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Justinguitar.com Recommendations

Books, DVDs and CDs that really helped me on my journey...

Please note that these are specific recommendations, all these items are going to help you become a better musician. I have used all of them and think they are awesome, or they wouldn't be here!

I PROMISE NEVER TO RECOMMEND SOMETHING THAT I DON'T 100% BELEIVE IN!

By using the links below, Amazon will pay me a small comission on your purchases (around 5%), so you can contribute to this site and not pay a cent more than you would normally! You can use the search boxes to the left for any other purchases you make from amazon and everything you buy will help :) much appreciated!


Software

Transcribe! is a very useful bit of software available for mac and pc - it allows you to slow down music and keep it at the same pitch, and also has very useful loop function, EQ, and pitch change function (saves re-tuning your guitar to records - tune the song to you!!). I use it all the time when I am transcibing. It comes with a free 30 day trial so check it out and see if you dig it. It cost $50 to buy the licence.

Transcribe!


Books

I learnt a lot from books over the years (growing up in Tasmania does that to you...) and I am often asked to recommend some titles that I found most helpful so here they are!

They are all linked to Amazon so you can go straight there and buy them if you want. The prices seem to change so I have not added them but you will be surprised how cheap some of these great books, DVDs and CDs are.

Inner Game Of Music

The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and Timothy Gallwey

This is a book about a most important subject, but one that is often neglected. It tells you HOW TO PRACTISE. How to make the most of your practice time, how to become more aware of your mistakes and how to keep your focus when you are practicing. It talks about dealing with stage fright and nerves, and psychology for musicians. It will make you a better player and make your practice time more productive. There are some, but not many, musical examples that require reading. They are not essential, and are pretty easy if you want to have a go. Everyone I know that has read the book thinks it is brilliant and it really changed the way that I practiced.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Modern Reading Text

Modern Reading Text In 4:4 by Louis Belson

I used this book to learn rhythms, and people still do... but...

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

The problem with the Belson book is that it contains no instruction. So I worked for a year with drum guru Justin Scott and together we wrote Understanding Rhtyhm Notation, a 200 page ebook which teaches you pretty much all the skills you get from the Belson book, but we explain each step and put in a much better organised system. Check it out!!

 
Berklee Books

A Modern Method For Guitar By William G. Leavitt

These 3 volumes are the basic music course textbooks for Berklee College of music in the US. I learnt to read using Book 1 and went pretty much right through. It covers many topics such as reading music, rhythms, scales, keys, arpeggios, duets, key changes, chord voicings, chord leading etc., etc. It is really well laid out and is great for "wood shedding" (locking yourself in a little shed at the end of the garden and practicing technical work). These 3 books will keep you busy for at least a year, if not more. They are quite good for "revising" too, I use them to brush up on my reading if it's getting too sloppy. I have 3 separate volumes but this 3-in-1 looks cool and is excellent value...

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Satriani Secrets

Guitar Secrets - Joe Satriani

Well they are not secrets any more Joe, but they are great great exercises and some really clever thinking. I got lots of my concepts and technical ideas from this book. A really good read no matter what style you play. The guy is a guitar genius, and remeber he taught Steve Vai, Kirk Hammet and many more other great players! Now he can teach you!

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Harmony And Theory

Harmony and Theory: A Comprehensive Source for All Musicians by Keith Wyatt

This book is great for people that want to learn to read music as well as learn music theory. It functions well as a follow up to my Practical Music Theory book, in which I explain all the basic concepts without having to read notation. This book starts with the basics and covers many topics up to and including modes. I recommend this book to all my students that want a thorough theory book that uses notation.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Advancing Guitarist

The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick

In my humble opinion this is the best guitar book ever written. It has very few musical examples and is mostly about exploring music, improvising and getting the most from your time on the guitar. There is NO TAB only notes. No serious guitarist should be without this book. It is for your head more than your hands. It is NOT FOR BEGINNERS. To understand the concepts you need to be able to play, read music and understand theory already.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Flute

125 Classical Studies For Flute

Why a flute book? because most sight reading books for guitar are written for guitarists and are either in position or are mind numbing boring random notes and scales. This book is full of short beautiful melodies by the greatest composers so the reading is actually fun! As well 
as that the melodies are real, not exercises so you get "real" experience of reading real melodies. They are also not n position so you get used to choosing a position to read in. There are many time signatures covered too - so you can develop that skill.

Buy at MusicRoom.com

   

Jazz Books

Real Book 1

The Real Book Vol. 1 in C

This is the "real" real book. The original one. There is a better printed one called The New Real Book. I use both but this one is cooler ;) The earlier editions are somewhat better with some cooler chord substitutions, but this will do just fine. If you wanna get into jazz then this is for you. You need this book. It contains all the great standard jazz tunes, both the chords and the melody and is the way that most people start getting afmiliar with the tunes. If you transcribe jazz it can be helpful to know what the original chords were before they got substituted... Wanna play jazz. Buy this now!

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
New Real Book

The New Real Book

And here is the new edition as described above. This one is a lot better printed, clearer more accurate and has the writers permissions. Lots of more modern jazz classics and fusion tunes - compliaments the above real book, both are recomended.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Joe Pass

Guitar Style by Joe Pass and Bill Thrasher

This is a fantastic book about playing the guitar. There is NO TAB so you have to read dots to get the full benefit from the book. Joe has a fantastically simple approach to harmony, linking many different areas in to one. He is a great educator and here he presents advise on harmony, chord substitutions, single line studies for blues and rhythm changes, chord melody ideas and chord and scale relationships. Very well written and clear. A great book full to the brim of ideas for the jazz student.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Teg Greene

Jazz Guitar- Single Note Soloing by Ted Greene

This guy is amazing. Most famous for the very dodgy picture on the front of his book "Chord Chemistry" (highly recommended but not found at Amazon). This guy is a rocket scientist who went berserk in a guitarists head. I have never heard a recording of him, but the books are just incredible. He goes into every possible shape of arpeggio and every scale permutation and it can really open your playing up, giving you new and exciting ways of playing things that normally sound average. Some of the major scale patterns are out of this world, but sound beautiful and melodic. It's all dots again, NO TAB.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Jazz Theory

The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Lavine

This book cover ALL JAZZ THEORY. In deep and from the start. It explains all the major jazz components such as Chords and Scales, Playin' the Changes, Reharmonisation, The Tunes and The Rest of it. It is the ultimate Jazz Theory resource. If you want to get into jazz music theory, GET THIS BOOK. It is really really good. I can't fault it in any way, except maybe that there is too much information to digest in a lifetime. It's not fair of him to point it out.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com



Books about music (not really instructional)

Devils Music

The Devil's Music: A History of the Blues by Giles Oakley

I found this book to be awesome. Spent a whole 4 month tour reading it and buying CD's in every town of who it was talking about in the book. I learnt so much about the blues. It really is a great read, well written, clear and well illustrated. Check it out if you wanna play the blues.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
Miles Bio

Miles (autobiography) by Miles Davis

This book is an amazing account of the life of probably the most influential musician of the 20th century, Miles Davis. You can probably tell that I dig Miles, I feel that he really gets inside the music and pushes it out and around in a very unique and musical way. I love the silence he plays. This book (which would be a pamphlet if the four letter words were removed) makes very interesting reading. It is pretty graphic, an adults book (NOT FOR KIDS) and will give a you a perhaps unexpected glimpse of the life of a black American musician during the birth of jazz. It is really a great read.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
 

This Is Your Brain On Music

One of the guys at my studio told me about this book and I found it fascinating, and probably you will too. I had not idea how much science knew about how we listen to music, how it effects us and which parts of our brains are involved with the whole listening and creating process. Probably won't make you a better guitar player, but it's real interesting!

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

   


DVDs

DVDs are often better than books (but not always) because you can see and hear examples. There are a few that I found inspirational and those are what you will find here!

 

Eric Johnson - Total Electric Guitar

This DVD just blew my mind completely. I saw it when I was a teenager and it blew down all the walls, I had no idea that stuff was possible and Eric's depth of knowledge just made me realise how much I had to learn. The guys technique is staggering and he has a wonderful touch. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. I'm certain this video make me a better guitarist and I think it will help you too!

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
 

Robben Ford - The Art Of Blues Rhythm Guitar

Modern blues master Robben Ford takes you through some excellent techniques to improve your blues rhythm guitar. I learnt a lot from it, lots of very tasty little chord licks, nice voicing and it's interesting to hear him talk about his approach and how he sees things. Very informative video.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

 
 

Joe Pass - Solo Jazz Guitar

I love Joe Pass, such a natural beautiful player. He's got a very simple approach and that is what you will get from this video. He gets a bit confused about the chord names BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER! and that is the point. Let the music speak, the other stuff is not anywhere near as important as the playing bit! Many lovely chords, and tips on chord melody playing. A masterclass.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com

   
 

Joe Pass - The Blues Side Of Jazz

More amazing Joe Pass playing blues, a great way of stealing some jazz ideas to work into your blues playing and learn straight ahead jazz blues lines. Wonderful playing and he teaches in a real friendly way that watching and learning from him is such a pleasure.

Buy at Amazon.co.uk
Buy at Amazon.com