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Russ Shipton

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Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

In August last year I bought the three volume Rush Shipton book for guitar complete with CD. This books starts of strumming using chords E, A and D - very easy songs. After trying to play the guitar for years on and off and getting nowhere, after a couple of months I found I was producing what was for me acceptable noises using this book. The first song is simple strumming and very slow - the second is the same but very fats and it took me weeks to get up to speed. And some of the songs I really like.

I haven't followed the book in all its aspects (i.e. strumming patterns) but just enjoyed the songs (they are mostly ones I like which I think makes the world of difference to instructional material.)

So for beginners that like these songs, then I recommend this book.

Hal Leonard, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any songs worth playing or singing. I bought the first two books of his beginner guitar series. The approach looks good (learning notes on string first before playing chords - more like a classical style) and comprehensive but the songs suck. If after three months of playing the only thing I could play well was Happy Birthday or something similar I don't think I would have been encouraged to stay with guitar playing.

Elsewhere in this forum, people recommend playing very slowly. What seems to have worked for me is trying to play at the speed of the CD with the Shipton book, and after a while the chord becomes playable - the slow songs then seem easy!! This seems to be at odds with what is recommended - is this because trying to play at speed introduces poor technique?

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840

after a couple of months I found I was producing what was for me acceptable noises using this book

I think you may sound better if you use a guitar   ;D ;D ;D ;D

Sorry, could resist.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342

Honestly, you can't get the staff these days can you.

I teach an eight year old using Hal Leonard, but it's not enough on its own. The tunes in that book are very simple and do what they set out to do. With this particular student, I use a book of Disney songs; he knows them and they are arranged simply so that beginners can sound good.

The Russ Shipton books are fine, if you know the songs, and I find that older students need to start playing something very early on. It doesn't matter what, so long as they know it and can get playing it. My suggestion is that you use the Russ Shipton books as much as you can, but don't necessarily make it your sole learning material - it's not hot on explaining theoretical points and concepts as I recall.

The reason we say "start slowly" is because whilst a simple song with three or four chords might not be too complicated to play well, if you're going to play something comlicated then you'll need to start slowly because ifyou can't play it slowly you'll never play it at full speed. Playing at speed does not produce poor technique, but poor technique will be magnified when trying to play at speed.

Also, somethings are not good to start with at speed - barre chords being the most obvious.


A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
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Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Thanks for your comments.

For the more complex stuff and theory etc. I plan to use this forum - great forum - can't believe it is free. I have usde forums for other interests (programming, Linux etc) and they are good, but this is just incredibly good.

But you are right, us older people need to be playing something fairly early on.

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 239

I recieved a guitar and the Shipton Complete Guitarist # 1 back in March. I have been working my way through them with some supplementation from the GN lessons. eg: Horse With No Name, For What It's Worth.

I think they are pretty decent, I know most of the songs being well into my forties. I'm planning to move on to the fingerpicking portion of Book 1 starting with Scarborough Fair probably in the new year.

I don't use the cd much at all. The cheesey acompaniement tracks bug me! Plus they seem way too fast, especially on the Dylan songs.

I will probably move into Book 2 when the time comes. Basically I'm happy with their approach, plus I tend to stick with something i know rather than moving into a new series.

Where are you in the books these days?

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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Dave T

I finished book 1 then used book 2 just for ideas of different songs. I still go back and try different strumming and fingerpicking songs like Sailing and Streets of London from time to time. I needed to advance some more before moving to book 2 so I deviated and used some lessons from the internet to do that. I found some of the strumming/picking difficult and preferred to learn more songs and chords at that time, but now go back and tackle these songs.

I am really enjoying learning the guitar, the Shipton book got me started and kept my interest by delivering something that sounded ok early on - as someone said we oldies need that.

Currently am working ot playing songs and singing just on my own so I need the intor, riffs and bridges to join the various parts of the song together in a pleasant way.

I have purchased a lot of books with backing tracks and the music for Clapton, Knopfler, Eagles, Beatles etc.. and some are too difficult and some easy. Just this morning I went back to a Beatles book that I had found too difficult before and now because I have learnt some more chords I can play the pieces fairly well.

New Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1

Could someone please help me,
I have the Complete Guitar Player Books 1,2&3, all in one, included was a CD with all the backing tracks (for all 3 books).
Unfortunately I lent it to a friend who returned it without the CD,
Is there anyway i could obtain a copy without having to repurchase the book?!

New Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1

I have just this hour ripped the very same cd, let me know if there is a way I could send you it electronically and you can have it.

Chris Walker

New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1

Hi cloudmanwalker

I also bought the book and CD, but my CD is broken

I would be extremely grateful if you forward a link of the ripped CD using



Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472

If you bought the book and the CD is broken, the publisher or seller should replace it for you. You might try contacting them to see if that's possible. Also, sometimes contacting the author directly works (and I'm speaking from experience on both sides here).

Welcome to Guitar Noise, by the way. Hope we continue to see you around on the Forums.


New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1

Hi Folks

Apologies - another new forum member also in the same boat.

My copy of Russ Shipton's CGP was right at the bottom of a box (from our house move) and the CD has cracked (Have tried it in player with no joy :( ).
The book cost me over 20 quid when I bought it so I'm reluctant to go buy another copy - and all I want is the CD

If anyone has an electronic copy that they could let me have that would be brilliant (Cloudmanwalker?, Krisguitar?, monishrose?)



New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1

Another in the same boat CD is cracked (ugh). Anybody find this CD anywhere? Youtube maybe?