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Modern Guitar Method Grade 1 By Mel Bay. For all guitars. Acoustic music, solos & duets. Level: beginning. Book. Method. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (93200)
Q: Who is this book for?
A: A beginner who is serious about learning the guitar while getting a thorough knowledge of music theory. Or, an experienced player who wants to learn to read music and learn music theory. This is a required book for all students taking the Guitar Principles Mel Bay Vol 1 Note By Note course download.
Jamie's Personal Review & Recommendation: Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method Grade 1
Mel Bay was from the generation that produced many great guitarists in the Jazz tradition. He patterned this book after the well thought out and musically erudite method books used by pianists. He believed guitarists could be as musically educated as pianists, and should be. I agree with him. Publishers at the time didn't. They told him guitarists were ignorant and liked it that way. They were wrong, as Mel proved by starting the Mel Bay Publishing Company, which seems to never stop growing.
Volume 1 of The Mel Bay Guitar method is what I mean when I talk about how most books are books full of content, but little or no guidance on how to effectively learn that content. It takes you within about 10 pages through all the notes in first position, and then in to music theory, major scale construction, minor scales, I-IV-V chords in the keys of C, Am, G, and Em. It also contains guitar solos that actually begin to prepare the student for chord melody playing.
One thing I always loved when I was a young student is the way he would take music from the classical masters (Carcassi, Sor, etc), and re-arrange them for pickstyle. I didn't know about classical guitar at the time, but I would get goose bumps when I played the ones that had these funny names as the composers.
All of this is great stuff, and must be approached with great care, and the student must constantly review as they work through the book. As is true with virtually all books, there is no information on the fine points of practicing, so you are left on your own in that regard. In fact, this book is an example of the type that gives you one of the technically most difficult things to do on the guitar, right from the beginning, with no preparation for that difficulty: placing your index finger on the first string, first fret. (Users of "The Principles" will be protected from this because of the preparation gained by The Foundation Exercises.) For a better understanding of Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method, I highly suggest you take the Guitar Principles course download...Mel Bay Vol 1: Note by Note.
As far as books of content go, I have a lot of respect for this one. When I put a student through it, (with the necessary technical supplementation from The Principles added), I can be sure that they are receiving a solid musical foundation that I can build on later.
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Mel Bay Vol 1: Note by Note
"This course download provides the expert guidance of Guitar Principles to the oldest and most comprehensive guitar method available...The Mel Bay Guitar Method.
Instruction is offered to those using The Principles to achieve real results in their practice as they work through the Mel Bay Material.
Armed with the concepts and skills that I teach in The Principles, you will be able to make great use of the instructions I will give you here concerning how to deal with many of the difficulties you will have as you work with the Mel Bay Vol.1 book."