Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Adam Satur Playing Guitar Musically Part 3 Review

Today we will be discussing chapters 9-12 of Adam Satur's Playing Guitar Musically. These chapters are the ones that really get you going on chords and rhythm. For free sample chapters click HERE Chapter 9 teaches about how chords are formed. Then chapter 10 talks about applying that information, that information is built on in the following two chapters on strumming and picking patterns. Yet chapter 9 is really the one that sets up the reader for the second half of the book.

Chapter 9 is aptly titled “Introducing Chords”. The chapter starts off by giving the reader a basic idea of what a chord is. Then Adam goes into detail on how to form chords. With remarkably few words he manages to explain a very complex concept. He succeeds in doing something almost no other guitar writer succeeds to do. He properly explains how chords are built and makes sure the student understands with some exhaustive exercises. The problem with this chapter is that Adam is not actually suggest that the notes within the chords should all be in the same octave... I could imagine this leading to some bizarre voicings from beginners. Another small issue is that arpeggios are referenced but there is no real arpeggio exercise. Asides from those two problems though, this chapter is nigh on perfect and could really help out anyone learning theory, even non guitarists!

Chapter 10 is called “Building Chord Sequences” this chapter really helps to apply what we learned in the previous chapter. Here Adam helps the reader learn how the various chords are related and how to build them into smooth progressions. A lot of metalheads might think this kind of thing is useless, but in fact it's crucial in the solos of guys like Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi! My problem with this chapter is that it seems to be presenting too much at once. There are a lot of really hard concepts addressed here and I think it might be better if there was more time dedicated to each. More exercises might help strengthen this chapter, or adding recommended listening to help make the concepts more tangible. Otherwise though this chapter is rather excellent and really helps the student to get an understanding of chord progressions.

Chapter 11 is about rhythm. It starts off simply enough with a good introduction to some of the key concepts of rhythm. The concepts of Tempo and Bars are both explained rather well... and then comes the biggest issue with the book. The English terminology of the notes is I think, ineffective. For a student working with a teacher it might not be a problem. But for a beginner learning out of this book, there could be problems. The common terms for quavers and such (quarters eighths, sixteens) would probably be much better here and allow the student to better understand a variety of internet resources. This chapter is probably the one major error that Adam commits in the entire book. I would like to point out that the exercises presented in this chapter are quite excellent and some of the other concepts are well presented, but still, the English terminology hurts the book a lot.

Chapter 12 talks more about the application of the concepts in chapter 11. This is necessary for comprehension and I think it really does improve the quality of the book. While this chapter is still hurt a little by the errors of the previous chapter Adam does a more than adequate job of explaining picking patterns. Everything comes across fairly clearly and I think the average guitarist could learn a lot here. I particularly like the last exercise which helped me out a lot. This chapter is short but sweet, it helps instill some key ideas.

In conclusion chapters 9-12 of Playing Guitar Musically are quite good. The chapters 9 and 10 really help to fix chord theory into the head of the reader. Then chapters 11 and 12 help you learn how to actually play it. This combination is quite good and can help any advancing guitarist! These chapters are totally worth looking at, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Be sure to check out the books facebook page!

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