Book Review: Unlocking the Guitar – Notes on the Neck, by Chuck Anderson

Unlocking the Guitar – Notes on the Neck, by Chuck Anderson. Anderson Music Publications, 2002. ISBN#0-9719730-0-8

This book provides an approach to one of the trickiest topics guitar players of any level face: learning the notes on the neck. The author offers a superior method for learning the notes through the use of particular frets as reference points or “key frets.”

The preliminary exercise in the book familiarizes one with these key frets and their application in identifying notes at every point on the neck. After mastering the prescribed methodology, Anderson suggests a variety of ways in which to internalize this information. These exercises include visualization techniques, application of chord and scale shapes, randomization, and identifying notes (in real-time) during improvisation.

This book also explicates the need for complete knowledge of the neck. The application of such knowledge extends to composition, improvisation, notation, note-reading, communication with other musicians, and practically every aspect of musicianship.

So, as a teacher, why do I recommend this book? Because this is essential knowledge. Every piano player or horn player knows every note as they play it; it is a disgrace that most guitarists are completely ignorant of this basic and fundamental information.

Suitable for all skill levels of guitarists

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