Sunday, August 8, 2010

Review: Jeff Loomis "Extreme Lead Guitar"

I really didn't know what to expect when I opened up this 2 DVD set. I'd never listened to Nevermore and although I was aware Jeff Loomis had a solo cd had never listened to it. I have to admit that a little part of me was expecting a mishmash of treble laden dissonance and little if any melodic sense. Happily I was very wrong indeed and my misconceptions entirely unfounded. The guitar tone throughout the DVD was stellar. Really beautiful - every note was articulate and the sound cut through the mix well. To my ears Mr. Loomis studied a lot of Yngwie Malmsteen not only because of his clean arpeggios but his vibrato was so great.

Rockhouse in my opinion has been very progressive in it approach to instruction not only recruiting cutting edge musicians who also teach well but by providing access to their website where you can download backing tracks for the exercises and compositions on the DVD - as well as enjoy the other lessons and membership benefits.

Jeff Loomis  is a great instructor on this two DVD set clearly breaking down each section and explaining his reasoning behind scale and chord choices. Not only does he demonstrate scales, riffs and leads but he imparts knowledge that will allow the guitarist to begin to utilize these concepts in their own playing.The DVD covers scales that rock and metal players may not be well versed in such as the whole tone scale. the diminished scale and an Yngwie favorite the Harmonic Minor scale. The scales are demonstrated with reference to Jeff's music. Next there is a technique section that discusses arpeggios, string skipping and more. The final section of the DVD has a breakdown of several complete leads that are well explained and presented in regular and slow speeds.

The DVD's include a tab ebook that is 58 pages and has tab for all the exercises, riffs and solos on both DVD's. The tab is very accurate and easy to read but I did miss the standard notation to assist with the rhythmic values. Although the slow sections of the DVD certainly demonstrate the rhythms adequately.

Fans of Nevermore and Jeff Loomis who play guitar will love this DVD set. It provides great insight into the playing technique and song composition and will teach you some great music. Guitarists who like Metal or just admire great playing will also benefit from this disc. The songs are really very melodic and although they employ some progressive scale choices and techniques the riffs and solos are very pleasing to the ear while still being metal.  I really loved this DVD set and now have got to get down to practicing some of the great material it presents. For more information on this