Introduction: Why Write Another Guitar Book?

With the vast amount of material available to the guitar student today comes a vast amount of confusion; just how do you decide what will be good for you to learn from? We see so many adverts for new books and videos, tapes, and schools that it is easy to get the feeling that if you don't go in for them all, you are missing out on some vital information crucial to your playing career.

The most important lesson I ever learned was from a friend who had been playing music for 25 years. He said "the best thing you can possibly do is to get out there and start playing with other people". He was absolutely right.

After reading countless articles in magazines and books, after watching many guitar videos, after taking private lessons with some of the best teachers in the UK, I have come to the conclusion that most of what is taught is over-complicated, confusing, and not all that helpful in the real world of creating music.

What I have attempted here is to get to the root of fundamental music principles and relate them to the guitar in a way that will make sense, be useful and allow you to develop your own playing style. There are no ego-inflating descriptions of 7th scale harmonized minor scales here, and no '101 Essential Blues Licks' to learn.

Unlike many books and magazines, this one does not promise to make you able to suddenly play country, jazz, blues or swing. It does not promise to give you a shortcut to acquiring faultless technique or divine musical knowledge. What it will give you is a good basis for applying a practical hands-on approach to music theory that directly relates to guitar playing in a working band situation. It will hopefully arm you with enough information to support and improve your existing technique and give a quick reference guide at your fingertips to improve your musical awareness and increase your creativity.

In writing this book, I have had to take a certain level of knowledge of the reader for granted. To spend time explaining the most basic fundamental principles of music would be time-consuming and unnecessary as there are countless sources of reference available for the avid student already.

It could be said then that this is aimed at players of an intermediate level, but I think that there is something here for everyone regardless of playing standard and experience. I have also tried to keep things as straightforward as possible, and I hope that coupled with your existing knowledge, you will be more confident in your own ability and be able to turn your hand to a wider range of musical styles and situations.

Copyright Dale Churchett © 1995. All Rights Reserved.