Berklee Guitar Theory

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
  • Format: Book
  • Pages: 128
  • Dimensions: 9x12
  • ISBN: 9780876392188
  • SKU: 00276326
  • Publication Date: April 15, 2023

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Specialist Guitar Skills Certificate Program

If you are serious about studying guitar and taking your playing to the next level, you must possess not just a command of chords and scales but an understanding of improvisation and how to express depth and feeling. This certificate program, taught by Berklee’s world-renowned guitar faculty, enables you to develop your guitar technique and hone your skills in any style, from rock, jazz, and country to metal, blues, and beyond. Upon completion, you’ll be able to recreate parts played by your guitar heroes—but more importantly, you’ll be better able to realize your own unique sound.

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Music Theory 101

Pitch. Rhythm. Scales. Intervals. Chords. Harmony. If you're serious about music, these are fundamental concepts you need to understand and master. Music Theory 101 will set you on your way.

Become a more musical guitar player! This book will help you learn and use chords, scales, and other building blocks of music from a guitarist’s perspective. It applies concepts of music theory directly to your instrument, using the time-honored teaching approaches of the Berklee Guitar Department. These applications facilitate creative, expressive playing and writing in all styles and directly map to the Berklee Guitar Department proficiency evaluations. Players at all levels will find a clear, organized approach to the materials and musical examples in a variety of styles, provided by Berklee’s guitar faculty.

You will learn to:

  • Master the fingerboard by understanding how strings and frets relate to scales, intervals, and chords.
  • Understand and use the most important types of scales and modes.
  • Construct chords and voicing possibilities based on the essential building blocks of harmony.
  • Choose chord voicings that are ergonomic, intuitive, and expressive for every unique playing situation.

Included are studies composed by:

  • Abby Aronson Zocher
  • John Baboian
  • Sheryl Bailey
  • Larry Baione
  • Jon Finn
  • David Fiuczynski
  • Jim Kelly
  • Jeffrey Lockhart
  • Lauren Passarelli
  • Rick Peckham
  • Kim Perlak
  • Joe Rogers
  • Curt Shumate
  • Joe Stump
  • David Tronzo
  • Mike Williams

“This is one of the best guitar books I have ever come across. I will use it in my teaching from now on. It covers so many aspects of what we do, and it is easy to understand. What a great collection of teachers! An amazing book for guitar players everywhere. We really needed this!”

Leni Stern, Recording and Performing Artist; “50 Most Sensational Female Guitarists of All Time” Guitar Player Magazine; Alumna, Berklee College of Music Guitar Department

“I’ve been playing guitar for my whole life, and there’s a whole bunch of stuff in this book that I can study forever. For anybody who plays the guitar seriously, this is an essential book. All the people that were involved in the writing of this book are wonderful guitar players—wonderful musicians who have studied the instrument for their whole lives. They have put together this extraordinary book for every guitar player serious about playing the instrument. A lot of wonderful information written and delivered very clearly. It’s great for beginners, more advanced players, and for teachers. It’s a classic!!”

Mike Stern, Recording and Performing Artist; “Top 75 Guitarists of All Time” Downbeat Magazine; Alumnus, Berklee College of Music Guitar Department

“I have long awaited the release of this book. Going through it as a classical guitar player has taught me a different way to look at the fretboard: one that integrates harmony, melody, improvisation, and composition. The book is a visit to a Berklee classroom that I am sure
will stay with you. Highly recommended!”

Berta Rojas, Performer and Recording Artist; Two-Time Latin GRAMMY Winner; Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music

“Kim Perlak, with Sheryl Bailey, and Berklee’s Guitar Department faculty, have expertly and comprehensively presented an approach to the fundamentals of guitar that resonate deeply with me both as a player and teacher. As a Berklee alumnus having studied this material as presented here, it has provided me with a foundation that I am able to carry with me into any and every musical situation in which I’m involved. It’s a singular resource for guitarists at any point in their musical journey that highlights the connection between harmony, melody, and improvisation, rather that segmenting them. Not only does it serve as a bedrock for beginning guitarists, but it is a unique reference for all to continue to improve and deepen their understanding of the instrument independently at any level.”

Matthew Stevens, GRAMMY-Winning Guitarist as part of Terri Lyne Carrington’s Social Science; Alumnus and Associate Professor of Ensembles and Guitar at Berklee College of Music

“This is an incredible resource for all guitarists, regardless of style and/or background. For younger players, must-know fundamentals are presented in a comprehensive yet approachable manner; seasoned players can expect to open up their playing with a fresh, yet intuitive, way of approaching theory on the guitar. I myself have already found some solutions to many foundational problems that can be difficult to remedy. I believe this will be an asset for students and educators alike.”

Cecil Alexander, Prizewinner at the Herbie Hancock Institute International Competition; Alumnus and Assistant Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music

Berklee Guitar Theory is one of the most extensive and detailed looks at not only the fingerboard but application of jazz theory on the instrument that I have seen in my 30+ years of teaching. This is an amazing approach to learning the complexities of the guitar fingerboard, and the fascinating part of this approach is that it can be used by literally any level player to advance the knowledge of the fingerboard. I particularly enjoyed the attention given to posture at the very beginning, as well as the attention given to chromatics, which is the glue of improvised bebop lines. I highly recommend any level guitar student to not only study these approaches but to seriously consider attending, in person or online, any of the Berklee guitar program offerings.”

Frank Vignola, Critically Acclaimed Performer, Recording Artist, and Educator; Host of “Frank Vignola’s Guitar Night” at Birdland Jazz Club Theater, NYC


Kim Perlak

With performances that are deeply personal and express a breadth of tradition, guitarist Kim Perlak has been recognized as an…