I bought this combined book version of the two Absolute Beginners books part 1 and 2, so that I could use it to help tutor a young guitar beginner. I actually was a bit disappointed in the quality of the thick paper and black and white photographs. Colour would have been better and glossy paper would have been nice especially to hold the book open when reading it. It is so stiff! Many of the CD tracks don't match up with the lessons printed and skip to and fro and around quite a bit, and you find yourself flipping pages to match the CD with the book.
As for the CD itself well most of the guitar strumming sections are drowned out by the Heavy Bass and Drums backing tracks. The guitar (which is an electric not acoustic) being played is using special chorus type shimmer effects which drowns out the individual strings being played. Why? Overall the book 1 section has got a bit too much standard music notation when they could have just used guitar tablature from start to finish. Most beginners want to learn to play the guitar and not get too bogged down with having to familiarise themselves with music literature. Book 2 section is better than book 1.
Also another mention of the backing tracks - a few more full Blues songs to jam along with would have been nicer for variation as you only get 3 from the two books combined! Overall this is a fairly standard beginners book. It features nothing new compared to other paperbacks I've come across, but does have some good parts and the chords are well presented and explained.
- (Pontypridd, United Kingdom)