11 Guitar Books / DVDs To Help Avoid Guitar Monotony

John Petrucci – Rock Discipline DVD

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11 Guitar Books / DVDs To Spice Up Your Strings Or Learn Something New

John Petrucci – Rock Discipline DVD
John Petrucci – Rock Discipline

Sometimes as a guitar player, you can get stuck in a box, or a rut. There are plenty of good ideas out there to deal with this, as we explored here, but I’ve found grabbing a good book or DVD can help as well.

Maybe it’s a book full of band x’s sheet music, or a music theory book – or a DVD exploring a particular artist’s style – it doesn’t matter as long as it’s at least slightly out of your comfort zone.

If you’re a blues player, why not tackle some System of a Down?

If you’re into metal, why not shift gears into some Eric Johnson?

I’ve tried to cover some varied ground here, so hopefully there’s something for everyone.

Granted, It’s hard to find books and DVDs for people I don’t know, so if there’s nothing that interests you here, keep on looking at your favorite guitar website. I know Musician’s Friend has a huge selection, so check them out.

Here are some suggestions:

Hal Leonard The Capo – Book with CD & Free Kyser Capo

This book actually comes with a Kyser capo and an example cd. Slapping a capo on (if you haven’t already) can be one way to change things enough to get you out of a rut. Plus it’s Hal Leonard. He taught everyone to play guitar.

Hal Leonard ZZ Top Anthology Guitar Tab Book Standard

How could you not get something out of the experience of watching your fingers play ZZ Top? This book includes most of their big hits. There’s 12 songs, and a demo CD with some lessons and demonstrations. Quit shaving, and start playing.

Hal Leonard Eric Johnson Guitar Signature Licks Book with CD

This book has 12 songs from Eric’s collection, and should be challenging enough to keep most guitarists busy for awhile.

Hal Leonard Funk Guitar – Guitar Play-Along Series, Volume 52 (Book/CD)

Papa’s got a brand new bag, and it’s full of funk. Don’t think about that sentance too much. Just think about how much fun you could have jamming out with 8 of the most popular funk tunes to hit the airwaves.

Hal Leonard The Best of Steely Dan Guitar Tab Book

Steely Dan is one of the most chill, fun bands to listen to. If you can create that kind of vibe for yourself, you can’t go wrong.

IMV George Lynch Behind the Player DVD

If you don’t feel like reading, why not check out a DVD of George Lynch himself teaching you why he’s so cool. He’ll teach you “Mr. Scary” and “Tooth and Nail”, and give you a behind the scenes look at his life as a pro musician.

Carl Fischer Guitar Grimoire Book

This is a pretty popular book. They claim it’s the “Most complete book on scales and modes ever written”, and that “If you thought you knew it all, prepare to be humiliated.” Thats tempting stuff!

Guitar 411 Diatonic Theory and Harmony (DVD)

Getting a little deeper here, how about learning diatonic theory and harmony? You’ll learn contruction of modes, and how to rip them apart and build triads and chords, and much more. This DVD comes with a CD as well, with more examples and chord progressions.

John Petrucci – Rock Discipline DVD

This DVD takes you all the way from some really fantastic warmup techniques, and moves pretty quickly into some advanced techniques. After all, it’s Petrucci.

Hal Leonard Joe Bonamassa – Signature Sounds, Styles and Techniques (DVD)

In this DVD, Joe explores the techniques behind his blues-rock guitar style. Included is rhythm, soloing, slide – then he moves on to effects, amps and speakers.

Mel Bay Learn to Play Jeff Beck 2 DVD Set


Two DVDs full of Jeff Beck. You get 5 of his songs, with note by note lessons and full performances. This is 4 hours of Jeff Beck-ness.

There are plenty more – hundreds and hundreds to choose from. This list is just a few ideas. This particular idea for breaking out of a rut consists of getting some instruction from or about a player whom you normally wouldn’t play like. The easiest, cheapest, and most accessible way to do that is to grab a book or DVD.

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Tim Monaghan

Tim has been playing guitar & bass since he was 12 years old and has been in Jazz, funk, rock & metal bands. Influences include Jeff Beck, Stanley Clarke, Doug Stegmeyer, Baden Powell, Steve Vai, and pretty much anyone else who has a unique style that expresses their individuality. One of Tim’s many hobbies is building, tweaking, and repairing basses and guitars.

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