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Thread: Mel Bay's Picker's Guide to Bluegrass Improvisation?

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Dec 2004
    Hinesville, GA

    Default Mel Bay's Picker's Guide to Bluegrass Improvisation?

    I'm sure this book has been reviewed in this forum before, but I can't find it. Has anyone used this book, and, if so, what is the focus and level of playing needed? I can improvise somewhat in the basic keys, not so good yet in Bb and B, but would really like some help in getting better at improvisation. Any reviews of the techniques and playing level of this book would be greatly appreciated. Or, if there's another book folks have used that they would recommend, that would be great also.
    Daniel Kaufman

  2. #2
    man about town Markus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Madison, Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Mel Bay's Picker's Guide to Bluegrass Improvisation?

    Here are two prior threads about it:

    I know there's one or two more recent threads that are really good ... as people have had more time to get into the book, more people exposed to it.

    I found it a good value, as it walks you through moveable pentatonic playing and then works toward full scales, blue notes, and double stop riffs.

    I found it very useful for the above development, it gave me lots of little pieces that I can attach to more straight melodic playing to make a more ornamented solo which follows the chord progression. There's a massive amount of exercises and stuff to work through - the accompanying CD is of mp3 files, hours and hours [instead of 72 minutes total per CD].

    I got this book a while ago, for where I was it was a great help and one of the better instructional books I got. I've only gotten more time/use out of tunebooks, this and the JazzMando book have lasted - I'm still doing stuff out of them both 1 year+ into having both books.
    Collings MT2
    Breedlove OF
    Ellie eMando
    Schmergl Devastator

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Memphis, TN

    Default Re: Mel Bay's Picker's Guide to Bluegrass Improvisation?

    I've had this book for over a year and would give it a thumbs up. Lots of info and well laid out. It is written so if want, you can drop in and out and pick up a lick or two that you can use. Not required to take it chapter by chapter. This is book I take with me on monthly out of town trips. I have misplaced the Cd which is very helpful so if anyone would like to trade some cds shoot me an email.

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