3 thoughts on “Improvising Blues Guitar: An Introduction To Blues Guitar Styles Techniques And Improvisation (The Schott Po Styles Series) Reviews”

  1. 15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Buy This Book Now!!, October 19, 2012
    By 
    immgr

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Improvising Blues Guitar: An Introduction To Blues Guitar Styles Techniques And Improvisation (The Schott Po Styles Series) (Paperback)
    What the hell is wrong with you people! Only 1 review after this outstanding book has been out for 4 years!

    I am a self taught guitar player of two years and I own 25+ guitar books, including some of the best such as the Blues You Can Use Series, Tagliarino series, Hunt Series, Kolb series, Licks series, on and on. These have all been great books and highly recommended. But the Improvising Blues Guitar book is by far my most cherished and used book.

    This book is not for the beginner – you need to have at least a year under your belt or else you will be frustrated. The author must have made this his life’s work – it is hard to imagine the amount of time he must have spent on it. The only mistake that the author made was the title of the book. I don’t know why “improvising” is in the title. The subtitle is much more accurate – “An Introduction to Blues Guitars Style, Techniques, and Improvisation”. Although I would have replaced improvisation with theory.

    Where to begin? Here are the highlights:
    – 200+ pages and 1 CD of instruction with an hour of demos and backing tracks.
    – Each of the 11 chapters covers a different blues style, such as Chicago, Texas, Memphis, Rock, etc.
    – Each chapter features the music of 4 artists, such as Hendrix, SRV, Bonamassa, Clapton, Page, Kings (3), on and on. By “features”, I mean about 4 pages for each artist of an extended 12 bar solo in the artist’s style, a breakdown of the music theory behind each bar of the solo, and tips and pointers that help you understand and develop the guitar skills expressed by the artist.
    – Each chapter has a rhythm study and accompaying rhythm track typical of each genre. The author put some thought into this, since the rhythm track is the same track that is the backing track for each of the 4 solos in the chapter. So you can use the backing track to practice the solos over. Also, each chapter’s backing track is in a different key, which makes for great practice of the different keys and familiarity with all parts of the fretboard.

    I love the unique way that this book ties together artist styles, with performance solos and licks, and most importantly music theory. Think of this as more of a college course than a book to learn licks.

    This is my first review on Amazon, simply because this book deserves to have more circulation. I paid about $20 for this book and was somewhat apprehensive based on ONE PUNY REVIEW, but now I wouldn’t part with it for any amount. John Wheatcroft is my new blues hero!

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  2. 9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Much better than most blues guitar books – worth it, May 19, 2013
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Improvising Blues Guitar: An Introduction To Blues Guitar Styles Techniques And Improvisation (The Schott Po Styles Series) (Paperback)
    I currently rank this second or third amongst my blues guitar books – and that’s a big deal. It’s definitely much better than popular books like Blues You Can Use, etc. One reason is that he is a much better guitar player and he has good taste in guitar players, phrasing, sound and licks.

    The best part of this book is the brilliant idea to do different solo styles in a blues genre over the same rhythm backing track. Practice Nirvana.

    The amount of work he put into this 200 plus page book is light years beyond the standard 60 page junky licks books. You can also tell he’s a good guy – if you are going to sit down with someone’s work for a year, it helps if the guy is likeable and he earned your money.

    I’m usually wary of paraphrases of famous guitarist’s work. i.e. he has a section on Clapton, Beck and Page. I thought he did a fantastic job getting some of the best flavors of Clapton and Beck, but Page, who is one of my favorites, was not quite as strong. He did a good job paraphrasing “Since I’ve Been Loving You” fused with “Good Times Bad Times” like licks. As a Zep fan, I would have gone with different base solos to work from, that’s all (i.e. live solos from the Song Remains the Same). For Eric Johnson, I would have had some “Zap” licks, etc. There’s a British site selling the book that has a preview of all the tunes in the book, I recommend you search for it and listen to them first (I assume Amazon would nix it if I posted it).

    Some of the diagram formats are a bit out of the norm being extra heavily focused for right handers – that surprised me as a left-hander and given the author is also a Southpaw.

    I’m early on with this book. I’ll know more when I have spent time with it and see where my jump will be as a musician and a guitarist. You will not feel ripped off buying this book and it will be a great addition to your library.

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  3. 8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Best Ever…, December 22, 2012
    By 
    Hilton (Colorado) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Improvising Blues Guitar: An Introduction To Blues Guitar Styles Techniques And Improvisation (The Schott Po Styles Series) (Paperback)
    I’ve been playing the guitar for 45 years and I must have 100 or more ‘how to play guitar’ books and this book I think is the best one, in any genre, I’ve ever seen. Mr. Wheatcroft obviously loves the blues and the guitar and knows how to pass along that passion in his writing and his playing. The CD that comes with this book is worth the price of the book by itself! There are some easy to play pieces and some technically demanding ones but all are well explained and the examples on the CD are perfectly played. Along the way he gives the reader a sound foundation in blues playing with various scales and techniques of the many sub-genres like Delta and Chicago blues. At the end he even includes a chapter on slide playing. Honestly, if you are interested in playing the blues or improving your playing get this book. I have had it for several months and use it every day in some fashion. Although it is not for absolute beginners, if you play a little you will find things to practice here. If you’re a good player, you’ll find plenty to practice here. It’s about as perfect a guitar teaching book you can get.

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