Contemporary Guitar Improvisation Book Reviews
Premier Guitar Magazine May 2012 Story of Contemporary Guitar Improvisation
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Guitar Player Magazine April 2012 Review of Contemporary Guitar Improvisation
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"Marc Silver's book, Contemporary Guitar Improvisation is where 90% of what I do comes from. It is, in my opinion, THE most informative book that unlocks the mysteries of the fretboard that I have EVER seen. This book is my musical bible."
— Vincent LaBauve
Former lead guitarist for Barry White, Ike Turner, The Chambers Brothers, and The Coasters.
"This book is TERRIFIC!!! Before reading Marc Silver's book, I must have bought 9 or 10 other "learn to Improvise" books and did not really understand any of them! Contemporary Guitar Improvisation presents the scales / modes and what chords you can play them against in a very easy to understand way. After only a few chapters I found myself saying "Oh--I get it now!!" In fact, once I had gone thru Marc's book, I went back and found that I could now understand what all the previous books I had been trying to say."
"I HIGHLY recommend this book. It has greatly improved my ability to improvise. With the system presented, I now understand what scales / modes I can play against what chords, and how to get to those scales easily within the entire range of the fretboard."
— Gregg Woods
Lead guitarist for Petty Theft
"As a young guitarist, one of the first serious books that helped take me to a better overall understanding of the guitar fretboard
and how to best utilize it for improvisation was a book by Marc Silver, entitled Contemporary Guitar Improvisation.
I still have my original spiral-bound copy and still use it as a practice guide, as it is chocked full of a lifetime's worth of valuable
theory. My cassette has long disintegrated, the the lessons that Marc has shared continue to propel me further into the vastness
of sonic creations! I am so glad this book entered my life when it did and I recommend it to anyone wanting to broaden their
— Howard Brotine
"I took Marc Silver's class (taught from his book) at Dick Grove's school around 1979/80. The class was full. Marc taught a very good class. I came from a pentatonic rock background wanting to expand my knowledge of the fretboard. Marc's book and class nailed it for me. Most guitarists think in patterns when they are soloing. His concept was easy to grasp and enabled me to play solos over key changes as well as chord changes. You don't need to be a sight reader to study his course. His concept of patterns enabled me to move anywhere I choose on the fretboard during a solo. OR...to stay in one place on the fretboard and follow any chord or key changes. This course also teaches you the music theory behind these patterns. So, you end up understanding what you are doing and why you are doing it. I don't normally comment on reviews, etc. But, I am grateful to Marc and his system. Marc, if you read this, I am sincerely grateful."
— Mike R.
"I have been playing guitar for 43 years professionally, and my credo is, you can never stop learning. I flipped through the book this afternoon and I am going back to school. You have laid out everything in a way I have never seen before, and I am going to follow your method step by step as you say, even as I continue to play and record with my band. At the age of 57, I think I have a lot to learn yet! Thanking you in music,"
— David Hinds
"I have taught over 2,000 students since the 1970's. This is the ONLY method I recommend for improv to my students as it gets right to the point and doesn’t waste your time or confuse you... like 99% of all other methods seem to do. I have noticed other people try to copy this method over the years, but this is the original and Marc knows how to teach, so order it today – you will wonder why you didn’t start using this a long time ago."
— Jon Rittmann
"I picked up the book without a CD from a music store 10 years ago. I love it! Best book on the subject - and I have about 30 books on guitar playing - no joke. I saw the book & CD noted in Guitar Player magazine and now ordered the replacement CD. I am very excited about this find! I wondered when your book would be available again! I hope every aspiring guitar player gets a copy. Thanks so much for your work!"
— David Raquet
"Marc's system of improvisational guitar teaching is the hand that turns on the light switch in the guitarist's mind so that he really does understand what he is doing, and where he is going on the fingerboard. To be able to play that weird chord passage, and to intuitively know how to improvise with it, has gotten this 9th chord funk player smiles and nods of respect from jazz players."
— Tony Arsene
Los Angeles, CA
"I bought Contemporary Guitar Improvisation by Marc Silver in 1982 and I must say that that book really opened up new horizons for me. Prior to that purchase, I used to improvise using pentatonic or blues scales exclusively. After I practiced the material in the book for some time, I could feel that my improvisations had a different and a lot richer feel. So many years later, I still use the five patterns presented in the book as a basis for most of my improvisations in any style of music. Contemporary Guitar Improvisation is definitely among the three or four most useful guitar music instructional books I have ever bought. Thanks a lot Marc."
— J.A. Courtay
"I received your book about a week ago and I wanted to let you know that your book is far better than all the books I have finished before."
— Brian Michel
"Back in the 90's I had gotten a gig in the pit band of a jazz show and your book saved my life. I got all of the necessary chords and substitutions from the book. You have the best easiest to use and remember system on chords. In the last year or so I wasted $125 on jamplay.com and have looked at countless you tube lessons, DVD packages and the like. I finally remembered your course and dug it out. It's far superior to everything out there today. I describe Contemporary Guitar Improvisation as The Berklee School of Music in a single book. Thanks for writing it."
— Dan O'Connor
"I finally found my original copy of your amazing book, bought from Dick Grove School of Music in the late '70s; so happy new generations have access to the magical world of those five patterns and their connectivity across the fingerboard!"
— Bonnie Char
"I just wanted to thank you for a very informative book. I read the reviews and was a bit skeptical, because I have read many books on this topic that don't really deliver the goods. This book breaks it down in a very simple and logical way. Thanks again."
— Greg Clarke
Woodbridge, New Jersey
"Contemporary Guitar Improvisation is one of the definitive reference books for learning to improvise across the entire fingerboard. Learning from Marc’s book and CD is almost as good as having him in your living room teaching you the detailed nuances of his unique system.Although Marc modestly states his system is “conceived out of SOUND, not theory,” his book is essentially where theory and praxis meet. For example, after mastering the 5 patterns with their chord and fingerboard applications in lessons 1 & 2, I moved into lesson 3, which deals with applying the 5 patterns to sightreading. The layout of the “Sightreading Application” section, mapping out the notes of the fingerboard in relation to the 5 patterns is alone worth the price of the book. And then there are 5 more lessons that take you even further. If one is willing to devote time to a structured learning program, this is the book - the net results are astonishing to say the least. Highly recommended.
— K.S. Chan
"Greetings. Just a quick note to let you know the book and CD arrived in excellent shape.
I had a copy of Contemporary Guitar Improvisation with the cassette some 30+ years ago.
I'm very pleased to see it is available again... and to own another copy. Also, my younger
brother borrowed it and become a pretty good player too. Many thanks.
— Paul Phillips
Langley, British Columbia