Guitar Method Books That Work!
My three decades of playing and teaching experience have been put into a range of books that I wish existed when I began playing.
From mechanical development to musical application, each of my books draws from my know-how in developing these concepts, but also teaching them over many years, taking the guesswork out of progress and enabling the breakthroughs you deserve to experience!
Click on a product to know more , or keep scrolling to see my suggestions for the order of study.
Neoclassical Speed Strategies for Guitar
A ground-breaking speed picking method that starts with the biomechanics and pick grip through to power picking tactics based on shred guitar pioneer Yngwie Malmsteen.
Sweep Picking Speed Strategies for Guitar
The fundamentals of perfect sweeping technique from pick motion through to fretboard coverage with 80 arpeggio shapes.
Advanced Arpeggio Soloing for Guitar
Discover the ultimate creative resource for applying arpeggios in modern improvisation, build a unique vocabulary of arpeggio concepts and create melodic phrases and high-speed lines.
Legato Guitar Technique Mastery
A complete system to play legato in the style of the masters, like Allan Holdsworth, Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe, Brett Garsed, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.
Sweep Picking Speed Strategies for 7-string Guitar
A comprehensive breakdown of everything you need to sweep pick efficiently on 7-string guitar. A systematic guide to mastering technique and dominating the extended-range fretboard.
100 Arpeggio Licks for Shred Guitar
Master 100 blazing licks in the styles of Yngwie Malmsteen | Paul Gilbert | Frank Gambale | Steve Morse | Jason Becker | Michael Romeo | Vinnie Moore | Marty Friedman | Nuno Bettencourt | Greg Howe
The Complete Guitar Technique Speed Strategies Collection
Three best-selling technique method in one book. Master the essential shred guitar mechanics for both hands. Over 300 pages and 360 examples.
Alternate Picking Guitar Technique
Learn this foundation of picking technique from the ground up, from single-string to all over the fretboard. This method is the perfect way to begin the journey of awesome picking technique.
Economy Picking Guitar Technique
Economy picking is like two powerful systems in one: the strengths of alternate picking with the unbeatable efficiancy of sweep picking. This method is my personal approach to developing economy picking from zero to hero.
Rock Guitar Tapping Technique
Learn two-handed tapping techniques from finger placement to advanced sequences and licks
3-in-1 Picking & Tapping Technique Collection
Learn alternate picking, economy picking, and tapping in possibly the most potent guitar technique collection available!
137 Guitar Speed & Coordination Exercises
Develop perfect timing and synchronisation then find your ultimate speed!
In what order should I study the books?
This is one of the most common questions I receive about my books.
The quick answer is that there is no answer that applies to every player, but I can still outline a few scenarios and see if any of them apply to you. If you’re currently working on one or more of my books, please continue to do so without feeling like you need to stop and adhere to one of these pathways.
Can I study multiple books at once? Won’t that confuse things?
You already know how to study various things side by side. You did it in school for at least ten years from the age of five, and your day was structured to dedicate set intervals to maths, science, language etc. within a single day.
Studying the guitar doesn’t need to be any different, although most of you won’t spend seven hours in a classroom doing it.
I’ve found two strategies that work best in my own practice: General Sessions and Focus Sessions.
General sessions are where I dedicate predetermined intervals to various subjects in one day. If I know I have two hours to sit down, I’ll pick four areas of study and assign thirty minutes to each. So, I might do half an hour on alternate picking, another half hour on tapping and so on. When the bell goes off, switch subjects just like classes at school. This way, I can attend to various areas of playing in one day. Even a thirty-minute practice session can be split into three subjects in ten-minute intervals.
Focus sessions are the ones in which I dig deeper into one subject only. This might happen a couple of times per week. I’ll take something I really want to move forward on and dedicate the whole day’s practice to it.
When working on more than one book, keep in mind that the goal is not to “finish the book and move on” because a good book is never really finished. I design these courses to be something you can refer to any number of times over the years. Your goal for today is to do something better than you did it yesterday, or take on something new and begin the process with a new lick.
Progress multiplies so, as you get better at one subject, your success puts you in better stead for other subjects. It’s not as compartmentalised as you might expect.
Okay, let’s get to some of those pathways…
Pathway #1: I want to build great picking technique
If you’re not sure where to begin developing great technique, control and – eventually – speed, it’s crucial to understand the way good picking works. Alternate Picking and Sweep Picking are both great foundation techniques that you can begin from achievable starting points and elevate to wherever you’d like to take them.
The Alternate Picking Guitar Technique book is probably the most well-rounded entry point into my book catalogue, beginning with pick grip and basic mechanics and moving along a roadmap of single-string technique, changing strings with logical paths of motion, building up to upper intermediate / lower advanced etudes and everything in between. This book will help you avoid the common pitfalls of alternate picking by teaching you logical motion from the beginning.
An important aspect of any picking technique is coordination. For this reason, I just wrote a book called 137 Guitar Speed & Coordination Exercises. Much of this book pairs up nicely with alternate picking and the first 4 chapters, in particular, will improve your timing, synchronisation, finger independence and string-changing. The Speed Practice System in chapter Eight will help even the intermediate player develop a mindset for speed and give you a framework for speeding up the material in Alternate Picking Guitar Technique.
When your alternate picking is pretty solid, you might like to move on to my Economy picking and Neoclassical Speed Strategies (see pathway #3) if you’re interested in the speed systems of players who don’t always alternate-pick across string changes.
Sweep Picking Speed Strategies for Guitar is an arpeggio-based approach to picking technique. Beginning with a checklist of fundamentals for good sweep picking, this book will also help you build your knowledge of arpeggios across the fretboard and build an impressive control of sweeping through them. I break the concepts up into various string groups and directions, providing etudes at the end of each section so that you can put technique to music. This book is also available as a Seven String version. Between alternate picking and sweep picking, you’d be well-prepared to tackle Economy Picking Guitar Technique.
Pathway #2: I want a killer fretboard technique
For the ultimate in fretting hand control, Legato Guitar Technique Mastery serves two purposes. The first is to help you develop logical, tension-free fretting technique that allows freedom and independence in the fretting hand. The second is to introduce the world of sounds and options available through the legato approach, which is almost a style unto itself.
Legato is all about creating flowing, connected musical lines that contrast the staccato sound of picked notes. From Satriani to Holdsworth, legato on guitar has a very identifiable sound.
Legato Guitar Technique Mastery walks you through hammer-ons, pull-offs, hammers from nowhere, rehammering, hybrid picking and sweep picking combinations, fretboard coverage, chromatic passing tones, phrasing and even legato arpeggios.
You can actually start this book at any point in the journey if you need to level up your fretting hand game.
If you want to beef up your fretting hand legato with tapping, there’s Rock Guitar Tapping Technique. With tapping, you’ll be calling on your left-hand technique and adding to it with any number of tapping fingers. This method begins on single strings and with one tapping finger but soon moves into multiple strings, pentatonic & diatonic sequences, and wider intervals and more notes per string than legato technique alone can accomplish.
Legato and tapping can be worked on side-by-side as tapping is really just a two-handed legato approach.
Pathway #3: I want to really shred in the most economical way
If you’re already familiar with the challenges of alternate picking (either through my book or just past experience) and feel ready for alternatives to the constant opposing motions of alt-picking, Economy Picking Guitar Technique and Neoclassical Speed Strategies for Guitar are your next ports of call.
Neoclassical Speed Strategies was the follow-up to my video course “The Yng Way”. It takes a methodical approach to breaking down the picking system of Yngwie Malmsteen. Malmsteen has a very interesting picking system that fuses alternate picking, one-way economy picking and a couple of other handy strategies into one approach. If you’re into his style and want to decode the key elements of his skillset, grab this one.
For a more symmetrical and fully-balanced approach to economy picking, Economy Picking Guitar Technique applies the most efficient string-changing tactics to ascending and descending lines. You’ll harness the technique across small string groups – ascending and descending – before approaching full scales, direction-changing strategies, diatonic and pentatonic sequences, and stylistic breakdowns of the economy picking usage of Frank Gambale, Eric Johnson, Joe Stump and more.
You can jump straight into Economy Picking Guitar Technique or tackle it after any of my other books.
Pathway #4: I can sweep pick, but I want to do more with arpeggios
Sweep Picking Speed Strategies for Guitar was the first in a trilogy of arpeggio-related books.
Seeing how many capable sweep pickers still struggled to put arpeggios into real music, I wrote Advanced Arpeggio Soloing for Guitar.
AASFG covers triad pairs and stacks, 7th arpeggio stacks, upper extension arpeggios like 9ths, 11ths and 13ths, plus how to use them in solos to create interesting intervallic ideas, spell out modes, or apply sequences and string skipping.
This method is perfect for rock and fusion guitar or to put a sophisticated twist into your metal solos. A pretty good command of sweep picking is required since I don’t cover technique in this book.
The other method for applied knowledge for arpeggios is 100 Arpeggio Licks for Shred Guitar. This book has some of my most advanced and ambitious etudes, covering the arpeggio styles of everyone from Yngwie to Steve Morse. Each chapter focuses on one player, ending with an etude in their style. I recommend this for advanced players of those who want to up their technique through real-world use of arpeggios in the styles of the greats.
Pathway #5: I’ve been playing for years and I still can’t lock in or speed up
This is a very common scenario, so don’t feel disheartened or that you’re not talented enough to improve.
If you’ve tried several techniques and feel like you’ve hit walls or must have “skipped a few steps along the way somewhere”, I wrote 137 Guitar Speed and Coordination Exercises for you.
If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. So, there are strategies in this book that challenge a lot of conventions about progressing on the instrument. There’s a lot of focus on the fundamentals of good timing and coordination, as well as a speed system I used to make a lot of progress when I was teaching myself how to play.
I hesitate to use the word shortcuts for what’s in this book because a shortcut sometimes implies that you didn’t work for the result. Think of this material as a straight line to many of the goals we have as players.
When to start this book? It would be helpful to have an intermediate level of experience. If you’ve tried other books and still not made the progress you expected, add firepower to your all-round technique with this one.
I hope these scenarios help you make informed choices about my books. Enjoy!
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