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The Acoustic Guitar Bible Paperback – 6 Sep 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Sanctuary Publishing Ltd; Pap/Com edition (6 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844920631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844920631
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 1.5 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

With the folk-rock movement in full swing, the acoustic guitar hasn't been as much in the spotlight since the Sixties. Artists such as Turin Brakes, David Gray, Damien Rice, Starsailor, Travis and Coldplay have put the acoustic guitar centre stage again. This guide begins by tracing the origins of the instrument through the millennia, from 19th century troubadours, to the unplugged movement of the 90s and beyond. It then takes us on a detailed tour of the players, techniques and kit that has defined the genre over the years. Complemented with a demonstration CD.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a highly unusual book. I know of no other that has this approach. Even excellent books such as 'The Complete Guitarist' by Richard Chapman don't cover the ground that can be found in the 'bible'.
One previous reviewer refers to it as a 'tutor'. Another reviewer said that after reading it they felt 'informed'. I feel that the second comment is the more accurate. There are a wide range of truly excellent 'tutors' out there for anyone who wants to learn how to master the acoustic guitar. (There are also some very poor ones - but that's another matter).
Whilst the 'bible', does contain elements of 'tutorship' by including exercises, riffs and performance pieces, it covers a lot more ground. If your search is for a full-blown guitar tutor, then this is probably not the book for you. (In that event, begin by looking at 'The acoustic guitar method' by David Hamburger, or 'Beginning Fingerstyle Blues' by Arnie Berle and Mark Galbo. More demanding, but no less good is 'Acoustic Blues Guitar' by Kenny Sultan. If you're also interested in electric blues, tutors don't come much better or more rewarding than 'Blues you can use' by John Ganapes. All come with CD's and all are available via Amazon UK).
But back to the 'bible' ...
There is so much in this huge 243 page, large format book that it would take a small novella to review it. Even the 'Contents' listing covers 4 full sides!
Maybe I can best explain what I mean by it being less of a tutor and more of a broad overview by listing a few of the other topics that are covered.
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Format: Paperback
I will start by saying that I agree with everything already written in the preceding reviews. Perhaps doubly agreeing with alanstrgss, in that the 'Bible' may be more of an information source than a tutoring tool.
At 45, having just bought my first guitar 7 weeks ago I am a complete newbie and not particularly knowledgable of other guitarists. So this review may be of interest to other newbies.
The performance pieces at the end of CD2 left me in no doubt that Eric Roche must be one of the most skilled guitarists in the world. His jaw dropping prowess on the CD examples had me intimidated and disheartened at first. Some of the chord shapes in some of the excercises seem almost unachievable at speed (then again I still struggle with the Fm barre chord) and the speed with which he finger-picks must be a blurr to watch - if only a DVD were included.
Having said that, the excercises sound so colourful and interesting that I have stuck with this book in preference to the other two that I bought at the same time (Guitar Method - Hal Leonard and Play Acoustic - Dave Hunter). None of your strum-along-to-a-song stuff here. In fact hardly anything that I recognise and not what I was originally looking for at all. But I found it very fresh, enticing, alluring.
The first time the subject of strumming is broached is on p38 track 16. In neuvo flamenco style a chord is strummed 33 times in just 4 seconds! To a newbie like me it sounds near impossible to mimic but Mr Roche gives an excellent explanation of how it's done. Maybe one's wrist doesn't need to fully rotate at 10 revs/s.
Just 7 weeks after buying a guitar and working with this book my guitar-playing friends are genuinely astonished at how well I can play.
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Format: Paperback
I have played guitar for many years but, to my shame, never mastered the musical theory that underpins what I do. I purchased this book in order to rectify that omission.

The reputation of the author was known to me and I felt that I was on safe ground. I had not, however, reckoned with the miserly practices of the publishers who have clearly not seen fit to employ proof-readers.

I struggled with some of the theory and became deeply confused as to what theoretical subtlety I had missed which accounted for the absence of the key of A in a table on page 85. After some re-reading, and reference to another text, it dawned on me that I wasn't a fool - it was a misprint!

This made me suspicious and on further reading in the musical theory section I began to find more errors. Inaccurate chord diagrams, mis-named chord diagrams, missing words, major described as minor and so on. There were sections of the text which contained at least one error per page! And these were not insignificant errors - on page 97 there are two absolutely identical chord diagrams one marked Dm and one marked Am!

Enough! I realised that instead of learning the theory I had hoped to master I was becoming the unofficial proof-reader that the publishers, SMT, had been too miserly to employ before taking my money!

The "internationally respected" author has sadly passed away but his memory is ill-served by this slip-shod production. Spend your money elsewhere!
7 Comments 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 22 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of the finest tutor books I've seen, very detailed and covers so many areas of acoustic playing, from excellent stuff about the instrument itself (in far greater detail than any other book I've seen) through alternate tunings (which Eric Roche was renowned for)and a number of full performance pieces. This is one book I'll be recommending to friends as the one to get.
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