The best books out there to use for your continued growth as a guitarist and musician. Read Jamie's reviews and find out WHY you should use them, and HOW to use them, and also, WHO should use WHAT!
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Metal Lead Guitar (Troy Stetina): find out why this is one of the best books for acquiring the basics of this style.
Bob Dylan Made Easy For Guitar: some of the greatest songs by one of the greatest American songwriters. Great for horizontal growth in players at the "strumming/singing" stage, or those learning how to apply more sophisticated accompaniment techniques.
Position Studies For Guitar: there is no entrance to the higher mysteries of the guitar without a knowledge of the fingerboard. For those who have gotten a handle on notes in the first position, guess what, it's time to get to work! This book is a great introduction to the neck, moving fret by fret, teaching you the relevant scales and keys for each position on the neck. It will go a long way toward making you a literate and educated musician.
100 Graded Classical Pieces (Fred Noad): an excellent collection of classical material suited to the intermediate player, or those approaching the intermediate stage.
Metal Rhythm Guitar (Troy Stetina): Troy takes you step by step through all the basic rhythms and techniques used in your favorite metal music.
Voice Technology: A State of the Art Studio: an incredible study of the mechanics of singing, including much work on vowel and consonant production, and insight into the science of phonetics, which underlies the study of speech and singing. Best of all, the book comes with a COMPUTER PROGRAM you can use to SEE your voice, how it is producing sound, and how to change it for the better. A must for those wishing to improve their singing!
Kitharlogos: The Path To Virtuosity: This book is for classical guitarists what Troy Stetina's "Speed Mechanics" is for metal heads! Lots of well thought out exercises that help you progressively develop classical technique. If you know how to do Principled Practice, you will go far with this book.
Guitar Melody Chord Playing System by Mel Bay: For the intermediate player who wants to learn the mysteries of playing the chords AND the melody at the same time! A perfect book for those using the "Position Studies" book.
Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar: This is an excellent book for the serious rock/metal guitarist. Troy Stetina has put together a series of exercises designed to develop all the essential techniques used by the virtuoso electric guitarist. If you want to be blazing like Kirk, Eddie, Steve & Joe, this is the book for you!
There are a number of lessons on songs from this book at GuitarPrinciples, as part of the Mel Bay Study Group (FREE!)
|The Art Of Contemporary Travis Picking Written by Mark Hanson. For guitar. Includes instructional book and examples CD. With standard guitar notation, guitar tablature, chord names, guitar chord diagrams, instructional text and guitar tab glossary. Technique. 65 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Accent on Music. (MS.AC72588)
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"Travis Picking" is the ubiquitous style of fingerpicking popularized by Merle Travis. It is heard in many styles of guitar, and used by artists as diverse as Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges, to the singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon and James Taylor. It can be considered required knowledge for the guitar player doing popular styles.
The Beatles "White Album" is famous for being John, Paul and George's reaction to learning Travis picking during their trip to India, resulting in such Travis inspired classics as "Dear Prudence".
This book is a very good introduction to the many ways this style of picking is used. The primary characteristic of the pattern is the use of a steady bass, usually in quarter notes and always alternating.
Beginning with the simplest of patterns on common chords such as C and G, the author guides you to more complex patterns involving syncopations on the top line, as well as the use of hammers and pulls during the pattern (which can get pretty tricky!). Along the way, specific songs are mentioned that use the pattern being taught, such as "Fire & Rain", "Dust In The Wind", "The Boxer", and many more. "Dust In The Wind", by the way, is a common example of a song written with the Travis picking pattern as its original accompaniment.
The author does a good job of organizing the variations of the techique for effective presentation and learning, giving them cute little names such as the "Inside Out" and "Outside In" pattern, helping you to remember which order to play the top notes in.
This style can be played with either a thumb pick and fingers, or with thumb and fingers. The hand position shown is exactly that used in "The Principles". Many people can pick up these patterns without much trouble, but there are even more who run into a lot of problems as they try to get their fingers to move with the coordination required. In either case, the "Finger Dipping" and Arpeggio Foundation Exercises from "The Principles" are absolutely essential in insuring that these patterns will be learned and played easily, with no harmful tension locked in to the muscles. So, make sure you have done your homework building the foundation of right hand use before you tangle with this book.
Also, as with everything else you practice, you will find the Basic Practice Approach from "The Principles" to be your best chance of learning these patterns trouble free, as you systematically bring up the tempo to performance levels.
This book can be a lot of fun, and open up the door to an authentic sound on an important part of guitar repertoire.
Most books of scales are merely like dictionaries: they give you all the words, but after you finish reading it, don't expect to be able to speak the language! This book is different, and that is why I like it, and use it!
Arnie Berle, a teacher of vast experience, has put together the fruits of his many years of teaching jazz guitar, as well as a lifetime of devotion to his chosen style. He not only gives you a systematic way of learning the most important scales (all the forms of the major scale), but then he walks you through these very important things:
- deriving the most important modes, the Dorian and Mixolydian
- how to cover II-V chord changes, the most important chord change in jazz
- how to add flavor with neighboring tones
- how to detect and handle key changes
As you systematically learn the scales, you also systematically work them through the keys, and learn important concepts like the use of neighboring tones for tension. You also pick up the "feel" of creating interesting jazz lines by playing the many examples and patterns given.
Players often make the mistake of learning lots of isolated licks without having a framework of harmonic understanding on the fingerboard to place them in. When it comes to Major scales, that framework is vast. It includes all the major scales, the 7 arpeggios derived from each one, as well as the seven modes. And then you have to know what to do with them when playing real music!
Unless you already have your improvising chops together, learning scales without hearing them and using them against the chords they work with, is useless. Scales are only one part of the total picture called "improvising". The beauty of this book is that as you learn the scales, you learn how to use them against various chord progressions, most importantly, the primary progression of jazz: the II-V-I.
It is also important realize that this book is not just for jazz players, but for anyone wishing to have a complete understanding of fingerboard harmony. Such an understanding is essential to have if you wish to exploit the guitar to its fullest, regardless of which style you play.
Of course, this, or any other single book, is not enough to turn you into a jazz improviser, as the author states throughout. But, some books are about as good an introduction and foundation to an aspect of guitar as you will find, and this book is one of them.
Buy It Now!
| Library of Classics: A great collection of classical guitar pieces for the intermediate student who is looking for a lot of the greatest, most popular, and most played music in the standard classical repertoire. Clear and easy to read, a lifetime of great music to study and play, all in one convenient place!
The Voice Book: . The best book I have found on singing. I will give this book the highest compliment I can, it is for the voice what my book "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar" is for the guitar. With great analytical detail, the author gives you ALL the right information, in the right order, along with "Foundation Exercises" to remove the obstacles to improving your ability to develop your voice.
|Beatles Made Easy For Guitar: Many of the greatest songs by THE greatest pop/rock (and beyond) songwriters of my lifetime! The great thing about this book is that all the songs are in easy guitar keys, so it is perfect for those just getting the hang of chord changes and strumming.
Ultimate Folk Book: After you have begun the process of learning how to practice by using The Principles, and you have learned the first position chords in the key of G with "The Path Level One: Chords & Rhythm",, it is time for some Horizontal Growth by learning a good number of songs, and some Vertical Growth, learning new first position chords, as well as more sophisticated strums, and accompaniment techniques such as BASS RUNS, and ARPEGGIOS.