Although the title of the book is Guitar Ad Lib, the first part of this book is to help develop basic rock and roll rhythm guitar skills using 4 and 6 note barre chord shapes. The exercises include common rock and roll chord progressions that help you develop your rhythm guitar skills.
In addition to that, you also get some basic example of possible guitar fills (which is the most ad-lib of that part of the book.) The fills are 1-octave minor pentatonic scales in two different registers around the barre chord shapes.
In the second half, James Bryer introduces basic jazz chords, different double stop combinations derived from the shapes and more embellished chordal playing. This shows different chordal ad lib possibilities.
All in all the book is musical and is definitely the result of someone who understands how these styles of music work in a session guitarist context and in performing situations.
I would recommend this book for anyone who likes classic 1950s and 1960s rock and roll guitar playing… or for beginner guitarists who want to develop their rhythm guitar skills. It also is a friendly introduction to basic jazz chord vocabulary. Some parts of the book remind me of William Leavitt type material and a bit like material from George Barnes and Mickey Baker. That being said, the way James Bryer wrote the book is “friendlier” and is bite-sized compared to some other books. At 36 pages, this is a smaller book but it has a lot of good practical exercises.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the way the book is organized and the examples that he included. Even though this book was released in 1977 compared to Guitar Forms (released in 1976), I would recommend working on Guitar Ad Lib before studying Guitar Forms.
Pros: Good musical material, well organized and just the right amount of material.
Cons: Not much information online surrounding the author and the book, at least up to the time I wrote this review.
TLDR: If you enjoy guitar method books, this particular book is a good one to check out. I just wish it was easier to find!
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
[Read more reviews]
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
- Are you an author who wrote a jazz, guitar or music book?
- Have you created a DVD or an online video course or subscription based website?
- Would you like me to review your book/course?
Please send me a message at azsamad2 at gmail.com with:
For courses: a link to the course/video/product + access info etc.
For books: a link to the book (Dropbox) or PDF attachment (if it’s small) for review consideration.
Depending on whether I dig the book/course, I’ll let you know if I do plan to review it!
I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p
NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig?