Howard Roberts Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Chord Melody 

Many guitarists accumulate a large repertoire of “guitar chords” which, in themselves, are pleasant sounding and, perhaps, well suited to rhythm playing and various accompaniments. But a repertoire of “isolated” chords may remain in the players mind as disconnected chunks of harmony, not easily applied to chord melody playing. The main academic point of this book is the resolution of this problem.

This book will help you:

  • improve your musical and instrumental techniques by accepting the challenge of more and more difficult material
  • Play the examples in this book that have been developed, not for their simplicity, but for their direct usefulness in contemporary music thereby representing some of the facets of advanced guitar playing
  • Embark on an adventure that is both musically and personally rewarding
  • outline some chordal techniques that have practical application in contemporary styles
  • Partake in fingerboard exploration and the development of a sense of musical coherence

Howard Roberts Guitar Manual: Sight Reading 

If you are in the vast majority of the class designated ‘average guitar player’ and consider sight-reading a necessary evil, this book has been has been written for you. Guitar players as a general rule are pretty poor sight-readers in comparison to players of almost any other instrument you can name; with good reason – there is no harder instrument to read on, primarily because of the duplication of notes on the fingerboard and the number of strings. Never fear – this book is designed to allow you to read guitar exactly like you play without reading.

In this book you will learn:

  • To read guitar exactly like you play without reading
  • How to analyze the process of sight reading
  • Develop an understanding of what constitutes good sight reading
  • Realize what physical, mental, visual, and audial process are involved
  • Improve your sign reading immediately

Style and Craft

Every guitarist that you think of who has a recognizable style has a trademark (or a small collection of them) that provide his/her playing with a special, unique character. This trademark will very likely be one of the basic technical moves treated in this book. For instance, when you think of chords, Freddie Green, or George Van Eps might come to mind; in the case of scales, perhaps John Mclaughlin, Larry Coryell, or Al Dimeola. Each major style, moreover – Jazz, Rock, Country, Fusion, Classical, etc., is characterized by an emphasis on sub-group of these basic moves; thus a mastery of all of them greatly facilitates the stylistic breadth essential to the accomplished guitarist.

In this book you will learn:

  • How to develop a personal style
  • Learn how proper technique can nourish your stylistic growth
  • How to translate what you have to say musically through your guitar
  • Overcome the common tendency to play the same thing in the same ways

Super Solos

This volume is an invaluable aid to the guitarist who wants to incorporate the sounds and techniques of Howard Roberts into his own playing as I did. Each transcription has been set down with the greatest possible care. I have included a thorough analysis of chords, chord substitutions, and scales, which will help to illustrate Howard’s unique approach to improvisation.

In this book you will:

  • Learn the Howard Roberts signature style
  • Become a better improviser
  • Play manuscripts that were personally approved by Howard Roberts himself
  • Play transcriptions of Howard Roberts solos

The Accelerator 

Based on Howard Roberts’ experience over the years of dealing with thousands of aspiring guitarists in seminars and at the Guitar Institute of Technology, it has become increasingly clear that the single greatest handicap facing a student of the guitar is an unfamiliarity with the common language of music, i.e., not knowing the names of the notes, their scale step numbers in all keys, and their locations on the staff and on the fingerboard.

This book will help you with:

  • Theory, reading, chords, scales and arpeggio applications and learning approaches
  • Getting you better prepared to play over chord changes
  • Improve your improvisation skills
  • Learn the names of the notes, their scale step numbers in all keys, and their locations on the staff and on the fingerboard

The Guitar Compendium Set (Volume 1-3)

The Guitar Compendium is the first instructional book of its kind. It takes a strikingly new and refreshing approach to learning guitar, and it is carefully designed to guarantee efficient practice with rewarding results. This program contains a comprehensive and unified body of instructional material that students and teachers can use to chart their own courses according to their own musical interests and needs.

Vol 1

I: Style and Craft

II: Troubleshooting 1

III: Fingerboard Map – Chords

Vol 2

IV: The Fingerboard Map – Scales

V: Troubleshooting 2

VI: The Fingerboard Map – Intervals

Vol 3

VII: The Fingerboard Map – Arpeggios

VIII: Troubleshooting 3

IX: Essential Theory

With this compendium set you will be able to:

  • Establish your own musical direction
  • Learn the difference between stylistic originators vs. imitators
  • Learn the technique of efficient learning
  • Be able to play what you hear in your head
  • Have your guitar playing become as natural to you as speaking!

Howard Robert’s SuperChops 

This book is a series of programmed project lessons designed to give the improvising guitarist such a regimented program. Why the improvising guitarist? In most cases, the violin or piano student is working from music which was written by someone else. The psychology behind his studies puts him in a relatively safe place. “If you don’t like it, don’t blame me. Paganinni wrote it; I didn’t”. The improviser, however, faces the risk of criticism not only of his technique, but of his choice of notes as well. This working condition can create a double bind effect, causing a sort of mental paralysis which quickly translates into an inability to carry out the motor skill. It is toward the resolution of this problem that this book is directed.

This book will help you:

  • Work on your left hand technique
  • Learn how to practice effectively
  • Greatly increase your skill set and speed on the guitar
  • Learn the appropriate fingering technique for speed and accuracy

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