... you'll like this. I have just finished lesson 2 out of 13. Each lesson has taken me a good while to master and the difficulty has definitely gone up a notch since the last chapter of the preceeding book, with which it shares the same many strenghths and very few weaknesses.
You begin by learning more scales up and down the neck, just like in the first book, but this time playing 3 notes per string and crossing the fret board from 6th to 1st string as you move up. A real strength of the series: you build up good technique... so long as you are prepared to practice hard.
Rhythm and lead tabs for each piece and the first two sound great. Both have slow and fast versions - but the slow versions aren't very. I had to practice piece 2 for hours and hours before I could keep up. I've listend to piece 3 and think the same will apply... Again, advice on fingering and, in piece 2, pick direction would have been welcome... but you can get there on your own. John Ganapes talks for a few seconds on the CD before each piece... fine the 1st time you hear it, irritating the 100th... he should have left this for the book.
Nobody claims this is a beginner's book, but for those who have gone through "Blues you can use" and liked that (and most do) then I think you'll like this too. I worry that it may become too difficult... but I was anxious about that at one stage of "Blues you can use" and still made it to the end. So I think progress through this book will be slow, but, if I last the course, well worth the effort.
There's also a website supporting this series and John Ganapes even replied very constructively to feedback I sent... you really can't ask for much more...
A long way to go but first impressions are that John Ganapes has maintained the high standard of his first book, I marked that harshly at 4 stars so I mark this at 5... perhaps a little generous, but that works out at an average of 4.5 which is pretty much on the nose! I'll write an update, for better or worse, in a few months...
... well over a year later and I'm almost ashamed to say I'm still working through this book, I'm just about to start lesson 10 out of 13. Why so slow? The pieces are definitely tougher... but by this stage it's no longer beginners' stuff... the theory is also heavy: I've really struggled to memorise 3rds and 6ths... and learning the major and minor arpeggio patterns is also filling up the brain. But I'm pretty sure now that I will finish this book. Main complaint... as I said before: the CD plays some pieces far too fast and the unnecessary chat before each piece remains irritating. But, work through this book (perhaps, like me, while doing other easier stuff on the side) and you should have all the skills you need to develop into a pretty decent player - at least that's what I'm hoping. I think this is a top series and that my earlier marking of somewhere between 4 and 5 stars was correct - buy it, but be prepared to work the brain as well as the fingers.