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Contemporary Guitar Improvisation Master Guitar Improv Master Class

About Contemporary Guitar Improvisation by Marc Silver

This tried and tested method is based on five simple fingering patterns that form the foundation of the system. With just the five patterns, the fingerboard completely opens up in a simple, logical way that eliminates the typical barriers we've all faced at one time or another. The guitar is unique among musical instruments because guitarists can change keys by simply changing positions. Almost everything we play is moveable (up or down), without having to change fingerings. That applies to chords too! Contemporary Guitar Improvisation takes full advantage of those unique properties of the instrument.

Contemporary Guitar Improvisation will teach you:

  • How to improvise across the entire fingerboard on any single chord
  • How to improvise in one position over multiple chord changes and keys
  • Chords with fingerings and voicings that you understand and can modify
  • How to accurately (and creatively) interpret chord symbols
  • How to substitute chords
  • How to use pentatonic and blues scales over ANY types of chords
  • How to apply the 5 patterns to sightreading
  • How to analyze songs so you play the right patterns
  • Chromatic connections
  • Much more

Marc Silver & George Benson 1969
Marc Silver & George Benson 2016

Contemporary Guitar Improvisation was first published in 1978 by Dick Grove Publications, the publishing arm of The Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles. At the time, Grove was the preeminent contemporary music school on the West Coast, boasting many of Hollywood's finest studio musicians, film & TV composers, and arrangers as its faculty (Musician's Institute came later). For several years, Contemporary Guitar Improvisation was the most popular course at the school, attracting many of LA's most promising players and working professionals.

The preface to the book was contributed by jazz guitar legend George Benson, a friend and musical mentor to author Marc Silver. When the original manuscript of Contemporary Guitar Improvisation was completed in mid-1976, George wrote the preface to the book… a glowing recommendation. Not long after that, Benson won the "Record of the Year" Grammy® for This Masquerade at the 19th Grammy Awards on February 19, 1977. He also took home the "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" Grammy® for Breezin' that same night. The Breezin' album went multi-platinum and the rest (as they say) is history!

The book went on to enjoy global distribution through Alfred Publishing for almost 20 years, gaining wide acceptance from guitarists around the world who wanted an approach to improvisation that made sense to their "guitar player's mind." For thousands of guitar players, Contemporary Guitar Improvisation is the approach that finally worked for them.

Marc Silver with legendary guitarist George Benson
Marc Silver & George Benson 2013
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