This book by Rodney Jones features 169 carefully selected lines to teach specific fingerings and ideas.
The hardest thing about learning jazz guitar is figuring out fingerings that work well & sound great. I’ve spent a lot time transcribing and learning from different teachers, videos & books just to solve this issue. So, when I discovered this book, I was curious to see what Rodney had to offer on this topic. I’ve never studied privately with Rodney but I do know a few people who have. All of them have only nice things to say about him & his teaching.
In order to review to book, I made it a point to play through every single line in the book. This was quite a challenge since I don’t think Rodney intended the book to be consumed this rapidly within a few days. However, by the end of it, this was definitely a great way for me to experience the book the first time.
Some lines just popped out (line 40 sounds amazing and I love the way line 19 lays out on the fretboard) and some lines were more challenging to hear in context. Especially when the lines became more outside sounding, my ears and fingers were challenged even more.
Overall the book is unique because of the musical quality of the lines. These aren’t your typical “jazz guitar lick book” collection. This is a hardcore jazz geek collection!
The lines were organized in a systematic way, by chord type, tonality and level of dissonance. This made it easier to explore.
For me, I would recommend going through the book like what I did at least once through. You might not master the lines yet (obviously) but it does give a great bird eye’s view of the material.
After that, I found myself wanting to go to specific lines to explore them more in depth in terms of the melodic shape & fingering options. Taking one or two lines per practice session would give a lot of material to chew on for most guitarists.
In conclusion, I felt this book was one of the best investments I’ve made recently. It helped give me new ideas that is helping me improvise more interesting lines. That alone is pure gold. This is a book that I’ll be coming back to again and again.
Pros: A great book with a wealth of hip guitar lines to help build your ears, vocabulary & technique.
Cons: No audio files included. It would be amazing to hear these lines performed.
TLDR: If you’re looking for great sounding jazz guitar lines to practice, get this book.
You can buy this book (both physical & eBook versions) here: https://www.melbay.com/Products/30898/hip-guitar-lines.aspx
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