I haven't written a review on Amazon before and typically when reading reviews of products I skip the long ones! This, unfortunately, is a long one. But my appreciation of this book is such, that I felt compelled to write a review and also to write one that was thorough. So, in advance: apologies for the length!
I first picked up the guitar as a teenager about 15 years ago. Throughout the years, I've purchased many guitar books. I was originally self-taught and only recently did some guitar lessons. Of all of the guitar books that I've come across, "The Principles" is hands down the best book I've ever used. All other books I attacked with an initial vigorous enthusiasm that I thought could never be sated. But sated it usually was; and the books sat on the shelves after having only gone through a chapter or two. This book was different. It is the only guitar instruction book that I read from cover to cover - literally. Everything in the book makes sense. Jamie has stripped back everything and opened my eyes to what playing the guitar should FEEL like.
There is (I believe) an important dichotomy to be understood with regard to this book: in a way, I wish I had started learning guitar using this book as it instructs you in the correct way to practise right from the very beginning. However, if I'm to be honest, when I first learned the guitar there was an impatience to want to learn more and more, faster and faster. This - I now realise - is the wrong approach. In order to become a great guitar player (not that I am one!! But I firmly believe that I never could have become one without this book. Now I'm slowly - delusionally? - starting to believe...), it is now evident to me that you must go back to the basics and get them nailed. Then develop your guitar playing slowly, gradually.
This book has renewed my passion for playing the guitar. I bought it about a month ago, finished it very quickly, and am now practising guitar every day. (Previously I would have picked it up once a week, if that...) I even get up an hour and a half earlier every day (well... most days...!) to practise.
The principles are there. They're in this book. It has broken everything down into slow and simple. In my (revised) opinion, this is the best way to learn the guitar. New to the guitar? This is the way to learn it. An intermediate player? (As I THOUGHT I was...) This is the way you SHOULD have learned the guitar. Either way: buy it - you won't regret it.