Although Mickey Baker is most known for his jazz guitar method books, I actually found this book to be an even better book. If you start listening to his music, you can hear how much more of blues as well as R&B is in his guitar style. Therefore, I feel there is a lot to learn from him teaching those styles. After all, he was a session guitarist playing this music!
The real treat is actually going through the book while listening to the accompanying recording with maestro Mickey Baker explaining each piece, the fingerings, inspiration for each piece and little anecdotes that put the pieces in perspective.
I wish this book remained in print and was more easily available since it seems like a lost gem in the sea of guitar book. The good thing is that the audio recording is actually available on YouTube if you look for it (hint!).
In conclusion, this is a book I would recommend if you like the blues and want to get ideas on how to approach blues playing in a fingerstyle manner.
It’s not about improvisation but there’s so much improvisational vocabulary embedded in the pieces.
It’s not about harmony but you can learn a lot about chords and harmonic movement by learning the pieces.
What it is is a good book documenting lessons from someone who was living this music. Good stuff!
Pros: A lot of idiomatic vocabulary taught by an experienced musician and educator.
Cons: Mickey sometimes stumbles on the recording and some of there is no complete performances of the pieces, only him teaching each section part by part.
TLDR: If you want to learn some acoustic fingerstyle blues guitar, this is a valuable resource to both learn and teach this style.
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
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