Friday, October 23, 2015

Product Spotlight: Beyond the Basics - Unique Exercises for the Serious Guitarist

As musicians, we all have goals. For some, those consist purely of unique and effective songwriting, for others, technical skill. And then, there are a fair few that ultimately want both, but this Product Spotlight is for those of you that fall into that "technical" category. This time, we bring you Beyond the Basics - Unique Exercises for the Serious Guitarist by local musician and teacher, Jim Massey.

This 64 page book is, by all accounts, not a beginner book -- rather, this is for the more invested guitarist that is looking to develop and ultimately master the mechanics of their technique.

"When I decided to write a book on playing guitar, I didn't want to create just another book of cool licks. I wanted to create a book that focuses on a series of lessons that would improve the basic mechanics of one's playing." - Jim Massey, Beyond the Basics

Upon opening the book, one can see immediately that the instruction, after some important introductory material, is broken down into weeks. Looking further, each weekly chapter has their own respective exercises, and BPM goals are noted at the beginning of each chapter, as well as length of time to dedicate to each exercise. Occasionally, an exercise will be brought back in the mix in an entirely different context, using familiarity to build upon a particular foundation.

It's worth noting however, that the book makes it clear that these exercises are not to be used in a typical context of songwriting, and instead are there to improve a specific aspect of a player's technical skill. One section I feel is worth pointing out, as an example, is Week 4: Listening. In this section, students must force themselves to be critical, which is often overlooked when initially  learning the techniques. At this stage, they must place themselves in the shoes of an actual listener, and they are quick to find out exactly how difficult this can be, as is the case with the rest of the lessons featured in their respective contexts.

Ultimately, this book can be seen like a workout for a guitarist. These are exercises, just as you would do for your physical well-being. The author likens it to "calisthenics for your hands" and that is an accurate assessment for what's being presented here, complete with important notes on how to not overdo it, as is often forgotten by a dedicated musician.

This book is available in store for $14.99. Stop by and check it out today! Or, if you like the sound of it, we will ship. Please email us at for more info.

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