Providing the "What," "How," and "Why," master guitarist and teacher Shawn Persinger shows you how to get the most out of the best guitar books. You'll find insightful commentaries and more than 100 individually tailored guitar lessons - in all styles - that will provide beginner, intermediate, and advanced players with a lifetime of knowledge, insight, and inspiration. Unlike any other guitar method, The 50 Greatest Guitar Books is part guitar instruction, part music appreciation, and part literary criticism. Persinger delivers as much practical musical content as he does analysis and educated insight.
Includes contribution from legendary educators and players: Rik Emmett, Henry Kaiser, Steve Kaufman, Wolf Marshall, Tim Sparks, and many more.
More than 100 stylized guitar lessons: Chord Voicings, Arpeggios, Two-Handed Tapping, Fingerpicking, Slide Guitar, Walking Bass Lines, Improvisation, and much more.
Featuring all styles: Blues, Classical, Funk, Metal, Rock, Jazz, World, Ragtime, Flamenco, Bluegrass, Gypsy Jazz, Pop, Latin, Fingerpicking, Country, Fusion, and more.
Shawn Persinger, a.k.a. Prester John, is an unusual author (and musician). He has written several music books; one children's book; and a myriad of articles, essays, and lessons for a variety of music magazines and blogs, not to mention two unpublished novellas and countless short stories.
"Outsider," "fringe," "avant-garde," "quirky," are all terms that have been used to describe Persinger's music, but his writing is direct, lucid, educational, and decidedly mainstream.
As a composer and performer he has had his music performed innumerable times, in varying ensembles, on five continents, in 36 countries, and countless cities. He continues to tour and perform around the world. Persinger has also been featured, reviewed, and/or interviewed in Guitar Player, Guitar Shop, Guitar World, and Premier Guitar. In 2004, Acoustic Guitar magazine named his solo recording "The Art of Modern Primitive Guitar" one of the best CDs of the year. His 2010 recording with mandolinist David Miller, "Desire for a Straight Line," was included on that year's Grammy nomination ballot for "Best Contemporary Jazz Recording."
As a public librarian, I've struggled with purchasing practical music books and DVDs because the range of styles is so wide, and the appetite of musicians for more books is so voracious.
Essentially Persinger's book is a collection of brief (highly focused) practical lessons based on the styles of the fifty guitar instruction books that the author has found most helpful for players at all levels, in many styles. It's perfect library pick for several reasons:
Although there is no audio CD with the book, Persinger's website offers all of the examples in MP3 format, at no cost. Better than a CD -- not stealable!
Guitar players of any level can get a lot out of the book, so it will appeal to virtually every player.
Patrons who are just learning about different styles can use the book as a place to find recommendations for other books to interlibrary loan from you.
He introduces the reader to "the best of the best" in guitar instruction books in all styles, so you could use it as a collection development tool if you had the budget.
Although the book is self-published, Persinger has a long history of writing for guitar magazines and for other music publishers, so it is professionally produced in every way. Actually, I'm not sure a major publisher could afford to pay the author for all the time he's clearly put into this labor of love. It's available on Amazon, so not hard to get.
IN SHORT: Persinger's book is a essential purchase for even the smallest guitar book collection. It's like he's gathered the greatest players, writers, and teachers into one building at Guitar University, and the reader gets to wander the hallways, knocking on the studio doors and taking a short lesson from each genius.