A Deep Study: Miles Okazaki's "Fundamentals of Guitar"

Fundamentals of Guitar — Miles Okazaki
NB: I received no remuneration for writing the below and paid for a hard copy with my own liquid resources; the last time I bought a hard copy of sheet music was a collection of Vijay Iyer's compositions (1999-2008), also published by Mel Bay. In lieu of a more traditional review, considering the depth of this study and my own limited investigation of topics undertaken in the book, I thought I'd make a case for its vital practical use for any creative musician, regardless of skill level, with the following:

A Conservative Forecast of the Musical Economy, ca. Early Q2, 2015

Creative musicians across the globe enjoying the lowest prices for recorded music and technical information in recent memory will probably see further declines as YouTube, Spotify, the newly-announced TIDAL music service, and other competitors continue to make record amounts of knowledge easily accessible for little cost to no cost; however, global production of inspiration, guidance, and wisdom continues to hover near or slightly above the same rate of production observed over the previous three centuries, experts report.

Inspiration-guidance-wisdom (IGW) analysts expect information-saturated creative musicians in 2015 to boost the sale of Miles Okazaki’s recently released Fundamentals of Guitar, which provides a detail-oriented approach not only to the basics of holding, tuning, playing, and conceptualizing the guitar, but also a comprehensive reference for all instrumentalists exploring the fundamental possibilities of pitch and rhythm.

It’s possible that the IGW market has gotten somewhat hysterical, as some analysts have predicted that Fundamentals, which employs a diverse set of educational approaches—including geometric chordal visualizations, interactive pitch set matrixes, musical mandalas, your basic guitar fretboard diagrams, grade school ticker tape diagrams to imagine pulse, and so on—and appeals to every level of creative artist, may cause an unprecedented spike in IGW global inventory, the effects of which are unspeakable and, as yet, unknowable.

In the meantime, creative artists all over continue to reinvent the wheel, drowning in an ocean of information but struggling to organize it all. Fundamentals might be the single metaphorical personal flotation device needed to persuade creative musicians that they’re not in over their heads. What other choice do we have? YouTube?

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The above was inspired by this Bloomberg article on coffee, Feb. 19, 2014.


  1. An invaluable source of information for guitarists and musicians.


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