"Let's start at the very beginning - a very good place to start!"
Wrong! Sorry Julie Andrews, this isn't the Sound of Music - it's rock guitar!
We're going to jump to the end of the book - the afterword. Why? For some words of wisdom from the author!
"This is, hopefully, the start of a lifelong adventure for you," writes David Hodge. I thought that was a great way to get things rolling, so I'm bringing it up front.
He then encourages the reader to play with other people. I agree with that wholeheartedly. I know that my time playing in the band at church has really helped me improve on both bass and guitar. Not just playing the instruments, but also developing a better understanding of music and song structure, too.
The book ends with the following gem:
"Play well. Play often." Doesn't get more succinct than that!
So there you have it, the end of the book. Now we can get started.
YOU NEED TO KNOW: This book is a little different from most others of its kind. There's a lot of text in it, unlike many guitar guides that are not much more than page after page of tablature with little discussion. Hodge writes as if he were your personal teacher, and he explains things as if he were in the room with you giving instruction. That means if you want to get the most out of this book, you actually have to read it, and not just jump from one tabbed-out example to the next.
Chapter 1 is about the electric guitar itself, rather than playing it. There's a nice history of the electric guitar and a few informative tidbits here and there. Like the discussion of string gauges, which most newcomers don't think about, and very few books mention. Personally I like the GHS David Gilmour sets, which have beefier bottom strings but a lighter 3rd (G) string for easier bending. Good stuff!
Hodge also discusses different types of amplifiers and other gear you'll need. If you're new to the electric guitar, this is a very good place to start.
Hey, how many people start off playing kids' songs on guitar? Most of us! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Three Blind Mice, etc. And of course, Mary Had a Little Lamb: