[Book Review] Intervallic Fretboard – Towards Improvising on the Guitar

I mostly am a self-taught guitarist though I had about 15 guitar lessons in my life. So from time to time I have to dive into a method or a theory book to refresh either my knowledge or my ideas or both! I don’t do that often though because despite my academic background, music theory remains as a closed book to me. I always feel like it kind of shuts down the spontaneous 3-chords monster inside of me to waken up a too-cerebral creature. And that I don’t want…

Yet, knowledge is good ! Knowledge can be a source of inspiration for the music maker. So when Ashkan Mashhour contacted me to tell me about his book Intervallic Fretboard – Towards Improvising on the Guitar I saw it as an opportunity to get some inspiration!

In the guitar learning process, most of us do one thing : we learn shapes, patterns, and licks on the fretboard in an almost visual kind of way. The approach of Intervallic Fretboard is to focus on another kind of fretboard knowledge, and organization : Intervals.

This is not a totally new approach but Intervallic Fretboard was written by guitar student Ashkan Mashhour with his guitar teacher Dave Murdy. As such it is already an interesting read because it combines the approach of a teacher, and a student fighting his way through guitar improvisation. So Ashkan Mashhour explains a lot of things in a very understandable way. Every figure, and every score in the book are explained which is not that common in guitar methods. Intervallic Fretboard comes with an accompanying CD for all music examples, and some short explanations.

To be honest, I still have a lot to go through with the Intervallic Fretboard , and I mean a lot! But as Ashkan Mashhour says in the foreword, and many musicians before him use to say : “Music is a lifelong journey”. I would add a personal note on this sentence : And a journey is always better with a good book in your hands!

This one is a good guitar theory/method book ! you can buy Intervallic Fretboard – Towards improvising on the Guitar on Amazon ($17.95) or check intervallicfretboard.com for more information.

About Sem

I am the founder of Muzicosphere (that also exists in a French version). In 2011, I also created Guitar Fail, the Guitar LOL place to be. And before that I created GAS a GoGo, a gear giveaways blog in French.

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