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. There are appeggio studies here that you could just dial up the metronome that will definitely challenge you. In fact, you could do that with all the exercises and you will end up being ready for anything! Since you will learn all the major scales (and relative minors) in movable positions, you'll be able to play all over the neck and create your own shred material....plus you'll be able to read it as well!
I hestiate to say even a raw beginner could benifet from this combo. Only because a beginner may not have good tuning abilities. It's important to play in tune and learn how from the start. A live teacher could help with that. But, if ya know how to play some or have a good ear, then you won't need a teacher with this course. Larry Balone is not only a great guitar player but a great instructor.
If your'e serious about guitar, then this is the book you need....only get it with the dvd rom.....worth many more times the extra cost. This book will require dedication and a lot of work....be forewarned!
AND, this was much cheaper than going to the music store. I got 2 other books along with this and got free shipping! I ordered this on Monday, it was at my house on Wednesday!
One more point. I've saved the dvd as an "image" file on my computer. So all I have to do is open my image drive and bang....there it is. Saves the trouble of popping in the dvd every time you want to practice. The really good news about all this is that you can practice away from your computer with the book & your metronome, and then come back and "check" your progress with Larry! You even get to play duets with him!