Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar (Book and Audio CD) (Guitar Books)

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  1. Raj says:
    215 of 216 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Solid instruction material, November 20, 2004
    By 
    Raj (India) –
    This review is from: Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar (Book and Audio CD) (Guitar Books) (Paperback)

    Fingerstyle is an obscure genre. It baffles many guitar buffs since there are hardly any established tutorials. I’ve been obsessed with this style ever since I heard the likes of Robert Johnson, Doc Waston, Leo Kottke etc.

    Having scanned the web I bought three books -

    Beginning Fingerstyle Blues – Arnie Berle (the one in question)

    Art of Contemporary Travis Picking – Mark Hanson

    Art of Solo Fingerpicking – Mark Hanson

    It only makes sense to equate these books since in addition to money, we are investing time. Choosing the right book would save you lot of time, and much irritation. Beginning Fingerstyle Blues is one of the finest guitar instruction tutorials I’ve come across. The instruction is lucid and the approach very most likely. The book takes you step by step through fingerstyle blues construction up your right hand ability (and confidence) to the extent where you can play and sing (oh yes!) the blues with relative ease, only after 12-18 months of dedicated practice. 12 months is a honestly small period as fingerstyle tunes can get rather complicated. I’ve always been impatient when receiving instructions and tend to skip a section or two so as to reach the end ASAP. But this book kept me engaged throughout as it made me judge that everything was achievable, as long as I tried and didn’t deceive myself. I rate it five stars, for the instruction and for keeping me hooked throughout (after all culture should be fun!). Like the others have said it also contains 5 full pieces at the end to add to your repertoire, which clearly is a bonus.

    The books by Mark Hanson are equally profound in content and tutoring. Characters books notch a point or two higher than the rest of the fingerstyle books as he (Mark) gives very clear instruction regarding right hand placement, how many fingers to use, pinky fiddle with placement, whether or not to use thumbpicks/fingerpicks and many other finer points which you will require answers to once you immerse yourself in fingerstyle guitar. There are dreadfully few competent sources who can give you these answers. You will not find these details in Beginning Fingerstyle Blues. It left me confused initially but thanks to Characters books I figured the right way out.

    Many of you may be confused about which books to buy so that you do NOT regret in 12 months time; after you have place in your best and expect returns. Having owned 8 fingerstyle books and 4 fingerstyle instruction videos, I strongly recommend Beginning Fingerstlye Blues and The Art of Contemporary Travis Picking. If you cannot buy both books for any reason, pick either and buy the other in a year’s time. You will not need any video instructions if you have these two books. These two are the very best out there and I don’t see any books better than these, in the fingerstyle genre. They both share common foundation such as:

    1. Both cater to absolute beginners – you can manage even if you cannot change chords confidently

    2. Both focus on Travis Picking (alternate bass with melody) which is quintessential to fingerstyle guitar

    3. You will be a honestly advanced fingerstyle player after having successfully completed either book

    In my opinion no book is terrible. You will get to learn something or the other from every book. But there are very few that are jewels – these two books undoubtedly are. There is a reason both these books have been rated 5 stars; they work wonderfully well and the results they provide are truly fulfilling.

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  2. Big Dave says:
    83 of 83 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Buy This Book, December 13, 2001
    By 
    Huge Dave (Boise, Idaho) –
    This review is from: Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar (Book and Audio CD) (Guitar Books) (Paperback)

    This is an brilliant introduction to playing acoustic blues guitar because;

    1. It assumes virtually no knowledge of the instrument to start with.

    2. The exercises are gradated, slowly adding additional chords and keys and more complex picking patterns.

    3. The exercises are designed to teach you to go your thumb independently from your fingers. This gives you that fantastic “wow, it sounds like two guitars!” effect.

    4. The accompanying CD, while not always perfectly indexed to the book (I reckon it must have been a cassette first), allows you to hear a very skilled player playing the exercises and pieces.

    5. The culmination of the exercises is a pool of five real pieces, including songs by Robert Johnson and Willie Brown. These pieces are stylistically different from each other and require you to stretch a bit beyond what you’ve learned in the exercises, with the result that together they make a nice small blues repertoire.

    Choose today to (get better) on the guitar — buy this book.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    40 of 40 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fantastic introduction book to culture fingerstyle blues!, June 27, 2000
    By A Customer
    Amazon Verified Hold(http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/186-6564553-9599200', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar (Book and Audio CD) (Guitar Books) (Paperback)

    This is a fantastic book because it breaks down the process of culture acoustic (fingerstyle) blues step-by-step, and shows you how to play the blues in the ancient Mississippi-blues and other related styles. It starts off with beginner techniques such as culture how to play an alternating bass, combining the thumb with the fingers, playing chords with this thumb/fiddle with picking try out, maintaining a steady rhythm, playing different beats, and moves into more complicated playing involving melody and blues clarification, fretting hand techniques, picking hand techniques, different chord shapes, vamps, and singing the blues. The end of the book then contains 5 blues pieces: M&O Blues, Beekman Blues, Huge Road Blues, 32-20 Blues, and Black Rat Blues.

    The CD is a fantastic accompaniment, because it allows you to hear the examples in the book, and really *take note* for that blues feel.

    I highly recommend this book!

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