A one-stop resource to the essentials of owning and playing the guitar 

If you’ve just bought a guitar, or you’ve had one for a while, you probably know it takes some time and effort to learn how to play the popular instrument. There’s so much to know about owning, maintaining, and playing a guitar. Where do you even begin? 

In Guitar All-in-One For Dummies, a team of expert guitarists and music teachers shows you the essentials you need to know about owning and playing a guitar. From picking your first notes to exploring music theory and composition, maintaining your gear, and diving into the specifics of genres like blues and rock, this book is a comprehensive and practical goldmine of indispensable info. 

Created for the budding guitarist who wants all their lessons and advice in one place, the book will show you how to: 

  • Maintain, tune, and string your guitar, as well as decipher music notation and guitar tablature  
  • Understand guitar theory, sounds and techniques to help you learn new songs and add your style to classic tunes 
  • Practice several popular genres of guitar music, including blues, rock, and classical 
  • Access accompanying online video and audio instructional resources that demonstrate the lessons you find in the book 

Perfect for guitar players at any skill level, Guitar All-in-One For Dummies is a must-have resource for anyone who wants to get the most out of their own guitar and make great music. 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Foolish Assumptions
    3. Icons Used in This Book
    4. Beyond the Book
    5. Where to Go from Here
  5. Book 1: Guitar 101
    1. Chapter 1: Guitar Anatomy and Tuning
    2. The Parts and Workings of a Guitar
    3. How Guitars Make Sound
    4. Tuning Your Guitar
    5. Tuning Your Guitar to Itself
    6. Tuning Your Guitar to an External Source
    7. Chapter 2: Getting Ready to Play
    8. Assuming the Positions
    9. Getting Your Head Around Guitar Notation
    10. Discovering How to Play a Chord
    11. Chapter 3: Buying and Stringing a Guitar
    12. First Things First: Developing a Purchasing Plan
    13. Noting Some Considerations for Your First Guitar
    14. Sifting through Models to Match Your Style
    15. Looking for Quality
    16. Before You Buy: Walking through the Buying Process
    17. Changing Your Strings
    18. Stringing an Acoustic Guitar
    19. Stringing a Nylon-String Guitar
    20. Stringing an Electric Guitar
    21. Chapter 4: Deciphering Music Notation and Tablature
    22. Knowing the Ropes of Standard Music Notation
    23. Relating the Notes on the Staff to the Fretboard
    24. Relishing the Usefulness of Guitar-Specific Notation
  6. Book 2: Sounds and Techniques
    1. Chapter 1: Basic Major and Minor Chords
    2. Chords in the A Family
    3. Chords in the D Family
    4. Chords in the G Family
    5. Chords in the C Family
    6. Songs with Basic Major and Minor Chords
    7. Fun with the “Oldies” Progression
    8. Chapter 2: Adding Spice: Basic 7th Chords
    9. Dominant 7th Chords
    10. Minor 7th Chords — Dm7, Em7, and Am7
    11. Major 7th Chords — Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Amaj7, and Dmaj7
    12. Playing Songs with 7th Chords
    13. Chapter 3: Power Chords and Barre Chords
    14. Reviewing Open-position Chords
    15. Putting Power Chords into Play
    16. Getting Behind the Barre
    17. Chapter 4: Right-Hand Rhythm Guitar Techniques
    18. Strumming Along
    19. Mixing Single Notes and Strums
    20. Disrupting Your Sound: Syncopated Strumming
    21. Giving Your Left Hand a Break
    22. Suppressing the Right Hand
    23. Left-hand Movement within a Right-hand Strum
    24. Giving Your Fingers Some Style
    25. Getting Into Rhythm Styles
    26. Chapter 5: Playing Melodies in Position and in Double-Stops
    27. Playing Scales and Exercises in Position
    28. Practicing Songs in Position
    29. Double-Stop Basics
    30. Playing Songs in Double-Stops
  7. Book 3: Getting to Know Guitar Theory
    1. Chapter 1: Navigating the Fretboard and Building Triads
    2. Tracing Back to Strings 6 and 5
    3. Tracking Notes and Playing Octaves
    4. Measuring the Space between Pitches with Intervals
    5. Harmonizing the Major Scale to Build Triads and Chords
    6. The Seven Triads of the Major Scale
    7. Playing the Chord Sequence of the Major Scale
    8. Chapter 2: Getting to Know the CAGED System
    9. Chord Inversions and Chord Voicings
    10. Using the C Form
    11. Using the A Form
    12. Using the G Form
    13. Using the E Form
    14. Using the D Form
    15. Playing Minor CAGED Forms
    16. Chapter 3: Playing Snazzier Chords with Chord Tones and Extensions
    17. About Chord Tones and Extensions
    18. Adding 7ths to the Major Scale Chords
    19. Working with 2nds and 9ths
    20. Working with 4ths and 11ths
    21. Playing 6th Chords and Blues Shuffles
    22. Chapter 4: Playing Chord Progressions by Numbers
    23. Drawing Chord Progressions from the Major Scale
    24. Using Roman Numerals to Represent Chords
    25. Visualizing Numbers on the Fretboard
    26. Transposing to New Keys
    27. Playing Common Chord Progressions
    28. Starting Numbers on the 5th String
    29. Playing Chord Progressions with Open Chords
    30. Chapter 5: Identifying Tonics, Keys, and Modes
    31. Understanding the Relationship between Major and Minor Scales
    32. Numbering the Relative Minor
    33. Identifying the Modes of the Major Scale
    34. Key Signatures and Common Discrepancies
    35. Comparing Scale Formulas and Structures
    36. Chapter 6: Dominant Function and Voice Leading
    37. Chord Function and the Dominant Chord
    38. Secondary Dominants
    39. Voice Leading
  8. Book 4: Rock Guitar
    1. Chapter 1: I Know, It’s Only Rock Guitar, but I Like It
    2. Differentiating Between Rock and Acoustic Guitar … It Ain’t Just Volume
    3. Knowing the Essentials: The Power Trio
    4. Accessorizing Your Guitar
    5. Chapter 2: Playing Lead
    6. Taking the Lead
    7. Playing Single Notes
    8. Starting at the Bottom: Low-Note Melodies
    9. Going to the Top: High-Note Melodies
    10. Playing in Position
    11. Jamming on Lower Register Riffs
    12. Making It Easy: The Pentatonic Scale
    13. Playing the Pentatonic Scale: Three Ways to Solo
    14. Improvising Leads
    15. Chapter 3: Groovin’ on Riffs
    16. Getting Your Groove On: Basic Riffs
    17. Playing Two Notes Can be Better than One: Double-Stops
    18. Combining Single-Note Riffs and Chords
    19. Chapter 4: Going Up the Neck and Playing the Fancy Stuff
    20. Going Up the Neck
    21. Playing in Position
    22. Using the Moveable Pentatonic Scale
    23. Changing Your Position
    24. Knowing Where to Play
    25. Bringing Down the Hammer-ons
    26. Having Pull with Pull-offs
    27. Slippin’ into Slides
    28. Bending to Your Will
    29. Sounding a Vibrato That Makes You Quiver
    30. Chapter 5: The Care and Feeding of Your Electric Guitar
    31. Using the Tools of the Trade
    32. Changing Strings
    33. Cleaning the Parts of Your Guitar
    34. Setting Up Your Guitar to Optimize Performance
    35. Troubleshooting Guide
    36. Storing Your Guitar
  9. Book 5: Blues Guitar
    1. Chapter 1: Introducing the Blues and Playing Blues Rhythm
    2. Beyond the Delta: Defining the Blues Guitar Sound
    3. Strumming Along
    4. Mixing Single Notes and Strumming
    5. Shuffling the Beats with Syncopated Strumming
    6. Muting: Stopping the String from Ringing
    7. Copying the Classics: Plucking Fingerstyle Blues
    8. The Right Hand’s Bliss: Different Rhythm Styles to Play
    9. Chapter 2: Blues Progressions, Song Forms, and Moves
    10. Blues by the Numbers
    11. Recognizing the Big Dogs: Primary Key Families and Their Chords
    12. The Structure of a Blues Song, Baby
    13. Applying Structures to Keys
    14. Accessorizing the 12-Bar Blues: Intros, Turnarounds, and Endings
    15. High Moves
    16. Chapter 3: Musical Riffs: Bedrock of the Blues
    17. Basic Single-Note Riffs
    18. Double the Strings, Double the Fun: Two-Note Riffs (or Double-Stops)
    19. High-Note Riffs, the Bridge to Lead Guitar
    20. Mastering the Rhythm Figure
  10. Book 6: Classical Guitar
    1. Chapter 1: Introducing the Classical Guitar
    2. Classical Guitar: One Term, Two Meanings, and a Bit of History
    3. How a Classical Guitar Is Physically Different from Its Peers
    4. Beyond Physique: Other Unique Attributes of Classical Guitar
    5. Situating Yourself to Play
    6. Approaching the Strings with Your Hands
    7. Chapter 2: Playing Easy Pieces in Open Position
    8. Coordinating Contrapuntal Music: Layered Melodies
    9. Melody and Accompaniment: Using All Your Fingers
    10. Playing Easy Pieces in Different Textural Styles
    11. Chapter 3: Combining Arpeggios and Melody
    12. Grasping the Combination in Context
    13. Going Downtown: Melody in the Bass
    14. Moving Uptown: Melody in the Treble
    15. Mixing Up Your Melodic Moves: The Thumb and Fingers Take Turns
    16. Playing Pieces That Combine Arpeggios and Melodies
  11. Book 7: Exercises: Practice, Practice, Practice
    1. Chapter 1: Putting the Major Scales to Use in Your Playing
    2. Practicing Five Major Scale Patterns
    3. Applying Your Scale Work to Actual Pieces of Music
    4. Chapter 2: Adding Major Scale Sequences to Your Repertoire
    5. Practicing Major Scale Sequences
    6. Putting Your Sequence Skills to Work with a Few Songs
    7. Chapter 3: Tackling the Three Minor Scales
    8. Familiarizing Yourself with Natural Minor Scales
    9. Raising the Bar with Melodic Minor Scales
    10. Harmonizing with Harmonic Minor Scales
    11. Playing Pieces Using the Three Minor Scales
    12. Chapter 4: Building Finger Independence with Chord Exercises
    13. Practicing Inversion Patterns
    14. Playing Chord Progressions
    15. Practicing Pieces that Use Chord Progressions
  12. Appendix A: 96 Common Chords
  13. Appendix B: Accessing the Video Clips and Audio Tracks
    1. Discovering What’s on the Video Clips
    2. Discovering What’s on the Audio Tracks
    3. Customer Care
  14. Index
  15. About the Authors
  16. Connect with Dummies
  17. End User License Agreement