Just Jazz Guitar Articles

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Jack Wilkins
Just Jazz Guitar Articles
Mel Bay Publications
ISBN: 0-78-667221-8

Since Jack Wilkins' release of Windows in in 1973, Wilkins has been a mainstay in the jazz guitar scene. Currently an instructor at the New School and at the Manhattan School of Music, Wilkins is known for his incredible technique and refreshing ideas in the realm of jazz guitar. The book is called Just Jazz Guitar Articles published by Mel Bay.

The book covers many subjects that jazz guitarists often face, both technically and musically. Various topics include learning how to practice, comping, the use of inner voices, introductions and endings of songs with specific song examples, substitutions, basic fingerings for scale work, picking, arpeggios, and more. A sizeable portion of the book is devoted to accompaniment consisting of four lessons, each one building on the previous one. The four lessons take the reader through the basics of learning chords and their inversions on the guitar, how to create walking bass lines on the guitar, and finally learning to accompany using both at the same time. This section is very straight-forward and easy to use. It is very useful information to beginner jazz guitarists and veteran guitarists who want to learn fundamentals of jazz accompaniment.

The highlight of the book, however, are the articles on technique and fingerings. Wilkins provides insightful information on scale and arpeggio fingerings, on picking, and gives quite a few examples of how to practice these ideas in isolation and as parts of longer solos over common chord changes. These articles contain information that is useful for any guitarist regardless of style.

This book is designed to cover specific problems that jazz guitarists often face. The book only covers a few topics, but the chosen topics are essential for any jazz guitarist. Unfortunately, the book does not cover ideas about interaction with other musicians, accompaniment in small combo settings, or techniques for developing strong time and rhythm on the guitar. However, the topics that are covered are covered well in an easy to understand format.

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