With scale options and permutations, there are many ways to study theoratical material. Some classic guitar books like Mick Goodrick’s Mr. Goodchord series took voiceleading to the (logical) cyclic conclusion in the now out-of-print 3 volume series.
Wayne Krantz in his An Improviser’s OS book (both in the 1st and 2nd edition) explored a mix of the Mick Goodrick style conversational writing & logical mathematical listing. (I reviewed both editions before with the 1st edition here and the 2nd edition here).
Most recently, Noel Johnston released the theory + math + artsy + musical application tinted The 4-Note Universe: A Systematic Exploration of 4-Note Chords & Arpeggios with Études for Guitar.
That is probably the most friendly amongst these kind of books since Noel gave us a musical application of each of the 4-note options.
Now, with this interesting book from guitarist & composer Miles Okazaki, the question is… what does this book offer that is different or interesting compared to the other books I mentioned?
Well, for one at 377 pages, this is a big book. However since it’s only available as a PDF eBook, I can’t imagine the actual physical weight of this book.
The content is uniquely presented as a calendar with each of the 351 shapes introduced a day a time.
Or as Miles describes the book himself:
This book shows how the complete set of 24,318 possible scales in 12 tone equal temperament can be reduced to 2,048 modes, which can be further reduced to 351 basic shapes. The presentation is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, without music theory jargon. The format is a calendar, with one shape per day and a review for the last two weeks, color coded for easy navigation. The book can be used as a reference, a journal, a compositional tool, a practice guide, or whatever else the reader thinks is useful. Includes an introduction with a full explanation of the format and a one-page index of all shapes for quick reference.
To be honest, it’s as direct a description of the book & it is the truth.
Now, who is the book for and should you get it?
Well, if you’re like me…
(a curious musician who feels the need to see any possible way to study pitch content for composition & improvisation), then you should get this book.
If you’re looking for a way to study different pitch collections daily, then get this book.
If you like “do it yourself” type music books, then get this book.
If you think getting a copy of any book on this topic a necessary investment like breathing air, then get this book.
Who is it not for?
If you’re the kind of guitarist who needs the musical application of things laid out for you… or if you need “licks”, stay away from this book. It’s not for you.
All in all, this is a fun book for the right person.
Pros: Good stuff, well arranged in a beautiful format.
TLDR: A book for harmonically curious guitar geeks.
You can buy the book directly from Miles here:
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
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