The Guitarist’s Guide to Composing and Improvising

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $24.95
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 168
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-634-01635-0
  • SKU: 50449497
  • Publication Date: July 24, 2002

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Free your mind and your fingers will follow.

Rediscover the childlike excitement you felt when you held your first guitar, as you explore a new world of possibilities for your music. No matter what your level or musical persuasion, rock, funk, jazz, classical, this book will change the way you play guitar.

Beloved guitarist and educator Jon Damian shares his innovative techniques to significantly improve your composing and improvising (comprovisational) skills:

  • Expand your palette of musical colors
  • Explore conceptual tools for composing and improvising
  • Develop your sense of dynamics, articulation, rhythm, melodic direction, and musical E.S.P.
  • Stimulate your imagination with unconventional creativity development exercises like a musical Rorschach Test, crossword puzzle, and scratch-and-sniff
  • Increase your confidence for improvising with other musicians
  • Improve your command of the guitar with fingerboard, scale, interval, arpeggio, and ear studies
  • Bring the concepts to life with the accompanying CD containing 80 tracks for study, observation, and interactive play-along

Think out of the box. Journey inside this truly unique collection of creative resources for the curious guitarist. Be inspired to search for the guitar’s endless musical treasures.

Your guitar will thank you.

“A fresh take on songwriting and a source of methods sure to spark your creative sense.”

—Guitar One magazine

“The worlds of hep cat and Zen master collide in this stimulating and provocative approach to the guitar. By venturing far beyond the typical scale compendium, chord dictionary, or fretboard method, Jon Damian offers an exciting alternative to tedious drills and rote learning. Regardless of skill level or experience, intrepid pickers will find a lifetime of inspiration.”

—Andy Ellis, Senior Editor, Guitar Player magazine and

“The spirit, imagination, creativity, and warmth of Jon Damian lives and breathes in this book. Like Jon, it’s full of great ideas, and encourages a vitalized departure from the musical status quo. A more soulful guide would be hard to find.”

—Wayne Krantz

“A long awaited book by the most experienced and admired guitar teacher I know. A must for guitar players, young and old, this is great stuff!”

—Jim Hall

“A wonderful book by a very special musician.”

—Mike Stern

“I have been exceptionally lucky a few times in my life. Studying with Jon Damian very early on is one of them. I love this book. I’d have to take it with me on a desert island.”

—Leni Stern

“Jon is one of the most creative, original guitarists playing today, and his teaching reflects that creativity. Instead of simply supplying a repertoire of licks or a set of rules, Jon unlocks the vast possibilities of the fretboard and lets the student run loose through the blooming fields of musical material.”

—Allan Chase, Chair, Jazz Studies, New England Conservatory

“This book gives us the keys to open many musical doors, some we probably didn’t even know were there. As my teacher, Jon Damian gave me the confidence to go after my own ideas, and showed me new ways to look at music. With this book, everyone will have a chance to learn about some of the fantastic things in Jon’s world. There’s so much amazing stuff in here!”

—Bill Frisell


Jon Damian

Author Jon Damian is an active international performer, composer, arranger, lecturer, clinician, and author. His varied career has included performances…