Guitar: The Circle of Fifths for Guitarists
I can honestly say that out of probably 15+ guitar books that I own, this is the first one that I actually read cover to cover. I did more than just read it, actually - I connected with it and worked through it , fully understanding each concept and then moving on to the next. I am very satisfied with the purchase and look forward to getting more of Joseph Alexander's excellent books. Having played guitar for roughly 35 years, on and off, in a mostly self taught manner, I have always felt very inadequate in terms of my actual understanding of what I was doing. It feels great to finally be opening that door, with Mr. Alexander's help, and actually beginning to understand what my fingers have been up to all these years.
I have purchased a few of the books in this series. The author is adept at simplifying musical theory and keeping it focused especially for those who have been frustrated by traditional methods of learning. Included with the book are links to audio examples of the point being discussed. Together his methods and layout take you through the process simply and effectively. In a short time you will find yourself comfortable with the guitar instead of lost and discouraged. You will start to hear the individual notes and be confident with their location on the neck and be able to reproduce what your hear, as well as reach the point of writing your own basic compositions. I couldn't recommend any series of books more emphatically than this series.
I was looking for a book that would address the question of why certain pitch changes sound good, and how to build music around those changes. This book isn't really that. Half of the book is wasted space, not only in how sparsely printed the pages are ( mostly whitespace .. I've never seen a book so sparsely printed ) but also in directions about how to build keys with the correct sharps/flats/etc. 99% of guitar players don't care about sharps or flats !! It's like the author is saying "you've got this wonderful visual tool - the fretboard - but instead of learning around that, I want to tell you about how many sharps are in this scale download free ringtones for android and iphone.
Furthermore the author only mentions 3 options for 5th/4th pitch changes on the fretboard when there are at least twice that many. So this is really a book for extreme beginners, who have very little education in music theory. If you have ever taken a class in school you could probably skip this book.
Only 3-4 pages cover what should really be the main topic of the book, which is *application* of the circle of 5ths in music. Those few pages are gold, which is why I give this book 3 stars instead of 2. If the author wanted to improve on this book I would suggest spending the first third on simply fretboard movements and the last 2 thirds on modulation. Get rid of *everything* else because most of us who are learning guitar simply don't care about the rest.