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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Best rockabilly guitar book?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by guitarsammy, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. guitarsammy

    guitarsammy Tele-Meister

    Oct 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I've looked online and have found various posts on this topic, but nothing that *quite* answers my question, so I'm going ahead and posting here......

    I'm a beginner/intermediate player and currently mainly play indie rock and some blues. I'm starting to really enjoy rockabilly and have been trying to master Mystery Train using a thumb-pick (with some success, although I've a way to go yet).

    I'd like to buy a good book with a CD of backing tracks that goes over the basics of rockabilly playing, and also has transcriptions of the various "standards" i.e. classic rockabilly tracks, together with backing tracks on the CD. I'm thinking Scotty Moore, Carl Perkins, etc rather than the modern stuff.

    The transcriptions would need to be in tab form as I can't read music (and yes, I know from my experience of learning Mystery Train that tab is less-than-ideal with this style of music as it doesn't show rhythm/picking patterns etc!).

    Does such a book exist? Or perhaps I should go down the DVD route?

  2. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

  3. BoogerRooger

    BoogerRooger Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 3, 2009
    Suffolk Coast
    Fred Sokolow 'Rockabilly Guitar'. Book plus 3 CDs. Covers all the basics really well. He's a great player but more important a really good teacher.

  4. eclipse

    eclipse Tele-Meister

    Dec 30, 2006

  5. bendingtens

    bendingtens Tele-Meister

    Jan 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Jason Loughlin's rockabilly courses on TrueFire are great.

  6. JTM45blues

    JTM45blues Tele-Afflicted

    May 14, 2003
    Pick up all 3 of Paul Pigat's DVD's.

    1. Get a good tape style delay set for slap back
    2. Get a single coil pickup guitar (Tele, P90 or Dynasonic)
    3. Get a tweed type amp (Bassman for clean, Deluxe for dirt) or if you can afford it a Standel 25L15 is truly authentic.
    4. Hair grease and a good comb

    Listen to old early blues, like Wolf with Willie Johnson, listen to Charlie Christian, Merle Travis, Bob Wills with Junior Barnard, early country boogie and honky tonk and all the Grady Martin tracks you can find.

    Then move forward to Sun Records classic stuff, Johnny Burnette, Johhny Horton, and Gene Vincent.

    Do all that and you'll gain depth and you'll have swing in your playing and be able to navigate through some of the "jazzier" licks of guys like Cliff Gallup.

    This takes longer but you'll sound far more authentic.

  7. sst69

    sst69 TDPRI Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    United States
    I would recommend

    Fred Sokolow's Rockabilly guitar method (this does not have complete transcriptions but is very good)

    Jason Loughlin's 50 rockabilly licks you must know

    Wolf Marshall's the guitar's of Elvis

    This also is great if you want some difficult cliff gallup/grady martin solo's transcribed and at very decent price.

    I personally would shy away from the Damian Bacci stuff at least intially. His first tape is very low budget but has some good stuff.

    His most recent one is a lot better but still doesn't really have good tabs.

    These are okay once you've gotten through the intial stuff.

    You can also check out my blog too which unfortunately has not been updated too much recently.

  8. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2010
    Agreed on Fred Sokolow's teaching style and material. I do not have this book (or any rockabilly book), but I have one of Sokolow's Western Swing books, and it is clear and complete.

  9. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom Tele-Afflicted

    My twangy guitar on you tube is a great source.

  10. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Tele-Meister

    Apr 1, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    I 2nd My Twangy Guitar on YT. Guy is great, and has a great tone. Videos are superb quality too.

    When I was getting into Rockabilly, I picked up a couple Setzer books. They helped me a lot.

    There's a good video lesson/interview with Jim Heath of Reverend Horton Heat that's really good, although the audio and video isn't that great. I studied this interview on end just trying to copy and learn what he goes through here.

    Also, buy the CD Spend A Night In The Box by Reverend Horton Heat. That CD has more chops than a butcher shop.

    There's a lot of great music out there. Have fun!!

  11. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

    Nov 29, 2003
    Get the tab book for Gatton's "Elmira St." cd...

  12. telequacktastic

    telequacktastic Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 20, 2011
    Fort Worth
    Another vote for Jason Loughlin's Truefire Course.

  13. MattW1970

    MattW1970 TDPRI Member

    Dec 15, 2013
    Lancaster PA
    Some good suggestions.....A couple I might add:

    1. If you want truly authentic rockabilly sound the number one thing I would add is this: LEARN TRAVIS PICKING......lots of guys have the licks[mostly blues, arpeggios, double stops etc]....very few have the rhythm at all...many try to cover it with strides which works in some cases...but imo....travis picking is what separates the good from the need to practice more...

    2. many would disagree with me......but imo....any amp will do.....mostly clean with JUST A LITTLE overdrive.....all guitar amps do those well enough these days.....and any delay will work as well.....just set it it "slaps back"..,...$300 will get you a ton of options amp and delay wise on craigslist

    3. true vintage rockabilly tone has a lot more to do with your hands, arpeggios, chuck berry licks, travis picking, the neck pickup, and learning how to work your volume and tone controls....

    4. try playing nothing but the neck pickup with your tone rolled almost all the way back[I usually start with it all the way down and turn it up JUST BARELY to the point that it sheds ever so slightly the first "layer" of darkness.....turn your amp up and you'll hear it without even playing anything)....stay away from treble tones at all costs for a month or 2....make your hands/pick adjust and work for it......make your licks work with that blanket over the amp tone....learn/create others that do......if you like true vintage/retro'll thank me in a few months

  14. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

    Nov 29, 2003
    Yes! Travis-picking a big plus. Even better, three finger picking. Travis just used his thumb and one finger.

  15. MattW1970

    MattW1970 TDPRI Member

    Dec 15, 2013
    Lancaster PA
    True....I guess I just meant in a broader sense....that style which has become most commonly known as Travis Picking....."omm pah" alternating bass on the E A and D strings .....and melody or countermelody in many cases on the G B and E......with the D string straddling a middle ground in both areas sometimes......

    To me.....THATS the rockabilly SOUND....the backup each his own however;)

  16. onenotetom

    onenotetom Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 27, 2009
    Colbert, WA
    I will probably never get to the level to play rockabilly but really like it and have spent much time researching it. Great suggestions by everybody.

  17. JasonLoughlin

    JasonLoughlin TDPRI Member

    Jan 10, 2014
    Thanks for suggesting my courses guys. Let me know if you have questions? Paul Pigat's DVD's are great too.

  18. eclipse

    eclipse Tele-Meister

    Dec 30, 2006
    First let me apologise for this slight hijacking of this thread, however since your here Jason I would really like to see a rhythm version of of your Truefire - Country Guitar Survival Guide-Lead Edition.
    Barring a release from TrueFire maybe you could consider a downloadable course from your site.

  19. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Yep Jason's courses are good, I have the "50 Rockabilly Guitar Licks You Must Know".
    It started out with some stuff that is very elementary, and i was thinking "jeez, everyone and their grnadma knows this stuff" but it didn't take long at all to get into what was some real eye-opening things for me. So I'd say very good for all levels, no matter where you're at with rockabilly playing you can glean some great licks out of this

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