I’ve been a fan of Gonzalo Bergara’s playing ever since I heard him solo on different classic gypsy jazz tunes on YouTube. As I discovered more of his music, I got into his own compositions & approach to guitar in general in addition to his gypsy jazz style playing.
The cool thing about Gonzalo is that he explains his playing & practice in a very simple honest no B.S. kind of way.
This is great for anyone who wants to really know how to improve one’s guitar skills like Gonzalo does.
His previous books, How I Learned Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 already gave a framework to learning Gonzalo’s Django style vocabulary for playing through changes.
In this latest book, we get a glimpse into his creative process internalizing more modern intervallic vocabulary.
Previously, Gonzalo released each chapter of the book one by one for purchase on his website. He also published videos of him performing the various patterns and etudes on his social media accounts.
I still remember buying the first chapter (C Major) when it first came out. That alone was already a serious technical work out!
As the newer chapters were released, we were treated with different ideas that expanded from Gonzalo initial vision. The cool thing is that he did each pattern in a different key and also applied the patterns over the chord changes of classic jazz standards.
In the book, we get all these patterns notated & the etudes included in easy to study page layouts. In addition to the notation, Gonzalo also includes QR Codes to the video demonstrations of the etudes for each chapter.
The etudes are over chord progressions of these classic pieces:
- Minor Swing
- Autumn Leaves
- There Will Never Be Another You
- Night and Day
- How High The Moon
- Donna Lee
- After You’ve Gone
- What is this thing called Love
- All of Me
- All The Things You Are
- Stella By Starlight
Probably one of my favorite parts of the book is the Master Sheet at the end of the book that catalogues every pattern included in the book. This is a good “cheat sheet” or “study guide” to have a feel for all the melodic ideas that Gonzalo has composed.
In conclusion, this book is a great practice book or etude for any improvising guitarist who enjoys Gonzalo’s approach to studying and mastering the guitar. I find it insightful (alongside Gonzalo’s explanation for the patterns) and helpful for my own practice sessions. It’s not easy material (it’s all difficult) but if you’re into Gonzalo’s style, you probably are not looking for beginner material. I definitely recommend getting this book if you’re into practicing larger intervallic ideas & string crossing + string skipping type ideas in a musical way. This is seriously good stuff.
Pros: Great solid modern phrases for technique development & improvisational/compositional vocabulary.
TLDR: Get this book if you’re looking to improve your guitar chops or get more interesting lines in your soloing.
You can get the book here: https://www.gonzalobergara.com/product-page/the-openpatterns-book
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
[Read more reviews]
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
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