Berklee Press

The Berklee Press books are designed in the image an vision of the jazz-heavy Berklee School of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts. After visiting the school in 2000 for the first time, I have to say that it is quite impressive. With nearly 5000 students enrolled and housed in several large buildings, the rooms continue almost endlessly. The computer and recording gear in the sound-engineering department is likewise plentiful. All the more amazing when you realize that this school is ALL about jazz. A friend of mine enrolled there mentioned that the staff seemed to think that jazz was the ONLY style that exists! That makes it all the more hard to believe they've managed to get the program that big, since they are focusing exclusively on a style that at best represents only about 20% of guitarists! By comparison, Musician's Institute in Hollywood has a total enrollment in the ballpark of roughly 1/10th that of Berklee.

The guitar ciriculum seems based on the idea that the goal is to make guitarists fluent in the language of music (reading staff), and accompaniment techniques, in order to turn out competent session players. It seems there is no emphasis on developing artist's styles to push the modern music envelope, neither is there any focus on songwriting to speak of. And certainly no emphasis on anything other than jazz. This approach is 180 degrees opposite of my approach. But it's pushing different goals and different styles. And they do what they do very well.

So if this sounds like what you need to learn, check out the Berklee guitar method, which pushes the schools basic philosophy and adapts into into a book format. These books contain no Tab... you've got to read! Also, although Book One starts at a reasonably basic level, I believe it's fairly accelerated and not really appropriate for absolute beginners.

Click to see all the Berklee Press books -- for more details as well as the option to buy them online.

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