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Learning Playing Guitar: A Review Of The Only Reference Books You Will Ever Need
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Learning Playing Guitar: A Review Of The Only Reference Books You Will Ever Need

I'm replacing my two favorite guitar books – after more than two decades, they won't even stay taped together any longer. I was concerned that they might have gone out of print out after all this time, but now I can't imagine why. They aren't my favorite guitar books for nothing, and it turns out that I'm far from alone: Fretboard Logic by Bill Edwards and The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer have lasted all these years because they've helped an innumerable number of guitar players make the transition to being guitar-playing musicians.

The first part of Fretboard Logic explores of the guitar's tuning and fretboard. The tuning is actually non-traditional, as most stringed instruments are tuned either to a chord or in equal musical intervals. It's not a music book in the sense that it teaches you chords, scales, and soloing patterns, but it shows you the musical layout behind those patterns, allowing you to see how it links together. If you can see how Fretboard Logic turns the guitar into a musical operating system, it will enhance any online or offline instruction you are receiving.

The second part of Fretboard Logic puts its brand of music theory into action. Apply their chord-based patterns, and not only will you learn the notes and progressions faster, you'll have an easier time seeing and hearing pentatonic scales – a must if you wish to specialize in playing blues or rock.

The Guitar Handbook is actually misnamed – it's really more of a bible. There's plenty of the standard information about music and chords, but it also has biographies of guitar greats reaching back to Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt (subsequent reprints of the Handbook have added Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai). There's no questioning Denyer's taste in music – or of his dedication to this instrument.

He goes on to take you on actual guided tours of how acoustic and electric guitars are put together – in fact, the chapter names include the word "anatomy." (If you're in the market for a guitar, think of the fun you could have being able to ask the salesperson "Is the wood on this soundboard bookmatched?" or "Is the neck a bolt-on or a straight-through?") There are even sketches of the very first electric guitars, one of which was made of aluminum! There are also sections of the maintenance of your guitar, an overview of strings, amplifiers, electric guitar pickup wiring, and even a discussion of basics of home recording.

Whether you're taking private lessons or doing as newfangled as taking an online guitar lesson, you'll find both these books to be a very useful resource. The Guitar Handbook has been reprinted for the eleventh time, while the first two Fretboard Logic books have been combined into one. Though they're decades old, they still contain relevant knowledge for anyone who wants a good beginner guitar education.


Street Talk

Good review of where to get a good beginner guitar education. Fun article;)

Reply
  about 4 years ago

I can only guess at your excitement to find copies of these two books in good condition! Almost like finding a buried treasure. I can feel your joy! I am familiar with the second book,. I put the first one on my list of books to check out. Thanks for sharing this.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

two of the best Acy

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Good article and review Acy

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Johnney  

Very well written review. I have several guitar books and vids. but have not looked into these yet, guess I'll have to now. Thanks for the heads up.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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