Monday, September 29, 2008

Comments About Guitar Theory Information

First off let me say that you have done a great job of compiling some great information on guitar theory. My aim is not to be critical, or trash you book in any way. I just wanted to give a little feedback.

The first comments will be general in nature, followed by my thoughts as this book pertains to my particular needs/expectations.

1. It might be useful to create a reference section in the back which has some selected patterns/scales, but mostly it would be helpful to have all of your song reference charts in one place so that one doesn't have to search the entire ebook to find a song that they are remembering was referenced somewhere.
2. The song charts would be more useful if the songs were alphabetized. I have looked for songs that I knew were there, but continued to overlook.

1. I have read Fretboard logic 1-2, Plane Talk, and many other books on CAGED systems, lead patterns, and Nashville numbering, so most of your material was not new to me. That is not a criticism, but just a fact.
2. I purchased your book for its claim to connect these systems of patterns, and shapes to actual songs. I was disappointed to find that your free tab email had more specific song information than your book.
3. I did not understand your reasoning in providing a single chord shape, or partial shape, for a song and leaving it at that. Jack and Dianne for example. You show that the song uses a partial C form for a D, and leave it at that. The problem is that because this song uses a shape that is not usual, all of the tabs out there are incorrect. So using your clue with a bad tab leaves me back where I started which is having to go buy the music book.
4. Songs like Stairway to Heaven are listed in multiple places separated by tons of pages. It is listed in partial C form on page 26, in partial A form on pg 30, partial G form on page 33, etc, etc
5. Some of your song reference charts seem incomplete. Pg 63 minor forms. It doesn't list the key, just that it happens to have a minor form. Which form in what key? The blues approach on pg 102 has the same missing info.
6. Your application of the pentatonic and major scales was excellent. Your lesson on combining the two scales was the best that I have seen. That type of application was what I was hoping for in terms of partial chord forms, and there specific use.

I know that most of my personal comments revolve around the same issue of specific song information, and that you intentionally stay away from some of that because you don't want to just be a tab book, but you make the assumption that tabs that can be found on the internet are correct, when in my experience most are incorrect.

I am an experienced guitar player who has the information and skill to play most songs, but lacks the knowledge of specific song CORRECT information, which will allow me to play songs like Jack and Dianne which uses simple progressions with interesting chord shapes to increase the dynamics of the song. This is the information that I have been looking for and the specific reason that I purchased your book. As you know even purchased sheet music is incorrect/incomplete a lot of the time.

I expected more information on the creation of progressions around these partial forms, and more examples of contemporary artists to aid in the illustration of those principles. That is one of your major sales pitch points, and again, the reason I purchased.

By at least providing key signatures where missing, and making it easier to search and combine the song information that you do provide would go a long way to increasing the effectiveness/usefulness of your book.

I hope that I haven't been overly critical, or discouraging, but I wanted to share my thoughts.

Thanks for sending in your comments. I really appreciate the feedback. My answers to your questions are numbered below.

1. Good idea. I've already anticipated that moving the song lists to a reference section at the back of Fretboard Theory will be necessary (especially as I continue to add more).
2. I debated on whether to alphabetize the songs by song title, or group them by other criteria (like keys, etc.). Maybe I should try to do both.

1. Fretboard logic 1-2, Plane Talk, and many other books on the guitar CAGED chord system fail to connect the information to real songs. This is what distinguishes Fretboard Theory from other guitar instruction. Many of my customers are students of other guitar theory methods and find that my materials finally help them complete the learning process. They credit this to the song references and examples.
2. I don't know how I can emphasize any more that my book doesn't include tab to teach you songs. It is a method for learning music theory behind songs.
3. The purpose of illustrating examples of chord shapes is to help you apply what you learn to popular music. Other guitar theory methods leave this critical information out completely. I can't notate the songs for you because that would violate copyright laws (and the main publishers are not interested in granting printing permission to publishers outside of their organizations).

The song recommendations will need to be looked up and learned on your own. You can find these songs transcribed in guitar magazines, tab books, other instructional books, and video websites.

During my research for this book I relied heavily upon tab books published by the Hal Leonard Corporation. This company has an excellent selection of authentic guitar and bass transcriptions. For more information including a complete listing of the artist series tab books and sheet music available visit your local music store or log onto Also, check out and These two web sites offer you the option of purchasing and immediately printing authentic tab by individual song. You don’t have to wait for materials to arrive in the mail and you don’t have to pay for a whole book!

Don’t forget to also search the videos posted at and for live performance clips and song learning lessons.

4. "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin contains many different guitar parts based on everything form CAGED chord forms, chord progressions, modes and more. It's a jackpot of musical information. That's why it's mentioned in different sections of the book.

5. Look up the songs and focus on the parts I list. Then you'll know what keys and forms!
6. I'm glad the sections on how to choose the right scale to play over chords worked for you. I think the CAGED chord application information you're seeking is implied, but perhaps I could be more specific. For example, at the end of my DVD The CAGED Template Chord System I take you through a simple three chord progression (GCGD as used in "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison) and show you how to duplicate the chord changes in different positions using chord inversions based on the CAGED system.

I hope this helps. If you have any other guitar theory related comments or questions, please send them my way. You can create an account and sign in to continue this discussion.

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