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Lawrence McDonald : The Conservatory Tutor New Revised Edition Volume One : Bergmann

Lawrence McDonald

Bergmann Edition: 73 pages (includes a CD )

There are many tutor books available some far better than others. This latest pair of volumes ( see separate review of Volume 2) were first drafted in 1981 and worked upon numerous times since until we now have the new revised edition, sub- titled ‘An Introduction to Fundamental Guitar Technique’

To be fair, the book goes into a vast amount of detail in an effort to get absolutely every fact completely right and not something that could be misunderstood in any way.

The opening Preface establishes his modus operandi and explains what he will and won’t be doing in this first volume. After that Part One, Getting Started covers many areas including , How Do I Select a Teacher, How Long Should I Practice, What if I Already Play a Little, I’m Not So Young Now, So Can I Still Learn to Play Well and many others besides, which shows just how detailed this all is.

Then he moves on to Holding the Guitar, with pictures on every page, Fingernails, Left – Hand and Right Default Position, before then going into The Fundamentals of Music Notation, after which Parts Two and Three cover the first lessons for the Right and Left Hands, which move very slowly but in a thorough way

There is far too much detail in these 73 pages for me to give you a blow by blow, but suffice it to say that at the end there is a repertoire of 12 easy pieces for you to negotiate including works by Kuffner, Aguado, Le Roy, and of course Mr Anon.

From then on you are apparently ready to move onto his Volume 2 (reviewed elsewhere) and it is pretty fair to say that if you have accumulated all the knowledge gained from this book, and managed to put it all into your technique then you may very well be happy to go onto this next book. As it stands it is a fine tutor book, that many will find very useful indeed and therefore I can recommend it to any interested would – be players.

Chris Dumigan

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