Announcing a Brand New Book by Justin Johnson • Sized for your Gig Bag!! Complete Roadmap for 3-String & 4-String Guitar
Announcing a Brand New Book by Justin Johnson • Sized for your Gig Bag!!
Complete Roadmap for 3-String & 4-String Guitar
I remember sitting in my room as a child, listening to the guitar solo from “Comfortably Numb” and wondering how someone turns all of those frets and strings into such a seemingly effortless musical statement. I would watch great guitar soloists blaze through improvisations without missing a beat… playing thousands of notes, all falling magically into place… but how, I wondered?
I read tablature book after tablature book, learning songs… learning riffs… learning solos… but when I tried “soloing” I would always hit that one note that sounded sour and out of place. It was almost like there was some secret code that all of these guitarists knew that I didn’t. Then I learned about scales, and it all started falling into place.
Over the years, I have devoured as many scales as I could find. I have books full of my own handwritten diagrams from my early years of playing, depicting literally thousands of scales and chords, that I had scribbled down in notebook after notebook. I was enthralled by the connection between these patterns and their link to the music that I loved. Each new scale gave me a link to another musical emotion, and with each new scale I also came to understand it’s link to specific chords.
After a while… it clicked! Someone at a gig would yell, “Blues in A Minor,” and I would think, “A Minor Scale, A Minor Pentatonic Scale, A Blues Scale, bend some strings, and make it funky!” If I was sitting in with a with a Soul band, and they said, “Follow this in G,” I would think, “G Major Pentatonic Scale with some G Major Scale notes, and keep it simple, rhythmic, and melodic.” Scales were giving me the vocabulary to guide my melodic and improvisational choices.
After another while… all of these scales and patterns and chords welded themselves together into a feel. This is when things really started to get fun! When I wanted to play a Blues in A Minor, I just played music! When I wanted to play a Psychedelic Rock song in E, or a Swampy Blues Rock in G, I just played music. The notes would come without all of the math.
The journey that I took from dreaming, to learning, to playing, is the inspiration for this book. Without those first “guidelines,” I never would have found my voice in music… or if I had, it would have taken a lot longer!
Imagine you are lost in the woods… If you wander around long enough, you might find your way out. But, if someone gives you a map, you will most likely make it out a lot quicker. You still have to walk the distance, but it will be a much easier journey if you know a few shortcuts. This book is my map for the 3- & 4-String Guitar… and I’m passing it along to you.
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