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7 Reviews
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3 star:    (0)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It does what it says it will - lots of fun, August 22, 2007
By 
Michael Callaghan (Jersey City, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
This book is perfect for short practice sessions and quick inspiration, and its contents can be immediately applied to real-world musical situations.

Basically, western swing guitar is rhythm guitar characterized by chord changes and / or substitutions every two beats, and whose harmonies are designed to give an improviser as much room to move as possible (7th chords, half-diminished resolutions, minor 7ths, etc.). This book presents about fifteen chord progressions in a handful of keys (all of them are major) and ties it together with five rules for chord substitution - that's right, only five rules. Which means you can digest this and apply it very quickly. How many books are good for that, honestly? If you want to pepper up your chord phrasing, if you don't want to just play a static chord across a full measure (or more), this book is a compact little shot in the arm.

Chords using open strings are covered, as are 'inside' (no open strings) chords and so-called 'fat' chords (played on the bottom four strings only).

I'm only giving it four stars because it's limited at what it does - but what it does, it does very, very effectively. Strangely, a CD isn't all that necessary here, as none of the progressions are technically difficult and pretty easy to read through. Very good book, very usable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars western swing primer, December 31, 2008
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This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
This book does what it sets out to do, and at a very reasonable price. Although it contains less than 50 pages, don't let that fool you. If you can play everything in this book well and up to speed, you won't need any more pages. You'll need to find a band. The music is layed out in standard notation and Tab( large, easy to read print ). There are chord boxes above every chord symbol. The only negatives are no notation on how fast the tune is traditionaly played and various typographical errors. No one proof read this book. So,a few entries will seem a bit odd.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy way to expand your rhythm playing, April 9, 2010
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This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
If you are a typical folk / bluegrass musician who relies on open-string major chords (maybe with an occasional relative minor and dominant 7th) played for many beats in a strumming or Carter-family style, this book/CD is for you. It takes well-known fiddle tunes like Durang's Hornpipe and Sally Goodin, and songs like Columbus Stockade, and shows how to back them up with moving chords in Texas style: walking bass notes followed by chords that lead the harmony. He starts with vanilla versions and slowly adds chords, explaining why they work and where to use them. Examples are given in A, D, G and F. It's a slim book but does just what it promises, in a graded, step-by-step way. And it ends with some pretty advanced arrangements.

This is not jazz, the chord selection is limited, but to expand beyond "folk" chords into a more interesting sonic universe, this is a perfect book.

Print quality and legibility are excellent. The CD is fine too, and gives a nice feel for the speed at which these pieces are played (slower than bluegrass).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction To Swing, September 23, 2012
This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
Jazz guitarist often seem like members of a cult and the books out there seem to be a combination of misinformation and information that is so our of context that you can't figure out how to use it.

This book offers a great introduction to western swing and the things you'll learn will apply to jazz and swing that are not specificly 'western'.

The fingerings are authentic and usable. The amount of theory is helpful, but not overwhelming. If you are a decent guitar player already a little time with this book will help you get to where you can think about joining the local big band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you can learn this!, December 2, 2010
This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
I've done lots of teach yourself guitar, but this is one of the best! You learn not just the songs in the book, but how to apply what you've learned to other songs. It opened up the world of chord substitutions, Texas swing & swing in general for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Intro to Western Swing, March 2, 2014
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This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
Primarily. this is a straight, 'sock' style swing introduction. While a bit limited on the other options of right hand rhythm, it is a terrific overview of a conscious way of substituting chords. Most other books and theory books, explain what to do, but not why.

And just that difference makes it worth while to spend the nominal amount for this book. The five rules Joe explains make the book a valuable addition to your library. I personally don't agree with his chord shapes, but they do work as a way of beginning to use his rules. What I'll do with them is pretty obvious, as are the chord shape alternates.

Good introduction - I should have bought this years ago.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book in excellent condition, January 7, 2014
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This review is from: Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
I'm only a few pages in and have learned a few things.

www . LonesomeRon . com
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Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles
Mel Bay Western Swing Guitar Styles by Joe Carr (Paperback - December 11, 1997)
$19.99 $16.01
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