The Principles E-Book

I think this book is excellent and a must-use (not must-read, more on this later) for any beginning guitarist or for any experienced guitarist who are finding it hard to play better, especially the self taught. There are thousands of books, dvds, cdroms, and internet sites that will bombard you with chords, scales, songs, etc. that will tell you WHERE to put your fingers and WHICH strings to strike. But they almost always don't give a hint on HOW to train them to do it the best possible way, or just barely mention it without stressing it enough in the best cases.

This book is completely on the other side of the spectrum. You won't find a single chord, note, song, etc. I can only recall the author barely mentioning a C chord once. But you will learn how to practice the exercises found in other books, and how to spare you a lot of problems when trying to reach higher levels of playing from the beginning of your learning process. You won't learn to play guitar using this book alone. You need either another book or, better yet, a teacher. If you are using a book or an interactive method (that's what I am personally using) to learn the guitar, do yourself a big favor and get Jamie's book.

This book is not to be read from beginning to end and then put aside. Maybe the first time. But then you must use it constantly, reviewing the material several times, and jumping from section to section depending on the particular problems you are encountering at some point understanding why you are doing the exercises and then actually doing them, otherwise you won't benefit from it. It is not a compilation of exercises, as the author doesn't wan't you to just go blindly exercising your muscles, she wants you to understand why they must be done so you can commit to them. They are also not to be done mindlessly, the author asks not only for your physical effort, but your mental and emotional effort too. If you think you are capable of putting this effort into your playing and if you WANT to do it, then buy this book, otherwise don't bother.

Carlos Flores, 07/04/2007
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