Here are some reviews of The Paul Hill Guitar Theory and Technique Book. Click on the title to read each review.
David Etheridge review:
“Getting a guitar is one thing; learning your way around is entirely another. Dots or tab? Scales, modes, chords, sweep picking? So many books, so many DVDs, I won’t live long enough to find out all the info I want! So you give up and play the blues for the rest of your life.
Just kidding. Actually it can be a long process trying to understand all the jargon and actually put it to use. Seasoned veterans may discourse loftily on lydian augmented and aeolian b5 scales while you’re still trying to work out C7.
This month I’ve laid my mitts on a guitar tutor that takes the easy way out. The Paul Hill Guitar Theory and Technique book does exactly that: works its way through the theory and technical exercises in such an easy way that you’ll experience many ‘lightbulb moments’ (oh, THAT’S the way to do it), thereby moving forward at a rate of knots in your development.
Paramount in this book is a knowledge of the fretboard and how to get around it, and here Paul deals firstly with ‘the B string shift’ the very stumbling block that we all find when trying to play fast runs and forgetting that there’s only a 3rd between the G and B strings, while all the others are tuned in fourths.
In fact the whole book is flooded with fretboard diagrams showing fingerings and windows, showing where the notes are and how you play them. Starting with scale patterns and all the modes which are so useful for finger positions, the book goes on to melodic and harmonic minor scales, pentatonic and symmetrical scales. Now while many books might take this approach, what’s so refreshing here is the total absence of didactic ‘play this and you will be a guitar hero’ commands, and the obstinate dependence on tab for just about everything (you’ve got tab, dots and fretboard windows for all subjects. Paul is heavy on the why and wherefore as well as the how to, making formerly obscure concepts readily digestible.
The chapter on technique gives very useful exercises (which I’ve personally never seen anywhere else) in string crossing and alternating strings for phrases for even more ease on the fretboard. There’s a host of arpeggios based on all the modes you can think of (and a few you probably haven’t), and sweep picking exercises to improve your speed. The section on chord construction is an object lesson in clarity, chord shapes of all kinds and every inversion are here in abundance, with a section on chord substitution being extremely useful for the budding jazz player. The final chapter on analysing chord structures is some of the most advanced stuff you’ll probably ever have to deal with, but instead of being intimidating, it’s explained in a very easy style including interchangeable harmonic ideas, and will give you plenty of scope to try ideas scales and patterns over the most daunting progressions.
So while this book covers a lot of scope, it’s always accessible and interspersed with helpful and down to earth information for the player. Paul’s book has been road tested on many students and sped up their progress and understanding several times over, and it shows here. There are many guitars tutors on the market, none of which are as helpful and useful in progressing your playing as this one. It should be in every jazz players guitars case, or even by his or her bedside table; absorbing, inspiring but above all accessible teaching for the jazz student.
Publisher: Paul Hill Publications.
Price: £15.99 (inc P&P).