The Greg Howard Songbook

by Greg Howard, edited by Glenn Poorman, 116 pages

14 Song Arrangements with exercises. $37 plus shipping.
Matched Reciprocal version: for Matched Reciprocal 10 and 12 string instruments
Baritone Melody version: for Baritone Melody 10-string and Classic 12-string instruments.
Classic 10-string version: for either 10-string Classic.

116 pages of song arrangements, exercises, and illustrations.

Greg is one of the most prolific and recognizable composers on The Stick. These 14 song arrangements span his whole catalog, from his earliest recordings to the present. The arrangements are combined with technique exercises, making this a unique method book, which can also serve as a foundation for Stick performance repertoire. These arrangements span a wide range of difficulty, so players of all skill levels will find something they can work on. Each exercise explores a technique element found in its accompanying song arrangement, such as octave melody, harmonics, ghost notes and reading rhythms. Two new graphic devices, Keymaps and Key Guides, show how to utilize the entire fretboard for melodic play and soloing, rather than remaining boxed into scale positions, for a free-flowing aproach in the right hand.

The Songs:

  1. "Del Mar"
  2. "Requiem for Persephone" (complete transcription)
  3. "Adrift" (with transcribed solo)
  4. "Morning Song" (with transcribed solo)
  5. "Softly She Walks" (transcribed completely from the CD)
  6. "Blue Ridge" (with transcribed solo)
  7. "Where Are You Tonight?"
  8. "Quince Street"
  9. "Sangre de Cristo"
  10. "El Chicle"
  11. "Goya's Dream"
  12. "Cross Country"
  13. "Blues for Ayman"
  14. "Blues for the Status Quo"
Two of the songs from the book, "Del Mar" and "Morning Song"

StaffTab™ Fretboard Notation

The StaffTab fretboard notation system combines all the information found in tablature (note placement and fingering) with that of regular staff notation (pitches and rhythm) into one compact system, making it much easier for the player to learn the pieces and exercises. The book contains a complete explanation of the StaffTab system, as well as some updates on the notation system from its first use in The Stick Book™, Volume 1 (1997). You don't have to be a great reader of sheet music, as all the tab information is there to provide what extra cues you may need.

Here's an example from one of the StaffTab charts:


Because of the book's 9" x 12" format, actual-size fretboard representations can be shown to illustrate how the key looks on the strings. These maps show overlapping hand positions to help you make transitions from one region of the fretboard to another, and to learn how playing the whole key feels, rather than focusing on isolated hand positions:

Keymaps build on conventions established by Emmett in his book Free Hands, a New Discipline of Fingers on Strings, where geometric shapes define both the fingering and pitch for a clearer understanding of harmony on the fretboard.

Key Guides™

These are smaller scale representations of the fretboard that show how different keys are laid out to help you with soloing. Every song arrangement has one or more of these to help you find your way around the board:

Lead Sheets

Also included in the book are lead sheets for all fourteen songs. These simplified arrangements include melody and chords, and are written in a standard notation font for easy reading by players of any instrument:

Applicable Tunings

The pieces in this book were composed on a 10-string Stick tuned to Baritone Melody™/Classic bass tuning. In order to play the melody parts as written, a low C# melody string is required. The recommended 10-string tunings for the book are Baritone Melody (melody A down to C#) and Deep Baritone Melody™ (melody G down to B). 12-string Classic™ and 12-string Matched Reciprocal™ will also work well, with a little bit of "translation". For both 12-string tunings, strings Melody A through bass E (2-11) will be used, (melody G through bass D, 2-12 on MR). For both the Matched Reciprocal 12-string and Deep Baritone Melody 10-string, all fret numbers will be 2 higher than shown in the book.

Alto Stick players using the Extended Alto™ tuning can play everything in the book exactly as written, and players using the Alto™ tuning will need to play the melody parts two fret higher than indicated.

The best tunings for this book are Baritone Melody 10-string, 12-string Classic and Extended Alto. 10-string Classic or 10-string Matched Reciprocal versions of the book may be available in the future.

Recorded Versions

A compilation CD of recorded versions of these songs will be available later this year.

The Greg Howard Songbook is a Free Hands two-handed tapping method book.

Keymaps and Key Guides are trademarks of Greg Howard
The Stick Book and StaffTab are trademarks of Greg Howard and Stick Enterprises, Inc.

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