Eric Vandenberg (guitarist and guest writer for
a plethora of instructional books for guitarists
out there, and of course, as with everything,
there are some really good ones and some rather
weak ones. However, there also are some that stand
out, and have you hooked right from the start.
Like when you get the idea that the author truly
has to say something, and has very much to share
with the readers.
Juergensen is both a great player and a very experienced
instructor, and it's evident that he has a lot
to say. Instead of putting your good ol' black
and white pics of legendary players" on every
other page, he focuses on the actual content,
and gets right to the point.
One of the first things that really stands out,
right in the introduction is "Practicing
should be fun but challenging". That "fun"
part is often forgotten about, and keeping it
in mind is such an integral part of the psychology
behind practicing. Elaborating on easy to remember
keywords ("Balance", "Vision"
etc.), Chris gives away simple advice that should
be of benefit for players of all styles and all
ages. The part about "The 5 areas of practice"
should be paid special attention to, as variety
is something a lot of students seem to miss.
some more personal words, he dives right in. Chord
symbols, a reminder on chord diagrams, and soon
Chris starts to explain basic triads, giving away
very useable and easy to remember voicings that
will prove very helpful if remembered thoroughly.
This is a good example of one of the most outstanding
aspects of this book... that it's aimed at providing
you with information you can actually USE, written
by a musician who actually does have to rely on
that information on a daily base. Some basic chord
progressions are thrown in for good measure and
should be quite helpful to get used to actually
USING the voicings you learn in this part of the
book. After an explanation and similar treatment
of sus-chords, Chris leads you through 7th chords.
This section is very thorough, and is a very VERY
good and usable guide to the voicings for those
type of chords. And he doesn't stop here, as 6th
and 9th chords are next. It's evident by now that
this method is not something to work through in
one week... it's something that will and should
keep you busy for quite some time, and you should
allow yourself that time, learning and digesting
( and APPLYING ) the information provided bit
going through several other chord types (i.e.
6/9 chords), Chris gets to slash chords, which
often is a topic forgotten about in instructional
methods about chords. And slash chords can come
in VERY handy sometimes, and are a wonderful compositional
tool (used by everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to
Pat Metheny, to mention just two popular modern
examples). This section is a quite elaborate one,
and is followed by one on voice leading, which
is another topic that often is explained in a
way that causes more confusion than anything else,
while Chris manages to make it quite easy to understand.
next tackles contrapuntal movement, and if you're
new to that subject I recommend to check out his
explanation on it before you attempt to, i.e.
try to work with the explanation given by Mick
Goodrick in his book. All this would be plenty
for a complete book already, but we're not even
halfway through yet!
The next subject is scales. Starting with a simple
explanation of the major scale, Chris also gives
some quite valuable advice on technical aspects,
and then moves on to harmonizing the scale. This
should help quite a few people to understand the
construction of triads and other chords, while
working on the scale and improving their technique.
next section focuses on sequences, and this was
one of my favorite parts. It's almost like a "Hanon
for Guitarists", but the sequences here can
really easily be used in your playing the way
they are shown in the book... so you don't have
to only use them as mere exercises, which I think
again hints at real life uses of the information
provided. Once again, this book should keep you
busy for quite some time!
This also is evident in the next chapter, "Arpeggios",
once again being a very elaborate one. It's amazing
how much stuff can be found in this book.
other "classic" topics are covered,
such as Harmonic and Melodic Minor, Modes, the
pentatonic, composition, sight-reading... and
I am at the point where I believe a basic review
won't be able to truly demonstrate how valuable
this book can be to some people, and how much
stuff is in there. I remember that, while attending
GIT, I noticed that it would take me years after
graduation to work on some of the things explained
to me there, and this book is like that, too:
something that will keep you busy for a long time,
and a wonderful source of information, whether
you work through it like an actual step-by-step
method, or use it as a reference to work on a
was extremely impressed at the sheer amount of
stuff in this book, and considering the fact that
it is available for about 25 bucks (15 if you
prefer the download-version), this truly is a
steal. There are a load of books that cover most
of those topics, but the way they are explained
here, in a "stuff you can use in real life",
without endless scientific, confusing ramblings,
in a "cut to the chase", "here's
what the chord consists of, and here are some
voicings" way... that makes this book stand
out. It's obvious that Chris has years of experience
as an instructor, and it's also obvious that a
lot of thought and a lot of love went into this
for: Beginners and intermediate players, even
some advanced players who feel like they haven't
thoroughly understood some of the topics
Jennifer Batten (solo artist, guitarist for Michael
Jackson, Jeff Beck):
book has great sagely advice every creative soul
needs to absorb. I wish I'd had this when I was
a teen. It's like having your own personal musical
mentor!" -Jennifer Batten
from people who have purchased THE INFINITE GUITAR
This guitar book distills at least 20 years of a professional guitarist's experience/insights into organized units of essential concepts that help musicians understand the artistry and craftsmanship behind good musicianship. It dodges the hype that anyone can effortlessly play the guitar without any music knowledge in just 30 days. Instead, the book pops a few user-friendly quizzes to make sure that the reader hasn't flipped through the pages too carelessly. Chris has put a lot of himself into writing this book, so that others can use the guitar to express themselves. Thumb through the preview. You will already get the sense of a superb guitar resource/guide. -Tony Jones
Imagine being so good at something that you can do it with your eyes closed. You're beyond being a master at whatever it is you do. You're very humble about your talents and will teach anyone who wants to learn. You're at that highly-prized elite skill level that garners respect and accolades from everyone at large.
One day there's a workshop on this particular thing that you do so well, and you attend it for no particular reason. Lots of beginners are there as well. The speaker begins, and while everything you hear is stuff that you already know, you've never quite heard it explained in such an easy-to-understand way. Everything sounds so basic and matter-of-fact, and there's actually moments when you go 'aha!' and yes, you actually learn a few things! You can see all the beginners are absorbing everything, and they're eager to learn. You, along with other professionals, are invigorated and refreshed. A good speaker on any subject should inspire beginners, as well as jaded and experienced craftsmen.
This is just such a book, and such an author. No matter what your guitar-playing skill level, you will cherish this read. It outshines every - and I mean EVERY other guitar book on the market. The author uses some very informal chit-chat terminology here and there. It actually helps to soften some of the hard-hitting wisdom that will come at you from every angle as you turn page after page.
Really and truly the best guitar book out there, for beginner and professional players.
I got the coil-bound edition. Nice plastic coil, so it won't bend and snag in the future :) -Redsky
played guitar for over 30 years and have worked
through a lot of guitar books but nothing I've come
across comes close to Chris Jurgensen's achievement
with this book.
has a gift of presenting complex concepts in a
very accessible way that even a guitar player
can understand -:)
book presents the material in a non-linear way
that lets me learn a few concepts, practice a
few exercises and then jump to another part of
the book to learn some complimentary concepts.
For example I worked on some of the triad exercises
and when I needed a change of pace I checked out
the material on scales and it helped me understand
the triads better and also allowed me to make
up some cool riffs using my new found musical
you like cranking through a book one page at a
time there are other books that do that but Chris's
treatise on the guitar IS INFINITE in that you
could spend years with this thing and never run
out concepts to learn and exercises to put together.
all the knowledge this book has, Chris also provides
some cool perspective on the guitar, its roots,
how to practice smarter and have more fun.
to Chris for adding this mountain range to the
guitar landscape! -Carl Johnson
is the most comprehensive guitar book that I've
ever seen. Chris Juergensen has packed this book
with chords, scales, and a great deal of music theory.
If you are a serious guitar player looking to learn
more about the guitar, this is the book for you.
would think after buying 30 or so books on guitar
that I would have enough and never need another
book- well I'd convinced my wife of that at least,
but I tell you, I think I've truly found the one
book I'd have on a deserted island with my guitar
for the rest of my life.
of all, in case you haven't noticed with Chris's
online lessons, he has a way of explaining some
of the trickiest concepts on the guitar in a way
that clicks immediately and gets you applying
it to your playing as fast as possible. I've probably
looked at over 100 online lessons in the past
10 years, and I've never found any as good as
the ones he post for free. I guess this should
be of no surprise since he's a former MI-GIT instructor,
and now heads the Tokyo school of music. In other
words this guy is not just an amazing guitar player,
but a gifted educator- a combination that is hard
book is extremely well organized, the diagrams
are as legible and easy to understand as any I've
ever seen, and most importantly he covers pretty
much every essential guitar concept you need to
know about. Chris even covers traditionally difficult
and not-fun subjects such as modes, sight reading
and song writing in a way that is so clear and
easy to follow, that I just can't believe I hadn't
already found this information explained in such
a clear manner from anyone else. Again, Iím convinced
the real difference is that he is an educator
and he's spent years teaching people, and has
truly found the most efficient methods to enlighten
students quickly. After 20 years of playing, Iím
quite happy to finally have such a quality encyclopedia
of information that will keep me busy for the
rest of my life. And as if the book wasn't enough,
he regularly adds lessons to his site, so Iíve
already added 2 excellent lessons to the book
on practicing modes.
to say, I highly recommend this book- buy it today!
TRULY IS an infinite road map to playing contemporary
guitar. This book covers many many important areas
such as modes of the major and melodic minore scale,
developing a monstrous chord vocabulary, voice leading,
sight reading, ear training, harmony, and much more.
Click on "Preview Book" under picture
of the book cover to read see it's table of contents.
All this information is laid out in a very understandable
way. It's as if Chris is sitting down right in front
of you teaching you this stuff through a casual
private lesson. It's very comprehendable - this
means its NOT written using a bunch of guitar jargon
stating things in overly complicated ways simply
to boost the authors own ego. I have recommended
this book to many people because it is just so great!
And at this price, you're saving yourself alot of
money. You would have to buy several books and probably
a set of private lessons to have it all explained
to you in order to get the same amount of information
as you would with the Infinite Guitar. -Ethan
have only read the preview but I can tell you for
certain; This guy is good! He explains harmonic
concepts simply. He puts subjects in logical order.
He provides examples that any student can use as
a creative springboard for effective practice. I
have been teaching and playing professionally for
three decades and had the honor of studying with
Ted Greene while I was a studio musician in Los
Angeles. His teaching style is different than Mr.
Green's, but I would rate this instructional material
up there with Ted's. It is straightforward, clear
and fast! I am buying a copy right now. 'Nuff said?
bought your book about a year ago. I want to compliment
you! I have bought a lot of instructional material
as I study jazz guitar. I use The Infinite Guitar
constantly as a resource. It is concise, clear and
has every topic I have ever looked up. The breadth
of knowledge is astounding. Thank you again! -JayaP
Infinite Guitar" - I started adding
a new lesson every month to my site. I guess
it was just my way of spreading my knowledge
of the electric guitar around. After all,
I've had the opportunity and good fortune
to study and work with some of the best
musicians in the world and there are plenty
of young aspiring guitarists who haven't
had the same chances, either because of
financial reasons or other hardships. Let's
face it, it takes a lot of money to relocate
to Los Angeles or New York to study music
if you where born in a far away place. My
site is my way of helping out, I added a
new lesson every month for free. The response
was overwhelming, thousands of guitarists
subscribed to my newsletter and before long
I was getting a thousand hits a day to my
"lessons" page. What ended up
happening is that a Japanese publisher asked
me to rewrite the lessons for a book that
they wanted to publish in Japan in Japanese.
I didn't imagine I would get rich or anything
but what the hell, sounded like a chance
to learn something about the "book"
business. I rewrote most of the lessons
and added a bunch of other sections too
and turned the rewritten 266 page book into
them and they had it translated into Japanese
and released the book. What I ended up with
was an unpublished English version with
no place to go. I originally considered
searching for an American publisher but
decided against it because I knew they would
want to shorten it and/or charge too much
for it which would make me a hypocrite.
After all, I started the whole thing because
I wanted aspiring guitarists all over the
world to be able to study and grow without
having to get themselves into financial
ruin. So I decided to publish it myself
and offer it for a price that most anyone
could afford, $25 for the book and $15 for
the PDF. Pretty cheap for a book that I
think someone could use for years and years.
Was it easy? Absolutely not, it was an enormous
undertaking. It erased all my free time
but I'm pretty sure it will be worth it.
I wish I had this kind of book when I started
out. For those of you who use my site as
a recourse, continue to do so. The book
will simply offer you the expanded lessons
in the form of a book. A book is different
than the internet, you can read it while
you ride the train, lounge around on the
beach or in bed. You can leave it on your
coffee table and you can also teach from
it. Some of the sections are lifted right
from the site but there is plenty of new
at lulu.com >>>