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Guitar For Dummies Paperback – Sep 16 1998

56 customer reviews

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Guitar For Dummies
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (Sept. 16 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076455106X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764551062
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #899,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

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Inside This Book

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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

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Lee Young on May 24 2003
Format: Paperback
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 By BooksRuleAZ on March 24 2003
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on Jan. 15 2004
Format: Paperback
...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 By Pasquale Vari on Dec 21 2008
Format: Paperback
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. I had no clue what I was doing, this book was completely incomprehensable to me and as a result I picked up many bad habits early on. I decided to put this book down and take guitar lessons instead. What a great choice, my poor habits were corrected and I was progressing forward in my playing at a pretty constant rate. Only after a year and a half did I decide to open this book up again. To my surprise it was actually really useful. It filled in the gaps that I thought were missing from my lessons, it elaborated on recently learned information and it had excellent exercises to reinforce what I had already learned. All in all, this book is actually not for beginners at all, at best it makes for a good reference book. Once you have a pretty basic understanding of the guitar, this book actually becomes very useful. I'm still using it now and it is a great help, it's giving me direction and I actually notice an improvement in my playing. I would definitely recommend this book for someone with at least 2 years of guitar lessons under their belt. For everyone else, there are much better books than this for beginners.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Fletcher on April 2 2004
Format: Paperback
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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