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Fan faves fill Jill Sobule's 'Guitar Primer, Vol. 1'

Jill Sobule has taken another step forward in self-marketing and merchandising.

Jill Sobule
Courtesy of Jill Sobule

The brilliant singer-songwriter's latest website “Jill Store” offering, in its “Other Stuff!” department, is The Jill Sobule Guitar Primer, Volume 1,” featuring chords and lyrics to 15 personal and fan favorites including “Jetpack,” “Mexican Wrestler” and “Resistance Song.”

“I wanted a songbook for people to play guitar with,” says Sobule, also an exceptional guitar player who performs in concert with a small signature model Vagabond Traveler guitar.

“I was a guitar player way before any kind of singer-songwriter,” she adds.

She modeled the cover of Guitar Primer after old Mel Bay guitar instruction books.

“I collect them for some reason,” she says, “and the old covers are so great. This one looks like an early one, and has a $1.25 price on it. That was the original price of Mel Bay books in 1963. Mine really costs more [$20]—because of inflation!”

Some of the songs have instructions, in addition to lyrics and chord illustrations.

“I made them really easy for all levels of playing,” she says—though she does have “testimonial” photos from notable guitarist friends Wayne Kramer, Jorma Kaukonen and Tom Morello, all looking rather perplexed as they hold open her Guitar Primer and try to follow along on their guitars.

As for instructions, she notes that for “Resistance Song,” she instructs that it should be “sung with a drunken French accent,” and that for “When They Say 'We Want Our America Back,' What The F#@k Do They Mean?,” “you don’t have to be in tune.”

“It’s just a fun little book,” says Sobule, adding that there will be a Volume 2 at some point.

Until then, The Jill Sobule Guitar Primer, Volume 1 is available at Sobule shows, as well as her website.

“I wanted a guitar songbook for people to play, because I was a guitar player way before any kind of singer-songwriter,” says Sobule. “But I wanted to be a drummer! But my parents told me the guitar was a much nicer instrument and made a good case for it: They said drummers like Ringo were always in the back, and John and George were more up front. Hello!”

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