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Guitar For Dummies, with DVD, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-11554-1
408 pages
October 2012
Guitar For Dummies, with DVD, 3rd Edition (1118115546) cover image


The bestselling music guide - now updated and with a FREE DVD!

Have you always wanted to learn to play guitar? Who wouldn't? Think of Jimi Hendrix wailing away on his Stratocaster. . . Chuck Berry duck-walking across the stage to "Johnny B. Goode". . .B.B. King making his "Lucille" cry the blues. No doubt about it—guitars are cool.

Guitar For Dummies gives you everything a beginning or intermediate guitarist needs: from buying a guitar to tuning it, playing it, and caring for it, this book has it all—and you don't even need to know how to read music. Full of photo-illustrated exercises and songs you can play to practice the techniques discussed in each section, this step-by-step guitar guide will take you through the basics and beyond before you can say "Eric Clapton."

  • Helps you choose the guitar and equipment that best fits your needs and budget
  • Shows you how to build strength and dexterity while playing
  • Teaches you to play in different styles, including rock, blues, folk, jazz, and classical

Fully revised and updated, with an all-new interactive DVD packed with video and audio clips that help you learn, tune, and play along, Guitar For Dummies is the perfect introductory guide for any novice acoustic or electric guitar player.

CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of the e-book file, but are available for download after purchase.

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Table of Contents

Introduction  1

Part I: So You Wanna Play Guitar  9

Chapter 1: Guitar Basics 11

Chapter 2: Tuning Your Guitar 17

Chapter 3: Getting Ready to Play 25

Part II: Starting to Play: The Basics  37

Chapter 4: Getting Started by Strumming Chords 39

Chapter 5: Playing Melodies — Without Reading Music! 57

Chapter 6: Adding Some Spice with 7th Chords 67

Part III: Beyond the Basics: Starting to Sound Cool  83

Chapter 7: Playing in Position 85

Chapter 8: Doubling Up with Double-Stops 95

Chapter 9: Stretching Out: Barre Chords 103

Chapter 10: Special Articulation: Making the Guitar Talk 127

Part IV: A Pile of Styles  153

Chapter 11: Let’s Rock: Rock Guitar Basics 155

Chapter 12: Bluer Than Blue: Blues Guitar Basics 183

Chapter 13: Around the Campfi re: Folk Guitar Basics 207

Chapter 14: Maestro, If You Please: Classical Guitar Basics 233

Chapter 15: Sunglasses and Berets: Jazz Guitar Basics 249

Part V: A Guitar of Your Own  263

Chapter 16: Shopping for a Guitar 265

Chapter 17: Guitar Amps, Effects, Cases, and Accessories 281

Chapter 18: Changing Your Strings 297

Chapter 19: Guitar Wellness: Basic Maintenance 309

Part VI: The Part of Tens  325

Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Guitarists You Should Know 327

Chapter 21: The Ten Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time 331

Part VII: Appendixes  341

Appendix A: How to Read Music 343

Appendix B: 96 Common Chords 353

Appendix C: How to Use the DVD 357

Index  371

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Author Information

Mark Phillips is Director of Music at Cherry Lane Music, where he has edited or arranged the songbooks of artists such as John Denver, Van Halen, Guns N' Roses, and Metallica. Jon Chappell is an award-winning multi-style guitarist, arranger, author, and former editor-in-chief of Guitar and Home Recording magazines.

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Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.

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Press Release

September 24, 2012
Guitar For Dummies Updated with New Musical Styles, Songs, Photos, and Buying Advice

Adapted Excerpt from Guitar For Dummies®, 3rd Edition:

The question isn't "Do you wanna play guitar?". It's "Why wouldn't you want to play guitar?". Most beginners need some expertly advice, but when you buy a book, you buy one that asks you to practice the guitar in the same way that you would practice the piano. First, you learn where the notes fall on the staff; then you learn about the length of time that you're supposed to hold the notes; then you move on to practicing scales; and the big payoff is to practice song after unrecognizable song that you probably don't care about playing anyway. If you're looking for that kind of ho-hum guitar book, you won't find it here!

The truth is that many great guitarists don't know how to read music, and many who can read music learned to do so after they learned to play the guiar. Repeat after us: You don't need to read music to play the guitar. Chant this mantra until you believe it.

Quick tips:

- Look at the photos. Just form your hands the way we show you in the photos

- Read guitar tablature. Tab goes a long way toward enabling you to play music without reading music.

- View videos on Dummies.com and listen to audio tracks from the DVD in the back of the book. More than 50 short videos enable you to see how key selected techniques are executed. Listen to all the songs and exercises in the book performed on nearly 100 audio tracks.

- Look at the music staff as you improve. The music for all the exercises and songs appears above the tab. So you get the best of both worlds: You can associate the music notation with the sound you're making after you already know how to make the sound.

Many would-be guitarists never really get into playing because they have the wrong guitar. Or maybe the strings are too difficult to push down. Guitar For Dummies doesn't assume that you already have the right guitar--or even any guitar at all. You'll find everything you need to know (from a buyer's guide to buying strategies, to guitars and accessories for particular styles) to match yourself with the guitar and equipment that fit your needs and budget.

A serious guitar is a serious investment, and, as with any other serious investment, you need to maintain it. The book provides the information you need to correctly store, maintain, and care for your six-string, including how to change strings and what little extras to keep stashed away in your guitar case.  

In short, Guitar For Dummies, 3rd Edition, delivers everything the beginning to intermediate guitarist needs--from buying a guitar to tuning the guitar, to playing the guitar, to caring for the guitar.

You'll also love the 'Part of Tens' in the back of the book, which lists ten guitarists you should know (Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, and more); the ten greatest guitar songs of all time ("Crossroads" by Cream, "Eruption" by Van Halen, "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others).

Also, check out the Cheat Sheet on Dummies.com for common guitar chords and essential tools and accessories.


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