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116 Reviews
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214 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for Beginners
What a wonderful book!

This book is very good for people like myself who have absolutely no experience playing guitar. After only a few days with the book I am already playing small tunes and feeling much more confident. It seems everything a beginner might wonder about has been covered, from purchasing a guitar, to the pains in your fingers as you start...
Published on 9 July 2006 by whooop

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let down by poor song choices
I've previously read a few Dummies books (non music) and found them very useful. The problem with this book lies in the songs selected as learning pieces. They are really old fashioned - Streets of Laredo, Kumbaya, Swing Low sweet Chariot for example (and the others are no better). I found them very offputting and I was not inclined to put any time into them. There are...
Published on 2 May 2011 by Henry Porter


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214 of 216 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for Beginners, 9 July 2006
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
What a wonderful book!

This book is very good for people like myself who have absolutely no experience playing guitar. After only a few days with the book I am already playing small tunes and feeling much more confident. It seems everything a beginner might wonder about has been covered, from purchasing a guitar, to the pains in your fingers as you start playing for the first time!

The key, as with all books is to take the time to read it thoroughly and be patient. Everything is explained well and the authors have included several bad jokes and puns along the way which are soo bad you have to laugh. It lightens the mood nicely, as learning to play can get very frustrating at times!!

Also included is an excellent CD so any sample music and practice pieces may be heard as they SHOULD sound. Also, the CD audio files have been split so that guitar only sound is heard on the left channel, whilst any backing music from other instruments is played through the right audio, allowing you to single out the guitar if necessary.

The book focusses on trying to get you to be able to play well as quick as possible - without having to learn musical notation. Learning musical notation can be quite boring, and there is a danger of loosing interest in learning to play. With this book, you don't have to do this (the author says that most guitar players learned to play before learning how to read music - only to learn afterwards as a matter of interest).

Instead a form of music notation called TAB is used, which is the most common guitar music available. It is very easy to understand and this is what the book mainly uses.

Have fun!
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197 of 200 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another "...For Dummies" Triumph!, 28 Aug. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
If you know nothing about guitars other than that you want to play one then this is the book for you.
Sure, it covers the usual ground of learning to play guitar that every guitar book out there does, but it does so in style that's so friendly it makes using other guitar books seem positively painful.
Plus, as well as those essentials it also tells you everything else you'll need to know, such as how to choose and buy a guitar, how to restring it, how to keep it in tune - all the basic stuff and some great tips that other books should tell you but suspciously never do.
It's designed so that you can easily "dip in" to sections, but because it's written in that wonderfully entertaining and humorous (and corny) ...For Dummies style you'll probably want to read the whole book anyway. Seriously!
I can't recommend it enough.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm no dummy!, 24 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
I bought this book on the basis of the other customer reviews, and as they helped me out I thought I should do my bit.
The book really does start from scratch (how to hold the guitar, postition your hands, even how to buy a guitar in the first place). There was lots of help with every little step and it even warned me about the pain it might cause to my delicate fingers (ow!) and by the end of the day I was playing my first tune! (OK, so it was only Kum-Ba-Ya, but everyone has to start somewhere)
I would stronlgy recommend it to any absolute beginner - the only criticism i have is that it doesn't always negotiate a comfortable distinction between the parts for electric/acoustic users, but for those playing both this is a good thing!
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114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A concise and fun way to learn all the guitar stuff you need, 2 Feb. 2004
By 
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
As with all the "Dummies" books, this one is simple and clear, giving detailed how-to information in plain-speak, with a large dash of humour. I hadn't picked up a guitar in anger in over twenty years, and this book instantly enabled me to get to grips with the essentials quickly once again. The suggested songs for playing practice, whilst corny in the extreme at first (Kumbaya??) give technique skills valuable exercise, without being too complicated for the absolute beginner.
The added bonus of the audio CD was most welcome, all the songs in the book being played correctly is a major boost to the learning curve, and the tuning track is a welcome relief.
Overall, you want to learn guitar but can't afford all those lessons? Buy this book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book and value for money!, 30 Mar. 2007
By 
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
Amazing book! i bought 'Ernie Balls's' tach yourself guitar for the same price and is nothing compared to this encyclopedia of Guitar! I've only had it a few days, and already i'm amazed by the size (value for money), the simplicity, the amount of stuff it teaches you, and the quality standard of the CD, which features a tuning track, so you can always ensure your guitar is in perfect order. The CD also has about 98 tracks, all incredibly useful, and a mp3 files that works on PC and Mac.

The book includes how to play the guitar, how to buy a good guitar, how to look after your guitar, accessories for your guitar, different styles, and much more!

This is definately worth your money! Buy it NOW!
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Starting Point for Any Aspiring Guitarist, 15 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
A very great deal better than most guitar books.
It covers everything from how to buy you first (and subsequent) guitars, how to care for them and string them. And then (of course) how to play, starting with very simple open chords, progressing through a multitude of other techniques to the quite complex.
It's been a revelation to me and has kept me learning when other books would have not. The writing style can be a little irritating but the content is good and covers every aspect, electic and acoustic from folk to Hard Core punk and back again.
Occasionally it can be a bit hard to find the bit of technique or playing style that you're looking for (without knowing what a double stop was - it took me a while to find power chords) but the flip side is that you stumble across other stuff while you're getting there - which is good.
Overall - substantially better than any other book I've seen on the subject and used in conjunction with talking to other guitarists will have you well on the road to making your housemates lives a misery !
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74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to learn to play, 10 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
At last a book that really helps. I bought this book wondering if it was as hyped as all the other "best way to learn to play guitar" type books. Instead I found a book that helps in every way possible to come to terms with learning to play. From what the parts are called to what to look for in buying your first guitar, as well as step by step simple instructuions in developing playing skills.
A very useful book as it gives you the chance to become interested in all areas, including reading music, but without having to if you don't want to.
The writing style can sometimes be very "corny" with many somewhat child like asides, but it cannot detract from the real learning value this book provides
It is a book you can use as you wish during the learning process. Want to practice chords? go ahead, want to practice some TAB's the choices are there, want to study some theory of playing or music structure? it's available.
A complete reference for the beginner and a pleasure to own. A book you will return to time and time again as you start your guitar playing adventure.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 27 Feb. 2002
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
Having played for 20 years and been through many tutor/instruction type books this is the best I have seen, easy to read and follow, the book does not focus on one style but gives an introduction to classical, blues, rock and theory. A cd is included so you can hear what every example should sound like.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So easy a monkey could use it, 8 Aug. 2002
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This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
I found this book really easy to understand, even for a total novice like myself. Everything is set out and explained in a really easy manner, and I found it relatively easy to play basic songs well enough that other people could recognise them.My Guitar playing relatives also found it very interesting as it covers a broad variety of playing styles.
A Real confidence boosting book.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great purchase, 28 Oct. 2003
By 
C. Kerr "chris1kerr" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guitar For Dummies (Paperback)
I wanted to learn the guitar and so i spent about £30 on 3 books. I hoped i'd learn a little from each of them. Truth is, however, the other two were discarded because this book is so comprehensive. Do not buy other books for beginners because they will make you sound like a beginner, this book has a fair learning curve and you will sound decent in two-three weeks.
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