In my short career compared to Keith Richards, I have met tons of guitarists at all skill levels; from professionals who bring home the bacon with their playing to hobbyists who just want to learn a handful of tunes. Both parties had one thing in common, they had to start somewhere.
Before the boom of YouTube and guitar mags, many of us learned the guitar by going to our local music shop’s backroom and plunking out Mary Had a Little Lamb. This labor of love was some serious dues paying. In the back of your mind you really just wanted to learn AC/DC’s Back in Black or Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, but hey, had to start somewhere!
Hal Leonard’s new book with CD meets you halfway. It gives you all the basics you need to get started like;
The parts of a guitar
How to hold a guitar
How to hold a pick
How to tune with a tuner
How to fret notes
And those are just the first two pages! Once you get deeper in the 32 page booklet you’ll have a chance to learn tons of cool riffs from The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, U2, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Yes, Metallica, U2, Santana, Bob Dylan and dozens more.
The book teaches you to play through via Tab. Tablature replaces standard musical notation by giving each fretted noted a number. The book does explain rhythms and rests along with strum patterns and essential guitar accents like vibrato, hammer-ons, palm muting and slides.
This book certainly won’t give you the ability to steal Al Di Meola’s gigs, but I feel it takes songs you are already familiar with and gets them under your fingers to inspire you to take guitar learning to the next level. If I could add one thing it would be more attention to chords, while the book touches on chords briefly, I feel chord knowledge is a massive chunk of understanding the guitar. There is a Book 2 available, but I was only able to checkout Book 1.
Street Price: $12.99