it was through his lessons on Guitar Noise that I actually learned to play some actual songs. So, when I found out he was writing this book, I bought it the on the very first day it was available.
I haven't made it all the way through the book yet, but the material I have been through is excellent. In my opinion, this book is a very nice balance between readability, music theory, and guitar technique. Over the past six years, I have accumulated quite a few books in the quest of that 'eureka' moment where I can be like Neo and say "I know guitar". There are not many that really help that much in the quest. This book is an excellent addition to your library for your life-long mission of learning the guitar.