Introducing Classical Guitar Book 1 (Learn to Play the Guitar)

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  1. J. McCook "READAX" says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Making the Daunting Seem Do-able, April 29, 2001
    J. McCook “READAX” (Southeastern US) –

    This review is from: Introducing Classical Guitar Book 1 (Learn to Play the Guitar) (Paperback)

    Though I’ve been playing the guitar for very nearly 15 years, I was self-taught and, as such, by no means really developed a firm grasp on the fundamentals of reading music and applying it to the guitar. Most instructional books that broached the theme made it seem too daunting and intimidating. This prevented me from taking on more ambitious pieces, namely classical preparations. But, finding “Introducing Classical Guitar” altered all that.

    This simple-to-read, 27 page book presents both reading music and mastering the fundamentals of classical guitar in a way that is both simple to know and fun to learn. Through concise and familiar descriptions and examples, one not only learns but understands all those things that may have seemed too advanced in the past. I opened this book completely intimidated and overwhelmed by musical notation for the guitar. I closed it feeling confident enough to take-on the most complex of pieces.

    Moreover, to add to its unique “user-friendly” delivery, the book is replete with various hints and words of wisdom that make playing classical guitar seem do-able. For instance, understanding the nature of music, how to site-read with ease, how to memorize pieces, how to get your fingers “effective,” etc. Sitting down with it is a pleasant experience as a whole.

    But, an experienced player may find it a bit too basic or slow for their needs. Needless to say, it does touch upon such things as familiarizing one with the fretboard, the proper way to manipulate the instrument, and the basic chords. Though these can, of course, be skipped-over, I really found it educational to know the general scheme behind what I already knew, as well as practice the suggested methods of playing, especially since Carter’s explanations were void of pretension and assumption, unlike so many other classical instructionals. Moreover, don’t expect to end this book and have a repertoire of impressive pieces. Since the emphasis is on culture the fundamentals, most of the exercises are quite basic (although his simple-to-learn translation of “Asturias” will produce heads to turn). But to that end, I reckon the book would be perfect for the beginning guitarist as well.

    I doubtless spent no more than a week or two with this book before I found myself tender on to more advanced pieces. Surrounded by a few months I’d say I’ve gone from being a chord-strummer to a honestly competent classical guitarist, thanks to Carter’s book. It really was like turning on a light for me.

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