Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Simple Lessons for Lead Guitar - Scott Parks & Al Galvez

Released September 2005

Simple Lessons for Lead Guitar

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I don't play guitar, but my brothers do. In fact, my older brother was once ranked one of the best bass players in our area. I watched his band practice every week and was amazed that he'd learned to play guitar simply by reading books. That's the goal of Simple Lessons for Lead Guitar.

My son is now a guitar player. It's simply a hobby, he sees no need to join a band. It's his take on this book that I was most interested in. He followed my brother's guidance and learned using what many local guitarists tell me is the guitar bible for beginners. I wanted to see how the two compared.

Simple Lessons for Lead Guitar is short and sweet. The chord charts are perfectly laid out and easy to follow. There are 45 "lessons" in all, so it's not a book that takes a lot of time. There's also a CD for additional instruction that shows how everything fits together and lets you play along.

My readers know that my reviews are always based on the book being worth the price. I struggled to get past the idea that the book, for about $15, looks of low quality. The lessons, while superb, are in a book that has a paper cover that's not very thick at all. I understand why the author stuck to black and white, and I get that, but the cover and pages when opened and closed are not going to stand the test of time. After I read it, my son read it, and then I read it again, the spine was already showing wear.

My son's had his other book for eight years, The Guitar Handbook and it's taken him through the very beginning stages to more advanced playing. He said he likes the simplicity of Simple Lessons for Lead Guitar, but it wouldn't carry well for advanced lessons.

This brings it to a personal point of view. If you just want a book to learn the basics, Simple Lessons for Lead Guitar is ideal. If you plan to go beyond that, you'll need to purchase a more intensive guide once you have the basic understanding down.

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