We were thrilled to be asked to review this iBook by Chris Sherland, that has been produced to change the way you think about how to play lead guitar. In the book, Chris aims to expand your approach and and change your perspective, by focusing on the listening, feeling and thinking parts of your playing. And, to a certain extent, leave behind the more technical aspects. In other words, outside what is regarded as the normal study of music.
Chris has over 14 years of digital media production experience and is co-founder and development director of TWISTFRAME who focus on providing the real story-telling aspects of digital literature.
This iBook is not intended for beginners, but those of you who have a reasonable knowledge and playing ability of both lead and rhythm guitar. It is more a guide in the way of thinking, rather than a teach yourself lead guitar manual.
Chris really believes that you should concentrate on developing your own style, feel and learning techniques, that primarily suit your own playing style, as this will assist you in achieving a balance of ability and expression.
This is a very refreshing approach and one in which Guitar Coach firmly believes, especially as this dovetails beautifully into having fun and staying motivated; something which we always bang on about.
The author is clearly erudite in his trade and expresses himself clearly and concisely on the optimum way you should approach your further development.
For example, Chris’s take on constraints and how, by limiting your choices, you can learn to find new ways of phrasing, and being more creative was of particular note. There are also some further interesting views on understanding harmony and becoming self-sufficient as a player, developing your own style and uniqueness, just as so many great guitarists have done – and still do.
There are 12 good quality, well presented videos that will show you how to look at your playing from new angles as you progress to create your own signature style without endlessly practicing scales and chord progressions.
What these videos do is add to your current bank of knowledge.
These videos include instruction and specific knowledge on switching between the minor pentatonic and major scales and extending scales from one position to another. Then, on the more cerebral side, why touch and tone are important, how to pick certain pattens and use vibrato and create space as you solo.
They provide an excellent insight into being able to shift fingers, get more fretboard mileage and being able to recall it as you solo, whatever position
you are in on the fretboard.
If you like a certain style of music, this will encourage you to use it and inspire you to expand as a guitarist.
Six high quality backing tracks complete the programme, accompanied by useful narratives describing the keys and providing tips that allow you to solo over the top as you continue to cultivate your own style and use what you have learnt to add freedom of your playing.
Finally, Chris Sherland is very engaging and comes across as an immensely knowledgeable guitarist, just one other reason why you should give it a go.
As well as the videos, the course consists 30 pages of useful information (and bright colourful images) that make this a worthwhile purchase. It may not be for everyone, but if you are searching for ways to develop by thinking outside the box, then this could be for you.