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Mike Caruso's The Natural Approach to Guitar

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This person claims this method works well with no notes or scales. This reminds me of a thread with another method claiming that for $19.95, it'll show you how to play ANY song. I know that it can be a drudgery to learn how to read, and theory, but it's a worthwhile endeavor that lays the foundation for communicating in the language of music. There is likely some usefull info in that method, but I personally wouldn't go that way.

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Yes, I must admit, I'm a bit sceptical because I've searched Google and Yahoo for information about these lessons but have come up with next to nothing, except what is boasted on it's own web-site. Still, I thought it's worth trying to see if I can find some independent verification. Anyone?

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I am pretty sure this is the same "Natural Approach" I had many years ago (like 93 I think). The product page description rings a bell so I think it is the present version of it.

 

Basically it was learning the major scale starting on any finger on any string, not by the typical patterns. I found the promotional description to be inaccurate.

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I guess that in theory this system can make sense to some people. For example, when you think of a singer, they are usually not thinking about scales. They sing and they are in tune, but I don't know of many "popular" singers who are actually thinking in terms of scales.

So the main idea with this method is that it will enable you to play what you hear. If you hear a note, you will be able to play in in the fingerboard. As Eddie Van Halen said, he has 12 notes and he chooses which ones to use (or something to that effect).

Still, the first lesson talks about different scales. It is interesting that Blues is mentioned twice, and there's mention about 12 notes. Well, in Blues you actually play a few notes that fall between the traditional 12 notes. Additionally, some musicians use way more than the 12 notes that are typical in Western music.

I do think that the emphasis on ear training is great. I would use it to supplement other theoretical knowledge such as scales, chords, and their relationships. One interesting about learning scales is that you get exposed to different sounds just by playing around with a new scale.

In summary, I think that the approach would work for many people. I would not use it for myself though. By the way, a simple and cheap thing you can do is sing what you play and play what you sing. That will also help develop you ear/hand coordination. You can also play the same figure at different places on the fingerboard.

As a final note, Tomo Fujita's Accelerate Your Guitar Playing also contains some ear training exercises, and is around $130 cheaper. :D

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I did not know that. While I'm not a fan of Mayer, I do have a lot of respect for him. The guy can play, and he makes more faces than Nigel Tufnel :D

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yes it works!!! Mike Caruso has developed a simple approach to mastering the guitar neck. if you are disciplined and practice regularly using his method you will find yourself playing better than ever. the freedom I found in improvising after working on the Natural Approach is amazing. if you are serious about the guitar I would highly recommend spending some time with the Natural Approach. playing before using the Natural Approach was like reading without knowing half the alphabet...

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I'll eventually get Tomo's DVDs, out of respect for his posts that I've read. I got the idea of practicing comping behind one's own solo from Tomo. Really nice guy who never seems to lose his cool.

 

Robert Conti's motto is "No Modes, No Scales". In his Source Code series intended for jazz guitar students. Instead, he has the student learn and practice jazz lines. He also teaches a set of exercises in his book/DVD "The Precision Technique", half of which he says from Wohlfarht violin studies. Thus, a student of Conti's stuff can conceivably develop technique and improvisational ability without spending a lot of time on scale/mode practice (though I could argue that Exercise #1 from the Precision Technique is in fact a C major scale exercise with some arpeggios thrown in).

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Still, the first lesson talks about different scales. It is interesting that Blues is mentioned twice, and there's mention about 12 notes. Well, in Blues you actually play a few notes that fall between the traditional 12 notes. Additionally, some musicians use way more than the 12 notes that are typical in Western music.

 

Could you explain that a bit more ? There are only 12 tones in a chromatic scale..... color me confused....

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Could you explain that a bit more ? There are only 12 tones in a chromatic scale..... color me confused....

 

In addition to the 12-note chromatic scale, there are microtonal scales:

http://www.sonido13.com/ (In Spanish, but I'm sure there's also information in English on the web)

http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~mwinter/Partch.pdf (43 tones)

 

In blues, a typical example would be the 3rd. In addition to the minor 3rd and major 3rd, it's common to play notes between those two notes. In TAB this is commonly notated as a 1/4 bend. The note itself is not part of the 12-note chromatic scale.

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I've worked through The Natural Approach and personally found it to be probably the most effective guitar course I have ever studied. If you are diligent and work through the exercises, you learn that he's not teaching you scales or making you memorize fingerings etc. He's planting the fingerboard in your brain. I had been plugging away at it for some time and out of the blue I had one of the moments. I realized..."I've got it. I understand where he's coming from". I realized I could do solos all over the neck in any key. It really is a very very cool approach. Like anything that's worthwhile, you have to practice at it, but the results are huge and hit you all at once. It's proven very effective for me. I play lead in a rock cover band and it's worked miracles for my sols and jamming. I strongly recommend it if you're interested in being a better improviser.

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I saw that Bill Murray/Virgman and Kevin Pereira are "suspicious" there were some positive comments posted here from people who are new and don't post a lot. Well, that's me. I read and refer to Harmony Central a lot, but I've never posted until I saw this thread and felt I had something I wanted to say about it. To me, useful reviews come from people who have actually experienced and used a product. I saw some real misinformation from some posters on this thread who obviously hadn't given this product a chance. So, I registered for the sole purpose of contributing to this thread because the original poster asked if anyone had experience with it. I have and I loved it and wanted to set the record straight.

 

Most long-term guitar players can probably point to a small list of

playing experiences or instruction materials they feel had the most

significant positive impact on their playing. The Natural Approach is

at the very top of my personal list. I've been an enthusiast for over

40 years and have always felt pretty accomplished with the

instrument. When I joined a gigging local rock band as lead guitar a

few years ago, I wanted to really work on my improvising skills and I

discovered the work of Mike Caruso. It has been an incredibly

rewarding experience working through the Natural Approach. If you're

diligent and stick to it, you will in a short time develop the skill

of having improvised solos effortlessly falling off the fingerboard.

I kid you not...the system worked for me. Have you ever had one of

those magical breakthrough moments when playing? They happen every

once in a while. I'll never forget I had been working on the Natural

Approach for a couple of months or so. For some reason I woke up at

about 5 am one morning over the holidays. I plugged my guitar into

headphones so as not to wake anyone else in the house and started

working on all of Mike's exercises I had advanced up to at that

point. I don't know if I was still half asleep or what, but I went

into sort of an extended trance playing everything I had learned from

the course. Suddenly I opened my eyes and I had one of those moments.

I realized MY GOD I GET IT. In that instant it hit me that my playing

and improvising skills had taken an ENORMOUS jump. It was a very

special moment...one that keeps you wanting to play and play. Give

this a serious try and you will undoubtedly reap similar benefits. It

really is amazing.

 

One other thing I want to mention that really isn't touted very much

in the promo materials. This is also the best course in music theory

I have ever encountered. It has straighforward, plain and simple

explanations that really unlocked music theory for me. Mike is a true

master teacher.

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I have not purchased this, but I want to. Mike was my teacher back in the day 1980-1983. He taught me from the ground up. He gave me the basics which once I went to college grew with practice. I owe him more than money can ever buy. He is a great teacher and am really tempted to buy this, because once I went away to college, I never took another lesson. I sure would like to complete my training the right way. I will let you know how it goes.

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I have been playing guitar for 28 years. For many years I struggled with other methods and arcane instruction on learning music. I was fortunate to have other skilled guitarists show me some things but I realized that I was going nowhere fast. I discovered Mike Caruso

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I saw that Bill Murray/Virgman and Kevin Pereira are "suspicious" there were some positive comments posted here from people who are new and don't post a lot. Well, that's me. I read and refer to Harmony Central a lot, but I've never posted until I saw this thread and felt I had something I wanted to say about it. To me, useful reviews come from people who have actually experienced and used a product. I saw some real misinformation from some posters on this thread who obviously hadn't given this product a chance. So, I registered for the sole purpose of contributing to this thread because the original poster asked if anyone had experience with it. I have and I loved it and wanted to set the record straight.


Most long-term guitar players can probably point to a small list of

playing experiences or instruction materials they feel had the most

significant positive impact on their playing. The Natural Approach is

at the very top of my personal list. I've been an enthusiast for over

40 years and have always felt pretty accomplished with the

instrument. When I joined a gigging local rock band as lead guitar a

few years ago, I wanted to really work on my improvising skills and I

discovered the work of Mike Caruso. It has been an incredibly

rewarding experience working through the Natural Approach. If you're

diligent and stick to it, you will in a short time develop the skill

of having improvised solos effortlessly falling off the fingerboard.

I kid you not...the system worked for me. Have you ever had one of

those magical breakthrough moments when playing? They happen every

once in a while. I'll never forget I had been working on the Natural

Approach for a couple of months or so. For some reason I woke up at

about 5 am one morning over the holidays. I plugged my guitar into

headphones so as not to wake anyone else in the house and started

working on all of Mike's exercises I had advanced up to at that

point. I don't know if I was still half asleep or what, but I went

into sort of an extended trance playing everything I had learned from

the course. Suddenly I opened my eyes and I had one of those moments.

I realized MY GOD I GET IT. In that instant it hit me that my playing

and improvising skills had taken an ENORMOUS jump. It was a very

special moment...one that keeps you wanting to play and play. Give

this a serious try and you will undoubtedly reap similar benefits. It

really is amazing.


One other thing I want to mention that really isn't touted very much

in the promo materials. This is also the best course in music theory

I have ever encountered. It has straighforward, plain and simple

explanations that really unlocked music theory for me. Mike is a true

master teacher.

 

Could you give a couple of examples to the exercises the course covers?

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Mike Caruso's The Natural Approach to Guitar is the best way I have found to learn guitar without looking at the instrument as if I was blind . So I hear only rather  than see and hear, so concentrating  on hearing the music is the most important technique, if anyone tells you otherwise they have no idea on playing music

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