This website is a comprehensive and economical resource for learning about music and learning how to play the acoustic guitar. The learning materials offered for sale on this website (two manuals and two complementary catalogs of guitar music) are designed for self-study, and are based on a new guitar notation called visualinear tablature. All of these learning materials are in electronic format, and can be downloaded immediately after your purchase transaction is completed. Both of the manuals (Melody Guitar and Rhythm Guitar) are suitable for complete beginners, since neither assumes any prior musical knowledge or experience. Taken together, these learning materials are an effective resource for beginning/intermediate guitarists who want to expand their knowledge of music, or improve and develop their playing skills. This website also contains an abundance of free resources for learning, including more than 400 audio clips, very detailed catalog listings, many dozens of pages of text, and links to a great many interesting and informative pages on other websites.  

   Melody Guitar is a guide to playing melodies effectively on the guitar, and an introduction to the formal study of music (music theory, music history, music analysis, and music performance). The Exercises from Melody Guitar, mostly simple familiar melodies notated in visualinear tablature, can be downloaded free of charge on the Melody Guitar page of this website. These Exercises make use of a highly effective and enjoyable learning format called e-scores, in which the visualinear tablature score tracks on the computer monitor while the music plays. An e-book (PDF file) of the main text of Melody Guitar (117 pages) can be purchased and downloaded for only $5.  

   The e-score format is also very well-suited to learning to play guitar ensemble music. Guitar ensemble music is like the music of a choir, except that all the parts are played on the guitar rather than sung. Learning to play all the parts of guitar ensemble arrangements is an excellent and accessible way to acquire a better intuitive understanding of music, and to develop greater skill at playing the acoustic guitar. The guitar ensemble music page of this website contains an extensive catalog of 190 guitar ensemble arrangements, including Christmas carols, children’s songs, traditional American songs, and classical music. Every arrangement can be listened to in its entirety, and individual arrangements can be purchased and downloaded in e-score format for only 50 cents each. 

   Like most musical instruments, the guitar can be used to play melodies and monophonic (one note at a time) parts of ensemble arrangements, but it is first and foremost an instrument of chords. Most people learn to play the guitar by learning a modest vocabulary of chords, and then developing basic playing hand patterns, usually with a flatpick. Rhythm Guitar is a manual on rhythmic (chord-based) styles of play on the steel string acoustic guitar. It is distinguished by an equal emphasis on flatpick styles and fingerstyles of play, and by an unusual degree of emphasis on music theory, chord theory, and the development of musicianship (musical skill and knowledge). The playing exercises from Rhythm Guitar are representative of the various playing techniques discussed in the text. Audio excerpts of these Exercises can be reviewed on the Rhythm Guitar page of this website. An e-book of the first four chapters of Rhythm Guitar (73 pages) can be purchased and downloaded for only $5. An e-book of the remainder of the text (178 pages) can be purchased and downloaded for only $9. 

   The goals of the course of study in Rhythm Guitar are the achievement of a solid intermediate level of skill as an acoustic guitarist, and the attainment of self-reliance and self-sufficiency as a musician and as a guitarist. Learning well-crafted rhythm guitar arrangements, and then perfecting the ability to play them, is essential to achieving these goals, especially for beginning/intermediate level guitarists. This learning process is well served by the extensive catalog of 160 rhythm guitar arrangements given on the rhythm guitar music page of this website. Audio excerpts from every arrangement can be reviewed, and individual arrangements can be purchased and downloaded in PDF score format for only 60 cents each. Like the guitar ensemble music catalog, the rhythm guitar music catalog offers a unique opportunity for concentrating your efforts on music you like and are most interested in learning. The catalog listings are very detailed regarding specific playing styles and skills, so you can choose music that will best allow for your continued development as a guitarist.

D. L. Stieg, Founder
Twelvemonth Music

   There is no quick and easy way to become a musician and a competent guitarist. But if you are intent on learning about music and learning to play the guitar, this website will allow you to reach those goals in a self-directed fashion, and at a very modest cost. Music educators, students, and motivated self-taught individuals are encouraged to visit the Twelvemonth Music schools and studios website at www.schools.twelvemonth.com for a more in-depth description of the visualinear tablature guitar series. Of particular interest are the Articles, a collection of twelve essays that detail the underlying philosophy of music and perspectives on music and the guitar. In developing the visualinear tablature guitar series, I have been constantly guided and driven by my lifelong love of music. That love can have no greater expression than to awaken such a love in others in a way that is meaningful and lasting.


Webmaster: Susan Randel