Outside of about three lessons as a teenager, I have never had any real guitar instruction. Like most of my friends in high school, I just learned a few chords, and played around with it. As I grew older, got a job, and started a family, I played less and less. Over the years, I have tried a few guitar books, especially the tablature ones, and always ran into the same dead end. I have never had the basic skills to work with. Beginning Guitar for Adults by Nick Vecchio, changed that.
After working my way through the book, I have to say that this was one of the best decisions I have made in regards to my playing. Sure, I am still just an entry-level guy, but I am light years ahead of where I was just a couple of months ago. My guess is that there are others out there who may have played for a while, then hung it up, and are thinking about trying again. Or maybe you have never played a note, but have always wanted to learn. In any case, this is the perfect place to start.
The book contains nine chapters, each with up to 13 lessons regarding the topic at hand. This is as basic as it gets, as the first chapter “Getting Started” makes clear. The author makes no assumptions, and offers some advice on how to choose between electric or acoustic, brands, amps, how to hold the instrument, how to tune it, and more. The following chapters teach us about chords, tablature, how to read music, flatpicking, fingerstyle, and other basic steps all players need to know. An excellent bonus is the accompanying CD, which offers audio demonstrations of all the examples in the book.
Beginning Guitar for Adults is published by Alfred Publishers, who are just about the top name when it comes to music books. The choice of the title may have simply been brilliant marketing, because beginning guitar is beginning guitar, but it worked for me. I found this book easy to use, enjoyable, and most importantly, it actually helped me to improve my playing.
This book kickstarted my interest, and for those who may be in a similar situation to what I have described, it is highly recommended. There are also two follow-up books, Beginning Rock Guitar for Adults and/or Beginning Blues Guitar for Adults, which I am working on now, and will report on soon.