Chord melody arrangements and more.
Guitar/Music Books
17 September 2007, admin @ 12:02 pm

The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick: This is not a method book. It’s more about concepts. There’s a great section on triads and voice leading. That section alone has really strengthened my composing chops.

Jody Fisher has a four book series about Jazz Guitar, which includes beginning, intermediate, advanced and chord melody concepts. There’s really good advice on playing lines that spell out the changes. Also, a great section on altered dominant clusters, for negotiating potentially fast changes. The chord melody book has really given me a lot of ideas for arranging.

Solo Jazz Guitar by Bill Hart. He throws out a bunch of arranging techniques and then shows them in action. There’s a great section on appoaching a target chord with ascending and descending bass lines. Very hip stuff.

Jim Ferguson has a series of jazz books, with the first two concentrating on the blue side of jazz. Great blues licks abound, as well as cool turnarounds and jazzed-up blues progressions.

Solo Guitar: Insights, Arranging Techniques & Classic Jazz Standards by Howard Morgen has all kinds of great advice. The last section is titled: Putting the “Oh” in Oh Susanna. This is a treatise on reharmonization. I also own the Ellington collection for Solo Guitar. These are great arrangements that are very
complex and simple at the same time. He is really great at using two notes to imply chords.

Hearing the Changes by Jerry Coker. Analysis of hundreds of jazz tunes to find commonalities with chord progressions. The goal is to recognize chord patterns by ear, so you can improv on the spot. There’s a great section at the end that has “road maps” for tunes. Most of us do this when we look at a lead sheet anyway, but it’s cool to see it all broken down.

The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine. I haven’t had this very long, but the reharmonization section is worth the price, so far.

Expansions by Gary Campbell. To be honest, I haven’t scratched the surface of this book or its companion Connecting Jazz Theory. Lots of insane patterns with upper/lower
neighbor tones.

Jazz Conceptions For The Saxophone by Lennie Niehaus is a series of books for saxaphone that are good for sight-reading and getting a feel for jazz phrasing. The intermediate book has exercises for different rhythmic figures that are common in the jazz vocabulary. This is stuff I need to work on more!

Pentatonic Khancepts by Steve Kahn. Not only do pentatonics often give you a blusey sound, but they can also make you sound more abstract and less linear. Another
cool book to check out is Steve’s Contemporary Chord Khancepts, also.


2 Commenti a “Guitar/Music Books”


  1. Jarbas Goulart — February 3, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

    Thank you.I have most of that books.I would include Joe Pass On Guitar , Barry Galbraith’s books and Larry Coryell’s Jazz Guitar and Power Jazz Guitar,for advanced students.Thanks a lot.

  2. Bill T. — April 9, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

    Personally, I don’t get what I need out of Scales and Modes. They are important, yes. But for guitar, I get much more out of Chord Shapes. With Shapes, I know where I am, where I’ve been, and where I want to go. Arpeggios, Scales, and Alteration are all in the Chord Shape. Two good books: Swing To Bop-The Music of Charlie Christian by Stan Ayeroff – and – The Guitar Chord Shapes of Charlie Christian, by Joseph Weidlich. Also, Blues Shapes by Herb Ellis – and Rhythm Shapes, by Ellis


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