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on 29 April 2013
This e-book is an instructional guide to playing the guitar. Its main aims are: to teach the player a systematic understanding of the guitar fingerboard; and then to guide the player into using that knowledge to play relatively sophisticated single-note lines all over the neck over standard blues changes.

Joseph Alexander clearly knows his stuff. The layout of the material is logical and progressive. The CAGED system of basic chord shapes is used to provide a fixed scaffolding. Once the player can visualise the neck in terms of these simple chord shapes, Alexander demonstrates how this fixed framework can be used to integrate these chords with the minor pentatonic scale, so that the player can move easily between positions without getting lost.

Having taught the basic positions in one key, the book then teaches the player how to play in multiple keys in a single position. The blues scale, mixolydian mode and major pentatonic are gradually introduced. In each case the scale is integrated with a set of reference chords and related to the scales the player has already learned, so that more and more note choices are made available without losing sight of the underlying framework that keeps the player orientated.

This is a very usable manual for self-instruction. The insistence on visual mastery of the fingerboard – illustrated in clear fingerboard diagrams - pays off quickly, and Alexander's musical examples - downloadable from his site - place the emphasis on real music rather than sterile exercises. (The audio files are duplicated in the book in standard notation and tab.) I haven't seen this material laid out in such a clear and systematic manner anywhere else. Although Alexander assumes a basic familiarity with the instrument, he also covers such matters as how to select and hold a pick, and it's conceivable that with a little experienced guidance even a complete beginner could use this book to acquire the basis for a sound technique.

It should be noted that the written musical examples – rather than the fingerboard diagrams - are much more clearly visible on a tablet-sized or larger device than on the smaller e-reader screens. I used the free Kindle for PC software and had no problems. This is the only small reservation I have about the book, which offers a great deal of useful material and a learning system that will be of permanent value for later work. At the current low price it is tremendous value for money.

Highly recommended, particularly for the player who is encountering the limitations of a randomly-acquired technique.
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on 21 May 2013
I have been playing a while, but as the author observes, I always go to that same old scale position where I feel comfortable and this I feel is holding back my playing. This book is helping me to get a better grasp of playing in all positions on the neck.
I downloaded the audio files from the link in the book and they are of a very good quality and most useful.
As I bought on kindle I emailed the author for the free .pdf as suggested in the book for printing out exercises and received a mail back with the .pdf file within a few hours :) I like the licks provided, sound very cool to me and the author suggests ways of personalizing them.
Great value for money and exceptional support from the author, I have no hesitation in recommending this book.
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on 30 January 2017
I bought this book after doing some research as I had been looking for a book that explains the CAGED system after viewing some youtube videos on the subject. This book had good reviews so I decided to give it a try. The book explains the concepts and a very clear and succinct way and is easy to follow. The main concept in the book is to understand how the basic root position chord shapes connect and repeat across the fretboard and in so doing overlay the major/pentatonic scales. This really does unlock the guitar fretboard and tying licks/arpeggios to specific chord shapes then creates a palette of connected shapes and phrases for improvisation/soloing. Would recommend to others without hesitation.
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on 25 June 2017
This book is very good. The licks are relatively easy to learn and well presented with each example being presented in both Tab and Notation form so you can practice your music reading skills as well.
The musical examples which you download make learning the licks easier as you can hear how the licks go before you practice them.
I would recommend this book to both learners and experienced player alike as even then experienced player will pick up technique from it.
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on 2 April 2017
I return to this book periodically, having digested a section, worked through it and incorporated the learning in my practising and learning new licks and songs. The explanations are written in an easy to digest, logical style, and the supporting audio aids understanding. For me, Guitar is a long term learning project, and Joseph Alexanders books are an essential part of my learning, and I look forward to continuing learning in my retirement years, when the guitar and I will age disgracefully!
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on 16 April 2017
Implies it's suitable for beginners, but far from it. Immediately lost at example 2b.
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on 12 May 2013
from frank....

if you are struggling with your guitar playing or don't know what direction to take your playing then try out this book,its a fun way to learn the caged system and you get the bonus of blues licks and check out the website at fundamental-changes.com for more great books and lessons,i like this book and the teaching methods and have purchased another 2 books from the same author-keep up the good work-look forward to more lessons.
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on 9 April 2013
Having played blues style guitar for many years and been stuck in the same soloing box between frets 5-8 and being reluctant to jump up the frets without losing the thread, this book has given me a new lease of life. It shows very clearly how the five positions for the main blues scales interact with each other so you can move seamlessly up and down the fretboard.

The author also reacted very quickly to help me to download a pdf version and the audio files. Very helpful indeed.

I would recommend this book to anyone, whether a beginner or more advanced in blues playing. There is always something to learn and the audio backing tracks are there to help improve your confidence.
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on 21 May 2017
Well written, well thought out introduction to the basics of blues guitar using the CAGED system. Will take new guitar players a long way forwards, and for those with more experience could open a new way to see the fretboard and add to your arsenal of licks. Well worth checking out.
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on 17 June 2013
I bought this book for my dad so that he had a reference for learning the CAGED system and pentatonic scales. By using the "look inside" feature I was able to see, before I bought it, that the book contained errors. I decided to buy it anyway and manually correct the mistakes. The errors are in the minor pentatonic transcriptions where some incorrect notes are notated. Overall, it seems a good enough resource for him. If you are a beginner I would be wary of this book if you do not have anyone to work through it with you/correct the mistakes. Another issue (that I was unable to see before buying) is that all of the licks are in 12/8 time, however, they should still be sufficient to give you some ideas if you are a beginner.
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