German Schauss is a prolific and amazing classically influenced shred guitarist nicknamed “The Lightspeeder”. He’s written many books on shred guitar technique & taught at Berklee College of Music and LA Music Academy.
I first met German at a guitar clinic he conducted at Berklee College of Music when I was still a student there. I remember clearly being mindblown at his very logical explanations and approach to practicing the guitar. I also took a Skype guitar lesson with him which was very helpful for developing my pick technique.
Today I’m reviewing his 2014 book & DVD set called Shredding Guitar Workout. This book is actually out of print though used (and some new) copies are available on some websites.
The 96 page book is divided into 4 chapters:
- Alternate-Picking Workout
- Sweep Picking
- Legato Technique
In the first chapter, German goes through various exercises including warm-ups, chromatic melodic patterns, two-string pentatonic patterns, pentatonic melodic patterns, two-string 7th arpeggios, hexatonics, major scale exercises and even three-note-per-string fingerings for the seven-string guitar. There’s a lot of material here – about 51 pages, which makes it more than half of the book’s content.
In the second chapter on sweep picking, German goes through some foundational exercises – putting it through mechanics perspective using chromatic left hand exercises while focusing on the right hand technique. Then, he expands the exercises into two-string, three-string and five-string sweeping. Closing this chapter, German also covers arpeggio shapes for the seven-string guitar.
Exploring legato technique in the next chapter, German shares warm-ups, one and two-string legato patterns as well as phrases across the fretboard. The warm-ups are practical and logical. The legato patterns are interesting as well with German including various rhythmic subdivisions for the phrases. The phrases across the fretboard are challenging and useful for exploring the entire range of the guitar.
The fourth and final chapter covers tapping including scales and arpeggios, triad arpeggios, 7th arpeggios. Although this chapter is relatively short at 10 pages, there are a lot of concepts covered. This is definitely a useful addition to the book.
The book does in fact deliver what the subtitle says, “Heavy Metal Meets The Thinking Shredder’s Technical Practice”. It contains a wealth of practical, systematic ideas for guitarists curious about German’s approach to guitar practice.
Pros: Great book, systematic material.
Cons: It’s out of print & can be pricey.
TLDR: Good book for aspiring shredders! Also useful for guitarists from other styles interested in discovering some practical technical exercises.
At the moment, you can still get the book here (although on the pricier side as it is officially out of print):
You can also check out other (in-print) books by German here:
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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