I remember when I first got this book a few years ago. I remember being frustrated with how challenging it was to play the Bach pieces selected in the book, not because of the fingerings but more because of the register of the lines that were out of range for me (or difficult) because I played mostly acoustic guitar.
Over the years I would come back to this book and most recently it finally clicked.
This book by Mark White has many layers to it.
Firstly you can take it as a “concepts” book with Mark explanations in the first part of the book. Then you can take it as an “etude/studies” book with the second part of the book. He gives five pairs of pieces, each with a Bach piece and a jazz/bebop piece that share similar fingering concepts.
The accompanying recordings & backing tracks are probably the most important aspect for study with this book as it helps you learn the pieces. Some of the pieces are for two to four guitars so these would be suitable for college performance settings too.
Everything here is challenging. Nothing easy about any of the pieces… so this is definitely for intermediate to advanced guitarists who want a challenge.
On a side note, I am planning to write more about Mark’s other books too, so that might be in the works next.
In conclusion, there are a few ways to use the book. If you’re like me and want to get the concepts, go through the first part & start applying the fingering concepts into your own licks, solos and etudes. If you’re looking for applications and need more guidance, try out the pieces in the second half of the book.
The bebop ones are probably more manageable at first since they are shorter pieces but any of the pieces that resonate with you are probably going to be worth your while. The important thing is to find what excites you for your practice sessions & this book from Mark White might be for you if you like the connection between classical & jazz.
Pros: Good fingering concepts, accompanying audio and backing tracks helpful for learning the material.
Cons: Some of the etudes are really high register so you kind of need a guitar that can access the higher range comfortabl to even attempt some of these pieces.
TLDR: An interesting approach to teaching fingering concepts and jazz guitar phrasing. Recommended for jazz guitarists looking for etudes to internalize good fingering habits using actual music chosen for this purpose in mind.
You can get this book from Amazon & eBay. This book is in print so you should have no problems getting a copy!
Related to this book, you might also dig these books from Jon De Lucia:
Book Review: Bach Shapes by Jon De Lucia
Book Review: Bach Shapes II: Studies in Bach by Jon De Lucia
Book Review: Bach Shapes: The Etudes by Jon De Lucia
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
- Are you an author who wrote a jazz, guitar or music book?
- Have you created a DVD or an online video course or subscription based website?
- Would you like me to review your book/course?
Please send me a message at azsamad3 at gmail.com with:
For courses: a link to the course/video/product + access info etc.
For books: a link to the book (Dropbox) or PDF attachment (if it’s small) for review consideration.
Depending on whether I dig the book/course, I’ll let you know if I do plan to review it!
I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p
NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig?