The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing the Guitar [with CDROM] by Frederick Noad
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On the spine, the title is written so that the words "The Complete" and "Guide to" are very small indeed, so small in fact that when reading the title from a few feet away it appears as if this book is called Idiot's Playing the Guitar. I kinda wanna read that book.
I'm not saying this is a bad book, not in the least! However, it's still a boring old text, regardless of the Idiot's Guide's attempt to fun-it-up with some "kooky" cartoons. Nonetheless, if you're picking up a guitar for the first time, you could do worse than to make this your beginner's go-to text...believe me. The only book I had while learning was one that was nothing more than page after page of chords, hundreds of diagrams of hands on the fretboard. No how, what or why ever explained. This one does a very good at walking you through the basics.
It begins with a bit of history, moves on to explain what a guitar is (remember this is an Idiot's Guide), gives you tips on what to look for when buying a guitar, as well as advice on how you're going to be handling your ax (<- data-blogger-escaped-actual="" data-blogger-escaped-and="" data-blogger-escaped-br="" data-blogger-escaped-for="" data-blogger-escaped-guitar="" data-blogger-escaped-kids="" data-blogger-escaped-music.="" data-blogger-escaped-of="" data-blogger-escaped-playing="" data-blogger-escaped-proceeds="" data-blogger-escaped-rock-n-roll="" data-blogger-escaped-s="" data-blogger-escaped-slang="" data-blogger-escaped-that="" data-blogger-escaped-the="" data-blogger-escaped-then="" data-blogger-escaped-to="">
You can learn the musical staff if you wish (and if you're plaining a professional career in music you absolutely should), but if you're just learning to play for fun or starting a band with friends, tablature - the guitarist's cheat sheet - is provided for every song included in the book for practice.
Every chapter has a half-page section called "Guitar Gods," in which they give a brief rundown of a virtuoso. And it's not just all about popular rock guitar gods either. The book has various sections detailing a number of different styles of music in which the guitar plays a prominent role, and each of those "Guitar Gods" sections includes relevant players to that style.
I'm trying to figure out how I came into possession of this one. My edition is from 2002. That's about 14 years after this kind of basic, intro to guitar playing info would've been helpful to me. I bet my brother bought it and it ended up in my collection when he moved and unloaded some of his crap on me. Oh well, this might actually come in handy. My teenage-aged dreams of being a rock legend have slipped away, but now and then I occasionally like to bust out with "Iron Man," but I am admittedly quite rusty. Running through the songs herein might help oil the ol' finger joints. Plus, I never did learn the flamenco style...Oh good lord, if I learned flamenco my woman would want to make the sweet, passionate love to me all the day and all the night! I'm not sure I've got the cojones for that...