"It's never too late...to play guitar" Giveaway Competition & Review

Introduction

As some of you may know I was sent a couple of books by the generous folk over at Faber Music in the UK to review. At my request they kindly agreed to send me an extra copy of each book to giveaway to a lucky reader/viewer! If you want a chance to win yourself a copy make sure you read this article and/or watch the video review up on my YouTube channel and then answer the questions below . By the way congratulations to Daniel de la Pena in the USA for winning the competition for the other book sent to me by Faber Music 'The Classical Guitar Collection' featuring a number of beautiful transcriptions by the magnificent Julian Bream.

 The lovely glossy cover of this excellent resource.

The lovely glossy cover of this excellent resource.

 

Competition!!!

Answer the following three questions either in a comment here, or a comment on the YouTube video or on the NBN Facebook page. All of the answers can be found in this article and/or in the YouTube video found at the bottom.

Question 1: What is the final song in the book that I also have 2 instructional videos and a play-through of on my YouTube channel?

Question 2: What resource included with the book do I think is virtually obsolete?

Question 3: What are the names of the two authors that wrote this book?

Make sure that you leave an email address so that I can contact you if you win. The competition is running for 7 days only. 

All the best and let your fingers fly!

The Review

The book 'It's never too late...to play guitar' is a recent edition from Faber Music. The book has been written by two authors - James Longworth & Nick Walker. From the very first few pages it's obvious to see that the these authors are passionate about passing on their knowledge and love for the instrument with a gentle introduction, a brief chat about reading music and then a couple of nice pictures showing the differences between the 'classical seating position' and the 'acoustic seating position'. It's not overly complicated and shows just enough to not be confusing.

Let's remember that this book is aimed at beginners and I think that the guys have done a pretty decent job of keeping that ideology constant throughout. 

From the very first song 'I only want to be with you' by Dusty Springfield to the final song 'Hotel California' by The Eagles the progression is logical and well-structured.

What can you expect to learn?

  • strumming and rhythmic notation
  • using all six strings
  • basic finger picking techniques and patterns
  • walking bass
  • rudiments of music theory 
  • some musical notation and symbols
  • chord charts

Something else I should mention is that the font and general layout and design is a breeze to read. Anyone that has trouble reading smaller print is going to adore this book as everything is large and clear without being overly cluttered. Clever 'Tech tips & Reminder boxes' scattered throughout the pages assist with your learning and understanding of guitar technique and musical theory and help to keep the flow of knowledge smooth and unhindered.

At the back of the book there's a very hand Chord index and a Notation and terminology index which you can use as a quick reference if you forget anything. 

 A glimpse of the authors of this exciting new guitar method book.

A glimpse of the authors of this exciting new guitar method book.

What could be done differently?

I feel that some of the examples are just a little dated. Many of the songs that are used are classics but they're classics from a bygone era (mainly the 70s). Classical music seems to last forever so I have nothing against the inclusion of Carulli pieces, or the South American waltzes or anonymous pieces like Greensleeves but what about using some modern examples like music from Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, James Taylor, Metallica, Periphery etc? Also the CD that was included is probably not the best choice in todays world and as far as I know is almost obsolete. I couldn't even find a CD player to play it so I honestly can't give a review about that. I would've included links to some online resources instead. It's 2017 folks...time to get with modern tech and understand who you're selling to. I'd seriously doubt that many young kids or teens have a CD player. A smart phone yes but a CD player - unlikely.

 A nice dedication to families and Faber, and a view of the CD.

A nice dedication to families and Faber, and a view of the CD.

I can't be too harsh though because I don't know the target market. This book may have been aimed at people living in developing nations where the internet isn't widely available to the masses. I can only speak from my perspective and honestly that's the only criticism that I have of the book  - just the CD side and absence of online support resources and the dated repertoire examples here and there.

Also there are 10 units in the book but there is no Table of Contents page dedicated to informing the reader of the page numbers of these units at the beginning of the book. I'm not sure why this wasn't included but it is bizarre to say the least. Every book should contain a TOC dedicated to informing the reader where the various units/chapters begin!

Conclusion

All in all I can say that this is a cleverly constructed & highly effective learning tool for those that are starting out on guitar. With the support of online resources, a unit outline page, and the inclusion of more modern repertoire songs I think this book could have been exceptional.

Check out the YouTube review of this book below.

Check out my review of 'The Classical Guitar Collection' by Faber Music here.

Let your fingers fly!

Josh