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Finished Leavitt’s Modern Method Vol. 1...question about vol. 2 & 3

Messages
145
Hello All,

Been playing seriously for almost two years here--a little about my background: I'm a public school music teacher (4th-6th grade general music/chorus), but I just recently got super into guitar as a passion project around Feb. 2018.

The main reason I got into guitar was because I really like genres like rock, folk, alternative. Pretty sure a lot of artists I like can't read music, but being a musician already, I wanted to be able to read music as well as find chords/notes/scales all over the fretboard and have a bit of technical mastery. It took me about a year to get through Vol. 1. I've found some new interests along the way...I've noticed Modern Method Vol. 1 was geared towards Jazz guitar...which I have started listening to a bit. I also am starting to become interested in the idea of getting into the whole chord melody thing both with fingerstyle and with a pick. I recently started working on Ken Perlman's "Fingerstyle Guitar" book as well to help with this. I also bought Mark Hanson's first fingerpicking book but for now that one is waiting in the wings. Also, I'm just playing songs for fun from the genres I mentioned.

I know that right now my goals are:

1) Be able to read music/sight read, knowing all notes and most chords all over the fretboard.
2) Be proficient with pick style and with fingerstyle.
3) Be able to play anything from complex solo fingerpicking arrangments to vocal accompaniment.
4) Be able to play rock/folk/alternative, chord melody/fingerstyle, maybe Jazz (depending if I keep up the interest in that one)

All this being said, my question is regarding what my skill level might be like at the end of Modern Method Vol. 3, for those who have completed the series/book. If I am understanding correctly--

Vol. 1 - Beginner, though many say it moves very quickly for a beginner book
Vol. 2 - Intermediate
Vol. 3 - Advanced

I *think* I chose some good books for my goals here, but I just want to manage expectations for myself. Would you consider someone who has completed all 3 volumes of modern method to be at an advanced level? Would you consider these books, as well as just learning songs I love in general to be in line with my goals?

As always, I appreciate any wisdom anyone has for me. Thanks!
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,620
Hello All,

Been playing seriously for almost two years here--a little about my background: I'm a public school music teacher (4th-6th grade general music/chorus), but I just recently got super into guitar as a passion project around Feb. 2018.

The main reason I got into guitar was because I really like genres like rock, folk, alternative. Pretty sure a lot of artists I like can't read music, but being a musician already, I wanted to be able to read music as well as find chords/notes/scales all over the fretboard and have a bit of technical mastery. It took me about a year to get through Vol. 1. I've found some new interests along the way...I've noticed Modern Method Vol. 1 was geared towards Jazz guitar...which I have started listening to a bit. I also am starting to become interested in the idea of getting into the whole chord melody thing both with fingerstyle and with a pick. I recently started working on Ken Perlman's "Fingerstyle Guitar" book as well to help with this. I also bought Mark Hanson's first fingerpicking book but for now that one is waiting in the wings. Also, I'm just playing songs for fun from the genres I mentioned.

I know that right now my goals are:

1) Be able to read music/sight read, knowing all notes and most chords all over the fretboard.
2) Be proficient with pick style and with fingerstyle.
3) Be able to play anything from complex solo fingerpicking arrangments to vocal accompaniment.
4) Be able to play rock/folk/alternative, chord melody/fingerstyle, maybe Jazz (depending if I keep up the interest in that one)

All this being said, my question is regarding what my skill level might be like at the end of Modern Method Vol. 3, for those who have completed the series/book. If I am understanding correctly--

Vol. 1 - Beginner, though many say it moves very quickly for a beginner book
Vol. 2 - Intermediate
Vol. 3 - Advanced

I *think* I chose some good books for my goals here, but I just want to manage expectations for myself. Would you consider someone who has completed all 3 volumes of modern method to be at an advanced level? Would you consider these books, as well as just learning songs I love in general to be in line with my goals?

As always, I appreciate any wisdom anyone has for me. Thanks!
Those are good books for learning a lot about the fingerboard. I wouldn't consider them to jazz instruction books though, if you went through them you'd have some chops.
You mentioned 'rock/folk/alternative', so I assume you use Amazing Slow Downer every day?
What songs can you play or would like to play?
 

dsw67

Member
Messages
1,847
Vol II is my favorite because it focuses on position playing. For me, that's when guitar playing got more interesting.

Vol III in my opinion is more like a reference book. I don't know anyone personally who's practiced Vol III from cover to cover.

Vol I for me was the most boring, simply because it spends so much time in the 1st position. But, I was a kid at the time so that probably also had something to do with it. Nevertheless, it's a great book. The etudes are great to learn. I think Vol I is meant to be learned from cover to cover. Vol II perhaps less so, and Vol III even less so.

I'd also suggest getting Reading Studies and Melodic Rhythms. Great books for keeping reading chops in shape.

They don't focus on fingerstyle, so if that's a goal you'll have to find other sources.
 
Last edited:
Messages
145
Good for goal #1, but I wouldn’t spend all my time on them if you want to cover your other goals.
Thanks!
I also plan on completing finger style guitar by Ken Perlman and mark Hanson’s Travis picking and art of solo fingerpicking, should have mentioned. How about those books, with Leavitt’s, and playing rock/alt/folkie stuff on the side?
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,620
Hello All,

Been playing seriously for almost two years here--a little about my background: I'm a public school music teacher (4th-6th grade general music/chorus), but I just recently got super into guitar as a passion project around Feb. 2018.

The main reason I got into guitar was because I really like genres like rock, folk, alternative. Pretty sure a lot of artists I like can't read music, but being a musician already, I wanted to be able to read music as well as find chords/notes/scales all over the fretboard and have a bit of technical mastery. It took me about a year to get through Vol. 1. I've found some new interests along the way...I've noticed Modern Method Vol. 1 was geared towards Jazz guitar...which I have started listening to a bit. I also am starting to become interested in the idea of getting into the whole chord melody thing both with fingerstyle and with a pick. I recently started working on Ken Perlman's "Fingerstyle Guitar" book as well to help with this. I also bought Mark Hanson's first fingerpicking book but for now that one is waiting in the wings. Also, I'm just playing songs for fun from the genres I mentioned.

I know that right now my goals are:

1) Be able to read music/sight read, knowing all notes and most chords all over the fretboard.
2) Be proficient with pick style and with fingerstyle.
3) Be able to play anything from complex solo fingerpicking arrangments to vocal accompaniment.
4) Be able to play rock/folk/alternative, chord melody/fingerstyle, maybe Jazz (depending if I keep up the interest in that one)

All this being said, my question is regarding what my skill level might be like at the end of Modern Method Vol. 3, for those who have completed the series/book. If I am understanding correctly--

Vol. 1 - Beginner, though many say it moves very quickly for a beginner book
Vol. 2 - Intermediate
Vol. 3 - Advanced

I *think* I chose some good books for my goals here, but I just want to manage expectations for myself. Would you consider someone who has completed all 3 volumes of modern method to be at an advanced level? Would you consider these books, as well as just learning songs I love in general to be in line with my goals?

As always, I appreciate any wisdom anyone has for me. Thanks!
Working with goals is a great way to push yourself forwards. There are some books that I have studied over and over-all the Galbraith books, Jerry Reed book, Bach.
You might enjoy some of these:https://www.homespun.com/
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,034
The Melodic Rhythms book was a game changer for me.

I paid more attention to the rhythmic exercises than the actual melodic etudes.

The most useful part for me was practicing all available eighth note patterns in terms of notes/beats per measure.

For example:
- 6 notes per measure (npm)
- 5 npm
- 4 npm
- 3 npm
Etc.

It really helped me to tighten up my rhythms and be better able to subdivide and figure out songs.

-bEn r.
 

WesDocJimi

Member
Messages
1,105
I bought the complete Mel Bay Method on Kindle for $25 and have been amazed
at how much of the Berklee Books are simply a rewrite.
 

Johnny_guitar

Member
Messages
210
Thanks!
I also plan on completing finger style guitar by Ken Perlman and mark Hanson’s Travis picking and art of solo fingerpicking, should have mentioned. How about those books, with Leavitt’s, and playing rock/alt/folkie stuff on the side?
As someone who started out with the Ken Perlman book, I would advise you to skip it. It's been a lot of years, but if I recall correctly, it doesn't address right hand finger alternation/choice, so it will teach you a lot of bad habits, like using the same right hand finger to pick a run of eighth notes. The Mark Hanson books are vastly superior, and they will teach you everything you need to know. If you want to get into fingerstyle jazz, I'd also recommend the Howard Morgen books "Preparations" and "Concepts." I learned everything i know about fingerstyle guitar from Hanson and Morgen.
 
Messages
145
As someone who started out with the Ken Perlman book, I would advise you to skip it. It's been a lot of years, but if I recall correctly, it doesn't address right hand finger alternation/choice, so it will teach you a lot of bad habits, like using the same right hand finger to pick a run of eighth notes. The Mark Hanson books are vastly superior, and they will teach you everything you need to know. If you want to get into fingerstyle jazz, I'd also recommend the Howard Morgen books "Preparations" and "Concepts." I learned everything i know about fingerstyle guitar from Hanson and Morgen.
Wow really? Anyone else feel this way?
 

windmill

Member
Messages
542
You have done well so far and have it is good you have a clear idea of what you want to do

Dont spoil it with information overload.

Go back and work through the first Leavitt book again and make sure you really understand what the exercises are trying to teach you

Pick up some chord charts of some songs you want to learn and then apply the lessons from the books as you go along.

Dont get stuck trying to "nail" things, remember it is about applying the lessons you have been doing.

After a couple weeks get the chord charts of some different songs and try the same thing.

Then start on the next book.

When you finish that go back to the first book, hopefully you will know the principles so well by then that it is easy for you.
Then the second book again.



HTH

:)
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,620
Hello All,

Been playing seriously for almost two years here--a little about my background: I'm a public school music teacher (4th-6th grade general music/chorus), but I just recently got super into guitar as a passion project around Feb. 2018.

The main reason I got into guitar was because I really like genres like rock, folk, alternative. Pretty sure a lot of artists I like can't read music, but being a musician already, I wanted to be able to read music as well as find chords/notes/scales all over the fretboard and have a bit of technical mastery. It took me about a year to get through Vol. 1. I've found some new interests along the way...I've noticed Modern Method Vol. 1 was geared towards Jazz guitar...which I have started listening to a bit. I also am starting to become interested in the idea of getting into the whole chord melody thing both with fingerstyle and with a pick. I recently started working on Ken Perlman's "Fingerstyle Guitar" book as well to help with this. I also bought Mark Hanson's first fingerpicking book but for now that one is waiting in the wings. Also, I'm just playing songs for fun from the genres I mentioned.

I know that right now my goals are:

1) Be able to read music/sight read, knowing all notes and most chords all over the fretboard.
2) Be proficient with pick style and with fingerstyle.
3) Be able to play anything from complex solo fingerpicking arrangments to vocal accompaniment.
4) Be able to play rock/folk/alternative, chord melody/fingerstyle, maybe Jazz (depending if I keep up the interest in that one)

All this being said, my question is regarding what my skill level might be like at the end of Modern Method Vol. 3, for those who have completed the series/book. If I am understanding correctly--

Vol. 1 - Beginner, though many say it moves very quickly for a beginner book
Vol. 2 - Intermediate
Vol. 3 - Advanced

I *think* I chose some good books for my goals here, but I just want to manage expectations for myself. Would you consider someone who has completed all 3 volumes of modern method to be at an advanced level? Would you consider these books, as well as just learning songs I love in general to be in line with my goals?

As always, I appreciate any wisdom anyone has for me. Thanks!
Have you ever seen Leavitt's chord-melody arrangements? You might get more out of two of those than all three volumes of his books.
 

mermermer

Senior Member
Messages
103
I went through Vol I and II during my first two years of guitar playing with my music instructor. It's all we did. At this point, I'm sure it got some things under my fingers, but I think it was mostly a waste of time. You may get more out of it. Perhaps if it was augmented with other learning it would have helped me more. Guitar is such a funny instrument to be able to sight read on; the scale fingerings, for example, I feel like I had to relearn because the ones presented in the book, while practical for sight reading, are not optimal (for me) otherwise. I don't feel like these books really taught me enough about music, and I should have been spending more time learning songs and developing a repertoire. Getting back to guitar later in life, I am finding other books and sources of information are more useful for getting better. If I had to do it over, I would not have gone this route. Obviously these are just my opinions and my experience.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,620
I went through Vol I and II during my first two years of guitar playing with my music instructor. It's all we did. (Didn't you have stuff that you wanted to learn so badly you copied it from recordings?)At this point, I'm sure it got some things under my fingers, but I think it was mostly a waste of time. You may get more out of it. Perhaps if it was augmented with other learning it would have helped me more.(Of course, it needs to be included with supplemental material) Guitar is such a funny instrument to be able to sight read on; the scale fingerings, for example, I feel like I had to relearn because the ones presented in the book, while practical for sight reading, are not optimal (for me) otherwise. I don't feel like these books really taught me enough about music (it's just a guitar manual, not complete 'secrets of music' book), and I should have been spending more time learning songs and developing a repertoire (didn't you play in bands?). Getting back to guitar later in life, I am finding other books and sources of information are more useful for getting better(there are lot of good goods, and more bad ones. The aspect of 'going through' and entire book never hurts anyone). If I had to do it over, I would not have gone this route.(The book is not a route, it's a resource) Obviously these are just my opinions and my experience.
 

mermermer

Senior Member
Messages
103
To answer you question guitarjazz- I think the books are a waste of time (for me). Maybe they are great for you. Congratulations, we have different opinions. Welcome to the internet.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,620
To answer you question guitarjazz- I think the books are a waste of time (for me). Maybe they are great for you. Congratulations, we have different opinions. Welcome to the internet.
At least in the Mel Bay books you get a little certificate at the end.
 
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BlueRiff

Member
Messages
7,058
Congrats on your diligence and work ethic! I felt the Leavitt books were great for fretboard familiarity and right hand picking technique.

If you’re going to really do fingerstyle I’d recommend focusing on the classical technique (not necessarily becoming a classical guitarist). Because you can read music notation you can focus on getting the right hand and guitar position together (e.g. guitar over left leg with left foot foot stand, etc.) in this style which will give total right hand control over note tonality and attack. For jazz chord melodies I use this method and it works awesome - effortless playing on electric. To get the proper classical style chops you can start with Aaron Shearer guitar method books. Good luck and keep us posted on progress!!
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,620
I recently attended a Zoom workshop about chord-melody playing. One of the clinicians had been a Leavitt student at Berklee. He said Leavitt was a huge Johnny Smith fan.
 




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