Fretboard Theory Reviews?

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NoteBoat
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Re: Fret Board Theory

Post by NoteBoat » July 6th, 2008, 9:23 am

Not a good idea to make your first post a pitch for a product. Makes everybody's spam radar turn on.
Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

mkelly09
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by mkelly09 » November 9th, 2009, 12:45 pm

I know i'm bring up an old thread, but does anybody have any legitimate reviews for this book? To be honest, i was almost sold on it until i realized that everyone here giving the good reviews had just signed specifically to answer the OPs question.. definitely seems fishy. Almost as if the author himself found the post and made multiple accounts to try and sell his book.

is there a better book out there that covers similar topics?

ATguitarist
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by ATguitarist » November 30th, 2009, 10:29 am

Hi,

saw your message and thought I'd take a crack at providing an answer. First, I did in fact sign up to this forum in response to this question (thought I'd make that clear since there seems to be some doubt about the authenticity of some of the older posts). I just recently got the book so I can only offer an initial impression.

But first a little background. I started playing guitar at age 16 using the old Metal Method stuff. I spent about a year with a guitar teacher who was more classic rock oreiented, then about 6 months with a classical teacher before he moved. later had a semester of Music Theory (though it was classroom, pen and paper isntruction so I never sucecssfully applied most of what I learned - but have been due to my own lack of self discipline at the time!). So I ended up with some knowledge of chords, a handful of scales, and a bag of tricks picked up form other guitar players. I eventually ran out of ideas that I was happy with and didn't touch a guitar for 8 years. picked it back up about a year and half ago and have been mostly learning songs.

However, I decided that this time around I wanted to become a better guitar player than I had been so I started looking at currently available materials (holy cow!!! there is so much good stuff versus when I started playing back in the mide 80s). I initially looked at Fretboard Logic. Good (if a little unorthodox in presentation), but I wanted a little more than what Bill Edwards presents. Next I looked at books more in depth theory wise - there are many good ones but I wanted something more practical at this point and time.

Ran across Desi Serna's Fretboard Theory, liked what I saw and ordered the book. Having had a chance to look at it, I ordered the videos a few days ago after watching the previews. Thought it'd be helpful to see demonstrations of the material.

It seems that Desi's approach is more "applied theory" - more like what you'd get via one on one guitar instruction than what you'd get in a classroom setting. In a way (and this is only my opinion), it is like Fretboard Logic on steroids. Like FBL, FT focuses on the CAGED sytem but where it surpases FBL is in the more robust theory to go along with it.

I feel that Serna presents things in such a manner that it will be immediately useful in what I am currently playing as well as provide a very solid foundation should I decide to branch out into more advanced topics. That being the case, I have commited to working through the materials to completion. I do plan on supplementing with materials to improve my right hand technique, and will be learning songs (I am also a gigging musician again!) as well as picking up some new licks but Serna's books and videos will form the core of my studies for quite awhile.

Anyway, this is my initial impression. I think it was money well spent but I'll come back and post a followup after I've had some time to work with the stuff.

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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by kingpatzer » December 1st, 2009, 5:07 am

I dropped to the website and ran through the authors books on Amazon. I see absolutely nothing unique or interesting about his approach, nor do I see anything that is not easily discovered by simply doing a few google searches and gathering some free material to work on. Including material on this site.

Basically this book covers:

* Learning the note names on the fretboard, covered adequately by http://guitar.about.com/library/bl010799.htm - you can also buy or make some fret flashcards to help with this task.
* Learning the CAGED system, covered very well here: http://www.cagedguitarsystem.net/
* Major scales shapes: http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/major-caged/index.php
* Pentatonic scale shapes: http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/minor-p ... /index.php
* chord progressions: http://www.cyberfret.com/theory/how-cho ... /index.php
* basic theory: http://www.guitarnoise.com/tag/music-theory/

There's nothing that I see in the few pages available on Amazon to indicate to me that this book is worth anything at all. Honestly, jump to the lesson pages on this site and start reading, ask questions in the music theory and beginner forums, and you'll get much further than this book will take you. Plus you'll save a few bucks.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

ATguitarist
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by ATguitarist » December 1st, 2009, 6:10 am

"I see absolutely nothing unique or interesting about his approach, nor do I see anything that is not easily discovered by simply doing a few google searches and gathering some free material to work on."

I do agree that there is nothing particularly unique about his approach since the CAGED system is by no means new. It isn't going to make you more popular or better looking. Nevertheless, he does a really good job presenting the subjects covered. It is true that one could google the subjects seperately, but having them presented in a logical, systematic manner is of great benefit and having the materials together will make learning much faster and easier. I've done the cherry pick method for years and I much prefer to have it all in front of me.

All in all, Desi Serna's materials are solid and will lay firm foundation to one's musical knowledge - certainly worth the money.

kingpatzer
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by kingpatzer » December 1st, 2009, 7:54 am

ATG -- I'm sorry I'm skeptical of the purpose of your posts given that you joined specifically to contribute to this topic. If you're here some time from now being an active member I'll certainly lose my skepticism.

But for the moment I'll presume that you're genuinely interested and not a shill.

I find the website for this product and what I've look at from the book (including the 25 "free pages" -- I'm so glad I have a spam dump e-mail address!), to simply be not worth it.

I do teach guitar, and play a few other instruments, and know something about theory. What is covered in this book is, well, not worth much.

For the cost of the book you could get two of the following:

Mel Bay Fingerboard Theory for Guitar A Music Theory Text for Guitarists



Fretboard Logic SE: The Reasoning Behind the Guitar's Unique Tuning + Chords Scales and Arpeggios Complete (The Fretboard Logic Guitar Method Volumes I and II)

Guitar Fretboard Workbook

And several others I can think of - including some method books that will take student further still.

Each of which on it's own covers more ground than this text purports too, and from what I've seen of the free sample, each of the above does a far better job, going into more depth and making fewer factual errors with regard to what theory actually says.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

kingpatzer
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by kingpatzer » December 1st, 2009, 8:21 am

A couple points:

1) about every other chapter starts with a factual error (you get each chapter's first page as the reviewable material). Some of these errors are rather grievous and demonstrate a failure to understand theory at all!

2) The free tabs are not copyright of the artist. It is quite probable that they are being distributed without paying any license fees and without permission.

3) Not nearly as important as the above, but certainly worth considering, the author's biography has no mention of any formal training in musical theory. Which is perhaps an indicator as to why there are so many errors.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

ATguitarist
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by ATguitarist » December 1st, 2009, 2:27 pm

kingpatzer wrote:ATG -- I'm sorry I'm skeptical of the purpose of your posts given that you joined specifically to contribute to this topic. If you're here some time from now being an active member I'll certainly lose my skepticism.

But for the moment I'll presume that you're genuinely interested and not a shill.

I find the website for this product and what I've look at from the book (including the 25 "free pages" -- I'm so glad I have a spam dump e-mail address!), to simply be not worth it.

I do teach guitar, and play a few other instruments, and know something about theory. What is covered in this book is, well, not worth much.

For the cost of the book you could get two of the following:

Mel Bay Fingerboard Theory for Guitar A Music Theory Text for Guitarists



Fretboard Logic SE: The Reasoning Behind the Guitar's Unique Tuning + Chords Scales and Arpeggios Complete (The Fretboard Logic Guitar Method Volumes I and II)

Guitar Fretboard Workbook

And several others I can think of - including some method books that will take student further still.

Each of which on it's own covers more ground than this text purports too, and from what I've seen of the free sample, each of the above does a far better job, going into more depth and making fewer factual errors with regard to what theory actually says.
Understand your skepticism - that's ok.

Actually, I do have Fretboard Logic which I've used off and on, but I found (at least at this juncture since I am just now getting started with this Serna's book) Fretboard Theory to cover similar ground but with more information about other areas. I also have the Guitar Fretboard Workbook which I am actually using as a secondary reference text to Serna's book. I actually think Tagliarino's approach is excellent (the first chapter was literally a "rosetta stone" stone for me personally - such a stupid simple way of looking at things) and I'll end up going through it completely once I've digested Serna's materials. Thanks for the other books you mentioned - will look into those.

ATguitarist
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by ATguitarist » December 1st, 2009, 2:34 pm

kingpatzer wrote:A couple points:

1) about every other chapter starts with a factual error (you get each chapter's first page as the reviewable material). Some of these errors are rather grievous and demonstrate a failure to understand theory at all!

2) The free tabs are not copyright of the artist. It is quite probable that they are being distributed without paying any license fees and without permission.

3) Not nearly as important as the above, but certainly worth considering, the author's biography has no mention of any formal training in musical theory. Which is perhaps an indicator as to why there are so many errors.
If you could give some examples about the factual errors, I would appreciate it. I am using this in a serious effort to kick start my rusty guitar playing and get that foundational education I should have the first time around. If there are problems, I'd like to be more aware.

ATguitarist
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Re: Fretboard Theory Reviews?

Post by ATguitarist » December 2nd, 2009, 5:43 am

hmmm.... thought I hist submit but I didn't get any message that it was sent or ended up in my drafts. Assuming our friendly neighborhood moderator will filter out any duplicates so let me try again.

kingpatzer,

This thread got me to thinking so I pulled Freboard Logic off of the shelf. I'll admit here that I have probably not really given it a chance and may have even gone as far as misrepresnting it in my comments. It seems to me that Fretboard Logic and Fretboard Theory are similar methods in that they both promote the CAGED system. For that reason, I have decided to refer to both for awhile and will come back here and post my followup thoughts on the two and Fretboard Theory in particular from an "advanced beginner's" perspective.

I can however, make one observation. Doing an internet seach on Fretboard Theory returns two things 1)Lots of advertisement, posts, and articles by Desi Serna and 2) lots of debate about the value of his approach. I think perhaps that overexposure may his book's greatest flaw because it seems that he is quite zealous in promoting his materials. He has even doens so to the point that it seems to put people off. This isn't the first place I've seen the validity of posts in favor of his book questioned as spam.

I would still appareciate your elaboration of errors you see in Serna's book so that I may be aware of them as I go through it.

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