Picture Chord Encyclopedia: 6 inch. x 9 inch. Edition Paperback – Feb 1 2002
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About the Author
Founded in 1947, Hal Leonard Corporation has become the worlds largest print music publisher, representing some of the greatest songwriters and artists of all time. We are proud to publish titles of interest to all musicians as well as music lovers, from songbooks and instructional titles to artist biographies and instrument price guides to books about the music industry and all the performing arts.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Oh, OK, fine, here are the details:
There is a six-page introduction to the book which describes how to use the book (um, you have to be an idiot not to understand how to use the book, but just in case!); it also discusses briefly how to choose the best voicings, how to "read" chords, what all the voodoo symbology in chords actually MEANS (like you'll find out that "C+" is not just a computer language!), how to assemble each chord type (ie. "minor" means "first-flatted third-fifth"), and what an "inversion" means. This introduction is very clear, well thought-out, and only provides essential and useful information. BUT, this is not the meat of the book.
The main part of the book consists of 264 pages of chords! Each very large page is divided vertically in half so that only two chords appear on each page. Each chord is given by its symbol at the top of the page in large type, below which is the English translation. Below that is the chord written out on a G-clef in standard music notation, with each note labeled and the root note labeled. Below this are five separate voicings for that chord. Each voicing is given in two separate ways: there is a large black and white photograph of a hand playing that chord; to the right of that is a six by six grid which sort of looks like you're looking down on the fretboard of a guitar. On this grid are black dots representing which frets and which strings you press down, along with the suggested fingering for that chord. Each note is labeled. The five voicings progress down the neck, allowing you to play that chord essentially anywhere you need to on the neck. These diagrams and pictures are BIG so you won't have to do a lot of squinting. Perfect size type, and all the information you will need.
There are 44 separate chords given, for each of the 12 keys, with five chords voicings given for each chord. (For those of you counting at home, that is 2640 separate chords!) These 44 chords range from the basic major and minor chords that every beginner learns, to the esoteric stuff that you'll probably never need unless you play jazz (like Cmaj7#11 and C13sus4.)
The book is well thought-out, planned, and executed, the perfect size and shape, and with a wealth of information--- but not TOO much information--which is a problem I was having with some of the grimoires. (Now, don't get me wrong. The grimoires are ALSO essential once you've reached a certain level. However, for the day-to-day guitar player, they are too complicated overkill.)
In summary, until you start playing stuff like Wes Montgomery, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Frank Zappa or Robert Fripp, this book is all you will ever need!!!
Among the over twenty that deal with Chord shapes, this is the one.
Don't waist your money on any other Chord book until you buy this one.
I will not say more as the other reviewers have taken the time to go over the
intricacies better, or the same as I could and I have to get back to practice.
Along with this Chord Encyclopedia, you will need the best Chord Progression Encyclopedia which is:
Mel Bay's Deluxe Encyclopedia of Guitar Chord Progressions.
This is the book that one reviewer was wishing was included in the Chord Encyclopedia, but is an extension of
the subject and does not belong in a pure Chord Shape book like this one.
These two books is all you will probably ever need for Chord Shapes and Progressions.
If I would have known this ten years ago, I would have saved myself a few hundred dollars.
I can't fault it.
For each chord that is represented, there is an illustration of the chord fingering of the fretboard with all the pertinent information and, next to it, a photograph of the chord being played. Additionally, in the column of each chord listed are five "voicings" of the chord name, starting with the lowest position on the fretboard and moving up.
Also, even though this is a thick book, the way in which it is constructed allows it to lie open flat, almost as nicely as a spiral book, which naturally makes this book easy to refer to while practicing. I find this to be more helpful to have in hand than a chord app and more comprehensive than a chart on the wall.
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