The Guitar Book: Volume 1: The Ultimate Resource for Discovering New Guitar Chords & Arpeggios

  • 100s of popular, practical, and great-sounding chords & arpeggios
  • Easy-to-understand fretboard diagrams
  • 150+ arpeggios, 100+ open chords, 100+ movable chords
What makes the newly-released The Guitar Book: Volume 1 different?

More often than not, traditional chord “dictionaries” go for quantity over quality. You know the ones—they gleefully proclaim to have “over 2,500 chords inside!” The problem is, many of these chord shapes sound awful, are too difficult to play, or both.

Enter The Guitar Book: Volume 1!

Covering nearly 100 pagesVolume 1 contains an abundance of easy-to-play chord shapes.

Inside this book you will find:

•150+ Arpeggios

•100+ Open Chords

•100+ Movable Chords

•Major Chords

•Minor Chords

•Dominant Chords

•Diminished Chords

•Augmented Chords

Chock-full of useful information, including hundreds of common, practical, and great-sounding guitar chords and arpeggios, Volume 1 can help you quickly learn all of the chords and arpeggios you need to know for guitar.

Plus, get FREE access to instant audio downloads from Troy’s website, troynelsonmusic.com.

All of the material is presented in easy-to-understand fretboard diagrams and tab, making learning fast and fun!

Author Troy Nelson has been playing guitar for over 30 years and has a passion for helping others learn to love the guitar as much as he does.

From the author of the 10-year bestseller Guitar Aerobics (Hal Leonard), Troy Nelson once again brings his easy-to-follow guitar teaching style to this helpful guitar resource handbook.

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Below are excerpts from several sections of The Guitar Book: Volume 1: The Ultimate Resource for Discovering New Guitar Chords & Arpeggios

INTRODUCTION

More often than not, traditional chord “dictionaries” go for quantity over quality. You know the ones—they gleefully proclaim to have “over 2,500 chords inside!” The problem is, many of these chord shapes sound awful, are too difficult to play, or both. Sure, these books give you access to thousands of guitar chords, but let’s be honest: you’ll never use more than a few dozen of them on a regular basis.

With that in mind, the goal of The Guitar Book: Volume 1 was to create a resource for guitarists that was full of useful information; that is, a collection of chords and arpeggios that are common, practical, and great-sounding. As I narrowed down the contents, I would constantly ask myself, “Is this something I would play? Have I heard other players use this?” This helped to eliminate some of those dense, awkward, finger-twisting shapes that no one ever use. 

Although most altered chords have been excluded, you will find triads of every quality (major, minor, diminished, and augmented), an abundance of 7th chords, as well as several extended chord shapes (9ths, 11ths, and 13ths). Also, for the sake of simplicity, only root-position shapes (voicings with the root in the bass) have been included. With so many great root-position voicings available for each chord, I felt that chord inversions could be saved for another book, so a conscious decision was made to omit them in an effort to streamline the learning process.

I’ve kept music theory to a minimum, as well, including just enough information so that even readers with no prior knowledge of music theory can get an idea as to how each chord and arpeggio is constructed and how they relate to one another. You’ll also begin to understand why certain shapes are major or minor, and what differentiates a minor 7th from a dominant 7th chord, for example.

CHORDS

This section is divided into two parts: Open Chords and Movable Chords. Open chords are voicings that contain one or more open strings and are typically voiced in open position (frets 1–3). The chords in this section are grouped according to their key (C, D, E, etc.) and their quality (major, minor, etc.). In most cases, you’ll find several voicings for the same chord. The goal was to provide you with multiple options and let you decide which versions you like best.

The next section, Movable Chords, differs from the Open Chords section in that none of the shapes are presented in a specific key. Instead, the root of each voicing is indicated by a white dot. Once you have the shape under your fingers, you can move the voicing up or down the fretboard to any of the 12 keys. Since no open strings are present, these shapes are movable. (Memorizing the notes of the fretboard can be challenging, even for seasoned guitarists, so a fretboard diagram has been provided in the Appendix. Use this diagram to help you transpose the movable chords to other keys.) Like the Open Chords section, these movable shapes are presented in several qualities and types, everything from major and minor triads to dominant and diminished 7th chords.

ARPEGGIOS

An arpeggio is simply the notes of a chord played individually; therefore, this section is a logical extension of the Chords section. Just like the movable shapes from that section, the arpeggios found here range from basic major and minor triads to 6th, 7th, and even 9th chords, among others.

Every arpeggio is presented as five different vertical patterns that, when strung together, cover the entire fretboard (similar to the five “box” patterns of the pentatonic scales), as well as two horizontal patterns that connect the vertical ones and facilitate moving swiftly and efficiently from low to high registers of the fretboard, and vice versa. The two horizontal patterns differ only in that the first shape starts from the sixth-string-root, whereas the second pattern begins from the sixth-string-root. To expedite the learning process, all patterns are illustrated in both a fretboard diagram and tab. 

Keep in mind that The Guitar Book: Volume 1 is not a guitar method; it’s a guitar resource. In other words, it supplies you the tools, but it’s up to you to learn how to properly use them. Therefore, I suggest using The Guitar Book: Volume 1 as a reference in your weekly guitar lessons or as a supplement to your other instructional material, whether it’s another one of my books (e.g., Modern Lead Guitar or Learn 14 Chord Progressions for Guitar in 14 Days), a song you’re trying to learn, or a YouTube tutorial.

Once you get a handle on the chords and arpeggios in Volume 1, you might want to check out The Guitar Book: Volume 2, which is a perfect companion to this book. Volume 2 delves into 17 of the most popular scales used by guitarists today, everything from the seven major modes to more sophisticated diminished and whole-tone scales, all of which are presented in the same exact format as the arpeggios in this book.

To facilitate learning these new scales, Volume 2 also includes a Scale Exercises section, where all of the scales are put through three different workouts (three-note sequences, four-note sequences, and diatonic 3rds and 4ths), and a Guitar Licks section. Here, you’ll learn how these scales can be used to create “real world” guitar phrases, everything from rock and metal to jazz and country!

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