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Modern Method for Guitar Vol 1 Book/DVD Rom Paperback – Sep 27 2006

4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Berklee Press; 1 edition (Nov. 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876390696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876390696
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.9 x 30.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blooz Guy on May 6 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've played guitar on & off for several decades now. Fooled around with it is more accurate. I know and can play basic bar chords and the pentatonics fairly well and can pull off a good riff or two on a good day. I never really learned the "correct" way to play (or how to read music) and decided now in my old age to do so.

I've looked at many, many guitar dvds, books etc. It can be overwhelming to say the least. Plus the multitude of guitar web sites and seemingly everyone who know's how to play offering you the "best" course!

Let me save you a lot of wasted time (and money) and tell you to get this book WITH the dvd rom. It is beyond good. It's like having a teacher right in your living room. The dvd has 14 hours of very good quality video & sound. EVERY page of the book is explained & expounded on. Many good practice tips are included and the important points of the book are pointed out.

I've looked over the entire book -almost the whole 14 hours now. You will come out of this a decent guitar player with a very solid background. Ok, you won't be metal "shredder", or a blues great or even a rock guy.

BUT, you will be armed with all the tools you need to become whatever type of guitarist you would like to be. Don't be fooled by the 'volume 1' title as if you're just gonna get beginner's stuff. You will learn all the keys, including the flat keys. You will also by the end of the book know a lot of chords and some fairly advanced jazzy sounding chords. Ok, this course would be slightly slanted in the jazz direction. But that's ok, it'll make ya a better player.

You could even get some shredding out of this with a little creativity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By YS on July 20 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely fantastic for learning how to play the guitar. There is a subtle yet important difference between learning to play the instrument vs learning to play songs. This is a true learning book in that it gradually develops the core ability of the student to play the guitar instrument.

The accompanying DVD contains high quality content. Larry Baione, chair of Berklee's guitar department, guides you through each exercise and gives out pointers on how to practice and what to watch for. The explanation for each exercise is clear and concise. Note that the DVD requires a computer to run. The program offers fast forward and rewind capability much like an old fashioned tape deck.

This book solely focuses on the core playing ability. The absence of music theory keeps the learning experience feeling focused and uncluttered. The exercises are strategically composed so that they build on each other. For each lesson, a variety of exercises are introduced that are eventually tied together in "duets" and "solo" exercises. The exercises are very musical in nature, which helps keeping the student motivated.

This book is highly recommended for those who want to self-teach at their own pace. The exercises are very well portioned for any practice routines from 30 minutes a day to 2 hours a day.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the books you'll need if you want to learn to play and with the CD ROM it's so much clearer then ever to understand the lessons. I'm hoping they'll do CD ROM's for the other books in this series. This is one of the resources you willl need on you quest to become a guitarist the other is a songbook. Learn to play the songs you love. I highly recommend this book! Make a loud noise unto the Lord!
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Format: Paperback
While there is no quick way to learn to play an instrument, this book provides a solid method which, if followed. will bring about amazing results. Unfortunately the instrument will not play itself but if you work hard at this course you will amaze everyone including yourself.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Excellent (with a few caveats) June 23 2008
By A. Sircom - Published on
Format: Paperback
Levitt's 'Modern Method' has been the foundation stone upon which many great guitarists have built their careers and reputations. It's pretty much beyond criticism for many players, but it's worth noting some observations:

1) It's not recommended if all you want is to learn how to strum a few chords

2) If you simply want to read TAB and chord charts, this is not the book for you

3) This will not help you perfect your string bending, hammer ons, pull offs, fingerpicking or even sweep picking

So, why the five stars? Because it's essentially boot camp for guitar. Spend a year with the book (and the accompanying DVD) and you will come away with a good basic understanding of how music works and how to apply that understanding to the guitar. You'll also be on the way to be able to sight-reading 'the dots'. Plus, in the process you will improve; playing slowly, carefully and methodically to the unstinting beat of a metronome can reveal many weaknesses in technique.

The DVD is hugely useful, too. Not only does it demonstrate the exercises well, but Larry Baione adds a human touch that the text is sometimes missing.

In short, if you want to take guitar seriously, there's no better starting place than William Levitt's books.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
It doesn't get any better than this book! Aug. 13 2009
By Hoops McCann - Published on
Format: Paperback
I wholeheartedly agree with Mike Stern. This is the best method for guitar ever written. After "messing around" with guitar for years and trying several other guitar method books and a popular multi-DVD guitar package. I got serious and was fortunate enough to pick a teacher who used this book as his basic text. Nothing else I've tried is this logically designed from a developmental point of view. The way the exercises progressively develop independence and control in your left (particularly) and right hands is ingenious. Same kudos for the books approach to teaching theory and site reading. Being able to play the exercises with Larry Baione and take advantage of the his insghts and tips rounds out the program. He gives just enough instruction to get the student past any sticking points he may come up against. I'm close to completing this one after about six months, have Volume 2 on the shelf. I've also been going through the "Blues You Can Use" book by Jeff Ganape while using this book for the last couple of months. Quite frankly its made reading and playing through the lessons in "BYCU" a piece of cake so I'm freed up to work more on technique.

This books lays the best foundation for future greatness for any beginner or intermediate player or even someone like me who'd been playing a long time but finally decided to learn what I was doing and learn to do it the right way. You have to be serious about learning guitar,and you'll have to discipline yourself and practice regularly, and slowly and precisely, preferably always with a metronome, and review, review review. As instructed. The music selections are all originals, logically arranged to progressively develop specific skills. So you'll have to learn to read them in order figure them out. There are chord diagrams, but (thank heavens) no tab.

In a nutshell this book teaches the nuts and bolts of guitar playing better than any other I've seen and pays big dividends to the hard working student. By the way, from my experience, it works well to make Modern Method the foundation of your study, and work on some particular musical interest or style at the same time.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
excellent (like anyone else NEEDS to say it...) July 11 2006
By K. D. Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback
Six or more stars, really.

I finally bought this book after "thinking about it" forever. (I have a problem with the thinking thing.) Well, just as has been said before... drop everything else and go through these books. You'll be WAY ahead if you do. I studied classical guitar for a year in college (though I'm primarily a jazz-rock-etc. player), and this SHOULD have been the book they used back then. The exercises are melodic enough that anyone with an ear should be able to follow them with little difficulty, and still you'll learn everything you need to learn.

The progression of exercises is sensible, and everything holds together as a meaningful whole, an attribute lacking in most guitar instruction books. (Though you may want to add Arnie Berle's "New Guitar Techniques for Sight Reading" as well. Not that there's a gap in Leavitt's books, just that Berle's approach may broaden your approach a bit. Berle's other books are good as well, in my opinion.)

So don't think (as I did) that this is a method for "that kind of player over there, but not me," as I did. Regardless of your intended style, what you will get here will put you years ahead if you just do it. After that, you'll be ready to tackle anything - it'll still be work, it always will be, but you won't spin your wheels as hundreds of thousands of players do.

Guitar players owe something good to Leavitt for this book, really. It's obviously the product of a sensible, disciplined, knowledgable and concerned mind.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Great method;but not for all. July 1 2010
By Tritonejones - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a certified music teacher, with a degree in music education /guitar performance and 20 years of guitar instruction experience, I believe that this is a great method book for older (16+ yrs) students, with some experience with the guitar. However, I would not recommend this book for kids of the elementary school age or beginners of any age.

First, the pace of the book is such that beginners will feel that they are making little progress and quickly get discouraged.
At this level I recommend Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition

Second, The book is very dry in in content. I understand and agree with Leavitt's rationale for not using familiar tunes; however, I do believe that the method is lacking in any examples of "real music". I suggest supplementing this method with tunes from a fake book such as The Real Book: Sixth Edition. Of course,the chosen pieces should represent the current skill level of the guitarist.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding course - to learn orchestral guitar May 10 2010
By SeekingTraveler - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is for the Berklee "A Modern Method for Guitar - Volume 1: Book/DVD-ROM Pack." This book (with the included DVD) is outstanding. It is obviously based on decades of experience successfully teaching hundreds of guitar students master their instruments. I bought this course after viewing the Berklee videos (with Larry Baione) on a popular video web site.

This book seems to be aimed at people who are interested in orchestral guitar, as well as others who wish to master the ability to sight-read sheet music. At one point in the book, the author explains that one should develop "instant" note recognition; meaning, when one looks at sheet music, one should instantly "hear" (mentally) the sound of the note, and then the fingers should automatically (instantly) play the notes that one hears. If you are not interested in achieving this goal, then this book is not for you.

The course has brilliantly broken down the skills and knowledge of guitar playing into small sessions, then sequenced those sessions to build both understanding and physical skill. At the end of this course, you will have developed complete left and right hand strength, dexterity, speed, and "muscle memory." I am particularly fond of the Berklee method for learning scale patterns up and down the entire fretboard (started in Volume 1, continued in Volume 2).

This book is lacking instruction on music theory. Therefore, I would highly recommend that you supplement the Berklee course with Hal Leonard's "Music Theory for Guitarists" book (by Tom Kolb).

This is NOT the course for you if you just got your guitar and you want to have immediate fun playing chords and basic lead patterns. In fact, if the Berklee course is your only at-home study product, you will quickly get bored and lose interest in guitar. Obviously, having fun and maintaining interest are vital when learning a musical instrument; therefore, it might be better for you if you start your guitar player journey with another course.

Most new guitar players will learn better (and have more fun) with the Rock House "Learn Rock Guitar" DVDs. The Rock House method will teach you basic chords, strumming patterns, and lead patterns very quickly, without requiring any music reading or music theory. Another good DVD course is Fender's "Getting Started on Electric Guitar" or "Getting Started on Acoustic Guitar." Of course, the best at-home guitar course (by far) is "Learn and Master Guitar" by Steve Krenz. Unless you already know how to read music (i.e., you know how to play another musical instrument), you should probably finish any of these courses before you start the Berklee course.

In all cases, after you finish one of the beginner guitar courses (including lessons with a guitar instructor), you should definitely spend a year with this Berklee "Modern Method" course. It will force you to master exercises that ensure you have the required skills and knowledge to progress to intermediate or advanced playing.