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Playing the Guitar: A Self-Instruction Guide to Technique and Theory Paperback – Dec 31 1981


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer Trade Books; 3rd ed. edition (Dec 31 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825672082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825672088
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 1.2 x 27.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,681,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Be advised this book only covers classical and flamenco playing. It is of much less use for acoustic steel string or electric players.
Nevertheless, one can't properly play any guitar without a basic study of the classical. This book is complete--it covers construction styles to look for, proper woods and finishes for good tone, judging the condition of a used instrument, and basic hold and technique (that so many "rock" players abandon for the sake of slinging an axe low and looking cool, while damaging their wrists and hindering their playing).
I agree with other reviewers that it moves VERY fast--there are tricks such as tambor and percussives discussed in here, along with octave harmonics and complex chords that are beyond most beginners. I'd recommend learning a few basics before picking up this book, and using it in concert with other texts to keep perspective. Do bear in mind that Noad is biased toward the classical guitar--I don't agree, for example, that a radiused fingerboard makes no difference to playing and should be avoided. This is traditional wisdom about a gut or nylon strung instrument, and absolutely false with regard to steel string or electric, the latter of which sometimes have compound radii and staggered frets to improve action and play.
A good book not despite but because of its focus on the classical.
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Format: Paperback
About 1996 I began to teach myself classical guitar. I had a musical background, so reading music was not difficult. This was the book I chose as my primary resource. Unfortunately, this book did not help me as much as other books by the same author, so I cannot recommend it for the beginner. Beginners will find that this book moves too fast, is not thorough, and does not give very detailed descriptions of many important concepts that the beginning classical guitarist must master. Chords are introduced early, despite the fact that the strumming of chords is not of major importance in classical guitar. The full barre is also introduced very early on. The book is most useful for someone who has already gained the ability to play in most of the principle keys, has mastered the second position, and now wants to learn the entire fingerboard.
Noad published another beginner-oriented book called "The First Book of the Guitar" in three volumes. These three volumes are by far the best way to learn guitar if you are teaching yourself. Stay away from this one unless you want to use it only as a resource, not as your main lesson book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A Tresure House of Knowlege Sept. 8 1999
By RichGar@concentric.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I own (and still study) the first edition of this book. It was first published in 1963. It was a tresure then as it is now. A well writen book is never outdated. This is a book that every guitar player, beginer or experienced needs in his library. Bad habits are easily picked up and hard to loose. This book helps keep one on the path.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Caution! Classical only! June 21 2004
By Michael Z. Williamson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Be advised this book only covers classical and flamenco playing. It is of much less use for acoustic steel string or electric players.
Nevertheless, one can't properly play any guitar without a basic study of the classical. This book is complete--it covers construction styles to look for, proper woods and finishes for good tone, judging the condition of a used instrument, and basic hold and technique (that so many "rock" players abandon for the sake of slinging an axe low and looking cool, while damaging their wrists and hindering their playing).
I agree with other reviewers that it moves VERY fast--there are tricks such as tambor and percussives discussed in here, along with octave harmonics and complex chords that are beyond most beginners. I'd recommend learning a few basics before picking up this book, and using it in concert with other texts to keep perspective. Do bear in mind that Noad is biased toward the classical guitar--I don't agree, for example, that a radiused fingerboard makes no difference to playing and should be avoided. This is traditional wisdom about a gut or nylon strung instrument, and absolutely false with regard to steel string or electric, the latter of which sometimes have compound radii and staggered frets to improve action and play.
A good book not despite but because of its focus on the classical.
husband now a better guitar player June 22 2014
By Linda Bergstrom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband had someone suggest this book and it has proved to be as helpful as he was told it would be. I love being able to purchase from Amazon because I live in a small town and I have limited access to a lot of things. With Amazon everything is just a click away. With Amazon prime shipping is free and speedy.
Great guide Feb. 16 2012
By ambuster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. Second time ordering. I somehow lost my first book and had to order this one again. Very informative. I've taken several guitar lessons years ago and since then have played on my own and love to reference back to this book.


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