Book Review: “From Zero to Rock Hero” by Owen Edwards

Today a short review for a book which I highly recommend to anyone who is new to the guitar. I will go through the chapters of the book in detail, but before I go into that I would like to say that this is a great motivating tool for anyone who is serious about their guitar playing

The book is mainly for players who are interested in Rock guitar, but as so often is the case, the book is great for anyone who is interested in learning to play electric guitar, as most of the techniques explained here are universal and they will be useful for the rest of your playing life.

The book is layed out as six week course containing of seven days. This works great for motivation as you see where you are. Is it realistic to finish the book is six weeks for a complete beginner? It depends on your personality. I know, some people will manage this, for most, however, it may take it little longer, but still I think it is a good way to tackle the motivation issue.

Before you actually start playing the book gives you a short overview of the history of Rock guitar with some of the essential guitar players who have made an impact on the style of Rock guitar. Then you get a buyers guide to the essential tools you will need including how to buy, what to look out for when buying on line compared to buying from your local music shop etc.

Next there is a chapter devoted to the main communcation tools used in guitar education. Things such as TAB, chord-and scale diagrams. There is also a brief chapter on posture and handpostions for different kinds of guitar playing. Oh, and off course, the book comes with a CD so have a change to hear all those great riffs, licks and songideas.

From there onwards you are into the playing zone: You will start off with some basic technical excercises for right hand picking and left hand technique. You will learn to play open-and barrechords.
To get to grips with the open chords there is a chapter devoted to learning to play some of the most well-known Rock songs such as “All Right Now” by the Free, “Wild Thing” by the Troggs, some AC/DC and others. Cool!!

To get to grips with the power chords there is a chapter devoted to learning some classic Rock riffs such as “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf, “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zepplin, “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Panama” by Van Halen, “Ride the Lighting” by Metallica, and then there is some Nirvana and Green Day. Great, as it will be very motivating to make a start with some of these great riffs, and they all sound very much like the original too, as Mr. Edwards has adapted them somewhat [copyrights!!] but still, job well done!!

After you have learned some of those classic riffs it is over to a chapter with more riffs, a bit more challenging and adavanced this time. There are riffs by Clapton, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”, there is “Beat it” by Michael Jackson and more Metallica with “Enter Sandman” this time. Enough to be keep you going for a while.

Then it is off to a chapter about Phrasing and hot licks where you learn to use some of the most common techniques of electric guitar playing, things like Hammer ons and Pull-offs. Furthermore there is a chapter of cliche licks and ideas [listen to my solo on the Myspace.Com page for MixerMood, to get an idea of some cliche licks! They are some of the things you need to know, and they fall easily under your fingers while still sounding good, combined with some unusual notes they can still make up the brunt of a great solo!]

There is a chapter devoted to scales. It is mainly the major and minor scale and the two related pentatonic scales. The four scales you will use most of your playing life!! Once you get into guitar you can start learning about the modes and some other outlandish scales, but now this will do, learn them over the whole fretboard and you are on your way to become a real six string hero!!.

Near the end of the book there is chapter devoted to theory to put it all together. Again, for those interested it can function as a starting place, get deeper into it with other books and materials from the net, for now, what is offered here will be enough to get  you started!!.

The last chapter is devoted to special techniques for the electric guitar, things such as whammy dive-bombing, harmonics [mainly natural harmonics, not pinched ones!!] and last but not least……….Two Handed FingerTapping, the thing that made the world talk about electric guitar!
Not sure what I am talking about? Have a listen here!!!

It is the kind of playing which made Michael Jackson ask Eddie van Halen to play the solo on “Beat it”


Most guitar books work in similar ways, they ofen introduce you to the basics, teach you some theory and then get you going with some music, which is either motivating or so so. It is an art to get good music for beginners, and any guitar/music teacher will know this. This is why I mainly create my own ideas, things which people can play straight away, while still sounding good at the same time.
What I really dig about this book is that you get to play some of those classic Rock songs straight away, you can hear how they work, regardless of you being able to play them well. Main point is to give the enjoyment of playing something you like, something which will keep you going and keep you at the guitar.
The book is full of pictures of great guitar players. Most people will know some of these guys, whether you are 14 or 25 or 50, there will be someone in there  whose guitarplaying you will know. 

     Who Will Benefit  From Working Through This Book?

Anyone who just bought an electric guitar, anyone who has mainly played acoustic guitar, but wants to learn electric guitar, or you may even have an electric, but mainly have played open chords until now. Hey start playing power chords, use that distortion on your amp and pump up your volume, tell your neighbours to go on a short vacation while you blast out your powerriffs at full power.

What about us who can play? Still good to go through the book I would say. You will find nothing new in there I guess [Heh all depending how hard you have worked at this little ditty called Electric Guitar] No, all joking aside now, I do think you can pick up a few things you may like, it may add a little refinemind to the average pubrock gigger.

Okay that will be it for today, next time, as promised, a bit more on those powerchords. Hey, why not get this book? it will teach you a lot about powerchords, and it will also get you into experimenting with your own riffs.
Hey I am off now, guess you know what I will be doing!!
See Ya,