New Book Reviews: Sound Innovations for
Guitar, Favorite Hymns, Classic Rock
Woodwind & Brasswind Contributing Writer – Greg Vail
Sound Innovations for Guitar
I am a beginning level guitar novice like so many of you might well be. There are a few songs I can play and tend to play them every time I pick up the guitar. I have played guitar for fun but never really taken it very seriously by including any private instruction or method books to learn from.
With that said, the Sound Innovations Series by Alfred Publishing is an amazing tool to really learn how to play the guitar. This book and DVD set covers all the areas of playing the guitar with great detail and a good, logical progression of difficulty.
The DVD is laid out really well and quite helpful. The teachers on the DVD go thru each skill needed to play the guitar properly, learn to read music notes, count, read tablature, pick technique, finger picking, strumming patterns, music theory, and so much more.
Each topic is discussed by the teachers on the DVD, and then taught throughout the book, learning what music looks like on paper and how to play the guitar with plenty of different styles. I found that I really love the DVD instruction format! It is like having a private teacher or guitar class in school that you can move as fast as you are able to, without being held back by slower learning students.
The concept is beautiful and the material covered is everything a novice guitarist would need to know to really learn how to play the guitar well. Any level of student will benefit by this series since the vast majority of us can do a few things really well, although there are many skills we haven't learned yet, like reading notes or playing lines and scales. I highly recommend this set for any new and intermediate student wishing to see some real progress on the guitar.
Favorite Hymns - Instrumental Solos
Favorite Hymns is a book and CD set that contains many of your favorite traditional hymns, arranged for all instruments including orchestral strings. The music is very easy for most instruments and is arranged within a common range of notes that most beginning students should feel comfortable with. It also includes options of playing some notes higher or lower if the student needs to make that adjustment to perform that song.
The accompaniment CD has a demonstration track with the solo part recorded, and a track without the solo so you can learn the song with the demonstration track, and then practice being able to play it by yourself with the performance track. The sound quality of the backgrounds is very professional sounding and it is always really fun to play with good sounding music background.
Since the music is arranged for new students, I would really encourage a little experimentation to make the melodies sound more interesting once the student has mastered the basic tunes in the book. Since these hymns should all be familiar, that experimentation should be pretty easy and a lot of fun.
Look over the song list included. If you love the old hymns, you are going to have a blast breaking out your instrument and learning them with the accompaniment CD.
Favorite Hymns is available for the following instruments:
Classic Rock - Instrumental Solos All Instruments
I am a huge fan of having fun with your wind instrument! We all need to practice to learn how to play well enough to have fun playing the saxophone, but get to the fun part as soon as possible. This Classic Rock set of instrumental solos is fun!
Take a quick look at the song list and see how many of these tunes are your personal favorites. Each song is notated in the book in an easy format for your instrument and then demonstrated on the CD with professional sounding background tracks. The idea is to listen first following along in the book; then practice the song with the demonstration background track to learn the melody with the reference instrument on the demo track.
Once you can play it with the demo track you are ready to try out the melody all by yourself with the performance track. This kind of technique makes the player use multiple skills: reading music and listening. Alfred Music selected some great songs and provides nice background tracks to learn these songs so you can really have some fun.
The level is pretty easy and most new students will be jamming out playing familiar classic rock songs in no time. More advanced students may want to experiment a little and play a little more by ear once they get the basic song down. Work hard to improve on your instrument to play it technically correct, but don't forget to just have some fun every week too. Classic Rock Instrumental Solos is a lot of fun!
Classic Rock Instrumental Solos is available for the following instruments: