I first encountered Isaac’s amazing work via his first book, Modern Linear Vocabulary for Guitar, Vol. 1. This book is the sequel to that book.
In this book, Isaac continues his exploration of the modern linear vocabulary – melodic lines that echo the work of current influential jazz, fusion & rock guitar sounds. These are strong lyrical melodies that embody the aesthetic of shred but balance with the awareness of jazz. Isaac’s strength is in combining lines that demand technical fluency and still reward the melodic explorer with these strong shapes. Isaac exploits the fact that the melodic minor tonality inherently doesn’t have any avoid notes. Therefore these lines (all written in C Melodic Minor) can be used for any of the 7 modal tonalities (and more if you start using substitutions implying outside sounds).
The book/audio/video combination is very well thought out.
Some guitarists only give the TAB or standard notation & TAB. With Isaac, he goes all out including standard, tablature (with marked articulations – slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs) and detailed picking directions & fretting hand fingerings for each line.
I love this level of detail. It really helps me as sometimes I can’t catch everything aurally or visually.
Isaac’s videos are helpful as well – well recorded with clear views of both hands throughout. Each example is played slowly on the video. For the audio examples, he plays each line at 50bpm, 100bpm and 150bpm. In fact, Isaac recommends listening to the audio examples prior to studying the lines. I echo his thoughts on this as I believe that the sound of the music should inspire you to learn these beautiful lines. Isaac performs these lines extremely well and sets a high benchmark for anyone brave enough to try these out!
Who is this for?
Well, if you’re a fan of music by Allan Holdsworth, Tim Miller, Mike Moreno, Ben Monder, Gilad Hekselman – these lines are would definitely help you to get ideas similar to those modern sounds.
There’s an abundance now of instructional material especially for jazz guitar but a lot contain rehashed standard II-V-I vocabulary or textbook like sounding lines. With Isaac’s book, you get something way beyond all that. His work can help anyone more interested in the modern sounds beyond the bebop era.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the book is the underlying philosophy behind it. Isaac says in the introduction:
The idea of the book came from the desire to expand vocabulary and melodic possibilities, bringing freshness, new colors and new ideas to disguise common scales and patterns.
The process of composing these lines was a great challenge.
The goal was to create ideas that have a pleasant sound effect and that could sound good at any speed over any chord of the tonality without the need to isolate a certain mode or chord, thus making possible the use of one idea / line over other chord qualities.
This alone shows his immense dedication to create something special for guitarists of this era. I applaud his work & am excited to practice this material in depth.
In conclusion, I recommend this work to any guitarist interested in breaking from standard jazz or improvisational patterns that have been covered in earlier books. Isaac is a dedicated musician and his work deserves to be studied. I personally can see this book being a good textbook for guitar classes exploring this style of guitar improvisation. Much like how Pat Martino’s Linear Expressions or Joe Diorio’s Fusion Guitar book has been in the past, Isaac’s book has the potential to be a future must study work. Congrats Isaac!
Pros: Great work, well presented, video, audio & book all well thought out and planned!
TLDR: If you like these kinds of improvised melodic vocabulary, this book is worth checking out.
You can get Isaac’s book on his website here:
Also, stay tuned for his next book, Modern Linear Vocabulary for Guitar: Vol. 3 that explores the Messiaen M3 scale.
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
[Read more reviews]
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
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