Jazz, Blues, and Rock Guitar is often based in large part on improvisation. Such improvisation is never wholly without structure and the reason that improvisation “works” is due to the inherent structure that lies behind various scales and chordal structures. Music, even in forms that contain much improvisation, shows an incredible amount of structure and order. Many guitarists are not fully aware of this musical order and how it can benefit and grow their playing. In this book, Magic Modes for Guitar, professional guitar instructor John McCoy seeks to correct the lack of knowledge that some guitarists have in the area of improvisation and chordal structure.
In this almost 100 page ebook, McCoy carefully and clearly shows the connections between rhythm and lead guitar and teaches the student a variety of chord structures and lead scales along the way. The first portion of the book is devoted to musical theory reviewing some of the basics including major and minor scales, triads and seventh chords, and then moving into the composers chart, the cycle of fifths, and the nature of modes. Section 2 provides a number of charts providing the student with many scales to memorize including pentatonic scales, blues and country scales, mode patterns, and harmonic minor and major phrygian scales.
Section 3 includes a number of songs with performance notes in various modes and keys allowing the student to apply this new knowledge in a musical performance context. After all, with all that heavy lifting in the music theory, one better be able to have some fun at the end! And this is exactly what the student will find, much enjoyment in their increased knowledge of the guitar and more confidence in using the guitar to engage in musical creativity. McCoy also includes 28 recorded mp3′s in various modes and keys that include recordings with chords only allowing the student to improvise and recordings with leads allowing the student to try their hand at rhythm guitar.
Having learned much of this material with John McCoy many years ago, I can vouch for the usefulness of this material as well as the lucid presentation that McCoy provides in this book. For only $15, you get almost 100 pages of material in addition to 28 recordings designed to help the student apply this musical knowledge in a real playing context. I highly recommend this work for guitar students and teachers!