Unsolicited reviews of Neck Anywhere!
I really think your system (Neck Anywhere!) has a lot to offer,
1) Emphasis placed on imprinting the neighborhood chord sequence by
practicing until each set becomes automatic- muscle memory is critical
to ear- hand coordination (equivalent of eye-hand coordination in
athletics) and practicing a gazillion times establishes those patterns
in fingers and in the brain via the ear hearing sets that belong
2) Facilitating this practice by recommending playing it in different
order, timings, styles puts emphasis on creativity and musicality;
entirely missing from most other methods which greatly diminishes the
fun factor in making music.
3) Focusing on a single do-able task (chord set) and relating it to
"see the whole tree" without making it overly complex/complicated or
into a completely cognitive exercise ; i.e. instead of offering too
much info at once, you refer those who can use it to additional detail,
but keep focused on progress in music making by practicing the
neighborhood chord sets and developing hand/ finger strength and
dexterity as well as a 'musical ear' simultaneously.
If I'd found this system earlier I wouldn't have to constantly
'transpose' when changing from, let's say tenor guitar to ukulele for
example. In fact, I intend to replace much of 'what I have come to
know' with this system of being able to flow seamlessly from one
instrument to another without having to struggle with what have become
the cognitive complexities of musical self expression (but, oh what a
joyous problem to have).
Neck Anywhere has been a godsend. I don't get so confused transposing
all the time when switching instruments 'cause I can rely on family
Your system is simple and complete- 'nuff said.
Thanks Much, Bob Phelps June 2010
Commenets from Ukulele Underground about Neck Anywhere!
I have Jerry's book. I bought about a month ago and didn't understand
what he was getting at but I picked it up last week and now I
understand a little better. What he teaches in the book is the movable
chord shapes. He refers to them as neighborhoods and teaches them in
four groups. I haven't got beyond the first neighborhood yet but I
believe that once you learn the neighborhoods you can figure out which
neighborhood a particular song is in and easily know which shapes
belong to that key.
I think what confused me about the book at first is that he doesn't
refer to the chords by name (ie C7, Dm) but he teaches them in relation
to one another (1, 4, 5, 57, 6m etc). Now that I have a teeny bit more
understanding of chords in relation to each other, I can see the value
of this approach since it enables you to play in any key without even
knowing the name of the key it is since there are only 4 possible shape
sets it could be in.
While I think that knowing the movable chords is going to be important
to me in the long run, I don't think this is a book for a beginner with
no music theory under their belts. If you knew what I meant when I
referred to 1, 4, 5, 57, 6m chords - you can probably benefit from this
I often look at books to see different approaches to learning the
instrument. This is a valuable resource. The goal is to get the player
comfortable playing around the instrument in any key in any of the
chord positions. He has the player go through standard patterns and
progressions. He also illustrates the extended chord forms and shows
how to convert the basic major chord positions to these chords. It is
not a songbook, or book of chord boxes, but a book about learning the
instrument fluently. It would be good for players who want to be able
to play without being glued to chord sheets and books. There are good
ideas here and it is worth checking out.