Roni Ben-Hur is a prolific jazz musician & educator based in New York City. Besides his active career as a recording artist and performer, he even organizes week-long jazz camps that includes a world-class faculty and has been running for the past 21 years!
Over the years, Roni has also released more and more instructional guitar video on My Music Masterclass & Mike’s Masterclasses. However, today I’d like to review his earlier release called Talk Jazz Guitar.
First and foremost, this is a really cool book specifically if you’re interested to develop technical facility on the guitar for bebop. Roni has written out exercises that are useful and challenging.
They are written out in standard notation (with notated fingerings) & includes fretboard diagrams to help visualize the fingerings. There is however no tablature.
There are 10 chapters in total. He begins with major & dominant 7 scales, goes into arpeggios, surrounding notes, diminished chord, surrounding notes for minor and major 6th chords, augmented chords and by the time you reach chapter 10, he covers major and minor arpeggios and their inversions.
In addition to the book, you also get a playalong CD to help you practice the materials Roni has shared.
If you’ve checked out almost any other “typical” jazz guitar book, it might seem like Roni is covering the same topics. But, if you look closely, Roni actually based this book around the Barry Harris Method.
As a result, the sounds you get are not necessarily the same as a more generic jazz guitar textbook. This makes this book special and useful.
Roni studied with Barry Harris & also played in Barry’s band which gives Roni unique insights into how Barry thought about all this.
In conclusion, if you feel like your bebop chops are not together, or if you’d like another perspective for your practice sessions… in addition to transcribing, jamming, writing etudes and all that jazz… this book might be worth getting.
Pros: Great exercises, very systematic, lots to practice!
TLDR: If you’re interested in exercises based on the Barry Harris method but applied to guitar, this book might be a worthwhile addition to your practice routine!
You can get the book on Amazon, eBay and directly from Roni Ben-Hur on his online store here.
PLEASE NOTE: I strongly recommend getting the 268-page version if you can find a copy of that, although the 79-page version from Mel Bay is pretty cool too. Special thanks to Ed Acquesta who mentioned the 268-page version in his review of this book, I wouldn’t have known about that version otherwise!
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
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