The Rifftionary: 132 of the World's Most Famous Guitar Riffs Paperback – 16 Aug 2004
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Top customer reviews
There's a predictable rock/metal bias (lots of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Van Halen etc) but enough other stuff to keep anybody interested. Also, this is a book for players of all levels - starting from 'Smoke On The Water' all the way to the fantastic solo part from Stevie Wonder's 'Sir Duke' (which is a real memory test!).
A book like this could never hope to be complete and there are some unfortunate exclusions, presumably because of licensing or copyright issues. For example, there are no Lennon/McCartney entries (the only Beatles entry is 'Money That's What I Want' which was not written by them) which is a shame because songs like 'Day Tripper' would have been a perfect inclusion. Another notable exclusion is Guns'n'Roses - 'Sweet Child o'Mine' would have been perfect too - and also note that (at time of writing) the Amazon review section incorrectly lists 'Brown Sugar' which is not included in the book (the only Stones entry is 'Start Me Up'). My final gripe is that although other indie guitar stars such as Johnny Marr and John Squire have several entries, Bernard Butler has been overlooked.
Of course, gripes like that are entirely subjective, and the main point is that there is plenty here for everyone from real guitar classics (the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton each have several entries), more modern classics such as Nirvana and Radiohead, right up to the present day with entries by The White Stripes, The Hives and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Of course all this would be pointless if the transcriptions were inaccurate but as far as I can tell it's all correct (as each section is presumably extracted from more complete transcriptions). Also, the text sections are useful and fun (the section for 'Livin' On A Prayer' advises players to 'eat a light breakfast and go to bed early the night before') but technical enough for more advanced players (for example, some sections mention the scale mode the riff uses).
All in all as you can probably tell I'm pretty keen on this book - this is a cracking book for even a mediocre guitar player (like me), and even though you could probably find almost all of this information from other books or web sites this is definitely a book worth having, it's reasonably priced, and despite the exclusions (perhaps a volume 2 is in the pipeline?) is definitely worth five stars.
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