Guitar exercise book

3rd April 2008 – 11.40 am

Further to my recent thoughts about buying a new guitar, I went looking on-line for a new book to help me get back to practicing playing. As much as playing along to songs is fun and helps in its own way in picking up some skills it isn't the same as learning and practicing the fundamentals. The problem is knowing which book to get, as there are a vast number of learning books for guitar. I was simply after a book that would give me some exercises I could practice to help my overall playing ability, a base from which I could expand in any direction.

I poked around some on-line book shops looking for something that matched some vague searches, and found a few matches that looked encouraging. It was still difficult to determine what they would be like beyond their titles though, and going shopping in meatspace wouldn't guarantee finding the book I was after in any particular shop either. As much as I dislike customer reviews, for their amateur vagueness and inability to describe anything beyond 'good' and 'bad' in overly simple sentence structure, I read one that actually used grammar and reasoning. The reviewer noted that the current book I was looking at was not quite as good as a different series of books, so for want of any better source I decided I may as well see what this other series looked like, particularly as the series had a name familiar to me.

I found the series of books easily enough and, sure enough, the books were familiar to me, for I had bought them years ago and worked my way through the first two a little. That was quite lucky, I thought, as it meant that I didn't need to buy that recommendation, simply find them in my bookshelf and pick them up again. In the meantime, I bought another book that seemed to contain a good bunch of pages of finger exercises, with an accompanying CD, taking something of a chance that the material would be good. But for about a fiver I decided it was worth that slight risk.

Before the new book turned up I thought I'd find the old books I had bought previously to see if I could put them to good use. After the Great Clear-out of 2007, where I was close to moving overseas and sold or threw away most of what I owned, it was straightforward enough to find all my guitar books. I thumbed my way through the spines of all the tab books of albums to find that the instruction books I was looking for had been disposed of in the Great Clear-out. Oh well. I have the new book now, and I'll see if it helps me when I get to work learning the exercises, and if I do I'll consider picking up those other books again. It's a shame I got rid of them, though, although it's taken me almost a year to find that out. And if I start playing more and improve a bit I'll get myself that new guitar.

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