I’m always looking for effective ways to understand & navigate the fretboard in a logical manner. A few years ago, I found out about this book by Ken Taft via an update in the Berklee Today magazine, a publication highlighting Berklee College of Music students, alumni and faculty work & activities. Soon after that I contacted Ken to inquire on how I could get a copy of his book, Developmental Arpeggios. Ken was quick to reply and soon I received my own copy of it!
This is an amazing very focused book by former Berklee Guitar Department faculty member, Ken Taft. Beautifully notated with layout and copy work by Buddy Aquilina, the book reminds me of classic guitar texts from of hand notated examples. This definitely gives a nice a warmth to the text and instruction.
It’s divided into 15 chapters and covers one arpeggio type for each chapter. Originally designed for the Developmental Arpeggios Guitar Lab at Berklee College of Music, this book is suitable for any guitarist interested to develop their arpeggio skills. It’s a really good text with classic jazz/blues fingerings. Although some may prefer other fingerings for the fretting hand, I found that Ken’s suggestion are very practical especially if you’re coming from a jazz/blues background.
The arpeggios covered include:
- Major Triad
- Minor Triad
- Augmented Triad
- Diminished Triad
- Major 7th
- Dominant 7th
- Minor 7th
- Diminished 7th
- Minor/Major 7th
- Major 7th(b5)
- Major 7th(#5)
- Dominant 7th(b5)
- Dominant 7th(#5)
- Diminished/Major 7th
In addition to developing visual awareness for these arpeggios, the hardworking guitar student will be able to develop their ears as well by playing the voiceleading exercises that Ken has included in many of the chapters. Along with using these arpeggio fingerings in jazz standards, this text provides a very systematic take on arpeggios.
Since first personally working on the material in the book, Ken and I have keep in touch over the years. He’s been very encouraging and I’m happy to announce that for a limited number of students, you can now actually study this material with me via private lessons. Ken has graciously sent me copies of the book & for those interested to get deep into this material, you can sign up for private lessons with me where we will use this book as the textbook. We will not only cover the arpeggios, fingerings and exercises in the book but you will also learn how to apply these amazing sounds into your own music and playing as well. Please message me here to inquire about the details for the classes.
Pros: Great quality material, covers essential arpeggios and provides a clear system to navigate the fretboard.
TLDR: If you have any gaps in your arpeggio knowledge and want to have a systematic way to cover all the main arpeggios, this book is strongly recommended!
How to get the book:
You can get this book directly from Ken Taft. He can be reached via e-mail at hamerdude1 at comcast dot net. If you do get a copy from him, please say hi to him for me too and mention that you found out about the book via this website. Thank you!
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