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Guitar World Presents John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom

First of all, I think that Johns first instructional method, "Rock Discipline" ranks among the best and most useful instructional methods out there, useful for players from many styles, a great tool to work on your technique. "Rock Discipline" focuses mainly on plain technique, and at the end, there is a very interesting chord-workout, which was a rather creative thing.

With this second book, John takes this concept a bit further. "Wild Stringdom" is actually a compilation of the columns he used to write for the GUITAR WORLD magazine. They were edited and compiled by Askold Buk, and IMHO, this compilation comes across as a complete method, not just a weird mix of unrelated topics. The focus this time is on more advanced exercises and on how to use all kinds of techniques in your soloing... so you could say that in "Rock Discipline", he showed you how to improve your technique, and in "Wild Stringdom", he shows you how to apply it to your playing.

Chapter 1 deals with time management and practice materials ( the "folder method" John uses is explained ), chapter 2 focuses on different kinds of warmups.

Chapter 3 is called "Expanding Your Techniques", and here John gives away some of his trademark techniques in a musical context... String Skipping, Diatonic Arpeggios etc.

Chapter 4 is about expanding your vocabulary, i.e. by working with the dorian scale, or by adding chromatics to your lines.

Chapter 5 deals with creativity, spicing up the blues, creating licks etc..

In Chapter 6, he shows you how to put all this stuff together, i.e. by showing you some of the solos he plays in Dream Theater songs... including the mind-boggling "Under A Glass Moon"-solo.
I like this concept a whole lot, since it will show you how to apply all the technical stuff in actual music... I often miss that in other methods.

Chapter 7 is about chords, again. You'll learn about Suspended and 9th chords and much more. Finally, in chapter 8, John talks about chromatics and eventually shows you the magnificent "Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 2" by Frederic Chopin.

I like this method a whole lot. It will introduce you to a lot of important and good-sounding techniques ( the section about sweeping is short, but VERY well explained ), and the most important thing is: you'll learn how to use it in your music... which should be the main goal of every method.

The book comes with a CD which features all the licks & exercises, played by John, accompanied by a metronome.. so you'll immediately hear how all this stuff sounds.

Bottom Line
I can really recommend this book to a lot of different players, not only rock-guitarists... the sections about chords and chromatics should be interesting to players from many other styles. I think for a beginner it would make most sense to work with this book AFTER thoroughly working with "Rock Discipline". I don't know whether it was intended, but to me it seems like a series, with book 2 building on book no.1. But the section about warm ups and time management should be very interesting for beginners too... if you take John's advice, you might improve quite a bit faster.

So, there's something for every level in here and for players from lots of different styles. John is an awesome player, and he has lots of vital information and great advice to share. So, bundled with "Rock Discipline" youll get an awesome package which will definitely help you to improve your technique quite a bit, and maybe will help you to get lots of new ideas. But even on it's own, "Wild Stringdom" is very interesting and helpful to work on the techniques covered, and should even keep advanced players busy for a while...

Reviewed by: Eric Vandenberg

iBreatheMusic Rating:

Suitability: All Guitarists

Available at:
amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.de     sheetmusicplus.com

Reviewed by:
Eric Vandenberg

iBreatheMusic Rating:

All Guitarists

Available at: