The George Benson Method by George Benson & Peter Farrell has received mixed feedback from musicians all around the world ever since Peter first introduced it.
On one hand, there was immense excitement from guitarists who were keen to get hold of the books (prior to the launch) and on the other hand, there was the huge discussion about how the eBooks were priced much higher than the current offerings in the market.
Disclaimer 1: I don’t have any of the full version of the George Benson method books – so I can’t really comment on how these compare to those.
Disclaimer 2: I purchased the two Pocket Books reviewed here during one of Peter’s sales where both were each priced at US$19.99 instead of the regular pricing of US$44. I am a customer and didn’t received review copies of these eBooks.
It’s kind of wild that price is so intertwined with the discussion of Peter’s books, but when you do something unconventional in the market in terms of pricing, it does cause debate.
Although in the world of online marketing eBooks that are priced to even more than US$1,000 exist, in the guitar world, Peter’s eBooks which are currently listed at US$350 each are probably some of the most higher priced eBooks I have seen so far.
Talking about guitar video courses, yes there are larger courses at that price range, but for books, Peter is definitely a pioneer for going with value-based pricing instead of conforming to the standard market ideas of eBook pricing.
Now with that aside, let’s talk about the content of the book.
There are 20 pages of 60 Major II-V-I lines in the key of C in the book. Everything is beautifully notated and well edited. No visible typos and even as an eBook, the layout and feel has a luxurious vibe to it with the choice of colors and font.
The actual lines are interesting too!
From the very first line, you already get chromaticism and altered notes in the phrase. Paying careful attention to both fretting and picking hand fingering, there are a lot of lessons to digest from each line.
The good thing is that the lines cover the range of the guitar fretboard. You get lines that go to the open position and even lines that are on the higher register of the neck. Some of the lines are trickier to play on an acoustic guitar but for the most part, the majority of the lines are written in a range suitable for both acoustic and electric guitars.
As I read through all the 60 lines, I had many “aha!” moments. Most of it had to do with the difference between how I would finger the same line and comparing it with Peter’s fingering.
If you’re familiar with the often repeated idea that George Benson only (or mostly) uses the first three fingers, you’ll see that a lot throughout the book. The 4th finger is used, but at strategic moments. For the most part, the first three fingers is often the first choice for the lines.
In conclusion, the book does deliver a lot of value IF you do practice each line mindfully and pay attention to the fingering and resulting sound. I certainly learned new ideas from it & enjoyed reading the lines. I look forward to selecting my favorite phrases to practice them in more depth soon too.
In terms of whether this eBook is worth US$44, it again depends more on the guitarist investing in this. Some questions that you might have…
Can you find other II-V-I books in the market?
Sure, and in fact I have and continue to review them on this website.
Is there a book that uses these specific fingerings and picking?
Probably not. Even after studying and reviewing MANY books in the market, I have to admit that Peter is telling the truth when he says these books are unique.
However at US$19.99 (the price I paid), the book was certainly more than worth it.
With that in mind, I would recommend checking out these books IF you like the sound that Peter gets when he plays.
Pros: Great lines, clearly notated with fingerings for both fretting and picking.
Cons: No audio or video recording of lines or explanation for the lines.
TLDR: If you enjoy the kind of lines that you have heard Peter Farrell or George Benson play, this eBook might be helpful to give you insights into their note choices and fingerings.
You can get the Pocket Books here: https://peterfarrellguitar.com/pb/
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
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