The Complete Idiot's Guide to Guitar ExercisesThe Complete Idiot’s Guide (CIG) to Guitar Exercises by Hemme Luttjeboer is a complete book of guitar exercises. It covers chord exercises based around the CAGED system, single note exercises employing scales and Arpeggios.

The book also includes an introduction to fingerpicking with some right-hand exercises. While you’re likely to learn some basic theory while working through this book, it’s main focus is to build physical stamina and finger dexterity.

CIG Guitar Exercises would be suitable as a supplementary book for a complete beginner as it goes into some depth on how to hold the guitar, how to read tablature, chord diagrams, fingerboard diagrams, and rhythm slashes. Exercises are written in both tablature and standard notion. There’s an audio CD with a solo guitar demonstrating most of the exercises in the book.

The book would also be appropriate for advanced players looking for chordal or single-note exercises for building up some physical stamina and manual dexterity.

The exercises explore some of the following guitar-playing ideas:

  • CAGED chords
  • Expanding the triad by adding the seventh
  • Playing four-string chord inversion
  • CAGED scales: major, minor, pentatonic and more.
  • Arpeggios
  • Exploring fingerpicking and associate right-hand exercises
Title The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar Exercises
Author Hemme Luttjeboer
Copyright 2010
Pages 264
Recommended for This book would be great for guitar players of any level who are looking to build playing stamina, develop physical dexterity, and generally give their playing fingers a workout.
Prerequisites None. The book covers all of the rudiments for a complete beginner.
Accompanying Audio CD The volume comes with an audio CD of a solo guitarist playing the exercises so the student will know what they should sound like.
Fun Factor/Coolness This is a book of exercises. It’s aim is to get you in shape to play all of the fun stuff. Think of it like doing some calisthenics and jogging before the ball game starts.
What I like The author does try to keep the exercises musical. It’s not just repetitive scales. The goal is to get the benefit of playing scales, but in more musical exercise arrangements.

I also like the fact that he explains the CAGED theory. So, if you’re not familiar with the CAGED format for playing scales and solos, you will have a good understanding of the system.

What I don’t like Other than the fact I really dislike those “Complete Idiot” titles, this book delivers the guitar exercises as advertised. If you’re looking for guitar exercises, that’s what you’ll get.
Recommendations I’d recommend this book to any guitar player looking for basic functional strength exercises. It would be fine for a beginner to advanced player. This book is meant to supplement a player’s practice routine. It is not written as a stand-alone method book for a beginner.
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