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Book Review: Guitar for Girls: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Acoustic or Electric Guitar by Ali Handal

Hal Leonard Corporation and female guitarist/singer-songwriter Ali Handal partnered together for their new book/CD pack “Guitar for Girls: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Acoustic or Electric Guitar.” Ali said, “I took great care to include encouragement, advice, and inspiring quotes from musicians for my readers. I believe that addressing the ‘inner game’ of learning guitar is as important as teaching fundamental chords and songs.”

One of the things that is so great about this book is that it is full of great inspirational quotes from female guitarists like Bonnie Raitt, KT Tunstall, Sarah McLachlan, Joan Jett, Shawn Colvin, Melissa Etheridge, and many more. It’s a book that is geared toward beginning female guitarists and with these words of encouragement by accomplished female musicians, it will help give students the inspiration and knowledge to know that playing guitar is achievable. And, the songs included are all by female musicians that are loved and admired.

“I think I’ve become a much better singer and a much
better player. Years and years of playing a couple of hours
every day will do that.”
~Sarah McLauchlan

This is a great tool for beginner guitarists from the teenage years and up that are serious about learning guitar, and not designed for young children. It methodically describes in detail the parts of the guitar, good practice habits, how to tune a guitar, and then goes into teaching chords. Of particular fun are the practice sessions that are located throughout the book and are also found on the accompanying CD.

“Be true to yourself and believe in what
you do and stick with it.”
~Shawn Colvin

Not only are basic chords taught in Chapter 2, Ali covers advanced and power chords throughout Chapters 3-5.  In Chapter 6, strumming, fingerpicking, and muting techniques are covered along with a section on Fast Strumming and Chord Changes—think “Crazy on You” by Heart!

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way.
Be unique.  Be what you feel.”
~Melissa Etheridge

A good tip to remember is a quote that can be found in the book by Wynonna Judd – “The failures and successes are necessary for learning.” So don’t get down when you are first starting out and it seems too impossible, and that you’re failing. Remember, guitar is not an easy instrument and it  takes practice, practice and more practice, but the result is well worth it.

“I just do what comes out and I don’t fight it.
I make sure I’m just doing the best I can.”
~KT Tunstall

Chapter 7 covers all kinds of topics like how to properly use a capo, alternate tunings, drop D tuning (learn “I Love Rock ‘N Roll), and singing while playing.

“I think there’s nothing better than seeing a three-chord,
straight-up rock ‘n’ roll band in your face
with sweaty music and three-minute, good songs.”
~Joan Jett

Ali concludes the book with beginning songwriting tips.

Songs by some of the most popular female artists and songwriters that are included in this book are listed below and you will be playing them in no time.

Angel – Sarah McLachlan
Back On The Chain Gang – The Pretenders
Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – KT Tunstall
Come To My Window – Melissa Etheridge
Crazy On You – Heart
Fever – Peggy Lee
Girls With Guitars – Wynonna Judd
Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman
How Was I To Know – Reba McEntire
I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
It Matters To Me – Faith Hill
It’s Too Late – Carole King
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Leather And Lace – Stevie Nicks
Love Sneakin’ Up On You – Bonnie Raitt
Mean – Taylor Swift
Not A Pretty Girl – Ani DiFranco
Proud Mary – Ike & Tina Turner
Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow
We Got The Beat – The Go-Go’s
You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
You’re Still The One – Shania Twain

The wonderful thing about guitar or any musical instrument is that it is a something you can do for the rest of your life.

“I’ve watched my peers get better with age and
hoped that would happen with me.”
~Bonnie Raitt

The Guitar for Girls: A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Acoustic or Electric Guitar retails for $15.99 and can be found online at Amazon and other retail outlets.

Disclaimer:  We received a free copy of this book for our honest review.

GGM Staff



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