This book from 1985 is a less commonly discussed book from REH Publications. It’s written by former Guitar Institute of Technology guitar intructor Ted Shumate who has performed with Nat Adderley & Ira Sullivan (among others).
The book covers a lot of material in 56 pages and primarily uses chord diagrams with fingering to show us different ways to play important chord types on the guitar. Ted begins with some tips on practicing guitar more effectively and then goes into some basic music theory related to chords & chord construction.
Then, we get to learn voicings across the strings & in position, type by type. Most of the initial voicings are what some would know as Drop-2 voicings (he calls them four voice harmony) and then into Drop-3 voicings (which Ted calls Split Inversions). If I remember correctly, I believe this is similar to the Ted Greene naming convention.
As the book progresses we get into discussions about the CAGED System, string transferring rules (how to move the same voicing across different string sets), chord substitution and the application of these voicings in a jazz blues context.
The core material of the book I feel is in the first half of the book and it spreads out into a lot of topics rather quickly towards the second half. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but is probably necessary to give the reader a way to see how the material can be used in songs.
All in all, this is an interesting book that is worth checking out for educators interested in seeing how to organize ways to teach chords & chord voicings for aspiring jazz guitarists. For me, Ted’s tips on visualization alone are already worth the price of admission. I already do it, but it’s nice to see the way Ted explains the material. I wish I got this book earlier on when I started learning jazz guitar chords. I think it would have been useful for a younger me!
Pros: Good introduction to different chord voicings & chord types for comping, including pluralities & some basic substitution concepts.
Cons: Not really a one-stop solution for learning chords, but a kind of snapshot of a guitarist’s approach to learning & teaching chords.
TLDR: If you like chords & harmony, this might be a cool book to add to your reference library, if you can find a copy.
This book is out of print so I would recommend looking for a copy of it on Amazon, ebay or AbeBooks.
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