Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Adam Satur Playing Guitar Musically Part 2 Review

So today we will be discussing chapters 6-8 of Adam Satur's Playing Guitar Musically. For those who have not read the first post (for chapters 1-5) go HERE . Today's entry will discuss the chapter on introduction to the major scale, then we will talk about the chapter which teaches the major modes, finally we will be reading through the chapter on intervals, and all that entails. Personally I found these three chapters to be some of the most important and most helpful in the book and I hope you to find them useful. It is the chapter on Major Scales that really kicks off the fun.

In the major scale chapter Adam starts by immediately giving the theory behind the major scale and then diving right into an exercise. I think this is a great way to introduce a beginner to this concept. Not only is there a clear explanation of WHAT is happening but then Adam gets the reader involved which is CRUCIAL for and enjoyable read. Adam then goes on to explain the cycle of fifths and how to identify the sharps and flats in a given scale. He does this fairly well, but it is a very difficult concept and one that takes a while to sink in. Yet I have never seen anybody present this perfectly, so honestly, you should let it slide. After the circle of fifths Adam gives some nice exercises to help the student digest the information. My only suggestion to him is that he might want to add a few scale diagrams just to give students some ideas of stuff to play around with. I understand his reasoning in offering no diagrams but I feel that maybe having diagrams could help out some prospective shredders.

The next chapter teaches the major modes in a very effective way. It too suffers from a lack of diagrams, but the quality of information is just stellar. Satur perfectly presents how the scales are related to each other and gives easy ways to memorize each of them. Anybody who wants to learn more about the theory behind scales should read this chapter as Satur gives an excellent explanation of how it all works. When I first read this chapter my jaw dropped at how everything suddenly CLICKED. Adam has a way with words that makes reading his book more than worthwhile. My one suggestion is that he provide songs that prominently use the featured scales to give his students a better idea of their particular sounds. Otherwise the exercises provided at the end of the chapter are excellent as usual and do a good job in helping the student cement this information in his head.

The final chapter we will be discussing today is the one on intervals. I find this one to be really well done, but perhaps poorly placed. I feel like the previous two chapters would have benefited if this one had come first. Otherwise this chapter provides a nice explanation of all the intervals and how they are placed in relation to each other and how they are related. In particular the bit on inversions is very clever. The exercises at the end of this chapter are pretty good and straightforward. The most notable one is the one on harmonizing, which I found really cool, especially for a beginner. Otherwise this chapter is pretty short and straightforward but it gets the job done very well.

In conclusion these three chapters of playing guitar musically are among the most important in the book and will really help guitarists out. My sole complaint is in the lack of diagrams. Otherwise these chapters give a great theoretical explanation of some hard to grasp concepts on the guitar. The major scale chapter gets the ball rolling by teaching some of the essentials of music theory. Then the following chapter takes that theory up a notch. Finally the chapter on intervals clears up some more basic theoretical issues. I found this portion to be most excellent and I hope you do too. 5 FREE sample chapters! The facebook! 

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