Authors: Daniel Gilbert and Beth Marlis
This is essentially a practice workbook for advanced lead guitar. These kinds of books are undoubtedly the best to learn and improve your guitar lead playing but what you aren’t going to get is any kind of epiphany from them. A lot of guitarists are looking for answers to concepts they don’t understand, a quick route to enlightenment. That’s not knocking anybody, I was the same and I think to some extent most guitarists are. The actual reality of improving your lead guitar playing comes from hands on experience.
A book like this gives you a leg up and nothing much else, but whether you like it or not, this is where the real answers are to all of your questions. You are given an idea, a kick start for an idea or soloing concept, the rest is down to you. Don’t try too hard to understand everything all in one go. I learned this lesson late in my guitar life. Just keep doing and doing, and eventually things fall into place. You can spend years looking for the magic formula of what makes a pro a pro but this is where it’s all at. Get on with it and let the logic catch up when it’s ready. If you do it enough then this is what will happen.
Inside The Book
The outline of this book is 17 practice sessions and it’s not for the beginner. The range of topics cover soloing with the melodic minor, Phrygian, Locrian and Lydian modes, diminished, altered and whole tone scales, chromaticism and secondary dominants.
Each section explains the outline but not in lengthy detail so you will need to know your basic theory. Throughout the book there are a bunch of exercises and ideas to work with, a few licks and some complete solo examples. The CD contains 22 tracks that start with the example lick or solo and then leads into a few rounds of backing track to play along with. I would prefer to have seen separate backing tracks, with and without the solo part, rather than have them combined into one track but this is a small issue. It doesn’t deter you from the value of the content, just makes it harder to run a continuous loop without interruptions.
All in all, this is a good book and I would have no trouble recommending it – but only for the serious guitarist prepared to put some work into it. Take it from me, these are the best kinds of books to learn from but you have to put the effort in to get the most out of them.
I don’t own any others in this series but I will be buying more when I get round to it, the MI books are well thought out and I don’t think I’ve come across a bad one yet.