Fretboard Theory

Posted by | Posted in General | Posted on 28-05-2011-05-2008


Fretboard Theory

Fretboard Theory by Desi Serna teaches music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, modes, and details to hundreds of popular songs. Hands-on approach to guitar theory gives you total command of the fretboard and music’s most criti

List Price: $ 19.95

Price: $ 19.95

Comments posted (3)

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Clear, Easy to understand, Practical applications, May 26, 2008
M. Popovich “M.P.” (CA) –

I have been playing on and off for about 10 years. I have read fretboard theory books before, the CAGED system included, jazz comping, and numnerous books on Modes. I can honestly say not one of them explain the application as well as this book (and videos).

Most of what Serna teaches you probably have seen before; but what is unique about this material is the application. I dont know how many times before in other material the CAGED system, pentatonic scale, and modes have beenn disussed but never applied with actual examples. This course ties it all togther. At least it did for me. For the first time ever, I understand how modes are actually used and which are common and which are rare. Try finding that info in any other course – never happen.

Throughout the course Serna provides examples from the book and videos of how to apply what you have learned from actual songs you have heard on the radio etc.. Although he makes no attempt to teach the entire song, he gives you the understanding to figure it out yourself; so if you want to be told where to put your fingers to play a particular song this is not your book/course. If you want to learn and be able to figure things out, this course should be very helpful. It has been for me at least. Also, I think he does not reproduce entire songs ver batem because the music industry is closing down sites that directly reproduce artist intellectual property. That is why all the courses are now teaching methods “in the style of… Jimi Hendrix etc”.

I play electric blues. I make no attempt to play top 40 cover tunes so my goal is to learn my own style for myself so I need to understand what I am doing and how to figure things out. Without a doubt this book (and videos) has accomplished more in the last month than almost all the other material combined because for the first time ever it “connected the numerous dots” that other courses have failed to do. For example I never fully understood how the pentatonic patterns, both major and minor, tie in to the CAGED system as well as the arpeggio form of the chord.

I do not recommend the course for beginners that do not know too many chords or progressions yet. Also I do not recommend it for those who simply want to “play” without understanding the underlying theory.

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good grasp on solid information, November 8, 2006

This is my first guitar learning book besides a Mel Bay book that one of my friends gave me a while ago. I am pleased with this book and I do find it helpful. I certainly have no regrets from buying it. I also like how the author gives a personal touch by sending and replying to e-mails. He also sends links to some extra materials that compliment the material in the book.
I just want to add that I do know music theory from my years playing sax, if that weighs on my review at all.

I’m sure that anyone who wants to get a solid hold on the basics of playing guitar without learning music theory will benefit greatly from this book. It covers the pentatonic patterns, CAGED chord patterns, arpeggio patterns, interval patterns, major scale patterns, and a few other things, and relates them to each other very well. The visuals are used very effectively to teach the relations. You don’t need to sight read to learn from this book and you will not learn how to sight read from it. The emphasis is on patterns and shapes and relating them to songs as well as to each other. This is a very effective and simple way to learn the fretboard and it is done very well in this book. The author is very descriptive of how to apply what he is teaching to playing songs, and the song references are great if you are able to play by ear (because the music is not written in the book, and it would cost a fortune to buy all of the sheet music). The author also encourages the reader to contact him at the end of each chapter so I don’t think you will have any problem getting answers to any questions you have.

The book sits very easily on my music stand thanks to the spiral binding, and the material is presented extremely well. I get the impression that the author put a lot of love into this creation.

This book is marketed very well here on Amazon because, as you can see, no reviewer has anything bad to say about it. However, I was a little mislead by the statement in the description “The ONLY BOOK IN THE WORLD that includes important details to hundreds of popular songs.” The author does explain how to relate the material from the book to the songs listed (by title and artist) in the book, but I think the description goes a little overboard.

Overall – This is a keeper and a great resource for learning to use the fretboard in an effective and simple way. I wouldn’t say it’s going to make you a great player because only practice and constant learning can do that, but it’s a good starting place and a good guide to the basics of the fretboard. I was looking for a guide to learning my way around the fretboard and this book put it together in a way I could see it, know it and use it.

For more in depth study I plan on getting a different book (maybe the Berklee Method) to learn the more complete and technical theory and practice of the guitar, but I also enjoy learning that type of stuff.

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
3.0 out of 5 stars
Overlaps with Fretboard Logic, but has some useful info on modes, December 3, 2010
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This book overlaps a great deal with Fretboard Logic vols 1&2 which I purchased at the same time. It shows you the CAGED chords, scales from the chords, etc. I got about halfway thru the book when I started to see some things I didn’t know already. I consider myself an intermediate player.

The way he explains modes is unique, to my knowledge, and very helpful. The mode is in context of what root it’s played over. You can’t hear the mode of a scale without hearing the root underneath. This alone made the book worth the price of admission for me, and I’m still working through the rest of it.

Some silly things: (1) Auhor lists examples of songs that contain what he is teaching. A list of songs with the E chord in them, oh yeah! Later this is somewhat more useful, for example a list of songs with chromatic scales, or mostly seventh chords. Many of author’s teachings cite the same songs as example without specifying what part of the song is relevant to what’s being taught. I know there’s copyright issues but without this the examples are next to useless.

(2) Author shows the treble staff, the guitar tab, the bass staff, and the bass tab for each example. But never does the bass tab differ from the guitar tab! This is just a waste of space. Honestly, if I wanted to learn bass I’d buy a bass book.

Neither this book nor Fretboard Logic place much emphasis on learning where the root of a scale pattern resides. I know the value of this so I’m going to pencil this in myself.

I guess it’s of value to me if I learned something from it. I have yet to discover the perfect guitar book and I don’t think it exists. I give it three stars.

Friends of the author marking my review as unhelpful: you may fire when ready.

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