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Advanced Modern Rock Guitar Improvisation Paperback – July 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jon Finn has taught in the guitar department at Berklee College of Music for many years, currently holding the title of Professor. His band, Jon Finn Group gained worldwide acclaim from their concert tours and CD releases (Don t Look so Serious Legato Records 1994 and Wicked SEP Records 1998). In 1996, Jon began writing a monthly instructional column for the nationally published guitar magazine. His band, his teaching and his published pieces have all been dedicated to the advancement of modern electric guitar. He s performed/recorded with renowned guitarists John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Vinnie Moore, Andy Timmons and Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs), New York Voices, Collin Raye, Debbie Reynolds and a long list of other artists. Jon plays guitar with the Boston Pops Orchestra, performing in concert halls all over the world. His recording credits with them include two Grammy nominated recordings, The Celtic Album (1997 BMG Classics) and The Latin Album (1999 ! BMG Classics), three other CDs with The Pops (My Favorite Things, A Splash of Pops, Sleigh ride) and The NFL Theme Song (2004), He has also played in many contemporary national touring musical theater productions such as: Rent; Mamma Mia!; Aida; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Copacabana and many others. Check out Jon s other books: Advanced Modern Rock Guitar Improvisation; One Guitar; Many Styles and Blues/Rock Improvisation which are also available from Mel Bay.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc.; Pck edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786668660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786668663
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,321,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lee VINE VOICE on December 26, 2011
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For me, this book was the holy grail (and is)...this is the way of looking at the fretboard that I KNEW someone had to have the keys to. I felt it was out there, and knew it would help me if I could just put it all together...

And here it is.

Buy this book. No matter what your level. It will help you. There is no higher recommendation I can give than this : EVERY guitarist SERIOUSLY needs this book, especially if you're a "visual" thinker who needs to understand what you're doing, rather than just reproduce (sterile sounding?) rote memory...
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The pentatonics are absolutely essential for rock, blues/rock guitar. If you already know the 5 patterns of the major and minor pentatonic scale then this book would further increase your playing abilities.

This book takes the 5 patterns (boxes) of the pentatonic scale and dissects them. He illustrates a very intelligent way to use patterns derived from the pentatonics. The result is you can break out of the patterns that you usually play and expand your playing anywhere on the neck in any key.
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Living here in Boston has given me the opportunity to study with great Berklee Professors (Tomo Fujita & Don Lappin)... never Jon though. He's too busy. I've seen Jon play in pretty small bars here in Boston and always asked myself how he does it. This book explains it all.

This book is great for guitar players who are stuck in one position. I've been there and this book summarizes the fretboard geometry very well. Jon explains his approach to moving up and down the neck without being stuck in one position. It all makes sense.

It comes with a CD and DVD. Great Book, Great Player, Very Inspiring!!!
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Another great Mel Bay classic! I've bought some of these types before and this really helped explain things pretty well. Jon Finn seemed to really take things from a different angle and gave me some new ideas.
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I love this book, and think Jon is an awesome teacher. His analysis is just what I had been looking for. Moreover, my guitar teacher had studied under Jon at Berklee, and the help from both understanding his principles is terrific. Now, I would have given all stars, if just based on Jon and his teaching. The problem is that the tab images on the page are SOOO small, I cannot (68 years old) read them. I have had to copy and enlarge. But MelBay should do better for a special gift of a teacher, like Jon. Thanks !!!
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Everyone knows that eventually, you need to memorize the fret board. Scale shapes and notes!! The easiest way to memorize things, is to place them into groups... Remember Psych 110? Visualization is also crucial. This book uses both. This book reorganized how I thought about the fret board. Immediately, I played much more fluently. I could visualize where I wanted to go before I went there. I have dozens of books, and this is a "desert island guitar book." Eventually, I'll finish this book and pass it on to another lucky soul. I don't waste my time writing reviews for the things I buy. Anyone that rates this book less than 5 stars is a beginner and needs to take private lessons. This book doesn't offer step-by-step direction because you shouldn't need it. (You shouldn't need to give a carpenter directions on how to use a hammer? Should you?) If you want to learn how to improvise: 1) Study this book. 2) Study the playing style of 1 guitarist. 3) Play his/her style till it's your own. 4) Study another guitarist. In time you'll get there. It's an advanced skill and it takes time.....
Recap: 5 stars, later.
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I often wonder how some guitarists seem to be able to instantly play anything which comes to their minds, sounding fresh and original and never hitting a wrong note. I'm quite shure that some of them were born this way - but most of them are simply using shortcuts to visualize notes and shapes on the fretboard and are able to use their pentatonic/blues vocabulary in a much more versatile way than average players.
This is exactly what Jon Finn is going to teach you in this book, and he does it in a really relaxed and funny way.
Some of the topics include:
-fretboard geometry,
-how to use pentatonics without anyone noticing,
-and even how to create all modes by simply adding 2 notes to the pentatonic boxes - aka 'Modes For Morons'.

I've read and worked through parts of this book many times. There's always something new in it (very much like in Guthrie Govan's Creative Guitar 1: Cutting Edge Tech (v. 1) - make sure, to check it out as well).
Just as Jon puts it: "How do you know, if you've felt the full impact? The same way you know if you've been cracked upside the head with a baseball bat. You'll just know."
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I've been looking for a good method on improvising and soloing. So far, I couldn't find it, until now. Great method by Jon Finn, really makes you understand the fretboard on a practical way. Two thumbs up...
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