There’s a kind of charm that you get when you learn from an experienced musician. They don’t just tell you things but tell you:
i) the right things you need to know
ii) colored by their personal experience
This is exactly what makes this classic book from Tommy Tedesco an important book for ANY guitarist who wants to do session work or become an in-demand session musician.
The book is divided into 7 sections:
- Life Saving Devices For The Student
- Picking Tecniques
- Sight Reading On The Guitar
- Life Saving Devices For The Professional
- Musical Index
In between the musical examples, we get behind the scene stories, anecdotes and tons of lessons from Tommy’s years of being a professional musician.
Many of these stories reference famous musicians that he has worked with & gives us an insight to the life (and demands) of a studio musician.
This book almost defies conventional definitions because it’s not just a book with guitar exercises and strategies to learn the instrument… in fact it’s almost like a secret handbook from a master to the up and coming musician who wants to get into this world.
Looking back at my own experience (playing in musicals, orchestras, playing for jingles, film music) — many of the kinds of situations that Tommy references here, I’ve seen these kinds of guitar parts and doublings (when you play on another instrument similar to guitar, but not necessarily a guitar — like a banjo, oud, mandolin or bouzouki).
I didn’t own this book during my early years & to be honest I wish I did because it would have given me some of the tools I had to learn on the job. Of course, some parts of it may feel dated but the principles and psychology that Tommy references is real and timeless.
Personally, over the years, I didn’t necessarily identify myself as a session player all the time, although that was indeed a lot of the work I did both in the United States and back in Malaysia. Especially when I played as part of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, I saw a lot of the kinds of guitar parts that Tommy includes in this book.
In conclusion, I would say this book is a “MUST HAVE” for any guitarist who wants to do this kind of work. It’s more than just a book, this is a guide to the career & life of a session guitarist.
Pros: Real lessons, tips, strategies from an experienced musician.
TLDR: If you want to be a session guitar player, buy this book & study it.
Where to buy: You can get the current edition of this book from Amazon. The cover is different but the content is the same. You can also find earlier editions on eBay or AbeBooks.
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
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