GuitarFORDUMmIES2ND‰EDITIONby Mark Phillips and Jon Chappell


GuitarFORDUMmIES2ND‰EDITIONby Mark Phillips and Jon Chappell

Guitar For Dummies , 2nd EditionPublished byWiley Publishing, Inc.111 River St.Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774www.wiley.comCopyright 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, IndianaPublished simultaneously in CanadaNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any formor by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except aspermitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the priorwritten permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copyfee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400, fax978-646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department,Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, 317-572-3447, fax 317-572-4355,or online at Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for theRest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, and related tradedress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the UnitedStates and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are theproperty of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendormentioned in this book.LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUTLIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THEUNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OROTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF ACOMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THEAUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATIONOR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFORMATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE.FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORK MAY HAVECHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT IS READ.For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer CareDepartment within the U.S. at 800-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.For technical support, please visit also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print maynot be available in electronic books.Library of Congress Control Number: 2005932590ISBN-13: 978-0-7645-9904-0ISBN-10: 0-7645-9904-6Manufactured in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 12B/SZ/QZ/QV/IN

About the AuthorsMark Phillips is a guitarist, arranger, and editor with more than 30 years inthe music publishing field. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music theoryfrom Case Western Reserve University, where he received the Carolyn NeffAward for scholastic excellence, and his master’s degree in music theory fromNorthwestern University, where he was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda, the mostprestigious U.S. honor society for college and university music students. Whileworking toward a doctorate in music theory at Northwestern, Phillips taughtclasses in theory, ear-training, sight-singing, counterpoint, and guitar.During the 1970s and early ’80s, Phillips was Director of Popular Music atWarner Bros. Publications, where he edited and arranged the songbooks ofsuch artists as Neil Young, James Taylor, the Eagles, and Led Zeppelin. Sincethe mid-’80s he has served as Director of Music and Director of Publicationsat Cherry Lane Music, where he has edited or arranged the songbooks ofsuch artists as John Denver, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, and Metallica, and hasserved as Music Editor of the magazines Guitar and Guitar One.Phillips is the author of several books on musical subjects, including MetallicaRiff by Riff, Sight-Sing Any Melody Instantly, and Sight-Read Any Rhythm Instantly.In his non-musical life, Phillips is the author/publisher of a series of “fun” highschool English textbooks, including The Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder, ThePinocchio Intermediate Vocabulary Builder, and Tarzan and Jane’s Guide toGrammar. For the reference value of his numerous publications, Phillips isprofiled in Who’s Who in America.Jon Chappell is a multistyle guitarist, transcriber, and arranger. He attendedCarnegie-Mellon University, where he studied with Carlos Barbosa-Lima, andhe then went on to earn his master’s degree in composition from DePaulUniversity, where he also taught theory and ear training. He was formerlyEditor-in-Chief of Guitar magazine, Technical Editor of Guitar Shop Magazine,and Musicologist for Guitarra, a classical magazine. He has played andrecorded with Pat Benatar, Judy Collins, Graham Nash, and Gunther Schuller,and he has contributed numerous musical pieces to film and TV. Some ofthese include Northern Exposure, Walker, Texas Ranger, Guiding Light, andthe feature film Bleeding Hearts directed by actor-dancer Gregory Hines. In1990, he became Associate Music Director of Cherry Lane Music where he hastranscribed, edited, and arranged the music of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, SteveMorse, Mike Stern, and Eddie Van Halen, among others. He has more thana dozen method books to his name, and is the author of Rock Guitar ForDummies and the textbook The Recording Guitarist — A Guide for Home andStudio, published by Hal Leonard.

DedicationMark Phillips: For my wife, Debbie, and my children, Tara, Jake, and Rachel.Jon Chappell: For my wife, Mary, and my children, Jennifer, Katie, Lauren,and Ryan.Authors’ AcknowledgmentsThe authors gratefully acknowledge the folks at Wiley Publishing, Inc.:Tracy Boggier, Mike Baker, and Jen Bingham.Special thanks to Woytek and Krystyna Rynczak of WR Music Service for themusic typesetting, and to Brian McConnon of Steinberg for the CD recordingsoftware, Cubase SX and Nuendo.

Publisher’s AcknowledgmentsWe’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registrationform located at of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:Acquisitions, Editorial, andMedia DevelopmentProject Editor: Mike Baker(Previous Edition: Kyle Looper)Acquisitions Editor: Tracy BoggierCopy Editor: Jennifer BinghamComposition ServicesProject Coordinator: Adrienne MartinezLayout and Graphics: Carl Byers,Lauren Goddard, Joyce Haughey,Barbara Moore, Barry Offringa,Lynsey Osborn, Rashell Smith, Erin ZeltnerEditorial Program Assistant: Courtney AllenProofreaders: Leeann Harney,Carl William Pierce, Shannon Ramsey,Charles SpencerTechnical Reviewer: Rod E. SchindlerIndexer: Rebecca R. PlunkettMedia Development Specialist: Laura MossSpecial Help: Tim Borek, Kit Malone(Previous Edition: William A. Barton)Editorial Manager: Christine Meloy BeckMedia Development Manager:Laura VanWinkleEditorial Assistants: Nadine Bell, Hanna ScottCover Photos: Jon ChappellCartoons: Rich Tennant( and Editorial for Consumer DummiesDiane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer DummiesJoyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer DummiesKristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer DummiesMichael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, TravelKelly Regan, Editorial Director, TravelPublishing for Technology DummiesAndy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General UserComposition ServicesGerry Fahey, Vice President of Production ServicesDebbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

Contents at a GlanceIntroduction .1Part I: So You Wanna Play Guitar .9Chapter 1: Guitar 101 .11Chapter 2: Turn On, Tune In .19Chapter 3: Ready, Set . . . Not Yet: Developing the Tools and Skills to Play .27Part II: So Start Playing: The Basics .39Chapter 4: The Easiest Way to Play: Basic Major and Minor Chords .41Chapter 5: Playing Melodies without Reading Music! .61Chapter 6: Adding Some Spice: Basic 7th Chords .71Part III: Beyond the Basics: Starting to Sound Cool .87Chapter 7: Playing Melodies in Position and in Double-Stops .89Chapter 8: Stretching Out: Barre Chords .103Chapter 9: Special Articulation: Making the Guitar Talk .127Part IV: A Cornucopia of Styles .153Chapter 10: Rock .155Chapter 11: Blues .183Chapter 12: Folk .207Chapter 13: Classical .231Chapter 14: Jazz .247Part V: Purchasing and Caring for Your Guitar .261Chapter 15: Perfectly Good Guitars .263Chapter 16: Guitar Accessories .279Chapter 17: Getting Strung Along: Changing Strings .295Chapter 18: Staying Fit: Basic Maintenance and Repairs .307Part VI: The Part of Tens .325Chapter 19: Ten Guitarists You Should Know .327Chapter 20: Ten Guitars You Should Know .333

Part VII: Appendixes .337Appendix A: How to Read Music .339Appendix B: 96 Common Chords .351Appendix C: How to Use the CD .355Index .365

Table of ContentsIntroduction .1About This Book .1Finding a guitar .1Playing the guitar .2Caring for your guitar .3Not-So-Foolish Assumptions .3What You’re Not to Read .3Conventions We Use in This Book .4How This Book Is Organized .4Part I: So You Wanna Play Guitar .5Part II: So Start Playing: The Basics .5Part III: Beyond the Basics: Starting to Sound Cool .6Part IV: A Cornucopia of Styles .6Part V: Purchasing and Caring for Your Guitar .6Part VI: The Part of Tens .7Part VII: Appendixes .7Icons Used in This Book .7Where to Go from Here .8Part I: So You Wanna Play Guitar .9Chapter 1: Guitar 101 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11Anatomy of a Guitar .11How Guitars Work .14String vibration and string length .15Using both hands to make a sound .15Frets and half steps .16Pi

the music publishing field. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music theory from Case Western Reserve University, where he received the Carolyn Neff Award for scholastic excellence, and his master’s degree in music theory from Northwestern University, where he was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda, the most prestigious U.S. honor society for college and university music students. While working .