By: Elaine Landau
Publiser: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: August 28, 2010
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be a famous guitar player? Perhaps you’ve dreamed of being a rock guitarist in a packed house with adoring fans screaming at you. On the other hand, you may have dreamed of being “the grand master of guitar” as a classical guitarist. Whatever your hopes or dreams there are many things to think about before you even start. The guitar is a very popular instrument. It is very affordable, portable, and, most importantly of all, “You’ve got to love it!” In this book you will be able to take a close look at a guitar on a two-page spread. You’ll be able to see each part and learn what its function is. If you are a real guitar fanatic, you may just know what all of them are for!
There are many famous guitarists featured in this book. Many musicians can attest to the fact that “The lead guitarist is often the fans’ favorite. Jimmy Hendrix, a self-taught rock guitarist actually played a right-handed guitar upside down. If you have an affinity for Mexican folk music and have strong fingers, you might want to consider the deep sound of the guitarrón. Legendary B.B. King loved to play the blues and inspired many people. If you like your music with a bit of “southern-fried rock” Country might turn you on. You will also be able to look at the “toe-tapping, knee-slapping” banjo, the jazz guitar, or the classical guitar (think André Segovia).
In addition to being able to explore many types of guitars and musical styles, you’ll learn a bit about the history of the guitar. Did you know that they had the vihela, a 12-string guitar in Spain in the 1400s? Perhaps you already come from a musical household, but you’ll be advised to listen to others play the guitar, attend live performances, you’ll get a glimpse at the charngo, you’ll learn about the importance of practice, the importance of learning people skills, and that things do go wrong. What is most important, is that you’ll learn that “No matter what instrument you choose, it has to be right for you.”
This is an excellent overview of the possibilities of a young person learning to play a guitar. I liked the many options given for choosing an instrument and the examples of different styles of music and well-known guitarists who specialized in those styles. This book would not be a wise choice for the youngster who simply wants to learn to play an instrument without any desire to learn or practice, but for the one who shows high interest it would be perfect. The numerous photographs of both children and famous guitarists are interesting and well chosen. In the back of the book is a glossary, an index, a selected bibliography, and additional recommended books to explore.
Quill says: If you have a youngster who is exhibiting a high interest in playing the guitar, this is one book you may wish to add to your shelves!