This book by Carol Kaye is her take on sight-reading for guitar. It’s interesting because it is directly addressing sight-reading in the context of session work situations.
What is the difference?
Well, for work situations it is very important to be able to quickly figure out the best possible fingerings to play a piece of music. Therefore, good habits and good visualization skills are essential.
Carol shares the logic behind her thinking throughout the book and especially in the CD. You have to listen to the CD to get the most benefit from the book. It almost feels like a private lesson with Carol as you can play along with her with each example and hear her phrasing and counting.
This is particularly important when it comes to the parts where she explains 16th notes in the context of funk and also how swing rhythms are sometimes notated in 16ths in guitar parts.
I’ve seen these kind of guitar parts before when I played with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra… and this makes me appreciate what Carol shares in this book.
I’m not sure how often you will guitar parts in keys such as Db or Gb, but in case you do, these exercises are definitely useful.
Some personal highlights for me in the book are the classical inspired etudes. These are not only great for sight-reading but are useful picking etudes as well. Some of the swing or jazz sight-reading exercises are based on chord progression of classic standard tunes. If you’re unsure which ones they are from the titles, you might get an idea from Carol’s narration on the CD.
Closing the book is a cool etude with tons of great sounding classic II-V-I ideas. Besides sight-reading this, the etude itself is great for getting familiar with II-V-I ideas for lead guitar soloing.
In conclusion, this is a unique book from an experienced performer and session musician. It does look like a thin book but do not underestimate the value of the book. This is the good stuff.
In terms of options for buying this book, you can buy just the book or get the book/CD set. I recommend getting the CD as well because Carol explains more about the purpose each exercise, your hand position and the logic behind the fingerings. The audio is where the bulk of the instructional value is. Get the CD!
Pros: Good fingering concepts, etudes and lines that reflect real world work sight-reading demands.
TLDR: For guitarists who want to improve their sight-reading skills in a session musician or performance context, this book by Carol Kaye gives some good material that can be challenging (especially in the flat keys).
You can get the book and CD from Carol Kaye directly from her website: https://shop.carolkaye.com/product/guitar-sightreading-studies-by-carol-kaye/
Read my other reviews of Carol’s educational products here:
1) Book Review: Jazz Guitar CD & Guide w/NEW Diagrammed Standards/Jazz Chords by Carol Kaye
2) Video Review: Jazz Guitar Workshop by Carol Kaye
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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