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Guitar For Dummies [Paperback]

Mark Phillips , Jon Chappell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Sept. 2 1998 --  
There is a newer edition of this item:
Guitar For Dummies, with DVD Guitar For Dummies, with DVD 4.5 out of 5 stars (4)
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Book Description

Sept. 2 1998 For Dummies (Computer/Tech)
Play a guitar just like ringing a bell! Even if you've never read a note of music or plucked a single string, you can be picking and strumming like Johnny B. Goode in no time flat. Guitar For Dummies takes you step-by-step through everything you need to know about guitars from buying the right ax to keeping it in tune. Learn the basic chords and move on to improvising lead solos in any style you choose: rock, blues, folk, or classical. Get the right gear -- amplifiers, capos, cases, effects pedals, straps, and strings -- and get ready to rock the house with this ultimate guide to guitar mastery. Plus, the book features a bonus CD with nearly 100 play-along practice tracks to hone your chops! Whether your dream is to play an acoustic guitar or to play an electric guitar, Guitar For Dummies covers it all, from practice to performance. Go, Johnny, go!

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From Library Journal

The "For Dummies" series has moved far from its humble beginnings as an auto repair manual in the late 1970s. This latest hefty offering suffers from trying to be too many things to too many readers. Certainly, the introductory chapters are clear and concise, with enough information to get the beginner started. But it's not clear whether the book is geared toward electric or acoustic guitar?the photo illustrations show chords played on an electric guitar while the reader is learning campfire songs. Acoustic guitars don't make an appearance until Chapter 12. Four additional chapters are devoted to guitar selection, maintenance, and accessories, items beyond the immediate interest of most beginning players. Libraries are already likely to have any number of beginning guitar books, and these need not be displaced. (CD not available for review.)?Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“…offers everything the beginner to intermediate guitarist needs in an irreverent and accessible format…” (Harborough Mail, 17th November 2005) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
All guitars - whether painted purple with airbrushed skulls and lightning bolts or finished in a natural-wood pattern with a fine French lacquer - share certain physical characteristics that make them behave as guitars and not violins or tubas. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for the visual learner May 24 2003
Well this must be a decent book, with all the praise it receives; however it didn't do much for me when I began playing guitar. I only had this to learn from, and I gave up guitar in frustration.
I just got the ambition to try guitar again, but this time I bought eMedia Guitar Method computer software, and I've gotten farther in two days with that than I did the two weeks with Guitar for Dummies book.
It seems they do have a Guitar for Dummies DVD out with instruction, that probably would be something you'd want to get in conjunction with this book to help you learn better.
I believe that this book cannot stand on it's own as a good learning tool for the beginner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far, the best guitar overview. March 24 2003
This is a great guitar overview but I'm puzzled that so many beginners rate this so highly. I started with Ernie Ball method books and can't imagine using this particular book as a single substitute. For example, unless you're a natural, you're not going to go from playing in open position to playing in other positions in one paragraph. I think the best package for beginners would be this book AND a progressive method AND some lessons.
If you are an intermediate player, you can enjoy reviewing things in this text that you've already learned as well as getting quick concise information about particulars, be it string bends, double double stops, power chords, or whatever.
This book is a great buy as it saves you from acquiring a whole shelf of guitar books to find out all there is to explore. Once you find a particular topic of interest, seek out a more specialized book.
The CD is unbeatable as you can immediately associate what you hear in different types of music with the musical notation.
If you're a Rock bigot, note that there is a Rock Guitar version. However, this one is my favorite. If you're going to be a rolling stone, you gotta be well rounded, right?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it works... Jan. 15 2004
By A Customer
...if you're willing to put in the months or years of hard work required to learn any instrument. No teacher or book will make learning the guitar a snap, but they can certainly help, as this book sure does. I started with Guitar for Dummies and primarily relied on it alone for quite some time. It really does serve as a useful, fun foundation for various styles. It's a good reference for basic guitar repairs and maintenance too.
Through a lot of study and practice, and later with the help of other books (but not a teacher), I've progressed in about a year and a half to where I can play the rhythm parts and some lead lines of more than a few rock songs (AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, Metallica, Weezer, Iced Earth, Megadeth, The Cure, etc.), do some basic blues improv, play passable fingerstyle acoustic, write some of my own tunes and riffs, transcribe tunes by ear, etc. In other words, if you're a total guitar newbie, have hope: you can learn on your own with lots of hard work, a good ear, and good books such as this one. When you first learn how to play along with one of your favorite songs, all the sweat and tears will seem worth it.
My only complaint about Guitar for Dummies is that it neglects jazz guitar, but that's understandable since jazz quickly gets extremely complicated on a theoretical level--not exactly beginner's material. Most beginners want to learn power chords, not the intricacies of improvised reharmonization. Jazz is America's greatest contribution to the music world, though, so it would have been nice to see at least a brief chapter.
(If you mainly want to play rock, make sure to check out Rock Guitar for Dummies after you've progressed a bit with this book. Also, almost any guitarist, regardless of stylistic preference or experience level, can benefit from Troy Stetina's classic Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad April 2 2004
Not a bad intro into the wonderful world of guitar playing, this book gives you the basics about which guitar's right for you, how to put strings on it, and how to getting sounding halfway decent.

GUITAR FOR DUMMIES is not, by any stretch, a comprehensive how-to, but definitely a clear and uncomplicated place to get started. Most important is that you get started, because playing the guitar is one of the most fun and rewarding thing you can do with your hands and not feel too guilty about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for What It Is Oct. 6 2003
This is definitely the best beginner book for guitar I have seen, but it starts to skip around as it moves from complete novice to budding player. By that I mean that it gives you a few concepts and then suddenly jumps ahead to more complicated methods, and often the only way you can tell if you're doing something correctly is to compare the noise you make to what you hear on the CD. That's fine for simple things like avoiding fret buzz, but a beginner is likely to develop bad habits with pull-offs and other intermediate techniques without more in-depth instruction.
Also, after completing this book, you may be able to wail away with your favorite CD, but it's more likely that you'll be able to produce about half the sounds you want with no clue about how to produce the other half. That's because the book only mentions a few box patterns and never explains how to practice them to perfection, nor does it delve into more rudimentary techniques that will be required to know the fretboard by rote. Instead, it sometimes relies on cheats (yes, the pentatonic scale is versatile, but you will need much more than that to be taken seriously as a guitarist), and it rarely indicates the amount of dedicated practice that will be required to master a technique.
Still, I like the way it combines several guitar methods. I probably wouldn't have become interested in classical guitar if this book hadn't included it. It could do a better job of indicating which concepts will and will not work with various styles, but usually that applies only to classical. Generally, unless they say the concept pertains to classical or all styles, it doesn't.
So this is a good book to get a feel for the guitar. (And its guides on shopping and maintenance are invaluable references.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Guitar for Dummies
I was pleased with this item but still haven't used it too much. I would certainly recommend it to others.
Published 15 months ago by Frank Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfactory
This was a re-purchase for me as we gave my husband's original copy to our daughter to take home. The one drawback is that it didn't come with the separate (but included in our... Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2012 by D. Owens
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners
When I decided to finally pick up the guitar I did 2 things, first I bought myself a guitar and second I purchased the Guitar for Dummies book. Read more
Published on Dec 21 2008 by Pasquale Vari
5.0 out of 5 stars very good overview for beginners
This is a very good overview for beginners. The word "overview" should be emphasized: I wouldn't recommend that anyone make it his ONLY book for very long. Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by christie hamilton
4.0 out of 5 stars I always wanted to study music...
I always wanted to study music, but I was highly encouraged to get my degree in something "sensible" by my family. So I became an avid music supporter. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Ariella Vaccarino creator of Voice Lessons To Go
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to learn guitar with some humor
Absoulutely amazing I'm just starting and I had fun right away!
Theres humor too to keep you chuckling even though you are growing calluses on you left hand. Read more
Published on April 24 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT A HOW TO BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!
Alert- All wanna be blues players beware this read is about who did what,when and where,not exactly {HOW}. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by konstantinos
1.0 out of 5 stars Guitars for Dummies? I think the authors are the dummies
Or maybe I'm the dummy for buying the book. This book may seem organized, but in actuality it jumps in every direction at once. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!
This book is full of great info. Also chech out "The Advancing Guitarist", "Bebop Blues", and "Getting Into Jazz Fusion Guitar", (by different... Read more
Published on April 27 2003
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