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TJ Shoemaker

Hal Leonard Guitar method

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They have been around longer than I have.  I probably use one of their books from 1966-67.  There is more than one approach to learning guitar.  Hal Leonard has a good approach, but be aware there are others you can try if Hal lets you down.

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I have went ahead and bought the 3 Hal Leonard guitar method books for my kindle and started. I like how he teaches u to read music while u learn to play.

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I was given the Hal Leonard books as a lesson plan back in the late '60's.  I had been through about 2/3 of the first Mel Bay book with another instructor prior to making the change to an instructor who was a friend of my father.  I spent the first year or so of Leonard learning most of what I had been taught in the Bay books in about four months.  


If you need to progress slowly on the guitar, Leonard will suit your needs.  If you grasp the basic concepts of playing guitar (some players simply "get" the guitar faster than others), Bay will move you further, faster and, IMO, with more complete knowledge of why you are playing the next exercise and song.  That said, I do believe Mel Bay is one reason so many student players gave up their guitar after a few lessons.  On the other hand, Mel Bay is also responsbile for some of the finest guitarists of the last 60 years.


Both lesson plans are decades old and have really only been updated with new songs and a fresh look.  Teaching each individual student how to play the guitar has changed a bit since the '50's, or so I would like to think.  


I honestly wouldn't tackle either course as a self teaching method.  Both were designed for use by an instructor who can sit beside a student and observe just what the student has learned and how they are taking in information.  The instructor's job with either plan is to guide the student by way of the instructor's knowledge and experience.  Taking the lessons on your own, and lacking that feedback from a more experienced player, means you will miss a good 1/3 of what should be taught that is not on the page.   

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