Jazz Guitar Study Series
Barry Galbraith books in the Jazz Guitar Study Series are wonderful jazz guitar tools. They are in fact compilations of outstanding modern “jazz guitar etudes” demonstrating the following subject matters thoroughly :
- Proper scale fingerings in all keys
- Melodic and harmonic minor modes
- Comping on common jazz standards
- Guitar duets from classical repertoire
- Single-note improvisation on standards
Volumes 3, 4 and 5 come with a CD with stereo separation. It’s great for practicing, you can turn off the soloist with the balance LF knob on your stereo or computer.
#1: The Fingerboard Workbook (Concepts in Logical Fingering)
I personally worked a lot on this one! I was attempting to consolidate my position playing and position shifting technique at the time. Along withA Modern Method for Guitar , this volume helped me tremendously. It contains 12 major-key etudes and 12 dominant-key etudes. At the end of the book, Galbraith demonstrates the fingering principles in with a few pages on:
- Cycle of dominant chords
- II V I major
- II V i minor
- A standard progression (All the things…)
#2: Daily Exercises (in the Melodic and Harmonic Minor Modes)
The second book in this series deals with a “gap” in the knowledge of many of Barry’s students (both amateurs and professionals!)The exercises in the book really helped me master the scales and chords positions in minor modes. The book also contains 14 etudes (7 in melodic minor and 7 in harmonic minor) to further consolidate this knowledge.
#3: Guitar Comping (with Bass Lines in Treble Clef)
Probably the one I worked on the most over the years (of the five Barry Galbraith books). It’s great and has a very good “long term potential” for learning andimproving accompaniment techniques. It contains 14 (yes, 14!) genuine guitar comping etudes on jazz standard progressions (such as I Got Rhythm, Nardis and Body and Soul.)
A CD is included; it Barry playing the compings with Milt Hinton on bass. (Oh yeah!) This third volume is also an outstanding comping tool because of …
- The great genuine voicings for guitar
- The variety of the etudes :
Simple to complex, slow to fast, to be played in a band versus solo guitar, very traditional to very modern, guitar plays walking bass lines on some tracks, etc.
- Actual bass lines from the recording included
(for guitarists … in treble clef!)
#4: Play Along with Bach (Bach Two-Part Inventions (1 through 15) Arranged for two guitars)
One of the greatest tools for perfecting your picking (single-note) technique and sight-reading… and it comes from the baroque era!!!
I believe the title says it all : the book contains 2-part pieces arranged for guitar. Barry arranged and wrote dedicated precise fingerings for each part, in each study. A CD is also included with this one; most Inventions are played at a slower tempo (as well as the faster original) on the CD.
Slower tempos allow for more effective practicing and reading or harder musical passage. In brief, the Inventions are fun to play along and exquisite to listen to. I’m still practicing them today!
#5: Guitar Improv (on Standard Progressions)
A finally, the fifth volume is a compilation of jazz guitar solos. They’re on various jazz standard progressions (such as and But Not for Me, My Funny Valentine and I hear a rhapsody.)A CD is included with a soloist, Milt Hintonon bass (!) and Barry comping. Ok ok… I know what you’re thinking:
What’s the difference with that one?
It includes the exact fingerings! (from Barry Galbraith,
the legendary player who actually improvised all the solos.)
It’s worth checking out.