This guitar method book is designed to be used for both private and group instruction. By comparing your own playing with the recorded pieces on the accompanying CD, you will also be able to use this book (within certain limitations) to teach yourself.
The book is based on many years of teaching experience in music schools, conservatories and innumerable master classes throughout the world.

The guitar is primarily a chordal or harmony instrument and I have focused on this main characteristic throughout the book. The idea of notes sounding together should be taken into consideration from the very beginning in melody playing and, later, in solo playing (melody playing with bass and harmonic accompaniment).

In other words: from the very start, the notes can and sometimes must sound or ring together. The required "stopping" technique is intentionally left out to make playing easier for the student. Song accompaniment or chord strumming is not treated as a necessary evil but rather as an important element in learning to play the guitar. Among other things, you will find detailed explanations about the problems and possibilities of different playing positions, the basic techniques for the right an eft hands, song accompaniment (including strumming technique), all for different learning levels and also an introduction to the study of harmony. Also included is a collection of solo pieces, songs, pop songs and exercises in a variety of musical styles.

I have used letter names for the open strings in order to help students who don't read music. I have also made the introduction to reading music simple enough so that everybody can learn quickly and easily. Be brave! Notes don't bite!

The explanations for every element of playing are made as clear as possible with the help of detailed photos and diagrams. In some instances, neither explanations nor photographs can describe certain movements properly. In those specific cases, demonstrations by teachers or other guitarists and listening carefully to the recording are indispensable parts of the learning process. lf you are learning by yourself, be especially careful- even the best method book can never replace a creative teacher. Beginners who are unable to have regular less'ons should get some advice and encouragement from a professional (guitar teachers, advanced guitarists, etc.) every couple of weeks. Music schools everywhere will gladly give you information.

The constant development of guitar technique and musical expression on our instrument has, over the last decade, brought many changes and improvements to leaching methods which I have taken into account here.

The material in this book is always presented in small "digestible" doses. Once the material has been introduced, it subsequently appears in various forms and is repeated in numerous exercises. I have tried to present each new piece of information as clearly as possible so that the new material can be learned in an uncomplicated fashion.

After you have studied the whole book (2 - 4 years depending on individual learning abilities), you will be able to develop further techniques in all the common guitar styles on the basis of this method book.

At this point I must express my gratitude to all of my past and present students! Without them, I could never have written this book. A very special thanks to Tina for her immeasurable patience and constructive criticism as well as to Martin Raabe, Frank Gerstmeier, Toni Polster, Silke Lubina (my duo partner on the accompanying CD) and to all the people at AMA Publishing who made this book possible!

I wish all beginners and, of course, the teachers tremendous pleasure and fun with this guitar method book!

I truly hope that this book will enhance your pleasure in playing and listening to music.

Hubert Käppel