9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An excellent resource as long as you know what to expect,
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This review is from: Justinguitar.Com Beginner'S Songbook J. Sandercoe (Easy Guitar With Notes & Tab) (Paperback)
The reason I've opted for 4 stars instead of 5 gel with several concerns made by other reviewers in various reviews.
To bring these together --
The book is VERY hard to use unless you want to risk cracking the spine. It really should have been ring bound. Its frustrating to be studying a song and to have to weight the pages down to stop the book shutting itself. It's smaller-than-usual width also makes it impractical to use on a music stand.
A CD should have been included. The book assumes you know the songs (which are drawn from a very wide and eclectic range of genres and styles).
To get most benefit from ths book you need to be familiar with Justin's website and tutorials. However, as you're reading this online, there's no reason why you can't search out his fabulous website and then dive right in --- but a CD would have let you work offline as well. Maybe Justin will consider making one and marketing it or releasing it via his website?
The book is mostly for people who are singers who accompany themselves, or for those who want to accompany someone else who is singing. It you're looking for tab or notation or melody lines - forget it. What you get are lyrics, chords and tips about strumming styles plus other topics such as hints for fingerpickers.
Chord diagrams are few and far between - so make sure you know your chords or have a good chord dictionary to hand. Having said that, most songs use pretty straightforward chords.
OK - those are the reasons why I knocked off one star.
In all other respects, the book is excellent and can be seen as a combined songbook and teaching/learning/tutorial resource. EVERY song is associated with appropriate, useful and clear notes about playing styles and techniques. Songs are carefully sequenced to reflect their levels of ease or difficulty. All songs are shown on the left page with all notes on the right page - so no need to keep turning over. (You can concentrate on trying to keep the darn book open at the pages you want as you simultaneously play your guitar!)
The song index on pages 1-3 is very useful and comes with a way for you to keep a tally of your progress through the songs/lessons.
Justin Sandercoe is renowned for the quality and generosity of his online tutorials and this book is a worthy accompaniment to that resource as long as you know what to expect.
Hopefully this review has pointed out its minor weaknesses alongside it's undoubted strengths.