Library JournalNo doubt most libraries already have at least one book on how to play the guitar, but this up-to-date title by Fleming (Next Step Guitar: Play Like a Pro) is more than your ordinary instructional guide. It also mixes the history of the instrument, the best-known purveyors of different musical styles, and new arrangements of more contemporary songs than those found in older, traditional instructional books. Well-photographed fingering charts for all chords are included, as are tips for more effective practice, efficient noting techniques, and recent developments in electronic technology and how it affects guitars and recording. Quality high-strength paper and wide margins combine with an easy-opening spine to allow unproblematic placing of the book on a flat surface. The large size and straightforward graphics (more than 250 color photographs and illustrations in all) make reading notes and tablature charts a breeze. Tips and approximately 25 inspirational stories of such legendary guitar players as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Joni Mitchell round out the book. This is a useful title to help update the musical instruction section at public libraries and is an essential purchase for music libraries. Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library JournalAdult/High School-The information in this title could take a lifetime to fully absorb, which is a good thing. Fleming starts with a basic introduction: the care of the instrument, tuning, how to hold it, various accessories. The lessons cover hand positions, scales, and chords, and illustrate the basics of music theory and style with examples from famous songs. Mini-biographies of great guitarists and a discussion of their instruments and what they brought to their music are also included. The styles cover rock and roll, jazz, blues, classical, country, folk, funk, and salsa-a little something for just about everybody. The author backs up the profiles with easy-to-find song examples. There is also a handsome section with portraits of important guitar models and lists of musicians who have used them. Beginners will learn much from this book. It is a thorough immersion into the subject and a great starting place. It reads like a big glossy cookbook to which guitarists may return to sample the instrument's many possibilities.-Will Marston, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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