Rock Guitar for Adults by Tobias Hurwitz is presented in a similar manner, although there are significant differences. The first four chapters set up the budding player with some very important first steps. They are “Rock Chords;” “Getting Bluesy;” “Fun with Chord Progressions;” and “Spice Up the Strumming.”
From here, Hurwitz takes us into similar territory as to where Riker did in the Blues book – the world of lead guitar improvisation. There are some obvious differences between blues and rock, but learning how to solo over the chord structures is key to both. I found the chapter titled “Jamming” to be a lot of fun, and the sidebar “Things Not to Do in Any Jam Session” is hilarious.
The last four chapters give the student some insight as to what techniques are favored by rock heroes such as Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix. You may not walk away from Rock Guitar for Adults being able to play at the level of those guys, but you will at least have a deeper understanding of what they are doing.
Both books include a CD, with demonstrations of all of the examples offered inside. As a self-taught, and decidedly amateur player, I had been stuck at the same level for years. Both of these books have helped me to improve my skill set. There is something about working your way through books such as these that tends to focus your attention. I found myself making time to practice every night, which was a bonus in itself.
For anyone whose playing may have stalled out over the years, these books are highly recommended. If you are just starting out, then the previously mentioned Beginning Guitar for Adults should be tackled first. Once you have gotten through that one – it took me about six weeks – you will be ready to take things a step further. For those who are looking to learn guitar, these titles cannot be beat.