learn about music,
learn to play the guitar
This book is an instructional study detailing how to play the guitar in rhythmic (chord-based) styles of play. It is also a primer in music containing an introduction to music theory as it relates to playing the guitar, and containing numerous insights and practical suggestions regarding how to play music competently and effectively. It is also the manual for the rhythm guitar component of the visualinear tablature guitar series. The visualinear tablature guitar series is a collection of music books based on the guitar, and on visualinear tablature, an innovative and unique music notational system.
It may prove useful here at the outset to define rhythm guitar, at least in the context of this study. In the context of jazz and rock music, and to some extent country music as well, the role of a rhythm guitarist is more or less confined to strumming chords. In the context of this study, however, rhythm guitar is defined much more broadly, so as to include a variety of styles of play that are based on chords. Equal emphasis is given to styles of play in which the strings of the guitar are struck with a pick (flatpick styles) and to styles of play in which the strings are plucked with the thumb and fingers (fingerstyles).
No prior knowledge or skill is assumed on the part of the reader of this book. While the study contained in these pages is therefore suitable for complete beginners, it may nevertheless prove useful and instructional for experienced guitarists as well. This is particularly true for beginning-intermediate level players who have no knowledge of music theory, or who have not yet developed skills in both basic styles of play (flatpick and fingerstyle). The instructional material contained in this book will allow you to advance to a solid intermediate level of skill in both basic styles of play.
This book is closely connected with the Twelvemonth Music website, the Internet home of the visualinear tablature guitar series. On the Twelvemonth site, you can listen to each of the 24 playing Exercises contained in this study, which will give you a good idea of the wide range of styles in which you can learn to play the guitar by mastering the contents of this book. You can also listen to excerpts from every piece included in the rhythm guitar component of the visualinear tablature guitar series, including the Rhythm Guitar Core Catalog, a collection of rhythm guitar accompaniments to guitar ensemble pieces. These audio samples will familiarize you with the extensive catalog of rhythm guitar music that you can learn to play after completing this study. It is well worth noting that since any of these pieces can be ordered on an individual basis as well as by the volume, you can determine for yourself the direction in which your development as a guitarist and as a musician will take you.
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