REH Books is an important publisher for guitar educational materials with classic books such as Artful Arpeggios by Don Mock and Intervallic Designs by Joe Diorio. REH is also well-known for classic instructional videos that remain influential. Many of the REH books have remained in print until today… however some of the earliest releases are out of print.
This book by Roger Hutchinson from 1976 is one that I’m looking into today.
Now the question:
What is this book all about?
…and Is this a good book?
In context of the era, I believe that this book provided something very important. It was basically an introductory book to chord melody style playing.
It begins with an explanation of how to transpose melodies up an octave to either the 1st or 2nd string.
Then, it goes into an explanation about melody-harmony relationship and intervals. Moving on, we discover about inversions and how different inversions of chords allows different notes to be in the top voice of a chord.
After that, we learn about solo chord charts and get three solo chord studies to apply the voicings presented in the book. These are presented in Appendix C of the book.
Chords are divided to 4 types:
- Half Diminished 7th (m7b5)
… and are presented in two parts:
- Part 1 – with the top note on the 1st string
- Part 2 – with the top note on the 2nd string
The book closes with a 12 bar blues chord solo.
The book is a really a hands-on type workbook with a clear goal. With that in mind, it’s a useful and important work. Since this book, there have been many others that address and teach this concept. Perhaps The Melodic Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary by Tim Lerch is the most recent example of a book that represents an expanded and modern take on the concepts Roger Hutchinson shares.
All in all, every time I check out older books from the 1970s and 1980s, I get something out of it. It informs me of the history of contemporary guitar education & gives me context for my own work. I’m glad I have checked out this book! If you’re curious about it, keep an eye out for it.
And… if you ever see some lesser-known REH book and want to send me a birthday gift, let me know. Haha.
Pros: Good book, clearly presented materials.
Cons: Might feel old fashioned for some folks. Newer books with more in-depth takes on this topic now exist.
TLDR: If you’re interested in this topic as an educator or guitar geek, it might be worth having a copy of this book as a record of how this topic was explained back in 1976. However, if you just want to learn about this subject, other options are more widely available now.
This is a difficult book to locate or even read any mention of it online. I first discovered of it’s existence from Randy Buckner’s blogpost/review of it. Best bet to find this is likely on either Amazon or ebay.
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
[Read more reviews]
[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?