The Guitar Handbook

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  1. T. B. Vick "T.B.V." says:
    81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A Must Have for Guitar Players at Any Level, January 24, 2001
    By 
    This review is from: The Guitar Handbook (Paperback)

    When I first started playing the guitar 2 decades ago, a friend had a copy of an earlier edition of this guide and he gave me the book to use while I was getting started. Using the book, and I mean really reading the book thru thoroughly, I learned a whole lot about the instrument itself and the music that could be produced from the guitar and that really helped my routine as I developed on the instrument.

    The book starts with guitar innovators, those guitar players who have had a serious impact on the way the instrument is played, etc. This section was really fun to read and was quite informative about several guitar players who had influenced my own playing.

    The following two sections of the book cover acoustic and electric guitars. These sections detail how each instrument (acoustic and electric) are place together, how to set the action, the various types of each style of guitar, how pick-ups are place together, etc. This is a helpful and technical section which instructs the reader on the ins and outs of the make-up of his instrument.

    From here, the book moves into really playing the instrument. It starts with the beginner, teaching excellent practicing habits, what to practice, improving fingering, chord progressions, reading tablature, tuning, action, right and left-handed techniques, etc. Then this section moves into chords (with photos), three-chord scheme, flatpicking and strumming and other various fingerstyles, barre chords, and even how to transpose songs. Surrounded by this section there is also a sub-section on rhythm guitar, setting tempo, time signatures, using chord charts, time values, etc. Essentially everything you would need to know to be a well rounded guitar player is included (including slide guitar).

    The final section deals with the maintenance of the guitar. This section teaches the reader/player all the things that are needed to know about the most hard maintenance aspects such as how to make to order an instrument, to the simplest such as changing your strings. For the electric guitarist, there is a guide to guitar electronics which includes pictures and lists of all the tools you will need, instructions on reading wiring diagrams, actual charts and photos of how an electric guitar is wired, pick-up circuits, etc.

    Finally, at the back of the book is a honestly extensive chord glossary with pictures of how each chord is fingered. This glossary is very helpful to the player when tiresome to find the same chord but to know where it is elsewhere on the fret board. By and large, what can I say but that no guitar player, regardless of your experience should be without this definitive guidebook.

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  2. Randall Black says:
    45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Guitar Handbook Is a Keeper, October 26, 1997
    By 
    Randall Black (Irvine, CA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Hold(http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/191-5951021-2145847', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Guitar Handbook (Paperback)

    While refurbishing a used electric guitar (a Gibson Flying V), I needed circuit diagrams and a friend lent me his copy of The Guitar Handbook. After reading a few pages, I didn’t want to give it back! The book’s brilliance lies in its economical use of language, diagrams and photos. It’s as though Ralph Denyer and his editors are telepathic; knowing exactly what the reader needs and wants to know about guitars and guitar playing. Every page is a gold mine, illuminating topics I thought would be dull — for model, complex music scheme. Truly inspirational, the book unveils the once-daunting mysteries of music, including technical vocabulary, and still manages to stay down to earth. Take note to this quote: “Many guitarists–especially those that are self-taught–are suspicious of scales and regard them as an repellent and unnecessary discipline. This is untrue.” I’ve been rocking for 20 years and now my 16-year-ancient daughter is teaching me to sight-read music! One word of information: if you expect to keep your copy of The Guitar Handbook, don’t lend it to a guitar player.

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  3. Bill Furry says:
    33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Keep in mind the mistakes………, July 18, 2005
    By 
    Bill Furry (NY USA) –
    This review is from: The Guitar Handbook (Paperback)

    Everyone here is giving five stars, but I recently bought this 1992 (revised) edition off amazon, replacing the previous edition that I had 20 years ago which was nicked by one of my friends.

    If you really know music, you will see that there are now lots of editorial errors. for model, on the MODULATION page, it says:

    “You could change straight from C to G, since the vertical columns show that G is both the dominant (V) in the key of C and the root (I) in the key of C and the sub-dominant (IV) in the key of G..”

    I assure you that:

    G is the dominant (V) in the key of C
    but

    G is not the root (I) in the key of C
    and furthermore

    G is not the sub-dominant (IV) in the key of G..

    the instigator meant:

    “You could change straight from C to G, since the vertical columns show that G is both the dominant (V) in the key of C and the root in the key of G.. and C is the sub-dominant in the key of G”

    These errors are perhaps to be expected in our age of computer grammar check. If you know your chord scheme you can sort that out with a red pen after scratching your head for a while, but if you don’t, you are going to be lost.

    I also find mislabeled chord diagrams like the seventh augmented fifth fingering on page 127. It says root note on the 5th string but the root is on the second (A) string, and the intervals are labeled upside down. from top 3rd,b7th,#5th,1st? No: 1st,#5th, 3rd, b7th.

    What can I say? it is disappointing and again a beginner is going to be wedged here. On the other hand it is and has always been a fantastic book.

    If you are a beginner and hold it, just keep in mind that there are errors, but if you are buying this to exchange your ancient copy, maybe better wait till a new edition comes out, and I hope the publisher doesn’t make the cover any thinner.

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