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Larry Coryell: Jazz Guitar (Book) Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An easy-to-understand text from one of the 20th century's greatest improvisers." -- Vic Juris, guitarist

"As a professional musician, scholar and jazz educator, I consider Larry Coryell's jazz guitar book one of the most comprehensive text books available to the young jazz musician. This book is not only great for guitar players, but it helps saxophone players and other instrumentalists understand the role of the guitar in comping, soloing, and improvising." -- Nathan Davis, Ph.D., Director of Jazz Studies, University of Pittsburgh

"Larry's vast knowledge of guitar playing is awesome. His harmonic concepts and improvisational genius have always established Larry as a true master. This book should open the door to a better understanding in our quest for advanced guitar playing." -- Al DiMeola, guitarist

"Provides exercises and sheet music tunes livelier than most." -- The Bookwatch, February 1999
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879305509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879305505
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,438,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like many guitarists I have always admired Larry's work, so when I saw this book in a store I looked through it and bought it on the spot. I had always been into his fusion music and frankly didn't realize his jazz stuff was so strong. The first three tunes are walking bass jazz/blues tunes - the first is pure walking bass with chords, the second is based on the first but interspersed with some extended single note solo phrases. The third is based on the same chord progression as the first two but uses chord solo phrases in "traditional big band styling". This is fun stuff!!!! I have been working on these first three tunes for the last several months and have them almost completely memorized - not a simple task - and I haven't had this much fun playing guitar in a long time. After listening to the CD a number of times I also skipped ahead to learn a great bossa tune from Larry's Live in Bahia album. This book has definitely challenged and inspired me to pick up the guitar and get some practice in almost every day. The more you play these tunes the more you get out of them from an analysis standpoint. Also, I didn't know he has a signature jazz guitar out made by Cort but after listening to the CD I would certainly like to try one out.
When I saw a couple negative reviews here I felt that I had to put my proverbial two cents in and let people know that there is some great stuff in this book. This book is not for beginners or the meek and is not a collection of ii V I riffs. As Larry states in the intro, "You should have a working knowledge of theory, at least some theory (that's all I have), and I'll assume you know some jazz chords and the fundamental major, minor, augmented (whole tone) and diminished scales and arpeggios...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ronald S Thompson on December 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Larry Coryell is one of the most gifted guitarists alive. Throughout his career he has shared his thoughts and ideas on his playing and his approach to solving problems or issues particular to jazz interpretation and improvising that he was dealing with. I don't think his contributions to the educational world are for beginners. This book is for an intermediate to advanced player. Providing you have some experience and knowledge under your belt, Larry's tips are fantastic and above all useable right away in your playing. I've admired his work for 25 years and this offering is another great piece of work, added to many others, that Larry has produced. His acoustic albums Standing Ovation and European Impressions (which I think is partially available on the Tributaries CD) are seminal works for me and even after twenty years bear repeated listening for more amazing things created by this master.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By GB Guitars on March 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great book about many aspects of jazz guitar comping and soloing. This isn't "Jazz guitar for dummies" though. It assumes that you've been playing a while and know the basics of modal playing and harmony. But then again, those of us who've been playing jazz for years could use something a bit more "hard core".
If you're looking for a challenge you might enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. James on July 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a great book . Larry builds from an introductory jazzy-blues piece . There's no harm in a beginner who aspires to play modern getting this book . Yes , the absolute elements are not covered . But they are covered for free at many many useful websites , and some jazz-guitar news groups .

The best part of Larry's teaching examples is that they are so MUSICAL and so little ' mechanical ' .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Al on August 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
One aspect has to be initially pointed out, the materials in this book are on intermediate/advanced level, they are not for beginners. The 12-bar blues (totally five pieces) in the first two chapters are not the basic 3-chord blues, they are reharmonized in a sophisticated manner, and basically, there is no explanation for the reharmonization. It is thus assumed that the player has a solid understanding in jazz harmony and a good rhythmic sense (especially for the unaccompanied solo guitar pieces), they are necessary in order to execute the pieces that Larry demonstrated on the CD tracks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hardtop Harry on October 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Larry Coryell is a jazz guitar name that I grew up with. In the 70's when I was a teenager learning jazz guitar I would read his articles in Guitar Player magazine. Records (yes, vinyl), by anyone other than Top 40 artists were not so readily available where I lived at that time so I didn't have the opportunity to hear him play. His educational contributions were my only exposure to the man.
He was then, and is now, a great jazz guitar teacher.

I found this book a pleasure to play: the examples and tunes are challenging enough to help most players grow. Anyone with less than say, 2 years experience playing jazz guitar would be best advised to steer clear of this one. It is fairly advanced. I think late intermediate - early advanced. The student should at least know their Major and minor scales in the 5 basic positions and have a similar knowledge of chords and comping. You should read music.

If it is within your reach, however, I would go for it. It is by accepting greater challenges that we grow. Have fun.
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Larry Coryell: Jazz Guitar (Book)
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