Frank Gambale – Chopbuilder: The Ultimate Guitar Workout
Oct 02 2014
Frank Gambale is one of the best teachers of guitar on video today. His approach is based on practicing scales and picking technique all over the fingerboard. This video takes you on a 75 minute workout starting with basic alternate picking, through sweep picking and chord patterns. “Chopbuilders” workout video does exactly what the title implies.
The booklet shows you each exercise in both notation and tab. Each exercise builds and readies your fingers for the next one. It also helps that you play along with Gambale accompanied by a drums and keyboard track. Regardless of what style you may play on the guitar, this video will increase your dexterity, hand strength, speed and knowledge of the fretboard.
His technical abilities are amazing, and so are his teaching abilities. This is not the video for you if you want to learn theory, but if you want to get better at playing guitar, you must own a copy of this video! As the title clearly states, this is a guitarists ‘workout’ video. It is not a technical, theoretical, or a licks n tricks video.
There are so many good and not so good theory videos out there if that is your purpose, however, don’t forget that theory is a small part of playing guitar! So don’t be fooled, there are no magic pills that you can take to be a better player, it takes practice, dedication, and boring exercises. Frank’s humor turns the most mundane guitar task (exercising) in to a fun and enjoyable workout. Expect to build your chops if you faithfully follow his routines. This video comes with a 74 page booklet that has all of the exercises in tab and standard notation.
Frank covers many types of exercises in his regiment of exercises: Alternate picking triplets, Alternate picking sixteenth notes, Combination triplets and sixteenth notes, Major scales and their modes, Melodic minor modes, Harmonic minor modes, Diminished and whole tone scales, Interval scales and patterns, Chromatic exercises, String skipping, Sweep picking triad arpeggios, Hammer-ons and Pull-offs, Stretch voicings, Blues progressions, and much more.
This video delivers what it claims to: An unbeatable chops workout. No matter if you have just started playing guitar, or have been playing for 25 years, you will benefit from using Frank’s chop building routines.
A great opportunity to learn, retrain your mind and fingers, and just simply become a better and more established guitar player. This is not something you just sit down and accomplish in a week. This is a video every guitarist should have on the shelf if they are wanting to expand, get way better, and learn new and valuable disciplines on the guitar neck.
Chopbuilder delivers what it promises – a challenging single-note workout with an emphasis on alternate picking and arpeggios. (For Frank’s sweep picking try his other videos). The production style is a bit immature, with some unfortunate wardrobe choices (Mr. Gambale’s pudgy, hairy shoulders are a persistent distraction) and less-than-successful attempts at humor (occasional cutaways to girls doing cheesy poses with guitars). And while the camera work is solid, sometimes you can’t see the notes he’s playing on the neck because of the camera angle. Good thing there’s a clearly printed book with all the exercises included.
Year: 1996 (2003)
Running time: 1 hour
Video: MPEG2 NTFS 4:3 (720×576) VBR
Audio: English (Dolby AC3, 2 ch)
Booklet: Yes (PDF)
Size: 4.6 Gb