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.