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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 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 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!
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on July 20, 2010
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.
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on May 31, 2015
This is one of the books you'll need if you want to learn to play and with the CD ROM it's so much clearer then ever to understand the lessons. I'm hoping they'll do CD ROM's for the other books in this series. This is one of the resources you willl need on you quest to become a guitarist the other is a songbook. Learn to play the songs you love. I highly recommend this book! Make a loud noise unto the Lord!
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on November 27, 2015
After playing with Rocksmith for a year and a half, this seems a logical next step. The first couple lessons are only slightly challenging, but are definitely improving my knowledge of note locations and sight reading.
However, the actual score is blurred (slightly) by what appear to be JPEG artifacts, so I'm a little annoyed. They should have taken a little extra effort in kindle conversion.
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on December 27, 2011
While there is no quick way to learn to play an instrument, this book provides a solid method which, if followed. will bring about amazing results. Unfortunately the instrument will not play itself but if you work hard at this course you will amaze everyone including yourself.
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