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Michael Langer : Advanced Finger Style

Michael Langer

AMA Verlag : 118 pages (includes a CD)

If you don’t know the name Michael Langer then you should, as his books have provided endless hours of fun, not only for me but also my pupils when they want to play something a little less ‘ classical ‘ in style , and there are many , many books with that man’s name attached.

This latest book, has one problem; it is in German entirely (as the man himself is, with an umlaut over the A in his surname, making it sound like a short e) This doesn’t necessarily make this a non – starter for non- German readers as there are so many music examples, and pieces littered over every page, and a CD with 59 tracks (!) playing just about everything in the book, that it’s still entirely possible to get a lot out of it. Also every single piece or example is in notation and tab.

After a chapter of fingerpicking patterns that includes examples from Teach Your Children , and Country Roads, and brings into play Hammer –ons , pull- offs, slides, bending notes, and other technical things, there are then 40 odd pages of various solo styles, such as Fingerpicking – Folk, - Country, - Blues, -Ragtime, - Gospel, - Bluegrass, - Jazz, and Celtic, with various examples from The Entertainer, Sheebeg and Sheemore, as well as ones written by Langer, he moves finally onto a chapter entitled Learning from the Masters. This is where he goes into details and pieces by such guitarists as Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke, Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Merle Travis and several more, before finally describing various different tunings and how they affect your sound.

Yes, it would be ideal if there was an English language version of this book, but I still feel that with all the recorded examples, and the periphery of music both in notation and tab that there is still much for the interested player to gain from this fine book, and if you want to find any more books by this man, there is a fine volume called Still, and two volumes of graded pieces called Mein Gitarren Book volumes 1 and 2 that I find essential for my pupils!

Chris Dumigan

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