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LIChick
10-27-2003, 12:07 PM
I'm collecting Guitar Method Books like a kid collects matchbox cars....To teach myself, the local music store suggested the Alfred Method. When I took lessons from the music store, the guy used Hal Leornard. Currently, I'm taking a Guitar Workshop and they use Hal Leonard (not the same book as before). I also took Guitar for Dummies out the library. In fact, I didn't find this one too bad, the tone was a little chatty.
I know this is a matter of opinion, but which method books do you prefer?

Koala
10-27-2003, 01:31 PM
I really like William Leavits A Modern Method for Guitar simply cuz it uses standard notation, plus it is very effective.

Long ago I did start out with Hal leonard books and still study stuff from them.

chris
10-27-2003, 02:11 PM
There are a lot of good methods out there I'm sure but one I would suggest if you haven't gotten it already is Troy Stetina's Metal Lead, Metal Rhythm, and his Speed Mechanics. Volume two of both his Lead and Rhythm methods teach not only some great licks and riffs but a lot of practical theory. Plus they have full songs and backing tracks at the end of each chapter so you can play what you've just learned... and it rocks!

SillyCone
10-27-2003, 04:34 PM
Even if I actually don't play rock yet, I found the Troy Stetina methods very nice (Total Rock Guitar), coz he allows you to play with the guitar from page 1, and the pace is fast enough for you to make progresses on every page.

In general I found the Hal Leonard books to be of a good quality, not too much theorical, not for braindead people either.

What exactly do you call a guitar method book ? Only books that take you by the hand as if you'd never touched a guitar, or also books that make you progress and are not too specific (not like "Jazz chords book", or "Learn speed metal above 160 bpm" :)
Also, what style of method do you want ? Classical guitar, Acoustic, Rock,...

LIChick
10-27-2003, 05:03 PM
Ah, so there's methods of methods....Basically I'm looking at How to/Instructional type stuff. I'm disciplining myself to read music. Right now, I'm not more advanced beyond 1st position and I know about 6 chords. Knowing how to play them and play them well, moving smoothly durinch chord changes is pretty much where I'm right now.
Persoanlly, I think chord books and scales, though I'm sure are important, are boring. Most people just want to play some MUSIC.
My musical taste is basically contemporary country and country from about the past 20 years.

EricV
10-27-2003, 05:17 PM
If you wanna workon your reading skills... check out "Music reading for guitar" by David Oakes. It was published by MI Press. David Oakes is an MI instructor, we actually used some of this stuff in classes.
The book starts out with really simple exercises, reading ( while clapping ) easy rhythms, then moves on to some position playing, chords etc.
Really good for starting out with sight-reading
Eric

LarryJ
10-27-2003, 05:27 PM
Eric,

Would you reccomend that book for sight reading practice over 'a modern method for guitar vol. 1' ? I have the 3 volume compilation, but am finding it hard to get into. He quickly gets into some pretty tough stuff, reading wise, with minimal explanation, and I have no previous 'highschool band'/music theory or reading knowledge.

-larry

LIChick
10-27-2003, 05:39 PM
Eric, I just put in a reserve at my local public library for Oakes' book. Merci boucoup.

EricV
10-27-2003, 05:43 PM
LarryJ,

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get started with sight-reading in an easy way. Oakes really takes his time and increases the difficulty very gradually. That makes it perfect for beginners, IMHO.

Nothing against Leavitt´s book, I only took a look at those years ago, and they might be great for a lot of people, I just think that Oakes method is a more basic one. I use his approach with my students, and it really works.


LICHick... well, good luck, hope you´ll like the book. And you´re welcome. :)
Lemme know what you think
Eric

SillyCone
10-27-2003, 06:50 PM
In order to fullfill your IAS, here's the list of instructional books I own and found amazing in the quality of the writing and teaching (but for beginners that already know how to hold the guitar and play a few chords) :

- The Complete Guitarist by Richard Chapman.
A bit of everything - history of the guitar, chords, scales, techniques (fingerstyle, picking), music theory applied to guitar, amplification of electric guitars, etc. Great reference. Not a single white space, all the pages are completely loaded with infos and photos.
Bought it second hand for 15 €.

- Fretboard Logic SE by Bill Edwards.
Learning the logic behind the fretboard (or is it ;).
It could be classified as a chords and scales book, but not a dictionnary, more like a how to make chords book.
I never bothered learning scales or understood what the CAGED system was all about up to this book :)
Ordered online for 20 €.

- How to Write Songs for Guitar (A Guitar-Playing And Songwriting Course) by Rikky Rooksby.
Even a newbie like me is learning from this book, and not only to write songs, but also understand the already existing ones. Quite theorical of course, but with tons of songs referenced to help understand the concepts.
Ordered online for 20 €.

- The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick.
Great book that could last a lifetime, but maybe a bit too harsh for the beginner, more adapted to the intermediate guitarist.
Read a review of it by Guni : http://www.ibreathemusic.com/reviews/article/11
Ordered online for 15 €.

- The Troy Stetina books on rock and metal.
Gets you started on the electric guitar from page 1, enjoying yourself while learning fast. A great instructor.

- Music Reading for Guitar by David Oakes.
I just trust our international EricV of IBM :) and was looking for a long time exactly for that kind of book.
Ordered online today for 17 €.

- While not exactly a book (yet ?), all the theory articles by Guni on this same site.
Printed for free at http://www.ibreathemusic.com :)

- The Beatles Complete Songbook.
A reference for generations of rock players, great classical inspiration for many styles of music. Only notation and chord names, so the David Oakes book will be usefull :)
Second hand (but very bad shape) for 10 €.

- Still looking for good books...

IMHO these books are around the best in their perspective categories, after some extensive search.

Hope it helps,
SillyCone.

Koala
10-28-2003, 01:58 PM
Hey Eric, thanks a lot for the David Oakes recommendation, its already backordered!

LarryJ
10-28-2003, 03:23 PM
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0793581885/qid=1067354475/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_2/102-0355233-6984930?v=glance&n=507846

Is this what we're all talking about here for the Oakes book? Looks quite similiar to the Berklee book in it's description...

The price is nice on it, but something tells me I'm just not putting in the practice I should be. Should I just sit and practice sight reading by itself, until I'm comfortable with it (assuming I'm a begginer, and only recognize the main staff lines, and no rhythms) or should I sit down with the guitar and go through it playing each note as I go along?

Koala
10-28-2003, 03:43 PM
Hey Larry I reccommend you check out this article:

http://www.ibreathemusic.com/play/article/87

hope it helps,

timeless
10-28-2003, 05:37 PM
This is a interesting topic,
but because my English is more basic I don't really understand what 'sight reading' is?

EricV
10-28-2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by LarryJ
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0793581885/qid=1067354475/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_2/102-0355233-6984930?v=glance&n=507846

Is this what we're all talking about here for the Oakes book?

That´s the one

DanF
10-28-2003, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by timeless
This is a interesting topic,
but because my English is more basic I don't really understand what 'sight reading' is?

I'll take a shot at explaining. I speak Spanish as well as english (6 years of spanish study) however I haven't spoken much in the last 3 years so I'm very rusty.

If you gave me a newspaper article in spanish and gave me 5 minutes I could have a full english translation ready for you. This is like reading standard notation. You get the music, count out your rhythms, memorize any tricky parts etc.

If you gave me that same article and told me to start reading right now and translate "on-the-fly" it would be much more difficult because I would have to know the vocabulary and grammar on the spot. This is like sight reading, you are instantly translating written music into sound without having to figure it out in advance. Similiar skills but different application.

-Dan

timeless
10-28-2003, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by DanF
I'll take a shot at explaining. I speak Spanish as well as english (6 years of spanish study) however I haven't spoken much in the last 3 years so I'm very rusty.

If you gave me a newspaper article in spanish and gave me 5 minutes I could have a full english translation ready for you. This is like reading standard notation. You get the music, count out your rhythms, memorize any tricky parts etc.

If you gave me that same article and told me to start reading right now and translate "on-the-fly" it would be much more difficult because I would have to know the vocabulary and grammar on the spot. This is like sight reading, you are instantly translating written music into sound without having to figure it out in advance. Similiar skills but different application.

-Dan

Thx, for you're explication.
Now I know what it means.

LIChick
10-29-2003, 12:34 AM
That's well put, Dan. Music IS a language.

Bongo Boy
10-29-2003, 02:13 AM
SillyCone recommended The Complete Guitarist by Chapman, which I own and have been using for many months. I've actually trashed this book a few times here, because to me the narrative explanations are not so good. But, after going thru it repeatedly, using it like a reference rather than moving thru start-to-finish, it's one worth having I think. I found it's a great graphic complement to Guni's Chord Scales series, too.

As SillyCone mentioned, there's no white space in this one, and even if there was, you wouldn't be able to write notes in it unless you used a felt-tipped pen because the pages are so glossy. A huge detraction for any publication is glazed paper--I detest it.

Koala
10-29-2003, 02:38 AM
OK so ive ordered Erics sight reading book, and I need another any one of you love, a harmony book would be nice, cuz if I only get 1 the shipping is more expensive than the book so...

Bongo Boy
10-29-2003, 06:24 AM
I've really learned a lot from Contemporary Music Theory, Level One and Level Two, by Mark Harrison (published by Hal Leonard). These may be too basic for you--especially Level 1, and if you're looking more for composition- or improvisation-oriented material, then these may not be it.

Level 1 contains:

1. Notation Basics, Major Scales & Key Signatures
2. Diatonic & Chromatic Intervals
3. Triads and Inversions
4. Diatonic Triads
5. Modal Scales
6. Four-part Chords & Inversions
7. DIatonic Four-part Chords
8. Minor Keys & Key Signatures
9. More Four-part Chords, Suspended Chords & Altered Chords

The chord recognition exercises in Level 1 are worth the price of the book alone, IMO.

In Level 2, we have

1. Review of Level 1
2. Five=Part Chords & the II-V-I Progression in Major Keys
3. Plural Substitute Chords & Harmonic Analysis in Major Keys
4. Five-part Chords & the II-V-I Progression in Minor Keys
5. Plural Substitute Chords & Harmonic Analysis in Minor Keys
6. Voiceleading of Triads & Four-part Chords
7. Chords Using Triad Upper Structures
8. Chords Using Four-part Upper Structures
9. Pentatonic & Blues Scales & Their Applications

The treatment of voiceleading in Level 2 is great stuff, IMO, and again, lot's of exercises with answers. There's also a Level 3, which I have not seen.

Another great book that's complementary, more compact in its delivery is The New Harmony Book by Frank Haunschild. I did a book review on this one that's here on iBreathe, and gives a pretty good run-down.

Koala
10-29-2003, 03:13 PM
Thanks Bongo, ill check those out.

LarryJ
10-29-2003, 07:33 PM
I saw MI press also has a book on harmony. Might want to check it out , my guess is that its reputable stuff...

LIChick
11-05-2003, 01:10 AM
Thank you everyone. From the wealth of responses, this was a great topic. I really enjoyed reading all the comments. I'm still waiting for the Oakes book from my library.

LIChick
11-06-2003, 02:18 PM
I just got the Oakes book from the library. In the preface, he writes that the book is written for somoen who has played guitar for at least 2 years. This scared me a bit. I've only been playing since July, though I took lessons many moons ago and I'm sure that doesn't count.

DanF
11-06-2003, 10:24 PM
How many years someone has been playing is a pretty poor metric. I imagine what he means is you should have the facilty to play scales pretty well, grab chords pretty quickly and generally know your way around the fretboard. But you could have been just playing the same blues licks for 2 years and then you may as well have just opened the book when you were a beginner because you still wouldn't know the stuff you should to understand it.

I know a guy who's been playing for 20 years and although he's fast and what he plays sounds pretty good superficially he is actually a very sloppy and repetetive player. That book would still trash him.

-Dan

rodmoeller
11-06-2003, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by LarryJ
I saw MI press also has a book on harmony. Might want to check it out , my guess is that its reputable stuff...

I have several books from Musicians Institute Press, and have been impressed with all of them. You can get a lot out of these at whatever your level is. I recommend them.

BTW. . . These are published by Hal Leonard. Your can do a search on their web site for Musicians Institute and see what they have.