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'Building the Better Guitar Scale' aims to teach the guitar student a clear, progressive method for constructing playable scale patterns for the diatonic major and minor scales and their modes. It does this by identifying simple repeating sub-patterns based on three-notes-per-string fingerings and adding a couple of simple rules for their combination. Once this material is mastered, the student is enabled to play the major scale beginning on any string and degree, and by extension the relative natural minor scale and the modes of the major scale.

This method is not new, but it does work, and it is very clearly and concisely explained here (the author does assume an adult command of language, but all the patterns are illustrated by diagrams). It is intuitive, covers the whole fingerboard without giving priority to any position, requires no reading of notation and involves a minimum of memorisation - although, as always, the real 'secret' lies in the student's willingness to commit the elements to memory and then to practice.

The value of this method is that it demystifies the fingerboard layout and the standard tuning system of the guitar, giving the student an absolutely secure reference pattern, which may then be used as a basis for further learning.

There are some necessary things that are not attempted here. The location of note names (rather than scale degrees) on the fingerboard must be learned in some other manner. Nor is the relationship between the different major scales covered: again, systematic practice of the scale patterns will be aided if the student already understands the cycle of fifths and can construct the major scales. Some hints for practise are given, and here the method seems to be aimed more at the improviser than the classical performer who might expect to be performing from sheet music.

The only real caution I would offer would be that one of the basic three-notes-per-string patterns involves a five-fret stretch that beginners may find difficult in the lower positions. The slight initial inconvenience of these stretches may be offset for finger-style players by the convenience of a consistent i-m-i, m-i-m picking pattern on each successive string pair. For pick players, three-notes-per-string also has clear advantages in facilitating more rapid and fluid movement when crossing strings. In any case, because the method is not constrained by the requirement to master the first position before any other, the player may begin in as high a position as is convenient for the fretting hand and work down as he or she becomes used to the stretches.

Excellent value for money and recommended for players who are looking for a rational, systematic and musical way of getting to grips with the fingerboard.
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on 12 October 2011
I had not come accross this concept before and found it very original and handy. At less than a pound, it was a great buy.
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on 8 February 2013
This booklet is everything it claims to be. It is very clearly laid out and explained and the whole concept of it is brilliant. It teaches how to work out scales for yourself using three simple patterns. These patterns are contained in all books on scales; what is so clever here is how the author has demonstrated how the patterns relate to each other; this enables you to play the scales anywhere on the neck without learning them as separate entities. He explains it far better than I can do justice to. Buy the book, it would be worth paying a lot more money for than the 20p Kindle ask for it.
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on 31 January 2012
What an interesting book. illustrates the patterns of guitar scales on the neck to make them easy to understand. There have been many books and concepts that address this complicated issue, and this complements others. It doesn't teach how to apply the scales, but it gives an exceptionally (and innovative) clear way to view the major scale and its modes on the neck. to mix metaphors, it's part of a picture, and not the whole story, but it's a useful short cut.
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on 30 July 2013
This book neatly packages up a simple method of learning your way around the fretboard. I found it useful as it put together some ideas I had already had but did not link together. This book solved that.
People have complained that it doesn't solve all their issues, and sure it won't. But its a handy 70 page book for very little money so this sounds churlish to me.
If you have a problem with finding your way around the fret board then buy it. You will find it useful.

PS Note to author. It would have been a better book if it considered decending scales as well as ascending ones - having the root note under your first pinkie is less usefull that with it under your second or third (IMHO). But don't let that put off anyone from buying it. Its simple to apply the principles of the book to fill in the gaps yourself.
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on 26 May 2014
Have played guitar for 30 years
This simple book has in one week made huge steps in my guitar playing
So, so simple, yet have never seen this before anywhere

Can't find anything more about the author?
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on 13 September 2013
This is a simple, easy to learn formula which opens up the neck for improvisation in modes and scales. Given the size of the book I didn't hold out much hope for this being the "see results in fifteen minutes" it sort of sells itself as, but this really does do exactly that. A great, simple and extremely effective way of addressing the guitar neck. Well worth the money.
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on 7 August 2013
OK perhaps not compulsory, but I've been playing for years and have never thought of, or come across this system before.
I wish that I had, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and improved my playing.
I would recommend this to all guitarists or would be guitarists.This system would be extremely useful for composition and or improvisation.
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2016
Such a remarkable book. It's like stumbling into a secret club. I've looked for other resources that mention the system in this book but no one else does it in this exact manner. Amazing. Truly amazing. I learnt the shapes in about a week.
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on 8 April 2013
does exactly what the title says it does, shows how to build a scale in different keys. It was offered cheap, and its good to keep it handy although I guess once you've used it a few times you'll understand how it works!
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