Summary and Info
I understand the genius behind such a bare bones instruction book. The author is saying to you "No matter what; you have got to be motivated if you really want to learn!!" I suppose this is true of anything and he gets his point across quickly. Within the first 10 pages I was already much better at sight reading than I was from completing a beginner/intermediate guidebook with musical notation AND tablature. I never tried to learn to read the music and I made it through the entire book and "learned" all the lessons. The fact that this book doesn't allow you to cheat AT ALL is an enormous plus. I also disagree with the comments that the music to be learned isn't interesting or pleasant; while it is obviously geared toward driving home certain skills and concepts, many of the tunes are quite pleasant and fun to play with others on their own merit. As I state below record one part and play the duets as they were meant to be played. They are quite nice and have a "classical" feel.Criticisms:A lot of the music provided to learn comes in "duet" form for 2 guitars which complicates things for a loner like me. I recommend getting a music recording program for your computer so you can record one part and play the other and vice-versa. All this of course to the time of a metronome. Without understanding timing this book won't help you as much as it can. I also wish he was more explicit about the time he wants you to play some of the pieces in. He'll note that it's "moderate" but my metronome has several moderato settings... which should I use? A minor detail to be sure.I've noticed that the 1st book sold separately comes with a DVD I wish this one came with that DVD. Perhaps I'll buy it separately.Also, as others have stated the binding isn't very good, so go to Kinkos and get that done, you won't regret it. And finally,supplement this book with some "fun" guitar playing. Get a book that plays some songs you may know and has some charisma and CD accompaniment. I recommend Hank Marvins guitar instruction book Hank Marvin's Guitar Instruction Book. He's pretty funny and that book has a lot of information in it that you will always refer to as well.All in all this is a great book. Would be 5 stars if it had a little more "flair".I mean, 1 recognizable and fun piece per chapter couldn't hurt....could it?
More About the Author
William "Bill" G. Leavitt (October 4, 1926 – November 4, 1990) was an American jazz guitarist and arranger best known for his long series of guitar instruction books and for developing a related curriculum at Berklee College of Music as chair of the guitar department.
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