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Book Review

Hybrid Picking For Guitar

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Hybrid Picking For Guitar
Gustavo Assis-Brasil
Paperback; 128 pages
ISBN: 0977439801
Self-Published
2006

Hybrid Picking For Guitar is a book and CD set which helps the diligent reader rapidly unlock the potential of this seldom discussed technique.

Boston-based guitarist and educator Gustavo Assis-Brasil has a unique way of demystifying hybrid picking: after deftly guiding the reader through a series of exercises, he introduces musical examples that would have seemed impossible to play before starting to work with the book.

At 128 pages, packed with exercises, Hybrid Picking For Guitar contains enough information to keep the dedicated student busy for a very long time. The CD has 89 well recorded audio tracks supporting the examples in the book. The addition of audio examples is very welcome. They inspire the student to realize the full potential of the written exercises.

The large amount of information contained in the book is divided into five manageable sections. After a comprehensive introduction, Assis-Brasil introduces techniques helping the student gain a strong right hand and the ability to use each finger independently. Harder techniques, and different ways of combining the pick and fingers of the right hand, are gradually explored, as are the various harmonic devices Assis-Brasil uses. These exercises are brought together with several scored pieces and etudes illustrating different aspects of hybrid picking.

Harmonically, Hybrid Picking For Guitar shows how using the full potential of the right hand allows otherwise impossible, huge intervallic leaps and unusual chord voicings to be played. For students wanting to go further and expand their harmonic vocabulary, Assis-Brasil delves into modes, symmetrical scales and even into the 12 tone row.

Hybrid Picking For Guitar is engaging, informative and great fun to use. The set examples are challenging but achievable: each exercise is clearly laid out, easy to understand, and once mastered, instantly applicable in a musically satisfying way.

After only a short amount of time working with Hybrid Picking For Guitar one gains the desire to keep practicing and develop this incredibly useful technique. The study periods will be well rewarded, because learning hybrid picking inspires creativity and offers new opportunities for discovery and self-expression.

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