In 1967 Barney Kessel and his wife, B.J. Baker formed Windsor Music Co. and published Kessel's book, The Guitar.

In his introduction Barney states, "In the southwestern part of the United States where I was born, the guitar was called a 'starvation box.' My earliest recollection of the guitar was hearing it played by tramps, hoboes, and wanderers. As I grew older, I became aware of the guitar being used by many amateur musicians as they played and sang western songs, such as Red River Valley, Rye Whiskey, and Strawberry Roan. There were many itinerant preachers who sang beautiful hymns, such as I Walked in the Garden and Love Lifted Me. From these simple experiences came my first desires to play the guitar."

From the dust jacket:
This book is the most unique and comprehensive guide ever written for guitarists. It is not a method but a way shower. "The Guitar" will answer many of your questions and help you solve your problems relating to the guitar, music and the music business.

There are 211 pages filled with text and music examples covering over 60 different aspects of the guitar.

"The Guitar" is an easy-to-read and an easy-to-understand book that will stay open at any page on a music stand thus allowing you to play music examples with ease.

This book is for parents who want to buy a guitar for their child, students, teachers and professionals .. for anyone who plays the guitar.

Barney Kessel's Guitar Now for the first time here is a book that will guide you and show you how to:
  • Develop your musical ability
  • Increase your earning power
  • Select the proper teacher for you
  • Improve your reading and sight reading
  • Develop your dexterity and technique
  • Select the proper guitar, picks, strings, amplifier, and accessories
  • Improvise using chords
  • Improve your tone
  • Accompany singers
  • Meet the requirements of professional work
  • Get a job

All this and more is in "The Guitar", which is a result of seven years of writing and editing. The material is taken from Barney Kessel's more than 30 years of wide-range musical experience.

About The Author ...
Barney Kessel has had an amazingly versatile career in music. He has been associated with a variety of artists such as: Charlie Parker, Mahalia Jackson, Maurice Chevalier, Tex Ritter, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Charlie Barnet.

Also, more recent associations include: Elvis Presley, Sonny & Cher, The Righteous Brothers, The Beach Boys, Rick Nelson, and Phil Spector.

He has been associated with radio programs such as Amos N' Andy, and Red Skelton ... such television shows as: the "Hollywood Palace", "Perry Mason" and "I Spy".

He has been a guitarist, arranger, composer, orchestrator and conductor in dance bands, radio, phonograph recordings, motion pictures and television.

He has won awards presented by such magazines as: Down Beat, Esquire, Metronome, Melody Maker (England) and Playboy, including an award presented him by other Playboy magazine winners. These awards acknowledged him as best guitarist.

Writing this book has been a lifelong dream realized by Mr. Kessel. He has wanted to share these thoughts with all of the guitarists who are seeking to find answers .. as he is still seeking.

  • Part 1: The Guitar
    • How to Select A Guitar
    • How to Select Guitar Picks
    • The Strings
    • How to Select an Electric Guitar
    • Pickup Units for Electric Guitars
    • Guitar Cases and Covers
    • The Capo
    • The Pick Guard
    • The 6-string Bass Guitar
    • The 4-string Bass Guitar
    • The 12-string Guitar
    • The Hawaiian Steel Guitar
    • How To Hold The Guitar
  • Part 2: How To Tune The Guitar
    • The High G Tuning of the 6-String Guitar
  • Part 3: Hands
    • The Left Hand
    • The Right Hand
    • Coordination
    • The Left Handed Player
  • Part 4: Reading Music
    • Guitarists as Music Readers
    • Reading and Sight Reading
    • Studies to determine Reading Ability
    • How To Read From Piano Parts
  • Part 5: The Art of Transposition
    • Methods of Transposing
    • Enharmonics
    • Rewriting Music in the Transposed Key
    • Playing Parts Written for Other Instruments
    • Transposing An Octave Lower
    • Transposing Chord Symbols
  • Part 6: Rhythm
    • The Guitar in the Rhythm Section
    • Open String Chords
    • .Exploration into Other Time Signatures
    • Rhythmic Variety
    • Combining Time Signatures
    • Latin Rhythms
  • Part 7: Practice Makes Perfect
    • How to Practice and Study the Guitar
    • Self Study
    • Relax when you Play
    • Advantages of Group Playing
    • Practicing with a Metronome
  • Part 8: Technique
    • How to Evaluate Technical Exercises and Determine Their Purpose
    • Ways to Improve Technique
    • Picking
    • Specialized and Generalized Techniques
  • Part 9: The Sound Of Your Music
    • Tone
    • Vibrato
    • How to Produce a Uniform Sound
    • Echo
    • Harmonics
    • Artificial Harmonics
  • Part 10: The Structure Concept
    • Playing Range
    • The Four Basic Chord Structures
    • Choosing the Most Effective Structure
  • Part 11: Chords and Voicings
    • String Combinations
    • Combinations of "Altered Sets"
    • Combinations of "Sets Altered"
    • How to use the String Bass as your 7th String
  • Part 12: Chord Substitution

  • Part 13: How to Improvise Using Chords

  • Part 14: The Art of Accompaniment
    • Variety in Accompaniment
    • Vocal Accompaniment
    • Introductions and Endings
    • Folk Song Accompaniments
  • Part 15: Professional Playing
    • Musical Examples at the Professional Level
    • Recording Techniques
    • The Qualifications of a Professional Guitarist
    • How to get a job as an Instrumentalist
  • Glossary

  • Index