"There comes a time in every guitar player's life when they start to notice that they are repeating ideas far too frequently. Many times they aren't original ideas to begin with and need not be repeated ad infinitum.
Rather than continuing down the road to creative bankruptcy I highly recommend studying the astronomical amount of ingenious melodic phrases
and patterns compiled in Jack Zucker's book Sheets Of Sound. I wish I had this book when I first started playing over 20 years ago. The good news it's never too late to become inspired!"
Regards, Dweezil Zappa
"Sheets Of Sound" is an amazing body of work mate! Well done!! Cheers.
"I keep Jack Zucker's Sheets of Sound for Guitar on my music stand for new shapes and technical studies. This book is full of wonderful melodic ideas and challenging technical studies that will add to your improvising vocabulary and chops. The book is also neatly organized and very thorough in terms of laying it all out. Guitarists from intermediate to advanced can glean a lot of inspiration from "Sheets.."
Sheryl Bailey (Gary Thomas, Richard Bona, Irene Cara, Assistant Professor of Guitar Berklee College)
Thanks for sending. You sound great! You're doing some wonderful things. Wish I had your pick chops!!
Steve Herberman (Ben Monder, Howard Alden, John Stowell, Gary Burton - Professor Towson State College)
"You and your son sound fantastic. I love to see that man.
Father and son sharing a deep passion. Wonderful!"
Matthew Garrison (Bassist Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Lyle Mays, Gary Burton, Betty Carter - He's also the son of Jimmy Garrison, the Coltrane bassist!)
"Jack's approach to expanding one's technique on the guitar
seems to me to be the best possible way of gaining the facility
to approach the rhythmic abandon and intensity of John Coltrane's
mid-60's music. I'm only at the beginning, but I predict this book
will give me a multitude of new abilites. Well done, Mr. Zucker!"
Doug Wamble (guitarist - Wynton Marsalis, John Zorn, Branford Marsalis, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson)
"Sheets of Sound is a unique and wonderful book filled with lines and techniques unlike anything else on the market. I highly recommend it!"
Vic Juris (guitarist - Dave Liebman, Professor - The New School, Rutkers, Author-Mel Bay)
"A profoundly detailed and well researched resource for both technique and idiomatic vocabulary. Quite impressive and intense. Reminds me of the first time I saw Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry 30 years ago...the daunting effect felt similar."
Beth Marlis, Director GIT
Yo Jack ......
I got the book and man 'O man it is slammin'.
You are a genius dude !
You gonna open your own school or something ?
Can I enroll ?
Sheets Of Sound" is a great book and a bonus to any player"
"besides the fact that SOS-for-Guitar is a uniquely modern, incredibly deep and instructive tome, it's also the source to which i now send prospective students; when they ask for lessons, i simply say, "hey, i don't know! why dontcha simply pick up Jack Zucker's book, and give him a call?
David Torn / Splattercell
i want to thank you for creating such a wonderful informative book. i've
made a few attempts in my career to switch over
from alternate picking to sweep picking and this is the first time i've made significant progress. i just finished going through the entire book for the second time and am now starting once again, this time i'll transpose everything. Each time it gets a little more solid for me. i've been turning lots of my friends and students onto SoS.
Matthew Von Doran
Jack, Great to hear from you - Yours was the most interesting and refreshing book for "good" guitar players I've come across since Mick Goodrick's rather quirky, Zen-flavoured opus. (I spent my last flight home from LA reading SOS, and it sure beat watching those compulsory in-flight Ben Stiller films!) If you're honoured that I like it, I'm honoured that you care, my good fellow.
For anyone who feels that their guitar playing could benefit from an injection of new ideas - and let's face it, that means all of us! - Jack's book is an indispensable source of vocabulary and inspiration. Highly
"Sheets of Sound is essential for SERIOUS jazz guitarists who want to fine-tune their technique. Its 300 pages of scales and exercises will challenge even the most proficient of guitarists."
"Sheets of Sound for Guitar is a unique and invaluable resource that every guitarist should own. I highly recommend it.”
“In his book Sheets of Sound for Guitar, Jack has effectively captured the essence and spirit of John Coltrane’s music and applied it to the guitar. I highly recommend this book.”
“Jack Zucker has written a book that is both concise and well organized. It is an endless source of useful information. I wish I had this book when I was growing up!”
“Sheets of Sound for Guitar is a wonderful, well thought out book that should be a welcome addition to any guitarists library. Jack has treated us to a window on concepts and ideas for improvising and picking that are often secret. Any guitarist that wants to take that next step in their technique and improvisation would be well served by checking out this book. It is well thought out and organized and just plain good. Thanks Jack!”
“Jack is a fine guitarist who in his search for more musical knowledge, has come across some information that will be useful to all guitarists. We’re fortunate to have Jack publish his findings in this book”
"Sheets Of Sound" is a really serious book that gets your creative juicesgoing. We all know how easy it is for us to get stuck or trapped in those dreaded boxes on the fingerboard - pentatonic, diatonic, chromatic,
whatever... This book will really help you break out of those boxes and let your mind do the walking.
Okay, I'll try to give a copy to Holdsworth on Sep 25. Hang with me and I'll get a copy into the hands of all Larry Carlton, Frank Gambale, Eric Johnson and Scott Henderson as time goes by.
Thanks and Best regards,
I feel guilty not answering you sooner - especially after you were nice enough to get me a copy of the book - but I wanted to do more than just skim it before getting back to you. I still haven't done much more than that, but I've been through the whole book and I'm very impressed. The materials are presented and developed in such a way that the patterns, themselves, could easily be adapted for use by performers who wanted to develop their technique on whatever instrument they happened to play.
I make no pretense about evaluating the picking techniques you suggest, but I can only believe that they are as well thought out as everything else in the book. I'm going to recommend it to guitar players/instructors I know.
Cleveland State University, Director of Jazz Studies
I thoroughly enjoyed your book; it was thought provoking, well-organized, and exhaustive. I found the material regarding the harmonic major scale, dodecaphonics, and diminished scale particularly enlightening. Also, The mini-etudes provided an invaluable application of the techniques discussed in a musical context. Thumbs up!
Sheets of Sound
Picked up Jacks book about 2 weeks ago. I gazed through it the first week, and just tried to get a grip on its layout, contents, and how I was going to apply it to my playing. I basically know the theory that Jack touches on, so I was not looking for that anyway. I am pretty much set in the way I look and approach music, and I was looking for some fresh ideas... My Technique has always been pretty good, and I have only been starting to employ some of the different techniques he writes about, (only as of the last 7 days) but my picking has already improved! I have been having difficulties with numbness in my hands, and many of his techniques make things easier for me now. (Less motion\fatigue) It gives you many different ways to look and play things you already know, as well as tons of new material. If I had used this method for technique when I was first learning, there would be nothing physically challenging on the guitar after these 20 plus years of playing. (Boy would that be nice)
I am finding at this point, the thing is to skip around the book, and add things to what you already know, exactly as Jack intended it I believe. I am an intermediate player, so I understand the theory behind it which obviously helps. For advanced players who do not have great technique, this book would be a godsend. I would think within a years time, slow or sloppy players could be shredding cleanly with practice. As I am a line guy, I would have loved to have seen more examples of Jacks playing, but that was obviously not Jacks intentions here. (There are a LOT of cool lines however) To me, you take this book, and integrate it in with what you already know. I believe that was his goal, and it is a perfect bullseye! Just the fingerings for Maj7 and Min7 arpeggios get you looking at things a bit different. It is totally AMAZING at what one changed fingering in an arp or line can lead you too. Something as simple as adding one additional note at the beginning or ending of a phrase, can get your speed WAY up. I practiced it for at the most one hour, and automatically, without another thought, started to do it in my normal cliches.. It gives a totally different sound, and brings your picking back to the right "pattern" to get things up to light speed!
Obviously I have only started to scratch the surface, but that is how I am going to use the book. A tip here, a slight change there, and it can make you really leap forward! The Metheny and Martino lines are cool, and can get rock oriented players moving in a jazzier direction. Really something for everyone. Great job Jack! It must have been TONS of work, but I feel your efforts will improve every player who spends even a little time with it. Looking forward to part 2, with a chapter on cool jazz lines for Tag!
Tag Skinner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sheets Of Sound turns intervals, scales, and other elements into highly musical patterns inspired by the world's greatest improvisers. A valuable asset for guitarists.
Alex Skolnick - Testament, Michael Manring, Savatage, Ozzy Osbourne, Alex Skolnick Trio.
Sheets of Sound has got be hands down, THE best guitar book I've seen. I've taught hundreds of students and only wish this had been around sooner. Your unique approach to every kind of concept, will have guitar players everywhere digging deeply into their instruments for a long, long time. NO guitarist who aspires to take their playing to the next level, should be without this book. It will revolutionize anyone's playing who even remotely wants to achieve greater heights in technique, or in application of theoretical elements. No matter how far along a player is, this book will give anyone at any level, fantastic tools for practice for years to come. I'm blown away, and I've only scratched the surface, myself. And you may quote me on this!!
Scott Jones-Progressive Arts Recording Artist, guitarist. http://www.scottjonesmusic.com
Though I am not a guitarist and obviously cannot discuss the fingerings and all that, I am very impressed with the wealth of information in this volume as well as the interesting lines and progressions as the book advances along. This is a very complete musical reference book for any instrument.
Dave Liebman (Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and just about EVERYONE who's ANYONE in jazz)
Jack Zucker's "Sheets of Sound for Guitar" book represents, to me, the most comprehensive treatise that I have ever encountered in my 49 years of playing as a professional guitarist-especially on the topic of picking techniques.
In exploring this work, we are also treated to examples of the playing styles of some of the guitar's great players that we have come to admire and wish to emulate. The study of this publication truly does open new horizons for the aspiring guitarist. A must have!!!!!!!!!
Frank "Silk" Smith (Former guitarist with Albert King, Bobby "Blue" Bland and other top artists/groups)
I'm starting to get into your book and I'm finding it facinating, fresh and VERY musical. Your concepts as you said earlier on in your website can be used for Rock or jazz which i think is wonderful.
I must say when Frank Gambale took over for me with the Electrik Band, I went on a Gambale kick. I wanted to know how he did what he did,(sweeping) and began researching, checking out videos and books on the subject. Being an alternate picking guy using the Berklee-Segovia positions primarily I found sweeping very cumbersome , and extremely unmusical when i attempted it.
Not so since beginning your method. Suddenly, the whole sweeping/picking paradigm has become clear.
Jamie Glaser (Chick Corea, Jean Luc Ponty, Manhattan Transfer< Bryan Adams, SeinFeld, Married with Children, etc)
Dear fellow guitarists:
I wholeheartedly recommend Jack Zucker's Sheets of Sound to any serious student of Jazz Guitar. I have found the material to be extremely well-organized and thorough. Jack has obviously put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into this book and he should be congratulated. I will be incorporating this excellent book into our guitar curriculum at Fullerton College. There are so many texts on the market these days that it is rare to find one that really stands out, and Sheets of Sound certainly does. An advanced student will find an endless supply of interesting and applicable concepts and exercises. I can only imagine that a year's study of this book would result in remarkable advancement in technique and ideas. I can't wait to do just that myself. Really great work, Jack.
Dr. Joseph Jewell
Chair, Guitar Studies
About Sheets of Sound for Guitar...
So, Jack asked me to take a look at his book and I was quite impressed. I started doing some of the exercises on the couch and dug. Tonight I actually really practiced some of his approach to pentatonics and it seems that I actually finally am able to pull some of the Shawn Lane/Eric Johnson hellish pentatonics that in the past really took effort.
Proof you ask?
Check out this MP3. It happens first at about 28 seconds...and a lot thereafter.
Anyways, I really dig this book and suggest that if anybody is trying to get to a higher level with their single string abilities...contact him
And no I'm not getting kick backs.
Product Development & Support
THD Electronics, Ltd.
for sound clips...
I love Jack's new book. As a professor at Berklee, I have seen many guitar methods. I am always on the look-out for a new and refreshing approach. This book contains so many great
ideas for improvisation and is well written so you can incorporate the
principals and apply them to your own individual style.
All you need to do is open the book and begin working on it. If Jack had
written this book years ago, my students would have saved a lot of time.
I am taking "Sheets of Sound for Guitar" to Berklee tomorrow!
Professor of Guitar
Berklee College of Music
Jack Zucker has put together a pretty unique little book.
I strongly recomend it for all serious guitarists looking for expanding
their jazz vocabulary
Ulf Wakenius (Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Phil Woods, Johnny Griffin)
I think Sheets of Sound is a fascinating contribution to the plucked guitar technical tradition. The insights into the guitar styles of so many supremely relevant players such as George Benson, Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny etc.. are very useful, but Jack himself is a great guitar player so my favorite part of the book is his take on picking approaches that aren't yet represented in print to any great extent. This is no skinny little book either. This is a serious work that is a virtual telephone book of musical ideas.
Congratulations Jack, and thanks for the contribution to the guitar.
Professor of Jazz Guitar, Oberlin Conservatory
Jack has fine technique, good tone, and note choices that would make George Benson proud!
T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs, Vital Information,Nils Lofgren)
This is the book guitarists have been waiting for! It covers techniques
and concepts that one can use immediately to take one's playing to a higher
Professor of Jazz Guitar Studies, Cleveland State University, Akron University
Got the book yesterday. I give it very high marks in general. Consistently interesting and progressive exercises. Easy to read. Focused and functional. With minor exceptions, it looks like a work that draws in and educates the student, and builds a strong foundation for moving forward in performance technique. The theoretical concepts are presented with adequate practice material reinforcing the ideas, and not too much of the typical "now play this in all keys, all positions, upside-down, backwards ...." I know that this is unavoidable and desirable in some situations, to avoid the three-digit page count, and to encourage the student to work and think. But, some instructional books rely on this mantra without building up the interest and desire to do the work. Great job!
Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC