True confession: I've never taken a guitar lesson in my life. When I was a teenager, my mother bought my father a guitar, thinking he wanted to learn. He never did much with it, but I began to play around with it myself. I had already learned piano and French horn, so I applied the musical knowledge I had to this new instrument, and also learned a lot by getting together with friends (this was back in the early 70's when it seems like every other young person was picking up the guitar). I came to appreciate the practical aspect of playing the guitar to accompany singing, as it's much easier to carry a guitar around than a piano!
Later in life, I taught a number of people to play the guitar, both in private lessons and in groups at church. Guitar is a fun instrument to play, because very quickly, a person can learn three or four chords and be able to play a number of songs, not only individually, but with others.
Out of all this experience came the opportunity to edit several books for "easy guitar." First there are two volumes of
All the Best Songs for Easy Guitar.
Each of these books contain 70 or so songs, a great mixture of hymns, gospel songs, and songs for children (and Volume 2 contains a number of Christmas songs). The first volume contains a "Suggested Order of Study" in the appendix, making it an ideal book to use in teaching beginners to play. The music is in lead sheet form (melody line, lyrics, and chord symbols) and includes diagrams showing how to finger the chords.
My association with Word Music led to the opportunity to create several other books for "easy guitar." These are a little different than the All the Best books in that the melody lines for the songs are written in tablature. There are two books available, one called the Ultimate Worship Collection, which contains 100 songs, and the other is titled
25 Christmas Favorites for Easy Level Guitar. Don't play guitar? Here's an idea for using these books.
Since the melody lines are included, a solo instrument such as flute or violin could easily play the melody, accompanied by guitar or another instrument. The books could also be used by a keyboard player who has the ability to improvise (piano teachers, take note, these are great for beginning improvisers). And of course, anyone can sing along! For more information, please go to davidwinkler.com