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Book Review: Ultimate Guitar Play-Along: Rock Guitar Classics by Alfred Music Publishing Company

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In the Alfred’s Ultimate Guitar Play-Along: Rock Guitar Classics you get everything that you need to learn and play eight complete rock classics. This book contains the authentic TAB transcriptions, the music notation, lyrics, and chords. Everything you need to learn how to play each song.

Included with the book is a CD that contains software as well as the music so you can listen to it while you are learning the song. There is also a version that does not contain the guitar part so that you can play along with it as you practice. Keep in mind that these are not the original recordings, but rather very accurate recreations done on a professional level.

The software that is on the CD is called TNT (for Tone ‘N’ Tempo). This plays on both Windows based computers as well as Macs. It gives you the ability to loop sections so you can practice over and over — you can slow tracks down (or speed them up) to keep up with them as you are learning, as well as giving you the ability to change the pitch. You can also switch back and forth between the full instrumental and the play-along.

Ultimate Guitar Play-Along is geared for the beginner guitar player, it still contains some pretty sophisticated arrangements on the CD. And even as  they are, for the most part, note for note, I did find a couple of spots with some additional fill notes that were not in the TAB. This, to me, was a minor problem since, as you get better, you should be able to figure it out.

The songs that are provided are a wide range of rock classics of differing styles that should provide a lot of experience to help make your guitar playing more versatile, while containing good techniques for the beginner to learn from. For those who are not familiar with the TAB method, there is an explanation of the system at the back of the book.

When you get into working with the interface of the TNT system, it is all really pretty straightforward in that you can choose the song you want to work with and you have the navigation controls to play, pause, move forward and back, as well as to loop. There are no vocals to the tracks and so really focus on the music.

I found that Ultimate Guitar Play-Along: Rock Guitar Classics is really a good starting point for someone who wants to learn some classic rock guitar techniques and have something to play along with. It is really straightforward and easy to use, so I can really recommend this for the beginning and novice guitar player.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.