Your Guitar In Your Hands
Get your hands on the first book of the series. This book contains Troy’s own formula for teaching and learning guitar from the basics. It was compiled by him in 2017.
The book contains 5 examples of the most common strumming patterns. It also touches briefly on a couple of 12-bar blues examples, a few scales, progression examples, the Nashville number system, and a little blues chicken picking.
Blues Guitar In Your Hands by Troy Toma combines music theory with practical applications. The first part of the book provides basic, (then intermediate, and then advanced) information about what you need to know to understand the blues. The text is accessible and illustrated with chord charts, guitar tabs, and traditional sheet music. I read the book with a guitar at hand to see and then hear the insights he shared. The second part of the book puts it all to work with riffs and licks to practice and learn. I’ve been practicing guitar for 3-4 years and I’ve been taking lessons once per week with Troy for at least a year. We use the book as a resource during lessons. Does it work? Last week I noticed something important while I was working on a hybrid picking technique (Troy calls it “chickin’ pickin’) using a pick for one string at the same time I used my two fingers other strings. I noticed that I was playing part of an A chord, moving to a D and then an E chord. I didn’t need to think about it. I just saw where and what I was playing. I was aware that I was playing a note from the minor chord, and I knew where to find other notes that would work and I could hit the blue note as I played. I was finally able to do all this without pausing, counting, or looking at a guide. I was able to take the basic riff and expand and even improvise within the progression. Sometimes it feels like progress is slow, but occasionally I play something I thought was above my ability and realize how far I’ve come.