This book by Tim Lerch is the first book release from GuitarVivo. In the tradition of guitar great, Ted Greene, this book uses chord diagrams like what Ted Greene used as well as an explanation of the The V System (originally called the Voicing Group System) that was created by Ted Greene.
This of course makes perfect sense as Tim studied with Ted directly.
If you’re a fan of jazz, solo jazz guitar or Telecaster jazz guitar playing, you probably already know about Tim & his excellent videos on his YouTube channel or perhaps have studied his one of his courses on Truefire.
For me, I first discovered Tim’s work via the many jazz guitar groups on Facebook. When I heard of this book, I was very intrigued by the premise and was excited by it. After studying it for awhile now, I can safely say this is the chord dictionary that I which I had when I was starting out!
The book is divided into three sections:
- Part One – The Melodic Chord Dictionary
- Part Two – The Systematic Chord Dictionary
- Part Three – Chord-Melody Notation
The Melodic Chord Dictionary part is very practical as Tim organizes the voicing by top note and by six chord types:
- Major Chord Voicings
- Minor Chord Voicings
- Minor7b5 Chord Voicings
- Dominant Chord Voicings
- Altered Dominant Chords
- Diminished Chord Voicings
You also get two appendix sections:
- Appendix 1 – Quartal Voicings
- Appendix 2 – Altered Dominant Roadmap
In addition to all the excellent material in the book, you also get bonus files and supporting videos that help you understand the material even better. The videos alone are more than four hours long which to be honest brings this book into course level content (if you choose to really study everything in depth!)
For me, I feel that treating the book like a dictionary, going in getting a few voicings at a time & then using them in arrangements, etudes and studies is a useful way to use it. Alternatively, studying sections of the solo guitar arrangements that Tim includes is a great way to see how these voicings are actually applied.
You get five to work on:
- Darn That Dream
- Just Friends
- Lover Man
- Bird Blues
You get videos of all these five pieces and even video breakdowns for Lover Man & Darn That Dream. This is immensely useful as part of making the voicings sound good is hearing how Tim actually uses dynamics and variations in the right hand texture to create the three dimensional effect needed for great solo guitar playing.
All in all, this book is a valuable addition to the jazz guitar world especially for any aspiring (or even experienced) solo guitarist. I for one look forward to studying the videos closely to get even more nuggets of wisdom from Tim. This is a book that is worth getting for your library and even one to keep on your music stand for daily study.
Pros: Well organized book that does what it sets out to, lots of bonus video content for study as well!
Cons: This is not a course, so some assembly required. You need to pick songs to learn & apply these voicings too. The accompanying pieces in Part Three of the book are a great starting point, though I believe that creating your own arrangements can help internalize the knowledge in the book even more.
TLDR: If you’re interested to learn more chord voicings, especially for comping & arranging for solo jazz guitar, this book is worth checking out.
You can purchase the PDF version of this book here:
Or Amazon here:
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