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Old 12-24-2021, 12:31 PM
RyanRC RyanRC is offline
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Default Looking for a good “Chord” training/exercising book.

Hello all and happy holidays.

Does anyone know of any good beginner level “Chord” training and exercising books?

Currently I have been training and exercising from a great but mostly single note at a time DIY guitar starter book which has helped me a lot, but I will probably be done with it in a month or two and really want to progress to playing true and more common and full chords so I can start playing songs the way that actually are supposed to be played.

Essentially what I am hoping for is not something that just describes or is a dictionary of chords as I can get that info from any Google search, but more something that is designed for a relative beginner that starts out easy like my current book does, but with each exercise progress to increase my capabilities and especially my physical technique of being able to play as well as transition through the typical chords most songs are built on.

So does anyone have any recommendations?


Thanks
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Old 12-24-2021, 12:53 PM
Jamolay Jamolay is offline
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Have you looked at any online courses? They build you through playing in an organized way. Justin Guitar, for example, is free for much of the course and is very well organized. There are also app for small fees and add ins of course, but no hard sell. There are lots of other good courses out there too. I would think that would serve you better than just a book.
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Old 12-24-2021, 01:04 PM
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Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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Do you mean chord progressions that you strum to accompany songs?

Or do you mean playing the melody along with other chord notes to do solo guitar performances?

The first style is fairly simple to learn, it just takes a zillion repetitions of the most common progressions (OK that’s an exaggeration, more like a million than zillion). Justin Sandercoe aka “JustinGuitar” on YouTube has some “easy guitar using 8 open chords” type songbooks that ought to be good.

For the other style, assuming you want to use fingers instead of a pick, you might be best off starting with a classical guitar method book.
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Old 12-24-2021, 02:29 PM
RyanRC RyanRC is offline
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Hey guys and thanks for the replies.

If perhaps a better way I can describe this is, the book I am working from now is probably what most people would consider to be a standard type of basic guitar method book, but is one where each progressively difficult exercise while progressing in that still sticks mostly to left hand single finger and one note at a time playing. (An yes I am only using a pick as this point).

As mentioned, it started out with really simple exercises for this and throughout is using generic songs that actually are written more in a way to improve my playing capabilities and technique over learning the song so it is working for that, but in the end is not really doing any of this by using full blown chords, hence I am not gaining any capabilities to play those.

So I was hoping to find something in the same but designed instead to improve my physical capabilities and technique for playing Chords, and eventually clean and smooth transitions from one Chord to another.

Thanks

Last edited by RyanRC; 12-24-2021 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 12-24-2021, 02:35 PM
RyanRC RyanRC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamolay View Post
Have you looked at any online courses? They build you through playing in an organized way. Justin Guitar, for example, is free for much of the course and is very well organized. There are also app for small fees and add ins of course, but no hard sell. There are lots of other good courses out there too. I would think that would serve you better than just a book.
Thanks yeah, I have seen Justin's system and I would say over all the others who do the same I really like his approach and so is defiantly on my list to get into once I am done with this book.

Over all though given the certain parameters I am working with to learn that would be a bit to get into, a book with progressively developing exercise that I can just work from one lesson to the next is really going to be the biggest help for me.

Thanks
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Old 12-24-2021, 02:45 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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When I taught myself guitar back in the mid 1970's, I used songbooks. These were artist-specific like Eagles, Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan.

They had the notation for piano (treble and bass cleft) with lyrics in between and chord diagrams over the treble notation, corresponding to where the chord changes occur.

You don't have to be able to read music to use these songbooks. I don't know if these are still printed with the internet availability of everything now.

They worked for me because I knew how the songs were supposed to sound and I didn't have to flip between a lyrics page and a chord diagram sheet. And the same chords kept repeating from one song to another.
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Old 12-24-2021, 03:05 PM
Fred_Garvin Fred_Garvin is offline
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I'm a beginner using 2 systems:

Justin Guitar - Beginner course and 2 Beginner Songbooks. Fantastic resources for free on the website, setup your account and Practice Assistant. Use the YouTube videos and the coursework on the web. Free.
Approach: Teaches chords, chord changes and simple songs to play. Gradually introduces more advanced techniques as you progress, but gets you strumming along immediately.

Gibson Learn & Master - Older system but very, very complete and formal. 20 Lessons, 20 Bonus Sessions, Videos, Play along tracks and lots of legacy stuff online. Steve Krenz is now leading Guitar Gathering, an evolution of the L&M and hosts Live Lessons on Tuesdays, YT.
Approach: Initially single notes on the first 5 frets. Sight reading Treble Clef and playing songs, to a metronome or backing tracks. Proceeds to more complex techniques but gets you used to sight reading music and playing without looking at your hands. More difficult than Justin Guitar, but eventually will far surpass anything JG has going. L&M will take years to complete all 20 lessons.

Everyone learns differently and responds to different approaches. Personally I do well with both JG and L&M. One day I'll work on one, then the other the next day. Sometimes I'll do L&M in the morning, then JG in the evening. I try to formally practice 5 days a week, and get in some "noodling" time just whenever the urge strikes.

If it's chords and strumming you're after, check out Justin Guitar and get yourself setup. ALOT of it is totally free, and if you decide to purchase his books, they're extremely high quality spiral bound with coated covers and heavy stock paper. WELL worth the extra cost his stuff is.
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Old 12-24-2021, 03:18 PM
RyanRC RyanRC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
When I taught myself guitar back in the mid 1970's, I used songbooks. These were artist-specific like Eagles, Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan.

They had the notation for piano (treble and bass cleft) with lyrics in between and chord diagrams over the treble notation, corresponding to where the chord changes occur.

You don't have to be able to read music to use these songbooks. I don't know if these are still printed with the internet availability of everything now.

They worked for me because I knew how the songs were supposed to sound and I didn't have to flip between a lyrics page and a chord diagram sheet. And the same chords kept repeating from one song to another.
Thanks for the input and I can see where that could be of help.

The thing I keep going back to is while I am 57 now, back when I was 14 I started getting interested in playing the drums and by my mid 20’s really got into it and eventually had a very large set, was major into progressive rock like Yes, Kansas, Triumph and of course Rush as Neil Peart was a large influence.

An throughout the beginning of all that I just learned songs at a time and developed what ever capabilities I had by playing along to them, but never bothered to learn the core techniques I should have and so eventually got to a point where while I could do a lot of their stuff, there were always certain things I couldn’t and no matter how much I tried as I never had the basics.

Eventually I gave in and start taking lessons for as much time as I could (which just like now was not much) and essentially learned about all that I didn’t know and all the bad habits I had develop that I had to then unlearn and so basically had to start all over again from scratch which took a long time.

Eventually after years of going through that I was able to do the things I had been struggling with for so long (well most of them....OK some of them).

So with this venture I am really trying to avoid that same mistake.

Unfortunately, just like then I simply do not have the capacity to take formal lessons, but if anything good came from all that I did at least learn some skills at teaching myself something like this with probably the one major one being the knowledge that I need to focus on getting the proper skills and technique right first as then it will make all that comes after a lot easier.

So for the time being I am kind of intentionally not trying to learn how to play songs or playing along to anything much other than my nearly old as me Boss DB-66 metronome and just am trying to focus on getting my technique solid first.

Last edited by RyanRC; 12-24-2021 at 03:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2021, 03:23 PM
RyanRC RyanRC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred_Garvin View Post
I'm a beginner using 2 systems:

Justin Guitar - Beginner course and 2 Beginner Songbooks. Fantastic resources for free on the website, setup your account and Practice Assistant. Use the YouTube videos and the coursework on the web. Free.
Approach: Teaches chords, chord changes and simple songs to play. Gradually introduces more advanced techniques as you progress, but gets you strumming along immediately.

Gibson Learn & Master - Older system but very, very complete and formal. 20 Lessons, 20 Bonus Sessions, Videos, Play along tracks and lots of legacy stuff online. Steve Krenz is now leading Guitar Gathering, an evolution of the L&M and hosts Live Lessons on Tuesdays, YT.
Approach: Initially single notes on the first 5 frets. Sight reading Treble Clef and playing songs, to a metronome or backing tracks. Proceeds to more complex techniques but gets you used to sight reading music and playing without looking at your hands. More difficult than Justin Guitar, but eventually will far surpass anything JG has going. L&M will take years to complete all 20 lessons.

Everyone learns differently and responds to different approaches. Personally I do well with both JG and L&M. One day I'll work on one, then the other the next day. Sometimes I'll do L&M in the morning, then JG in the evening. I try to formally practice 5 days a week, and get in some "noodling" time just whenever the urge strikes.

If it's chords and strumming you're after, check out Justin Guitar and get yourself setup. ALOT of it is totally free, and if you decide to purchase his books, they're extremely high quality spiral bound with coated covers and heavy stock paper. WELL worth the extra cost his stuff is.
Thanks for all the imput...is well noted.

Have notice that Fender too has a lot to offer although I have not looked into their stuff that hard so it may not be as good as it looks.
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  #10  
Old 12-24-2021, 03:24 PM
RyanRC RyanRC is offline
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Btw guys...just like a few I have found I am not sure if this is that great, and is hard to know as you can't see the whole book, but if it helps its things like this that I am looking for: https://www.amazon.com/Beginner-Guit.../dp/1478268220

Also this one seems interesting: https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Chords...ps%2C78&sr=8-1

As I am discussing, is hard to know if what is in them is going to give any actual exercises and even if so ones that help much, or are just another book of a list of descriptions of chords I could just as easily Google.

Last edited by RyanRC; 12-24-2021 at 03:47 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2021, 04:33 PM
Fred_Garvin Fred_Garvin is offline
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There is certainly ALOT out there to choose from. Be careful or get stuck with Analysis Paralysis.

Joseph Alexander has some good stuff out there. I've got a bunch of his books.

I still recommend Justin Guitar. Create a free account, setup your Dashboard and Practice Assistant, and start working through the lessons. It's free, so if you don't stick with it, nothing lost but time.
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Acoustics: Yamaha FG800 Vintage; Epi PR-150 Natural, Martin Backpacker,
Electrics: Epi Les Paul PlusTop Pro Heritage Cherry Burst; Epi ES-335 Cherry
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Pedalboard: EB Volume->Tuner->Gate->Soul Food->HoF->Looper

"Let there be songs, to fill the air"
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2021, 09:25 PM
icuker icuker is offline
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At one point early on I got frustrated with my guitar playing and decided to buy Mickey Baker's first Jazz book. (I know, ambitious, right?). Anyway, what he had folks do is take various two closed chord formations and play them back and forth moving up the fretboard in half steps.

I'll tell you I learned to make those more difficult forms in a hurry. A non jazz chord example would be to play the bar F chord at the first fret and then play the bar Bb chord at the same fret, then move up one fret and repeat until you play through the octave this way.

Another good drill would be to play the G - Em - C - D7 progression, then change keys to say A (A - F#m - D - E7) and work through the circle of fifths.
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Old 12-30-2021, 02:24 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanRC View Post
Hello all and happy holidays.

Does anyone know of any good beginner level “Chord” training and exercising books?

Currently I have been training and exercising from a great but mostly single note at a time DIY guitar starter book which has helped me a lot, but I will probably be done with it in a month or two and really want to progress to playing true and more common and full chords so I can start playing songs the way that actually are supposed to be played.

Essentially what I am hoping for is not something that just describes or is a dictionary of chords as I can get that info from any Google search, but more something that is designed for a relative beginner that starts out easy like my current book does, but with each exercise progress to increase my capabilities and especially my physical technique of being able to play as well as transition through the typical chords most songs are built on.

So does anyone have any recommendations?


Thanks
For that sort of thing back in the day I just used Bob Dylan song books, full of short progressions of basic 1st position chords with chord diagrams above each change. Don't think it really gets any easier than that, one entire song never even left a D chord!
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:03 AM
ish5 ish5 is offline
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+1 on Justin Guitar. I love the guy. I also bought a book called Guitar Exercises for Beginners that I like. It progresses from simple finger exercises into chords and other stuff. Pretty easy to follow. The writing style is a little annoying but it’s not terrible. There is also another version just called Guitar Exercises that’s a little more advanced. Definitely worth checking out.
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Old 01-10-2022, 06:42 AM
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dhodgeh dhodgeh is offline
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https://truefire.com/jazz-guitar-les...akthrough/c210

Probably one of the best courses in the Truefire Library.

D
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