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The Guitar Handbook Paperback – October 20, 1992
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The book begins with guitar innovators, those guitar players who have had a serious impact on the way the instrument is played, etc. This section was actually fun to read and was quite informative about several guitar players who had influenced my own playing.
The following two sections of the book cover acoustic and electric guitars. These sections detail how each instrument (acoustic and electric) are put together, how to set the action, the various types of each style of guitar, how pick-ups are put together, etc. This is a helpful and technical section which instructs the reader on the ins and outs of the make-up of his instrument.
From here, the book moves into actually playing the instrument. It begins with the beginner, teaching good practicing habits, what to practice, improving fingering, chord progressions, reading tablature, tuning, action, right and left-handed techniques, etc. Then this section moves into chords (with photos), three-chord theory, flatpicking and strumming and other various fingerstyles, barre chords, and even how to transpose songs. Inside this section there is also a sub-section on rhythm guitar, setting tempo, time signatures, using chord charts, time values, etc. Essentially everything you would need to know to be a well rounded guitar player is included (including slide guitar).
The final section deals with the maintenance of the guitar.Read more ›
If you really know music, you will see that there are now lots of editorial errors. for example, on the MODULATION page, it says:
"You could change straight from C to G, since the vertical columns show that G is both the dominant (V) in the key of C and the root (I) in the key of C and the sub-dominant (IV) in the key of G.."
I assure you that:
G is the dominant (V) in the key of C
G is not the root (I) in the key of C
G is not the sub-dominant (IV) in the key of G..
the author meant:
"You could change straight from C to G, since the vertical columns show that G is both the dominant (V) in the key of C and the root in the key of G.. and C is the sub-dominant in the key of G"
These errors are perhaps to be expected in our age of computer grammar check. If you know your chord theory you can sort that out with a red pen after scratching your head for a while, but if you don't, you are going to be lost.
I also find mislabeled chord diagrams like the seventh augmented fifth fingering on page 127. It says root note on the 5th string but the root is on the second (A) string, and the intervals are labeled upside down. from top 3rd,b7th,#5th,1st? No: 1st,#5th, 3rd, b7th.
What can I say? it is disappointing and again a beginner is going to be stuck here. Nevertheless it is and has always been a great book.
If you are a beginner and purchase it, just keep in mind that there are errors, but if you are buying this to replace your old copy, maybe better wait till a new edition comes out, and I hope the publisher doesn't make the cover any thinner.
This is also an effective book if you are interested in buying a guitar. You will be able to identify problems with most guitars because you will know what to look for. For example, checking for a warped neck. There is a great two page section that gives you the basics about how to look for that kind of defect.
And don't let any of these other reviews convince you that there is not enough theory in here. Granted, if you are brand new to playing or music in general it probably won't make much sense and you will struggle. But if you understand some basic scale and chord structures this book will help you gain a better understanding of how it all works. Odds are that those who do not like the theory in this book either do not like the approach or didn't actually read the entire book.
This book will NOT make you sound like your favorite guitarist. All the great players are great because they practice and the greatest players just have the gift. So do not expect that out of any book or instructor.
Lastly, do not buy the hard cover edition. Get the soft cover/paperback edition. You will want to have this book in front of you when you are working on your guitar or playing it. The only thing that would make this book a 5 star is if you could get it in spiral bound format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you play guitar for fun or are a serious student you simply have to get a copy of this book. This handbook sets the standard for all other guitar books and instruction. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Robert E.
This is the most comprehensive handbook I have ever seen. I am a guitarist with 53 years experience as a professional, and I still refer to it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This was highly recommended by several proficient guitarists as a valuable resource for knowing your instrument. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jim
Great book, very informative. I would agree with other reviewers that this is better for someone who has a little knowledge or is going through a course. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jared Thomas
This book is so thorough. Just about everything you might want to know about playing guitar is in there. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Timothy S. Tetreault