#1
Hi guys. I've been playing acoustic guitar for about a year and a half now. The direction I want to head in is mainly your typical YouTube cover artist (with the singing and playing) but I also want to be able to play finger picking songs too if I wanted too. I'm self taught and I've got my chords and barre chords down, but other than that I really suck. I can't use a pick (both picking and strumming with one, I strum with my hand) at all and I'm terrible at strumming aside from the one strumming pattern I use for everything. I know there's tons of things I could go about learning such as scales and lots of other things I don't know about, but I don't know which direction to go in. I was wondering what books you guys suggest that would help me go in the direction that will help me achieve my goal.

I can't really get a teacher because my schedule is pretty erratic. I'll have lots of spare time, but it will pretty much be randomly scattered throughout the week.

Thanks for the help guys.
#2
Really not sure I'd have any books to recommend to you, other than theory. I guess this is one of the pitfalls of being self-taught. What I'm reading is that you're having a lot of problems. What you might be better off doing is finding a lesson DVD, or finding free lessons on the internet.

Not that strumming with your fingers is wrong - it's not, but you should learn to use a pick when necessary. You should also learn some new strumming patterns. Fingerstyle is also good to learn.

A teacher would be the best way to learn, but if you can't spare the time, or your time is oddly allocated, then you'll have to fall back on the other methods I suggested.
#3
The only book I know is the Sagreras but it is for classical guitar, sooo yep, my post is useless.
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#4
I've always found the Amazon user reviews helpful.

For finger-style, look for books by Berle or Hanson. They seem to be a cut above the rest.

For flat-picking acoustic, I can't think of any good recommendations. All the ones I've looked at seemed rather lousy.
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#5
Alright, thanks for the suggestions everyone! I'll look into those internet lessons and DVD's and using Amazon reviews seems very helpful!
#6
Im self taught as well, when I first got a guitar as a joke I got 'Guitar for Dummies' as a present with a DVD. However, I was surprised to find that it really does help especially if you need help with strumming patterns. I suggest if you do want to get it buy it with the DVD because you can see what to do and not just read it.

Hope this is helpful.
#7
Thanks sherry95! I do have trouble with strumming patterns so I will definitely look into it! Thank you.
#8
Try Justin Sandercoe's website, justinguitar.com. He has free video lessons, and they're pretty good. You can try a beginner's song or one of his more general lessons. He'll help you with strumming, too.
#9
I know about justinguitar.com It actually helped me a lot when I first got my guitar and helped me get a lot of my chords down, but I kind of stopped following him after Stage 7 (around there). He doesn't really give more challenging strumming patterns in the beginner course, but nonetheless I'll probably look through his lessons for things I'm having trouble with.
#10
i've found that looking at different people play acoustic songs on youtube has really helped me, but i usually do it after i have an idea on what the strumming pattern for a song could be. i usually have the same pattern at theirs or some are completely different, but it goes to show you that every player has a different interpretation of one song. And im self taught to jsyk...
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#11
I usually watch covers on youtube also, but that's because I cannot make up my own for the song or figure out the rhythm guitar's pattern in the real song.