This latest release from GuitarVivo is a welcome addition to their interesting catalog of niche guitar books. (You can read my past reviews of The Melodic Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary by Tim Lerch, Effortless Guitar by Adrian Farrell, MSTAT and Modern Rock Guitar Soloing by Martin Miller.)
When I heard about this book, I was excited since I have been checking out different educational products teaching the neo-soul guitar style. I reviewed The Neo-Soul Guitar Book by Simon Pratt, Kristof Neyens and Mark Lettieri back in 2019 and also checked out different neo-soul guitar material since then… but honestly no new print book on this topic has been released as far as I know. (There are a number of eBooks and video courses on the neo-soul guitar style but it’s still relatively a new topic.)
Also, this is the first time I’ve heard of Bence Bécsy and man… after checking out this book I definitely wanna follow what he does.
The book gives you 150 neo-soul guitar licks organized by chord type (major, minor, dominant, whole-tone, diminished & altered dominant), then phrases that outline full progressions and ends with “showstoppers”, virtuosic technically impressive phrases.
In addition to the transcribed licks and explanations for each lick, you also get videos, audio and GuitarPro files to help you learn the material. Almost all the licks have both full performance tempo versions played on the accompanying video & audio, except just a few.
First things first, the licks are amazing!
That being said, most will probably require many hours of practice to get under your fingers unless you already have good double stop and chordal chops.
This stuff is difficult.
As I went through the 150 licks, it was clear to me that this:
- is not meant for beginners
- is not laid out out based on increasing difficulty
However, I can safely say that I’ve not seen anything resembling this kind of quality (and variety) covering the neo-soul guitar style. So, if you want to get this sound into your playing, this is a book that I highly recommend getting & studying.
From double stop (and triple stop) phrases to contrapuntal lines to slide-drenched, tapped-filled licks, this book has it all.
In conclusion, if you wanna play neo-soul and want good practice material, this is a book worth getting. Do remember though that I recommend this book for intermediate & advanced players as the material is challenging and might frustrate you if you are still a beginner.
Pros: Great sounding licks in a great package (book + video + audio + GuitarPro files).
Cons: Very technically challenging material, might frustrate hobbyist guitarists.
TLDR: Love neo-soul? Wanna learn licks that stretch your imagination and chops? Get this now.
Thank you Luke Lewis & Guitar Vivo for inviting me to review this book.
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
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