SKU / ORDER #: 7001
PUBLISHED April 1983
AUTHOR: Bill Edwards
PRICE: $9.95 US, $10.95 Canada/International
The guitar, as tuned, is unlike any other instrument ever invented. Fretboard Logic is the only method to recognize this, and teaches from a unique guitar-oriented perspective. It presents the essential characteristics of the guitar as the first step toward learning without guesswork or rote memorization.
Volume I focuses on the reasoning behind the guitar's unique and largely unappreciated tuning system. The intervallic structure created by the tuning is unlike any other instrument and creates three specific pattern types which are integral to one another and have been termed Chord Forms, Scale Forms and Lead Patterns. There are five basic chord forms, five basic scale forms and two basic lead patterns which are completely independent of any music concepts and solely the result of an ingenious pitch selection by an unknown (and unsung) inventor. Since every other aspect of guitar playing, such as theory, technique, and style, must be expressed through this fretboard interface, no other single area of education can be more fundamental to a guitar player's development. Although the chordal part of this interface has long been recognized as "the CAGED system," Fretboard Logic presents ALL the aspects as a unified "operating system" for guitar players regardless of stylistic preferences, technical considerations or guitar type.
Fretboard Logic begins with the one thing common to everything else: the fretboard, and its pattern organization. Knowing how the neck really works helps with comprehension by showing how to find things and where to put them.
There is an underlying philosophy behind the Fretboard Logic guitar method, and it has two main derivations. One comes from the instrument itself, and the other has to do with the nature of the learning process. First, the guitar's tuning system (EADGBE) is truly unique in the field of musical instrument design, and often poorly understood, or even ignored as an area of study. But as a practical matter, everything we do as musicians - theory, technique, style, etc., is in a sense, "filtered" through it as we actualize music on the instrument. So it is both necessary and fundamental to have an understanding of precisely how that tuning system works. Second, whenever we go about learning something new, we are all something like the blind men and the elephant - attempting to grasp the whole, part by part. For real learning to take place, a certain amount of structure and flexibility are required. Structure means doing first things first. You won't, for example, get very far with integral calculus without requisite skills in trig, geometry and algebra, and you won't be able to do them without knowing basic math. (This is commonly known as the "building block" approach to education.) Flexibility in guitar playing means not trying to force a square peg into a round hole with music or teaching styles. For example, if a student wants to learn say, rock, and the teacher has focused all his or her own efforts on classical, you have a prescription for failure somewhere down the line for stylistic reasons. A similar pitfall occurs when a rock student begins lessons with a nylon string acoustic expecting to learn lead playing techniques appropriate for a solid body electric equipped with a tremolo, amplifier and sound effects. This will rapidly evolve into a "right tool for the job" problem.
Fretboard Logic does not dictate what type of guitar or what style of music you should play. It lets you decide these things for yourself. It will not waste your time with outdated music, inappropriate techniques, busy work or kiddie songs.
Fretboard Logic does not dictate or even endorse any particular music style, guitar type, technical approach or skill level. This alone makes it unique in the field of guitar methods. It is designed to work with any and all styles making it an ideal choice for use both in a lesson environment and as a self study guide. It promotes "first things first" thinking. Since the playing area of the instrument is the one thing that all guitar playing has in common, it is clearly where the learning process should start. The guitar's interface is not so obvious as that of the piano or violin, and so requires special attention.
Although humorous, Fretboard Logic is an accelerated approach for serious guitarists. You learn what you need first, then you can play what you want faster and with less effort. Each lesson has text and graphics to aid in comprehension.
Humor in a teaching environment has been recognized as an effective tool because it puts the student at ease and helps them focus better. Nobody wants to miss a good punchline, and more importantly, nobody wants to be made to feel stupid. Using humor in teaching is a way to take the heat off the persons who are most vulnerable while giving them an incentive to push the limits of their awareness and comprehension. For teaching to be effective, it is necessary to do more than merely transfer information from one person to another. A bond must be formed, hopefully one of mutual respect. Including humorous comments or observations in the content of the lesson is a way to share the vulnerability which is necessarily a part of learning. At least it shows the student that the teacher is really trying to do more than just the basic requirements of the job. Most teachers operate under the assumption that the fear of a substandard grade is a sufficient motivation in the learning equation. They are comfortable in an environment primarily based on anxiety and fear of failure. If the student fails to learn, the teacher can always say "They just didn't work hard enough." Henry Ford once observed that "Thinking is the hardest job in the world. That's why so few people engage in it." It is possible that learning is the hardest type of thinking in the world. The best teachers always seem to be those who find a subtle way to make you want to work hard, but mainly to impress them - not out of fear of failure. They make the work enjoyable. It seems like a minor thing, but in a learning environment it can mean the difference between succss and failure, which for a teacher who cares, is all the difference in the world.