Unsolicited reviews of Neck Anywhere!

I really think your system (Neck Anywhere!) has a lot to offer, specifically:

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 together musically.

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 positions instead.

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 book.

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.

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