Richard Kochli,
Best in the West:
Nashville Guitar

(AMA-Verlag, 2004)

This is one of the most comprehensive guitar tutoring books that I have seen in a long time. It is not recommended for the beginner, however; you need a little bit of experience to get the best from Richard Kochli's wonderful collection of tutorials and tabulations.

The most important thing about Nashville Guitar is that it is not just a book for learning the guitar. As with the best publications, you will learn the background to the styles of playing. It is often very difficult to play in such styles without at least some knowledge of how the style originated and developed.

Almost every guitar style required of a top session musician is covered here, from finger-picking onwards. You can use the book to learn about Cajun music, Nashville legends and country-western styles. There are workshop articles on such luminaries as Maybelle Carter, Chet Atkins, Doc Watson and a ton of others. Some are internationally recognized, while others may be names better known to guitar aficionados.

But more important than all that theory is, of course, the music.

Over the fascinating 270 pages of this book, you will find more music sheets than you will need short of a career in Nashville. All the styles mentioned above are covered, plus lots more. Well-known tunes are there, alongside others written or arranged by Kochli.

To round it off the book includes a CD to let you hear how the music should sound. The great thing about this publication is that with some dedication you can sound like the samples on the CD.

by Nicky Rossiter
4 March 2006

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