Justin is a phenomenal teacher and this book is great for anyone starting to learn guitar. The book goes perfectly with his Beginner's course but even on its own is a superb tool for beginners. It has a lot of famous songs arranged using simple chords (pitch-perfect renditions I should add). It's filled with useful tips and suggestion to improve your playing and make the sound more authentic even if you are a beginner. I don't think I have seen a better, more beginner friendly guitar songbook out there. I would highly recommend this to anybody learning guitar. It's a must-have if you are learning using Justin's videos.
Contrary to some other reviewers of this book, I like the book's set-up. New chords are given at the beginning at each stage only. There isn't a section that gives you chord diagrams so it forces you to memorize chord diagrams as you progress through the book rather than rely on convenient chord diagrams above every lyric. It isn't a chord reference book so if you're looking for that, there are plenty of cheap ones on Amazon or even free on the internet.
Practice at least 20 minutes 6 days a week. Consistent practice will allow you to improve your guitar playing skills over a short period. Taking long breaks and not staying dedicated will wear away your muscle memory and delay the development of your skills. Instead, dedicate 20 minutes to an hour of practice throughout most of the week. During practice, you can either run different drills or you can try covering a song.
If you alternate fretted notes with open strings you can create a cascading sound of awesomeness. The video below describes how you can take a scale and substitute as many fretted notes as you want with open strings (E, A, D, G, B, E). The beginning of the lick in the video starts off by descending the G Mixolydian scale (G, A, B, C, D, E, F) from G: G (fretted), F (fretted), E (open), D (fretted), C (fretted), B (open), A (fretted), G (fretted). The video below shows the rest of the lick. This second video demonstrates descending and ascending scales while using open strings!
Learn the difference between chords and single notes. Chords occur when you play two or more notes on different strings simultaneously to create one unified sound. These are what make up the "rhythm" portion of acoustic music. Single notes are used more for solos and occur when you play a single note at a time. Both are skills that you must become proficient in when learning to play the acoustic guitar.
This diagram illustrates the first chord we are going to play, a G major chord (often simply called a "G chord"). Take your second finger, and put it on the third fret of the sixth string. Next, take your first finger, and put it on the second fret of the fifth string. Lastly, put your third finger on the third fret of the first string. Make sure all of your fingers are curled and are not touching any strings they're not supposed to. Now, using your pick, strike all six strings in one fluid motion. Notes should ring all together, not one at a time (this could take some practice). Voila! Your first chord.
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