An exploding music scene has painted a rainbow of fresh, colorful electric guitar styles and this expansive volume takes on the challenge of bringing them all into a working perspective. At over 200 pages, this is Richard Daniels most extensive book to date. The first chapter is an overview of the entire science of rock guitar broken down into a series of "concepts." Another chapter addresses the guitar's hardware: pickups, custom adaptations, and a photo gallery of special guitars. The heart of the book is, of course, a full study of the scales and chords that form the backbone of the art including pentatonic studies.
What sets this book off from the others is the assimilation of classical elements into the blues/rock genre: Major vs. minor, the church modes, scale harmonization, harmonic minor, sweep picking, pedal point, arpeggios, altered power chords, repeating melodic figures… you get the picture. This tremendous work ends with an extensive appendix of essays on the art: singing, great artists, the history of recording, African roots, music and the mind, and many other topics. Everybody at The Heavy Guitar Company is absolutely sure that you will love this book, and that you would be proud to have it in your music library.
Richard Daniels speaks on the making of The Art of Playing Rock Guitar
The Art of Playing Rock Guitar was first published under the title name The Heavy Guitar Bible- Volume II. And that is a good place to start to understand the vision that I had for the book. After Be Dangerous, I wanted to go back to the process of creating a great, classic book. I wanted to get back to the spirit of the original Heavy Guitar Bible, but also to go beyond the pentatonics into the wild world of adapting classical violin inventions to the electric guitar. For the first time this put me in the interesting position of teaching the outline to a method of playing that I could not myself actually execute. I can readily play just about any blues lick that I teach in my books, but when it came time to play arpeggios and such, I found that I had to play everything at a sort of "finger each note" speed, and then come up with a textual explanation. Sort of like a manager for a boxer: he explains, and encourages directly to instruct, but when the fighting starts he step back from the ring.
This book embraces mechanical aspects of music, for instance those relating to scale harmonization where each degree of a scale is "chorded over." It was all super interesting to me, and I knew that many of my students would want me to go into the subject. But I knew in order to actually apply the knowledge, the student would have to posses a deeper grasp of guitar theory than knowing common lead guitar licks usually provides. So my book took on a sort of academic bent, and removed me, at least temporarily, from my self appointed position of ruthless, lead guitar cheerleader.
At the time, I was absolutely absorbed in the artwork of ancient bibles, Egyptian and Far Eastern images. There is no doubt that this book has the best hand drawn art I have ever produced. I don't do anything remote to it today. The book sort of drips with the feel of hand made drawings. I like that about it. I used the same classical lettering that I used for the original bible, and I kept the same double column format with running margin notes parallel to the text body. There is more humor in this book than any other I have written, and the appendix still stands as the longest stretch of essays I have ever published.
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