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Fretboard Theory Reviews?

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Postby bford » December 12th, 2005, 8:55 am

Does anyone have a review of "Fretboard Theory" by Desi Serna?

Thanks in advance.
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Postby John the Savage » October 3rd, 2007, 8:17 pm

Hey bford,

Don't know if you're still waiting on someone to reply to this post, but I can in fact comment on the book in question: I'm a touring musician for living and I bought this book last year for a friend – he's a hobby-guitarist – who had asked me to explain the theory behind some of the songs and solos he had already picked up by ear. Well…I'm lazy and busy (a bad combination – smirk) so I set out to find a book that would outline the basics for him; I settled on “Fretboard Theory”.

I certainly haven't forgotten the frustration and confusion that can result from poorly taught theory…so I was careful to find something straight-forward and well-written.

You really can't go wrong with this book if you're a beginner or intermediate player; you don't have to read music to get started with it; the lessons are coherent and concise, and you'll learn only what you need to know as you go, without over-whelming references to advanced theory that doesn't apply at your level. Desi seems to teach modestly, using clear fretboard diagrams and “tab”, as well as referring you to classic and contemporary song standards that exemplify each lesson's content.

Like any book on music, it's not a miracle cure for a lack of discipline or the utterly tone-def among us (smirk), but if you have any musical inclination whatsoever, it'll give you a solid start (grin). Cheers!

-JTS-
Last edited by John the Savage on October 15th, 2007, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BigALfrom Philly » October 3rd, 2007, 11:13 pm

It's an excellent academic book. I'll take it a step further, I did not know the significance of learning scales (pentatonic, major, and the accompanying chromatic scales). Desi advocates the importance of learning (covering songs..right?) well, I've taken it so much further. :wink:

My style (new age, space rock), I'm composing these days thanks to this book. I'm an academic kind of person; been searching for an avenue that could show me guitar academics in such way that I could relate better than just ordinary guitar lesson the last eight years. I have tinkered with all the songs Desi advocates learning and as mentioned, when you master the scales, your brain will kick in and that's what has happened to me. 8)

If you purchase this book, be assured, it will help you beyond reproach. I have other books from famous people. Desi is an excellent technical writer. He knows his stuff and presents it well. Get it! :D

Desi, (ya happy now?)
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Postby Jaycee » October 4th, 2007, 1:56 am

I have just downloaded my copy from desi' site http://guitar-music-theory.com/

Theres basically 10 chapters in it, the 11th is a short summary type chapter. I printed them out and stapled them into chapters so I now have 10 "mini books" and plan to work on each chapter in succession.

I have briefly read through the whole thing and as the others say it is well written and the more I read and play the better understanding I am having.

I got my download copy for $10 which is a real bargain. I think he is still selling them at this price.

Even if you can't grasp all of it (which I can't at the mo) I'm sure as I progress through the book all will become clearer, as is happening now.

Hope this helps
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Postby jbbottomend » October 4th, 2007, 6:16 am

I've played bass for about 20 years, all by ear. Played lots of bars and even more parties. I always felt that I was missing something, it just wasn't clicking. 90% of the songs I played were with in the first 7 frets. A friend told me about this book and was very enthusiastic about it, so I bought it. By the second lesson, my style was changing, I was playing differently (better). Being self taught, I trained myself to look for patterns in each song. This book teaches these patterns and how each pattern is connected and how many different paths each pattern can take. I discovered that I was playing many parts of the pentatonic scale and never knew it. The fretboard literally now comes alive. I've now picked up a 5-string........
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Postby Georg » October 4th, 2007, 12:05 pm

Hi,
This book is very good. Its easy to follow. I bought the book last year - still working with it.
Its really worth buying. You understand much more how solos and riffs fit and start playing and creating yourself. Thats where fun comes in. I got Desis pentatonic DVD - buy it too. But: The material does not practise for you.
Georg :mrgreen:
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Postby ghoidas » October 4th, 2007, 5:21 pm

I agree with all of the above. I have always struggled to understand the fretboard but when I came across Desi Serna's
book I fell in love with it right off the bat. I could follow it and understand what he was trying to teach. The way
he describes the Pentatonic scales has open up a whole new guitar world for me. For instance I am amazed at how many
popular songs are based on the Em pentatonic scale alone. I was so impressed that I went and bought all 3 of his DVD's.
I will be spending this winter watching the DVD's and learning.
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Postby slejhamer » October 4th, 2007, 5:33 pm

Y'all just talk amongst yourselves ...
"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."

My CIG Rock Blog
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Postby rhooie » October 5th, 2007, 2:57 pm

I highly recommend Fretboard Theory. Desi does a great job of just telling you what you need to know without long and confusing explanations. I have seen most of the material in other books, however, Desi does an excellent job of organizing the info so you can retain it. I also bought his DVD's on Modes and Chord Progressions. I recommend these as well.
Here is his website. http://guitar-music-theory.com
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Postby J123 » October 11th, 2007, 6:52 am

Its actually a bit of a shame that all these new posters posted in such a short period giving the impression that something fishy is going on. Maybe yes, maybe no. But I did go to http://guitar-music-theory.com and purchased the e book a couple months ago. It is a good primer on the caged systtem, chord construction and scales. He also gives examples of how caged shapes or the scales are applied to popular songs. Its worth the money if you dont know these concepts
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Postby John the Savage » October 15th, 2007, 2:12 pm

Don't ask me why I'm willing to take it off the chin defending this sensitive issue (grin), but I do hate to see chats take this skeptical turn. The fact is that those who purchased the book are now also on the author's mailing list; apparently the author noticed recently that someone had asked a question in your forum about his book, and that no one had replied; in turn, he sent out an email to his mailing list prompting anyone, who might be so inclined, to post a review. Tragically, as it turns out, I wasn't the only one who thought to do him the favour (smirk).

Anyway...I can't say I'm overly cyber-community-savvy, but it seems to me that the original post -- posted nearly two years ago -- was made by a legitimate member with many previous posts to his credit...and I may be wrong, but given how I ended up here, I'm willing to venture that non of these folks know the author personally or owe him any great debt. I don't really care, to tell the truth...except to say that the reason why I came here was because I'd never heard of this forum and thought I'd check it out; maybe find a new place to waste the wee hours of the morning, winding down after gigs...and do a couple people a favour in the process [bford and this cat Desi, that is]. My bad!

Yada, yada...I just hope we can all get past this awkward introduction and be friends; after all, I may need to SPAM you about my own musical ventures someday (smirk). Cheers!

-JTS-
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Postby Duckman » April 28th, 2008, 4:19 am

I started playing guitar when I was 13. Eventually I learned to play well enough to play for parties w/friends and family. Got married raised a family; the guitar was in and out of the closet till I retired. Started playing in public but didn't know how it all worked, I just played by ear, if it sounded good it was ok. I saw Desi's stuff on the web somewhere, bought it, and the lights started coming on. I have tried a lot of how to books but this is the only one that worked for me (a little thick headed I guess) if you want to play the the Guitar and you have a little talent go for it www.Guitar-Music-Theory.com......Duckman
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Postby Duckman » April 28th, 2008, 6:26 pm

Sorry !!! that URL is http://www.Guitar-Music-Theory.com Don't know how that happened...I'm a newbie... Duckman
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Postby ldavis04 » May 1st, 2008, 2:21 am

slejhamer wrote:Y'all just talk amongst yourselves ...


:lol:
I may grow old, but I'll never grow up.
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Postby speedy12 » July 6th, 2008, 9:03 am

I just bought FRET BOARD THEORY by Desi Serna and I can tell you that if I would have had this information 35 years ago
I would have become a very good player back then. It s really great!! pick up a copy.

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