There is nothing I enjoy more then learning new musical concepts, ideas, or techniques from music instruction books. The six-string electric guitar has a culture filled with instructional material, and the following books help sort out some of the riff-raff. Check out the books below for more angles and approaches to music, stringed instruments, and guitar playing.
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The Advancing Guitarist: Applying Guitar Concepts & Techniques – This book was given to me by a great guitarist, who basically said “there’s enough information, ideas, and theory in this book to last you a lifetime on your instrument.” He was right. Just one read-through of this book will open a world of possibilities into learning your instrument and the various approaches possible. Even though it is made for six-string guitar, it can be creatively interpreted from a pedal steel standpoint too – just add four more strings, and keep in mind proper pedal steel technique when applying it to your practice. This book dives into many angles and approaches to learning a stringed instrument, and has plenty of music theory to keep the world going around.
Guitar Works: A Comprehensive Guide to Playing the Guitar – This book was the required instructional book for a college guitar course I once took by a world-class guitar player/teacher. It is an in-depth, comprehensive guide on various skills, styles, and techniques associated with six-string guitar. If you take the same approaches and exercises outlined in this book, and creatively apply them to your steel guitar, you will have a deeper understanding of just what it takes to master this instrument.
Bottleneck Slide Technique (translate to pedal steel using your imagination and thought):
Warren Haynes – Guide to Slide Guitar – I think Warren Haynes is a modern rock and roll legend. He’s played with almost everyone you could think of in the rock/jam vein of music, and is truly prolific at expressing himself through an electric six-string guitar. He’s a great slide player too, and I think this book is a good primer for learning rock guitar slide riffs. It is in standard guitar tuning I believe, so be sure to transcribe and translate appropriately when applying it to steel guitar playing.
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