Complete Idiocy

Complete Idiocy Brought to you by: guitar.com

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Two new volumes in the Alfred "The Complete Idiot's Guide To..." series: "Rock Guitar Hits" and "Acoustic Guitar Hits". Both feature 25 classic songs ranging from Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)", America's "Sister Golden Hair", Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough"' and Radiohead's "Creep" to Eagles' "Life in the Fast Lane", Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind", The Allman Brothers' "Ramblin' Man" and the mighty Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love' and "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You". Newer bands like Finger Eleven, Plain White T's and Nickleback are also represented.

Two audio CDs are included with each book, with full demo tracks and Alfred's TNT software that allows you to change the Tone and Tempo of the track, as well as loop it for extended study at your own pace. A 12-page introductory section covers the basics of notation and guitar technique fundamentals and then we get right into the tunes.

Alfred, like any good in-person instructor, focuses on breaking the songs down into components. They use a series of icons to let you know the details that make the difference between rote TAB reading and actually making music.  

Key Thoughts: Gives a brief introduction to each song. Some history of the song, info on the guitarists, and an overall view of the task ahead.

Take Note: Detailed analysis of the main body of the song. Guitar tones, techniques, performance tips.

Guitar Gods: A thumbnail bio of the guitarist.

Definition: A discussion of new terms, used the the Appendix and Glossary

Tip and Fun Fact: Additional insight to the songs and ideas of the particular artist.

Appendix A is an in-depth Chord Theory Lesson, Appendix B is a fingerboard chart showing every note on the neck and it's location on the staff, and Appendix C is a Glossary of musical terms. Alfred even prints a few pages of blank guitar chord frames for you to document your newly discovered chord grips.

All of the songs are notated in Standard and TAB and include multiple guitar parts if necessary.

While working my way through the material, I discovered several mistakes in the way I was playing a few of these tunes, and the tabs seem to be dead-on accurate. The TNT software makes even the quick licks easy to handle and the demo tracks are well recorded. As a stand-alone teaching experience, I highly recommend the "Complete Idiots Guide To..." series from Alfred. After spending some time with the lessons, I am an idiot no longer.

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