Our mission is to create high-quality instructional materials to inspire and empower all levels of guitar player, from absolute beginners to professional musicians.
The face behind the books, Christian creates all of the content for the Missing Method books. His love for the instrument, background in Education, and years teaching guitar to students of all ages has made creating method books a joy.
As a graphic designer and novice guitarist, Amy Joy does all our major layout and design work, and utilizes her background in education to help make sure each lesson progresses in a way that even the newest guitarists will understand.
More than just your typical guitar method book, The Missing Method for Guitar books focus on specific skills, filling needs that aren’t currently being met in the marketplace. The Note Reading Series, for example, focuses on reading standard notation over the entire fretboard in a step-by-step manner, making it easier than ever to learn how to both read notation while learning the fretboard.
All of the Missing Method for Guitar books are written using current scaffolding theory, which is the prevailing method for teaching being used in classrooms and universities all over the country. The theory states that students who start learning any subject need a great deal of support or “scaffolding,” and as they progress; the support is slowly taken away, giving them the tools and confidence they need to further understand and learn the subject matter until either their goals are met or mastery is achieved.
Each of our books are designed to both teach and empower, so that every student will not only be a better guitar player, but will also be able to solidify their skills for life. The goal for most music students is to get to a point where they no longer need a teacher and can figure stuff out on their own, and our books are designed to allow them to do this.
While in college working on my music degree, I found myself continually frustrated. I wanted so badly to be able to learn songs and other pieces of music faster, but no matter how hard I tried, I found myself learning slowly. Trumpet majors, piano majors, sax majors all around me could look at sheet music and read it down, not perfectly, but well enough to get the gist of a song. And I could too, as long as the notes didn’t move out of the first position. None of the books available at the time taught how to read beyond that position. So I had to laboriously figure it out each time I was assigned a new tune.
So one day, while at home, deep in practice, I had an idea. I took an old Alfred’s Guitar Method Book and plunked it down on my music stand. Then I forced myself to figure out how to read the notes they were teaching in open position but in fifth position instead. It took a little getting used to, but I did it! However, I came across the problem that there were no songs in the book that allowed me to practice reading the first string, since the book only covered first position. So I sat down and wrote out several pages of practice songs just so I could learn the notes A, B, and C in fifth position. Time passed, and I eventually did the same thing with ninth position. By the time I graduated, I was able to read notes anywhere on the neck! But I couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t a book or series of books out there that helped make this easier to do.
As more time passed, I forgot about the idea. After graduation, I started teaching guitar regularly, and eventually, my students wanted to learn more of the neck as I had. So I pulled out the songs I had written for myself along with traditional method books to help them learn the neck. But those books weren’t designed for that, so even though my students could read up the neck, they weren’t as good at it as they could be.
A master’s degree in education later, I finally sat down to write what would become the first Missing Method Guitar book. This book started in fifth position and gave my students a way to practice it well. It worked. I was happy. My students were happy!
Since Amy and I had already seen some success with our fiction titles, we decided to put The Missing Method for sale online as well. And without any advertising, it began to sell regularly.
All the while, I not only continued teaching guitar lessons, but Amy and I both taught college writing. Then, in 2016, after teaching at the college level for over 10 years, we decided to focus on publishing, and in March, our publishing company, Tenterhook Books, was born.
Later that year, we decided to expand The Missing Method brand, and we spent 2017 creating the five book Missing Method Note Reading series. It was late 2017 when we began working full-time on making guitar instructional books that help fill in the gaps left by the most popular guitar books.
Today, we understand how people learn and what it takes to fully develop new skills, and we’ve applied our collective knowledge and experience into the content and design of all the Missing Method books. It is our hope that many, many guitar players will use these books to discover for themselves why the guitar is the world’s most popular instrument.