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Co-Creative Guitar Method


Keep your eye on this page for updates, as it will be ever evolving, as are most things in life.

I'm going to start here with two of the most important and undervalued things
every every guitarist should do, and must know.


I believe the most fundamental thing to know on guitar,
is to be familiar with the Chromatic Scale.

However, before I teach it, I spend several lessons taking my students through
caterpillar exercises as a first point of call. I stress the importance of why athletes warm up before a training session,
which is to prevent injury, and that we as musicians do the same.

Did you know that musicians are very prone to RSI or occupational overuse injuries,
and that it's generally caused through lack of preparation (warming up), and is compounded by stress.
Of course there can be other factors, so a check-up at a reputable physiotherapist is a first point of call if your having
issues like aching arms, cramped thumb, unusual weakness. In my own case it was elastic ligaments causing me years of grief.
Nothing a good physio couldn't fix in 10 mins - what a shame it took me 14 years to find her!

I encourage all of my students to learn warming up habits,
and the best way to impart this discipline is to start every lesson with a warm up.
Because I've suffered extensively myself from RSI complaints, I don't want to teach them to be sloppy about warming up.
At least if I show them good habits, it's up to them to choose whether they do or don't use them.

So, caterpillars are important as a warming up exercise.
But, my ulterior motive, in fact, is to develop their agility and precision on the guitar neck.
This is going to enhance their overall technique faster and more effectively than anything else you could show them.

Coming back to the Chromatic Scale, in the book, I've demonstrated the Chromatic Scale, but on one string only.
That is because, to see the Chromatic Scale written on every string on the entire fretboard, is completely overwhelming.
There is too much information, and the formula can easily be missed.

So what is important, is not to learn by rote all the notes on the entire fretboard, as most books would have you believe.
The important point is to understand the formula.
With this information any student could work out any note in any position on any fretboard.
Scary as that fretboard might look, there are only 12 different notes to choose from.
It's pretty simple when you break it down.

It is not unusual to find guitarists who are very good players,
and yet have no idea what notes they are playing, or that two chords of the same shape,
in neighbouring frets, simply alter chromatically.
I've had students come to me with 10 years playing experience who did not know the chromatic scale.
That meant that they also missed the relationship between neighbouring chords and scales, on the fretboard.
They've learned everything in isolation. And most guitar methods teach everything in isolation.

So as a first point of call, it is essential that guitrarists take care of themselves by warming up,
and secondly that one of the fundatmentals of music in any lanuguage is knowledge of the Chromatic Scale.

After this, the most liberating thing I learned about guitar during my own studies, was the CAGED System.

This concept made everything so clear to me, and I didn't realise at the time that it was not very well known.
I just thought I'd been missing out on vital information, through being self taught. Which of course I was.

CAGED is a system which acknowledges the chord shapes of C, A, G, E, and D as being
the true open position chords (The Five Major Chord Shapes). e.g. F at the first fret is not a
shape of it’s own, (as many people would have you believe) it’s the E shape moved up one fret.
If you lay those 5 shapes on the neck in the order of C,A,G,E,D, and overlap them up the fretboard,
they can create 1 chord only, e.g. C Major.
The lesson C Major in the Five Chord Shapes (featured in Beginning the Journey
and Colouring the Fretboard) shows how these 5 shapes
overlap each other.

To learn more about these in a hands on practical sense, and begin to understand your guitar and its fretboard,
work first through Beginning the Journey to make sure you have all the foundations in guitar.

After this book,
Exploring New Worlds
will take these foundations to a higher level and ensure you have a solid musical background.

Colouring the Fretboard can be worked on alongside these books,
as it will compliment both giving you complete and total mastery over your fretboard.

Colouring the Fretboard - Master Edition is for those unable to use the workbook
for disability or health reasons, time limits, and for Libraries.
This special edition is already fully coloured.

Ordering is simple. There are 3 ways you can place an order.
You can email, fax or print & post the order form and pay by credit card using secure PayPal, or pay by cheque (within NZ only).

If for any reason you are unsatisfied you can return the book for a full refund.

That means you have nothing to lose. You can see if this unique guitar method is for you without any risk involved.




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