Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adam Satur, Playing Guitar Musically, FINAL

So after a LONG break I a here to bring you my final installment of my multi part review of Adam Satur's Playing Guitar Musically. In this final chapter we will discuss the chapters on Notation, Chord Extension (or as Mr. Govan calls it, “How to play big scary sounding chords”) and finally Minor Scales. Together they offer a little “extra” to an excellent book. While the rest f the book offers the basics to learning the instrument these chapters really help you to get going into the more advanced stuff. They start to show all of the possibilities that are to be had when playing the guitar, or any instrument really.

Satur starts the chapter on notation with the basics. He shows the student what the musical staff normally looks like and then introduces the different clefs. While I think the introduction of clefs that most guitarists will never use is a tad unnecessary ( I didn't learn about other clefs until I had done 5 years of saxophone) I see why Satur might have done it. It definitely makes everything feel a bit more complete. The description of where the notes are on the clef is a tad clunky and I feel like it might have just been improved with a simple diagram. But again, I understand why Adam wanted to do it this way. It allows the student to figure it out on their own. Adam describes the “extras” rather well. He provides a great description as to how to identify sharps and flats as well as giving a good idea on how to determine which note is which when it falls outside of the clef. He describes rhythms well too. Unfortunately he again uses the English terminology for the duration of notes. This is something that will probably turn off a lot of international readers. Otherwise, he provides an excellent description as to the use of rests and really helps clarify how key and time signatures are marked. In conclusion, asides from a few minor issues, this is an excellent chapter that really helps to show how notation works.

The next chapter covers Chord Extensions, a subject that downright scares many guitarists. Yet Satur describes it perfectly. He starts off by explaining the basic types of 7 chord, how to form them. and there applications. Then he goes on to more elaborate stuff. He adds in 9ths' and things start to get tricky. He does a good job of explaining the different notations and how they are constructed though and you will not be lost by his explanations. The same goes for his descriptions of 11th's and 13th's. These are extremely tricky and very mathematical concepts and explaining them properly is no mean feat. Yet he does it, somehow, Satur's explanations make sense! When it comes time to talk about 2nds and 4ths he yet again does a great job. I really like how he describes the different uses for these chords. To finish, this chapter is a great resource for any young guitarist seeking to understand the complex concept that is chord extensions.

The final chapter is on minor chords. Here we get a brief introduction to these concepts. While de does not dedicate much space to them it is clear what he is trying to accomplish with this chapter. He is A. Trying to give the reader a taste of things to come. B. Helping the reader learn that he does not have to be spoon fed theory anymore. This chapter exists to help students confirm their skill. While his explanations are not very long or thorough here, they do indeed get the job done. They show what a minor scale is and give a basic idea on how to use them. This is the scantiest chapter, but in some ways the most important. It gives the reader confidence to go off on his own and become a true virtuoso.

All in all these three chapters provide an excellent terminus to an excellent book. They help a young guitarist in many ways and give a view of all that an be done with the instrument. The chapter on notation helps the player be able to start playing with a practitioner of any instrument right away. Then the chapter on chord extensions helps the student in making their music a bit more interesting. Finally, the chapter on minor scales is great as it really instills the student with a sense of accomplishment showing them that they CAN work this stuff out on their own. So, to finish, Adam Satur's Playing Guitar Musically is a BRILLIANT book and you should REALLY consider buying it!
download sample chapters there!

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