Start Playing Acoustic Guitar with Hal Leonard’s Guitar Method

Hello and welcome to my Hal Leonard’s Acoustic Guitar Method review.

Hal Leonard’s Acoustic Guitar Method is like a survey course for beginning acoustic guitar players. The book’s lessons not only cover the typical basics of strumming, chord changes, and single-note melody playing, they also provide an overview to a variety of musical styles and playing techniques, including:

  • Fingerpicking country tunes
  • Strumming rock tunes
  • Using a guitar capo on pop tunes
  • Playing slide guitar on blues tunes
  • Exploring alternate guitar tunings

The format of the book is to introduce basic lessons in the specific technique followed up by some exercises. Then the student applies the techniques to popular song sections to practice the techniques. Finally, each lesson culminates with a full-length play-along tune. The books’s CD features a backing track for each play-along tune, and includes demonstration recordings of the exercises.

After working through this books, students will be able to play a variety of acoustic guitar styles.

Watch a video browse-through of Hal Leonard’s Acoustic Guitar Method.

Title  The Hal Leonard Acoustic Guitar Method
Year published 2004
Author Chad Johnson
Pages 80
Prerequisites You should know the basics of how to hold the guitar and the guitar pick, and how to strum. The student should also know how to interpret a guitar chord chart and how to read tablature. The book does include standard notation, too.
Recommended for Beginning acoustic guitar players who would like to explore a variety of different musical styles, and a variety of guitar playing styles.
CD Audio Tracks The audio tracks are well recorded and let the student know what the exercises should sound like. There are several full-length tunes for the student to practice, and there are nice backing tracks for those tunes.
Contents Lessons include:

  • Strumming the Guitar
  • Fingerpicking Acoustic Guitar
  • Using a Capo
  • Alternate Guitar Tunings
  • Country and Bluegrass Guitar
  • Blues Slide Guitar
  • Acoustic Guitar Riffs

Full-length Acoustic Guitar Tunes include:

  • Barely Breathing
  • Dust in the Wind
  • Name
  • Wildwood Flower
  • Crossroad Blues (Crossroads)
  • Angie
What I like This book exposes a beginning guitar student to a wide variety of acoustic guitar styles from country-style Travis picking to acoustic rock ballads. The book shows how the acoustic guitar can be used with a capo to back up a vocalist, or as a solo instrument.
What I don’t like There’s really nothing not to like about this book. Young students may find some of the popular tunes a bit dated, but nonetheless, they’re still excellent teaching examples.
Recommendations I’d highly recommend this book to any guitar student looking to explore all the possibilities of the acoustic guitar. Even for the player who thinks he only wants to play acoustic rock, this book may have him looking a bit deeper into different styles of music.
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