Comparison and Contrast of the Mel Bay and Hal Leonard Guitar Methods
As I continue to pursue towards my undergraduate degree in music education, I stumbled across Professor Kunkel and his Guitar class for music education majors. The material for the class includes an acoustic guitar and two method books for guitar. The first book given to us was Mel Bay’s Guitar Class Method Volume 1. The second book was Guitar Method Book 1 by Hal Leonard. Each book has many similarities and just as many or more differences. I will compare and contrast the direction Mel Bay and Hal Leonard intended for a beginning guitarist or guitar instructor should go.
As I open Mel Bay’s book and begin to read there is a page that explains the purpose of the book itself. He makes it a point to let us know, before we delve into the fundamentals of guitar, that there is a creative side to playing the guitar that should be used a foundation as we begin to learn. On the next page he covers the different types of guitar. The guitars shown are the classic, standard folk, jumbo folk, 12-string, arch top, solid body electric, and acoustic electric. On the adjacent page each guitar is explained in great detail. In Hal Leonard’s book there is an immediate diagram of the steel string, nylon string, and electric guitars and the different parts of the guitar. Both books explain the different parts of the guitar but the Hal Leonard book gives you an explanation of 3 different types of guitar. Mel Bay’s book also introduces the different types of strings you should buy as well as which guitar is right for you. He makes sure that you are comfortable before you begin to learn. Hal Leonard doesn’t do much to introduce you to guitar. After teaching you the different parts he shows you playing position and then the very next page he covers musical symbols. Already I believe that Hal Leonard’s method book is intended for people who have some type of understanding of the guitar. Mel Bay’s book is...
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