Barrett's music at

The Reviews

Here's my first bit of customer feedback for the

Guitar Reading Workbook

Hi Barrett,

One of my students, a high school junior, has been working through the first few chapters of the workbook, and seems to be enjoying it. He says it has been easy so far and likes writing out the exercises. I have been photocopying pages and distributing them to him, so he doesn't have the overview of the book. It's all been rhythm so far and next week we'll be moving on to pitch. We did, together last week, some of the clapping/tapping exercises and he has a good handle on it.

Like most young guitarists who haven't been reading, he's a little restless to "sit there and read something off of a page". I explained he will be glad he's learning to read, for many of the same reasons you've expressed in your book, and especially since he will be going to Berklee or some other music school and reading is a MUST.

I will be trying the workbook out on a much younger student soon; it seems like maybe the younger we can get to them, the more willing they'll be to learn to read!

Rick Fortenberry
Sandpiper Guitar Studios
Cape Cod massachusetts

If you live in the Cape Cod area and need lessons from a qualified instructor, Rick's your man. Click here to contact him for more information.

Reviews for:

The Guitar Fretboard Workbook

A longtime instructor at Musician's Institute, Barrett Tagliarino has developed a progressive teaching method that offers a clear roadmap through the tangles of the fretboard maze. His approach is based on the theory that we learn faster by writing out chord and scale shapes before trying to play them; once the mind has thoroughly grasped a shape in this way, the body will quickly learn to play it properly. The text and graphics are attractively laid out and easy to read, and the student is taught to see both simple and complicated patterns in terms of five basic shapes.

Tagliarino's book is divided into 22 chapters that move from basic fretboard diagrams and the names of open strings through intervals, scale construction, arpeggios, triads, and complex chord variations. Each chapter begins with a plainly stated objective like "practice finding notes on the fretboard in various positions" or "practice the intervallic construction of various chords" and students are encouraged to proceed at their own pace. When you have finished your study using this text, you will understand and be playing complicated fretboard ideas, and you will have created a personalized chord- and scale-diagram book. (Hal Leonard,
—Gary Lee Joyner, Acoustic Guitar

Worth 10 Times the Price! June 14, 2005
Reviewer: A. Hebert "digit@l embryo" (Reno, NV)

Tagliarino does something very few authors of guitar books have done - he puts the entire fretboard within reach of the guitar student. About 99 percent of the guitar players I know panic when they get beyond the fourth fret. But all of these players absolutely love the guitar and truly desire to learn the instrument - all the way to fret 12 and above. They have all kinds of musical notes and guitar riffs in their heads, but can't reproduce them on the fretboard. That is the worst kind of pain.

Fortunately, Tagliarino's method is the "wonder drug" that takes the mystique out of the guitar fretboard and makes it all come together. Please be advised however, that getting this book doesn't reduce the necessity of practice. What students should experience is an increased desire to practice more! My advice to any guitar player, or instructor for that matter - get this book and the boxed set of Fretboard Logic (with DVD) by Edwards - and get to work! Within six months: you, your friends, your students, your teachers - eveyone - will be absolutely amazed at your increased level of knowledge. Take the plunge and buy this book! You won't regret your investment!

Clear, concise, and detailed explanations..., August 12, 2004
Reviewer: S. Maloney
That is how I would describe this book and the teachings of the author. Everything is laid out in an easy to understand format, that takes you from the complete basics all the way up to a complete understanding of the guitar. If I had two more hands, I'd could give the book four thumbs up. ;-D I can't recommend it highly enough.

The best guitar book you'll ever buy, January 24, 2004
Reviewer: Scott Houghton from Los Angeles
If you are a guitarist, beginner or advanced, this book will take your playing to another level. In poison drooleraddition to being easy to read (with a little humor thrown in), it may reinvent the way you think about the fretboard. If you are a guitar teacher, it will be an invaluable tool for your students. I've been playing for 16 years, and this book helped get me off the plateau I've been on for a long time. I plan on buying more of this guy's books.

This is a gold mine!, January 18, 2004
Reviewer: Steven Stathatos from Berkeley, CA
I have read countless testimonials about guitar books that guarantee results I never was able to achieve. This book actually delivered for me, and it has done so in a big way. My ambition, which previously eluded me entirely, has been to become fluent on the fretboard--to be able to improvise, follow changes, structure complex chords on the fly and the like. I tried so long in vain I decided I must just lack the necessary ability. This book changed all that for me. I am doing things now I only dreamed of before. I don't know how the author figured it out, but he has come up with a way to communicate an understanding of music and the fretboard to both your head and, probably more important, your hands. Simple things like combining diagram exercises and playing, reinforced by having you speak the information out loud, really work to imprint the material on your fingers. The book walks you one step at a time, fairly painlessly, from simple to very complex. This thing is a gold mine. No kidding.

Fretboard Magik, January 13, 2004
Reviewer: Scott E Tanaka from Hollywood, CA USA
This is one of the best books I've ever read for guitar. I have always had trouble finding my way around the fretbaord, but after working with this book I have no trouble at all. There are so many helpful tips and exercises that you can't help but become ultra fluent on guitar. And unlike most books, the material in this book is presented in a manner that is easy to understand. It's all connected perfectly, instead of YOU having to piece things together. I would recomend this book to anyone.

the saving grace, January 12, 2004
Reviewer: A reader from Hollywood CA
I entered musicians intstitute as a level 2 git student. I soon realized that I was way behind. I knew I was in trouble, so I bought this book, and in a matter of days I was able to understand what I should have already known...This book saved my ass and alot of money!

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A complete, highly comprehensive approach to the fretboard., December 8, 2003
Reviewer: wm_burke from Pasadena, CA United States
I have been using this book with my students since Barrett started putting together the opening chapters. I first used it with my advanced students, those who already had some experience with the 5 patterns of major scales. Immediately they returned saying that it helped them understand the scales and visualize the fretboard more easily.

Having my students walk in with diagrams of scales and intervals for me to check has been an incredible reversal of roles. Normally I would draw diagrams for them to study and play. Going over a chapter and sending them home to complete and play the exercises gets the student involved in a way that the normal draw, demonstrate, "see ya' next week" cycle never really reaches. It gives the student an opportunity to take home and digest the information that was normally only available during the lesson.

Teaching people to operate a guitar and teaching music on a guitar are almost completely different tasks. I found the first six chapters to be very helpful when initiating beginner and intermediate students into the world beyond the 3rd fret and power chords. There is something in this book for nearly anyone interested in knowing how to play the guitar.

If you are an instructor you will find the comprehensive, organized approach very thorough and focused. If you are self-studying the instrument or a student seeking more than just another tabbed-out solo this is a book you can keep coming back to throughout your journey. I highly recommend it.
--Billy Burke

Posted On 06/18/2004 7:34 PM CST by jauen I just finished the Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Barrett Tagliarino. This is really a helpful resource for those trying to truly understand this "Rubik's Cube" we call a guitar.

It's filled with exercise after exercise in a very organized fashion. I actually had fun completing them. Much of it I already knew, but the book really cemented the understanding for me. The section on Minor, Diminished and Augmented Intervals was particularly helpful. I always had trouble with descending intervals. No longer.

Also, the author stresses visualization and vocal practicing; either singing along or naming the notes and intervals aloud while playing. I felt a little self-conscious when I did this on stage, but I got used to the laughing pretty quickly (just kidding). This technique really helped me to commit this stuff to memory. I plan to go back and play through all the exercises again.

Today, I was building arpeggios to play over a Jazz chord progression. I didn't count up the scales or write anything down, I just used the shapes of the intervals to quickly build the arpeggios. I can finally see how Brad Carlton can quickly determine harmonic relationships in his lessons.

I'd love to see this book in software form. With even rudimentary grading, the software could quickly narrow down your problem areas and then you could drill, drill, drill.

I recommend it for any level of player.

- Jeff

One last ting: If you're beginner and want to learn the fretboard, I recommend this book: "Guitar Fretboard Workbook"
It's a great way to learn about those chord relationships, scales and intervals that Brad blazes by in the Solology and Rhythmology series.

I use it with even my youngest students. The results are amazing. In one short lesson an 8 year old I teach is finding any note, anywhere on the fretboard. I can call out Ab for example and he will play every Ab on the guitar. We move into intervals next, so he'll know where every 1,3 and 5 note is in any key. He already knows more than his older brother and everyone in his older brother's rock band. Do you think he's happy?

I've written about this book elsewhere on this forum. I have no connection with the author or publisher. The book simply worked for me and I see it work every day with my students. I've tried to buy it in bulk for my students, but can't get a response from the publisher.

- Jeff
Message #: 824 of 1050
Posted On 06/23/2004 8:21 PM CST by JRHODEN

Hello again,

I went ahead and placed an order for the Fretboard workbook. Am looking forward to getting it and givin it a look-see. If the book is no good, I hold you personally responsible ;) Only kidding. I think I'll give that a try before I worry about the Fretboard Logic series.

Thanks again for the heads up on the book. I'm trying to get into the guitar more seriously and this sounds like a good place to start, along with TFU that i s.

Rock on,
John Reply# 5
Message #: 827 of 1050
Posted On 06/23/2004 9:16 PM CST by jauen


I did check out the Fretboard Logic books again on Monday.

I still didn't buy them, mostly because I've been down that road and I have most of that material in other books. A lot of people swear by the CAGED system. I think it has many benefits as well, but I lose the connection between identification of the specific form (C,A,G,E, or D) and applying an improvisational idea. My mind just doesn't seem to work that way. I may be in the minority here.

The Fretboard Workbook approaches the guitar fretboard from the standpoint of Roots, Octaves and Intervals. This seems to be a better approach to me, because it's easier to actually apply music theory (especially harmonic ideas) when you can see these relationships, regardless of whether the notes are forming a particular CAGED shape. (My ability to identify chords and build different voicings has improved measurably as a result of stuff I learned in this book.)

The Fretboard Workbook dovetails with the CAGED system, of course, because it's simply another way of looking at the relationships between all those notes. Pat Martino has a method called The Nature of Guitar. (See the Pat Martino thread for more info.) Mark Hanson has his approach as well (Triad Power).

For me, the one that "put the rubber on the road" as they say was the Fretboard Workbook. I take full responsibility :)

Let me know what you think after you spend some time with the book. It takes a little while to get through it. I made copies and did the actual work on them, so I can let my son have a crack at it next.

- Jeff

Posted On 06/29/2004 12:13 PM CST by JRHODEN

Hello Jeff,

I got the book a few days ago and have been working with it daily. I'm trying to take my time and go through it slowly, making sure I get the most out of each lesson. Even when I go to a knew lesson I usually go back through the previous lessons just as a refresher. I have looked through some of the later lessons and I think the book addresses alot of the topics I need to learn. After I've had a chance to read further into the book, I will give you a more informed review of the book, in my humble opinion.


Posted On 07/10/2004 9:33 AM CST by MIDNIGHTSHADOW
I just bought this book based on a newsgroup that I am on. It received great writeups. It just arrived and I haven't started it yet. I hope to work on it while I am also working on the 60 Day Fingerstyle Blues Camp lessons. The book looks really interesting to me. Chuck

Posted On 07/28/2004 1:04 PM CST by jauen

Just a quick update...

My 7 year old son has started digging into this book. He's says it's "fun."

"Now I know where I can put my finger when I see the note."

I'm playing a static chord and he's playing only the 1's or just the 1's and 5's to "jam" with me. Awesome!

I wish I had this when I was 7.

- Jeff

Dutch Posted - 10/31/2004 : 10:01:20

The Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Barrett Tagliarino is very good for basic and advanced Fretboard knowledge. I'm going through it at the moment.

It's not a free ride though.

Re: good advanced theory books
3/27/2004 9:14:38 PM
Bea Phlat (263) wrote:

Here's a book I've got that you can get on Ebay and probably (for cheaper) called Guitar Fretboard Workbook. Its Item #3712752878 on ebay and here's what the ebay ad says:

"Navigate the guitar neck better than ever before with this easy-to-use book! Designed from Musicians Institute core curriculum programs, it covers essential concepts for players of every level, acoustic or electric. A hands-on guide to theory, it will help you learn to build any scale or chord on your own and unleash creativity. No music reading is required."

Its a good one. And so are the lessons here.


I can't tell you how this book opened my mind to how the guitar worked. Using this, I can now tell you where any note is on the fretboard. I can truly say studying this book has given me one epiphany after another. GET THIS!


I can recommend a book that was a real eyeopener for me. The book is called "fretboard workbook" from Musicians Institute.

It is really easy to understand and takes one thing at a time.
It also has exercises that you should complete before you move on.
This book is mostly about theory and how to aply it to the guitar.

Reviews for:

Moe's Art

Guitarist Barrett Tagliarino is an instructor at GIT in Los Angeles. Moe's Art is a very good representation of his broad musical palette. Barrett plays a fusion of rock, country and jazz/fusion similar to Steve Morse or Eric Johnson in some respects, although the album is quite a bit more varied overall. "Nanny's Favorite" brings to mind the spirit of quality LA fusion, while "The Unfriendly Cows Of Oklahoma" begins in Frisell-land before passing through Danny Gatton and Steve Morse inspired country breakdowns. Another standout track is "Girth-Hankering Days" which will satisfy fusion fans looking for tight ensemble playing and interaction.
---David Dorkin, Fuse Magazine

Barrett Tagliarino finesses his way through Moe's Art, a disc that shows Barrett's jazzy guitar style in easy-to-enjoy song nuggets. The guitar style is largely in the Satriani-esque vein, though "The Unfriendly Cows of Oklahoma" has a country-influenced hoedown flavor. The whole disc is a fun romp.
---Geoff Wilbur, Renegade Newsletter

Excellent melodic hard-drivin' blues-based instrumental rock featuring the fine lead guitar work of Barrett Tagliarino with some jazz/funk excursions. Tagliarino is described by others accurately as "... a demon on the fretboard ... a restrained guitar virtuoso ..." with "... scorching guitar jams ..." of "... psychedelic sparseness ..." whose music features "... rich chord textures, odd meters, and country blues phrasing ..." Primo recording!!
The Raging Smolder Music Review Stealth Top Ten! Summer 1999.
----Raging Smolder Music Review

Tagliarino's playing is a breath of fresh musical air and his experience has really helped him to create an appealing instrumental album, with excellent production, great soloing and even a sense of humor!
----Guitar 9 Records

the Grade: B+ ... A veteran guitar player (the past 27 years), Tagliarino has quite the unique qualities of a worldly musician. Not just your average guitar virtuoso who felt like squeezing out some nifty solos and leaving burn marks on the fret boards of his axe.
----OUAS Music E-Newsletter

barrett tagliarino is first and foremost a very good guitarist. this CD is a compilation of instrumental songs which are entirely guitar driven, a la joe satriani or jeff scheetz. with a rock and blues style, barrett lets loose often and well. he is well trained and plays like a pro. he also manages to keep the songs interesting, which is often a hard thing to do without lyrics. there are a lot of backup instruments which help set the mood in different songs, of which my favourite is the unfriendly cows of oklahoma because of the title. especially the horns which pop up now and then add to the overall happy feeling this cd was made in.

definitely recommended for fans of guitar driven music. barrett tagliarino is way up there with the best of them.

-----raw42 monthly music
      reviewed by sal december 1998

Generally, I am not a solo guitar fan, the music just seems too reminiscent of the local new age/light jazz station which plays too many songs that sound the same over and over and over. That was until Barrett Tagliarino. One of the basic appeals of his music is that the songs aren’t drawn out or just pushy guitar solos. The songs end when the moment has ended. Each song has its own character so there is no rehashing of the same song over and over. There is a wide variety of styles used on “Moe’s Art” which shows Barrett as the master student who is playing for a class to show what he can do.

Saying that Barrett Tagliarino can play the guitar is like saying that Pink Floyd was just another band. Grade B
----D. Robinson,

"I played your CD about twenty times over the weekend"
----Scott Henderson, Tribal Tech

"This guitarist, who I'm not  related to, is a demon on the fretboard"
----Bill Holdship, editor, BAM Magazine

"With its rich chord textures, odd meters, and country blues phrasing, Barrett's tape should appeal to fans of contemporary melodic players such as Steve Morse and Eric Johnson."
----Mike Varney, Guitar Player Magazine

"A restrained guitar virtuoso"
----Jill Blardinelli, Alternative Press

"Scorching guitar jams"
----Dave Zimmer, BAM Magazine

"Great guitar work abounds and the production is top notch"
----Debbi Dip, Real Life Magazine

"The psychedelic sparseness of Barrett Tagliarino's guitar recalls Buck Dharma's stringed forays into the stratosphere."
----Scott Schalin, Music Connection Magazine

A night with Steve Vai or if you didn't see the name of the musician that's what you'd think. Barrett Tagliarino plays intelligent shred, he's very good at it. It's intelligent because he knows how to do more than whip notes about and has tasty chops. Also the arrangement for "A Virtual Chicken Experience," is nicely varied and fun to listen to.
---Bruce Satinover

Congratulations! You are today's "pick hit" at!
Spread the word!
---Doug Cornell, Music Director

Reviews for:

Classsic Rock Guitar Soloing

- the video

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Quality time with a great player!, April 18, 2003
Reviewer: A viewer from Tucson, AZ United States
Classic Rock Guitar Soloing is one video well worth the time for experienced players as well as beginners. The effect is much the same as sitting one-on-one with this experienced instructor and picking his brain. Tagliarino demonstrates rock guitar techniques using solos from classic rock tunes. Beginners will find needed information such as pentatonic scales while experienced players will benefit from seeing some of these classic solos played with the proper fingerings and all of the details intact.

Customers' Comments

I first heard some of your stuff on a couple of the Jazz Fusion stations on Live 365, who keep Dig My Clams on their playlists pretty regularly. I'm impressed enough by the other tunes from Moe's Art on your website that I'd like to purchase it, along with your Fretboard Workbook, if you sell it direct. Let me know the best way to proceed.
.....and thanks for putting your stuff out on the net where people can enjoy and appreciate it.

---S. Miller

Good stuff on your MP3 page! I really liked "Dig My Clams." Very funky. I'm an musician (guitar), too. Check me out at I'd love to get your opinion. Keep up the good work, and let me know what you think about my music.
----Clay Walnum.

Dear Barrett,
My name is Pinter Gabor. I live in Budapest Hungary. I love the instrumental rock guitar music. I am a passionate CD collector. I have more than 180 CDs in this type of music. I ordered your "Moe's Art" CD from Guitar Nine Records. I can tell you I like your music very much. Congratulations !!! Your music are melodious, virtuoso, high-level and varied. I hope to be continued. Please write to me some words about yourself and offer to me other instrumental guitarists whom you know. Thank you in advance. I am looking forward to your answer. Best regards, Gabor (a your Hungarian fan)

Hi, Barrett, I wanted to get yer CD, Moe's Art. Heard some of it online and simply, it's amazing! Decided to send money to you directly.
----Mike G., Texas.

Bonjour Barrett and USA! I just received your previous, "Moe's Art" instrumental effort, enjoyed your beautiful phrasing skills...Give me fresh news about your works activities, OK?
----Thierry M., Marseille France.

The amount of material I got over the MP3 was just not enough. It sounds incredibly good. Send me your work ASAP. I want to hear the whole thaing!
---Lazarre O., Utah

U great my friend ur gittare make me feel good when i was hearing u, did u see ur peoples calling u , u great, brother, ur life in europe next step, take care i'll see u
Elia-A B., Locarno, Italia

Hey Tone Czar,
That was most excellent guitar hero-dom the other night. Much smoke coming off your guitar, and I liked the tunes -- especially the country one and the ballad.
Mary M., Los Angeles

Great show. You reminded me why I love guitar. Thanks Talk to you soon. Later       Benny D., Los Angeles

Checked out the Secret Gardeners last night. You can actually play that stuff yourself!!! Enjoyed hearing you.So I was wondering, can you guys cure this weed problem I'm having? Do you have to do it under cover of darkness or something? --Brad Rabuchin

hey barrett

i just wanted to thank you again for a great evening. i enjoyed it very much. by the way looking at the pictures on the cd i figured out your secret. you have an extra finger. that's how you do it.

let me know when you are playing again
ori h., L.A.

One word: brutal
OK...a few more words....
great stuff, i enjoyed all of it, espeially the "Surfin" groove... killer guitar tones, i dug it alot...
Lucky for me I can get my Dregs dose....the Dregs & Dream Theatre are in concert together here in Cincinnati on Feb 15th....
one word: brutal!
Feel free to check out my stuff on under artist Rob Chambers... I'd appreciate any feedback from a gifted musician such as yourself...thanks!
Keep up the good work!

Your guitar playing is amazing. When I heard your CD I got the impression that it was studio music and that the CD included a warning in fine print, "Kids, don't try this at home." My hand got sore just watching you. ---Cam A., Agoura CA

Dear Barrett,

We are just now listening to your new CD. It is cool! We especially liked the jazz. It ROCKS! Your music is stylish. We think it's awesome. We like electric guitar. We really like all the different types of music. We thought your picture was interesting. Your haircut looks good. We hope you can come and visit our school sometime. You need to include our review in your list!


Mrs. Talarico's Class
First Grade
Room 603
Arianne's Room

I just want to say that when I heard you play I just smiled for hours! Your playing made me so happy! Where have you been hiding?! Keep it up!

Yours, Markku Jäntti

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