on February 23, 2001
I wanted to learn to play guitar but had no idea where to start. I didn't even know how to change the strings on my guitar. Luckily I found this book. This book teaches you everything you need to know including how to string, tune, and hold your guitar. I learned to play chords and finger picking faster than I ever thought possible. The slow, iterative approach builds upon previous lessons which give you the skills to tackle the next lesson. A lot of books I have seen throw you right into the deep end which can be frustrating for beginners. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to play a guitar. If not for this book I probably would have become frustrated and quit playing before I even began.
on August 17, 1999
I just happened upon this book by chance when first beginning my quest for literature on guitar instruction. Simply put, I didn't want to pay for lessons from the very beginning if all I needed were some basics (holding the guitar, tuning, learning the parts of the guitar, some basic tunes and chords, etc.) to get my feet wet. I was previously intimidated by guitars and guitar playing, sure it was hopelessly complicated. Evans' easy and approachable text, very good illustrations and slow, step-by-step instructions totally changed my outlook. I've learned so much already, and I barely play four chords well! Although most of the tunes you learn early on in the book aren't necessarily "popular" ones, they get the job done. Later on in the book you learn the skills to approach any kind of music. In my opinion, it's the best bargain out there. My only suggestions would be a spiral binding and accompanying CD for future editions.
on June 26, 2000
After having my guitar stolen 20 years ago, I lost interest in ever playing again. But now I have rekindled interest to reteach myself to play, most importantly to teach my son to play. This book has helped tremendously in relearning everything that I had forgotten about the guitar.The lessons are simple to follow with step by step finger placements and illustrations.
on May 24, 2013
This book by Roger Evans has been around a long time, and it is complete to learn how to play, however there are two very important questions you should ask yourself. This book will not answer them for you.
Roger does explain briefly on what guitar you should have to begin playing. As I understand about 95 percent of the people who learn to play guitar are right handed, but what about that remaining 5 percent? Roger briefly describes this on the very last page of his book. When I was 12, I failed playing a right handed instrument only cause my control hand was on the finger board instead picking the strings, it feels completely unnatural, and wrong for me to play this way.
First question: When you play air guitar, what hand do you use to pick the strings?
This is so important, that most people will quit learning how to play guitar after a few short lessons. Whatever hand you use will determine what type of guitar you need to play, and if your like me your going to pay a premium for a Left Handed guitar.
The formal name is "South Paw" and there are only a select few companies in the world who make them. My dream guitar I wanted is not left handed, they don't make them. I'm glad I waited to find this out first before making a big mistake on buying the guitar.
Second question: What kind of guitar do you most desire to play, Electric or Acoustic?
This is obvious, however there are downsides for both types. The electric guitar will cost you more cause you need an amplifier, without it, it takes the fun out of playing. The electric guitar is also much heavier, and may not be suited younger students. The acoustic guitar is much lighter but it can be awkward to hold in your lap. When I was 12 I could barely see over the body to pick the strings. The guitar I given was full size and not 3/4 or 1/2 size as it should of been, but back in 70's there wasn't really any guitars for children, other then a guitar from Sears, and that didn't suite me either since I was left handed. The acoustic guitar, the wood is prone to cracking, so you should have a good secure case with a humidifier. It tends to be much more fragile, so it's really important on where you store your guitar.
So there you have it, if you know the answer to these questions and Rogers book you should be off to a great start.