Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Does One Book Include the Stuff in the Other?

> Hey Barrett,
> I was webshopping for a good book on learning the
> fingerboard. Been playing guitar for over 30 years and bass
> for over 15 years, but the fingerboard has continued to
> elude me.
> Your books look promising, and I am interested in the
> Fretboard workbook or the Chord Tone Soloing book. However,
> I've read in several reviews that the first is sort of
> incorporated in the latter. So if I buy Chord Tone, will I
> need the other one?
> Also, if you are familiar with the guitargrid system
> (, can you explain how your system is
> different?
> I hope you can clarify this. Like many musicians, I have
> loads of books already, but I have been disappointed so many
> times.
> Thanks, Alex V.

Hi Alex,

Thanks for writing. Since your stated purpose in the first line of your email was to learn the fingerboard, I would say you should get the Guitar Fretboard Workbook first. That is exactly what it teaches.

In the reviews there are people who prefer the Fretboard Workbook over Chord Tone Soloing, and vice versa. The books are not the same. Chord Tone Soloing is slightly more advanced, so generally speaking I (and some other teachers who use both books) recommend the Fretboard Workbook first. The amount of years you've already played (30) may or may not have a bearing on the decision. I can't tell from here.

The Fretboard Workbook drills you with diagram exercises on every kind of shape: roots, intervals, scales, arpeggios, and chords. It is foundation for both lead and rhythm work.

Chord Tone Soloing does have a chapter that covers those shapes, but there are no specific written exercises for them. Instead this book spends most of its time helping you prepare yourself to hit the right notes over any chord progression you might encounter while soloing.

I tried to take a look at the sample lesson at, but it said displaying samples would "reveal key elements of the entire method," so they couldn't show them. That means I can't evaluate it!

I think any decent book will show you the material; its success does not depend on any secrets but instead on the clarity of its writing, and whether it gives you assignments to force you, the student, into doing the work. That's what I've learned in my 22 years as a GIT instructor. Teachers must give lots of assignments or the student will gloss over the material.

Thanks again, and I wish you the greatest rewards on the guitar.

Barrett Tagliarino

Barrett Tagliarino