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Here's what Master Bassist Igor Saavedra has to say about Bass EncycloMedia:.
The depth of information and the author's ability to find the best and most innovative ways to present the fundamental aspects of music surprised me. I found the use of scale degrees to symbolize sound on the fretboard to be a creative, realistic and direct approach that is of tremendous benefit to those wanting to understand music theory on the bass. And the immediate application of acquired musical knowledge to a specific song greatly enhances long term memory. I highly recommend Bass EncycloMedia to any one who wants to build a solid foundation of the melodic and harmonic aspects of the Bass. My most sincere congratulations to Mike Overly for writing this fantastic educational tool.
Guitar Encyclomedia and Fretboard Flashcards - by Chris Bereznay of www.musicgearreview.com.
Mike Overly has been teaching, performing and positively impacting the lives of guitarists for decades. If you visit the 12 Tone Music site at <http://www.12tonemusic.com> and read his bio, it's enough to make you wonder if there's any hope for you if you didn't start in music at the wee toddler ages. It's this type of experience and background, though, that have gone into some of the finest instructional materials for the guitar that I've ever seen. What I'm talking about folks is the Guitar Encyclomedia and Fretboard Flashcards from Mike Overly and 12 Tone Music Publishing.
If you're like me, and probably a lot of other guitarists out there, you started playing and "kind-of" taught yourself by reading magazines, playing with others, listening to recordings, etc. You might have learned power chords first; maybe even learned alternate picking so that you could play those fast solos just like Eddie Van Halen. After a few months or even years, though, your skills began to flat-line. You ended up playing the same things over and over again because this is what you were comfortable with. If you're not like me, you're lucky. I've been playing for close to 20 years now and I probably 'flat-lined' years ago. Lately, though, I've taken a renewed interested in developing my skills and decided to start looking around for good sources on theory and fretboard skills.
While cruising the web a few weeks ago, I ran into an ad for the Guitar Encyclomedia by Mike Overly. To me, "encyclomedia" was denoting a complete guitar reference and that was exactly what I was looking for. Something I could refer to as I began to "teach myself" again the subtle and not so subtle nuances of guitar and theory. What I found when the packaged arrived, however, was not just a simple all-encompassing reference. What I found was a detailed and thorough series of adventures around the fretboard. Structured in lesson format, I began to embark on a new educational journey that would ultimately lead to many string changes for my brand new Strat.
You see I've always been the guy that took more pride in my creative abilities and the songs, chord progressions, riffs and licks that I would come up with, than with how many Led Zeppelin riffs I could memorize. The nice thing about the Guitar Encyclomedia, though, is that it can benefit both types of guitarists. Those that tend to be songwriters, though, ultimately stand to benefit far greater from this excellent reference. Those of you who fall into this category know who you are. How many times have you been working on a really cool chord progression and just can't seem to find the next chord to make the whole piece tie together? Frustrating, isn't it? After using these tools, my friends, you will never ask the question "What do I play the second time through this song?"
Mike Overly lays the foundation around what some refer to as the CAGED system. This is where the fundamental principles of guitar are taught around the 5 major chord forms that are movable all over the neck of the guitar. Mike often quips that all you ever needed to know is what you "learned at your first lesson"!
Probably one of the coolest features of the Guitar Encyclomedia is that it presents its material in four parts; CHORD - SCALE - ARPEGGIO - SONG. According to Mike Overly, "Theoretically, scales come first and from the letters and tones of the scale, chords and arpeggios are spelled (constructed). However, I've chosen to introduce chords first because we tend to hear the harmony (chords) of a song and then play a melody (scale) that fits the chords." I can attest that this approach works and is more effective than burying you in some theory that you can't relate anything to. The chord structures and forms that come first give you something to relate to and help to build your understanding of scales and arpeggios on top of them - leading finally to song structure.
One of my favorite activities while reviewing these products over the past several weeks has been to sit down and go through various sections of the Guitar Encyclomedia and write new songs based on some of the variations present. At the end of each major section in the book you'll find a song that highlights the information presented in the pages preceding it. This is extremely useful as it gives you an immediate opportunity to practice the skills you've learned. What I will do is make a quick recording, usually with an acoustic guitar, laying down rhythm tracks with the chords in the song. Then, once this recording is made, I'll go over the scales and arpeggios to enhance the impact that the material has just made. This has helped retention greatly.
In addition to the Guitar Encyclomedia, Music Gear Review also received the Fretboard Flashcards that Mike Overly and 12 Tone Music offer. We received the guitar, 4 string and 5 string bass guitar versions and in addition to the material covered in the Guitar Encyclomedia, have been heavily utilizing these as well. The Flashcards are organized in a color-coded scheme and where on one side there is a string number and a letter. On the back of the card, the trainee has to correctly identify the fret that the note on the front represents. In addition, the student can see a picture of the fretboard with the location of the note clearly located for visualization purposes. For those of you studying how to read standard notation, don't fret ( no pun intended ), there's also staff notation! It's like a complete Fretboard map in a stack that's almost the same size as a deck of cards - which makes them portable too! My poor wife has been promoted to "teacher" and I've been bugging her a few times a week to test me on the flashcards. What I need to mention here though is that alone, they do a great job of familiarizing you with the fretboard. Combined with another approach, however, they're twice as effective. For the past week I've also been testing the "Absolute Fretboard" software and the two combined together have really been helping me make some progress. I would recommend that with anything though. Although the Guitar Encyclomedia and Fretboard Flashcards are some of the finest instructional items we've seen here at Music Gear Review, we highly recommend supplementing as well as "mixing and matching" methods. One of the hardest things about any musical theory is maintaining your interest. If your only approach is the Guitar Encyclomedia book, you're going to burn out on it. Sure, the Flashcards add some shelf life to the equation, but definitely utilize as many different avenues as you can without confusing yourself.
Bottom Line:... The simple truth is that the Guitar Encyclomedia and Fretboard Flashcards provide the learning guitarist with more than enough tools for the money. What is contained in these packages would take years upon years and hundreds if not thousands of dollars of guitar lessons to obtain. Depending on the teacher that you routinely visit, you may not even get some of this information. I would highly recommend these tools to anyone that's looking to improve their skills on the guitar. I would even recommend this to some guitar instructors so that they are careful not to miss any important topics when planning their lessons for their students. Mike Overly and 12 Tone Music Publishing have done a wonderful job at presenting the information. I also understand that in addition to the workbook mentioned above, there's also a CD and tape in the works that will eventually accompany the manual. The only suggestion or request I would make to Mike Overly is to add some more color and possibly some "hand on the fretboard" images to the book on one of the future revisions.
In conclusion, I could have gone over every little detail of what is in the Guitar Encyclomedia. I didn't for a reason. I really think you need to browse your way over to the 12 Tone Music site and check out the information for yourself. There's over a dozen sample lessons from the book out on the website so you'll really get a feel for the quality of the materials you'd be getting if you purchased the book and the flash cards. If you are committed to developing your skills, you owe it to yourself to get the book and the flashcards. For basically $80, you'll have a complete reference for guitar. 5 out of 5 Picks!
Guitar EncycloMedia Review - by Gunharth Randolf of www.guitar4u.com
With his impressive book, Guitar EncycloMedia, Mike thoroughly explains all the musical tools you run across as a guitarist - scales, intervals, pentatonic, arpeggios, chords, etc... the list is endless. It is one of the most complete music and guitar reference books I have ever come across, equally addressing intermediate and advanced players - although I think that it could be somewhat confusing to the absolute beginners due to the huge information flood.
The strength of Guitar EncycloMedia lies in it's timeless topics, meaning you can look up a topic when you want to learn more about it, or, need information about it, rather than studying the entire book in one sitting.
Prerequisite: Personally I suggest that you have already spent some time with your guitar. 5 stars.