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Testimonials & Reviews

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What Guitarists Have to Say...
The Troy Stetina Series guitar methods

Printed Reviews...
Troy Stetina Metal Guitar Methods
Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar
Thrash Guitar Method
Secrets to Writing Killer Songs


...about the Troy Stetina Series methods:

"Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar has changed my life! You are truly awesome. Not only as a world class player, but as an excellent teacher! I've improved my playing abilities in exponential amounts. Did I mention you were awesome? To me your book is worth a lot more than what I paid for it."

--R.B., Louisiana

I love your book! It's considered a Bible!

--D.K., Minnesota

Your Metal Rhythm Guitar series is great. I had only been playing for less than a year when I picked it up a few months ago, and now I feel like I've been playing for years. My friends are asking me questions like -- how long I've been playing? Who taught me? Where does my instructor work? Of course I have to tell them the truth. All these questions just make me feel really good, you know, and I just want to say, Thank You!!!

--C.H., Michigan

I cannot give you enough thanks for such well written books. About three fourths of the books I have on instruction do not compare to one of yours.

--R.L., Washington

Troy--I really like your book Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar. It's the most exciting thing that came along next to my new one-year-old boy.

--L.L., Arizona

Finally an instructional book that has made me see the light. I've been in a major rut for about 9 months and in that time period I must have invested over $200 in video tapes, books, etc. I saw your book in a store and my first thought was "another book" but to my surprise this is "the book." I definitely worship it and hide it from my band mate (just joking). Thanks again.

--F.B., Pennsylvania

I never thought a book could be so fulfilling.

--M.C., Texas

The first thing I bought was Lead Guitar Vol. 1. When I went home I immediately started to practice. After several exercises I stopped playing and I started to listen. Wow! When everything was over and when I heard the introduction to "Lightning's Edge-" I was in a complete shock. Then I bought everything that had your name on it. Slowly my understanding of guitar changed. I started to understand more, and practicing your methods I became a better player. Today I am about to form my own band and hope to release an album next year! For all the things that you had done a "Thank You" is too simple.

--T.C., Turkey

I'd like to thank you for writing Metal Lead Guitar #1 and 2. These books have helped my playing and understanding of music more than private lessons.

--D.C., Massachusetts

I'm usually not a person who writes companies, or someone how comments on peoples' products, but I absolutely must tell you what your book has done for me. I have been playing guitar for about 4 years, since I was 14 years old, and about 6 months ago I joined a band. I was a rhythm guitar player, because I couldn't play a lot of fast solos, as a matter of fact I couldn't play any solos. I bought your book about 3 months ago, and it was the answer to my dreams. Now I've had 5 offers from people in the last month to teach them for money, people that were at the same level as me a year ago, people that have been playing for five years. I knew I was getting really good at lead when I went to take my first guitar lesson ever - about 2 weeks ago - and I just blew away the teacher! Thank you again, I owe my success to you and your book.

--T.F., Virginia

I have never come across a book so intense and imaginative. I can't thank you enough for all the great ideas you've put in. Thanks for the cool lesson and book, from a truly hardcore disciple.

--D.S., Michigan

Thank you for writing Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar. I have had the book for 2 months and my playing has improved more than it had in the last year! I recently auditioned successfully for my first band and I have you to thank.

--D.I., Australia

I can't thank you enough for the knowledge that you have given me. I found out about your books about a year and a half ago. I've just about absorbed them all!

--G.T., New Mexico

I recently purchased Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar and was totally knocked out. The material itself is awesome! I've just started practicing and already feel a difference in my fingers. It is amazing how thoroughly you covered the ingredients of soloing. The exercises are killer! Your playing on the CD is phenominal!

--R.C., Louisiana

You are a very impressive player. Why aren't you with Vai and Malmsteen in the Guitar Hall of Fame?

--L.M., Nebraska

I've heard Satriani, Kotzen, MacAlpine, Blues Sareceno and others, and you are equally as good. I wanted to tell you that I own about 7 years worth of Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazines and all Guitar School mags, plus about 50 other books and tapes in addition to all of your books. Yours are the best and most helpful.

--K.S., APO- Marshall Islands

After receiving Heavy Metal Vol. 1 as a gift, I sort of laughed to myself thinking I knew it all. Well I looked over the book and put in the tape, and I was instantly blown away by the technical precision and sheer emotion I could pick out in your playing right off the bat. Needless to say, I learned far more. I also realized you are far more technical, creative, than 90% of the rockers on the "metal scene." I thought- what is this guy doing teaching?!

--J.O., Connecticut

I recently purchased your awesome "Beginning Rock Rhythm Guitar Video" and I think its great. The techniques are all covered. My friends are all beginning to play guitar and they think its great too!

--J.C. California

I have checked out the marketplace for tutorial booklets on contemporary guitar and yours by far is the best available. The problem, it seems, is to find a tutorial book that gives a beginner plenty of lengthy recorded material to really practice with. Your format for teaching is excellent!

--P.C., California

I would like to sincerely thank you for your educational efforts that you have taken to expend the horizons of many guitarists. The books which you have published condense a vast wealth of information that allows one to develop his skills in a systematic way.

--C.C., Indiana

I have bought Lead Volume 1 and 2, Rhythm Volume 1 and 2, and Heavy Metal Guitar Tricks books. Every year I spend lots of money on music instruction since I live in a small place with no guitar teachers. Your books are, by far, the absolute best!

--K.S., New Mexico

I purchased your book Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar and it was the best purchase I've made aside from buying my first guitar. I can always count on it to give me a good workout and it sure beats those other books that are full of aimless exercises. Thanks.

--A.H., Pennsylvania

I always have been looking for a good guitar method, easy and complete. I think the best are yours. You are an extremely good guitar player and an excellent teacher. 'Thanks' Troy!

--A.A., Mexico

I have all of your books and have found them to be the best I have seen. I use them when I teach my students. They are very comprehensive, extremely easy to understand, and very motivational. I recommend them to everyone - students and teachers.

-- M.W., Pennsylvania

I was lucky enough to get a hold of the Lead Guitar Method Vol. 2 about three years ago, and I can't stress how much that book has helped me. It was my primary source and, as you can imagine, I was very happy to know that a follow up was available. In all sincerity- these books of yours are the best investment I have made towards learning guitar.

--N.A., Washington

I just bought Speed Mechanics and I can't tell you how impressed I am. It is awesome. Not only does it give you chops from Hell! It gives you a real sense of direction. This one really separates the men from the boys.

--J.C., Louisiana

I have to tell you that your book Speed Mechanics is, without a doubt, the best guitar instruction book. I've had it for only 2 weeks and already my playing has improved at least 50%. Keep up the great work!!

--P.A., Alabama

Great book! Within 2 weeks it had me playing as well as I did when I used to practice 8 hours a day a dozen yours ago (I'm 34 now). [In 4 months] your book so far has given me greater results than I've had in years! I'm playing sixteenth notes at 160 without aggravating the tendonitis I developed years ago trying to get myself up to 126 bpm!

--G.E., Massachussetts

I have found your book Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar enormously informative and helpful. Although I do not play professionally by any standard, I can hear an improvement in my playing after only a few weeks, it has really increased both my speed and accuracy.

--D.L., South Carolina

I have had your book Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar for about two years now. As far as I'm concerned this is one of the best books out, and I'm not just kissing ass! This book has helped me immensely!

--E.C., Iowa

Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar really opened up a lot of doors for me. It's the most thoroughly covered book on guitar technique that I've ever come across. Most rock guitar books just show you how to play fast and flashy. But yours not only shows how to play fast, but also playing in time, with dynamics, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your practice time. That book is my main first book that I teach out of to my students, because I know just how much it has done for me.

--B.D., Michigan

I purchased your book over a year ago and my playing has come on a tremendous amount. I couldn't believe your playing on the cassette, its absolutely fantastic! I always recommend it to anyone who is looking to improve their playing.

--J.M., Scotland

Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar is the best, most informative book I have yet encountered. Very well done, Troy!

--R.F., England

Thanx very much for your contribution to music with your book. It's great and very easy to apply even for a beginner like me. I can't suggest any additions or extractions. It's complete.

--J.J., Florida

It's the best book about guitar playing I ever read, the first time I thought I could pay ten times more for such information. As a player, you're in the same rank as MacAlpine, Morse or Vinnie Moore. Your detailed analysis, inspired greatly my playing and musical understanding.

--R.W., Poland

Your book is a prize winner!

--B.B., New Jersey

I'm very happy buy all your books - especially Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar. It's the cool book!

--W.H.C., Hong Kong

Troy, I'm sitting here practicing your awesome cyclic patterns from Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar. They kick ass! And I'm improving more than ever.

--T.A., New York

Your style is excellent and your abilities are downright awesome. [It] is the most inspiring instructional book I've ever seen. The way you start out slow and then speed up to blitzoid is amazing. But what I like most is the book's purpose. You are the best of the best!

--T.L., Maine

Your Speed Mechanics book is a huge help to me!! Hearing you play, you are the one I want to be as good as.

--D.H., Texas

I have recently purchased your Speed Mechanics. In three words- "I love it!"

--S.J., Ohio

I would like to thank you very much for your book Speed Mechanics. Some incredible stuff on that book. I have played guitar for 10 years, but when I was reading about your book I knew this was it the proper way of ripping the frets! This book has helped me incredibly!

--G.Q., New Jersey

Your approach to using practice exercises which are actually breakdowns of sequences of the eventual songs to be learned is so logical and practical - I can't believe it hadn't been done before!

--D.H., Michigan

Thanks for the Heavy Metal Lead series, "Lightning's Edge" really kicks!

--J.N., Minnesota

Printed Reviews of the Troy Stetina Series

[Note: The following review was written on the original versions of the books. They have since been revised and updated (1995). The Troy Stetina Series now comprises 10 book/CDs. "Heavy Metal Lead Guitar Volumes 1 & 2" have been revised, updated and retitled Metal Lead Guitar Volumes 1 & 2, and a Primer has been added as well. "Heavy Metal Rhythm Guitar Volumes 1 & 2" have been fully rewritten and is retitled Metal Rhythm Guitar Volumes 1 & 2. Tuning is now consistant between all books.]

Review #1:

HEAVY METAL TUTOR SERIES
By David Mead
From Guitarist magazine (England) - August 1992

Strangely enough, Troy Stetina's track record was primarily established during the seventies as a competition cyclist! After concentrating his efforts of speed in the two-wheeled department, he turned his attention to 6-string athletics thereafter.

The series comprises five books, all with an accompanying CD on the cover. There are two volumes apiece, covering heavy metal rhythm and lead. A further book -- written with Tony Burton -- focuses on HM guitar tricks.

At the beginning of HM Rhythm Volume One, simple rhythms on a basic 4/4 beat are explored gradually increasing in difficulty until, at the end of Volume Two, you take part in a metal workout called Babylon.

The lead volumes take you through all the established cliches of the style in tablature, with each example played for you on the CD, until you are capable of playing the demanding lead part to Babylon. I like the continuity of it all, I must say.

The field of special effects is well and truly explored in the 'Guitar Tricks' volume. Everything you always wanted to know about pick slides, whammy wobbling, two handed technique: it's all here in a medley of metal mayhem.

One slight slip-up has occurred in the transference from tape to CD on Rhythm Volume One, the tuning is more E flat than standard E. The other volumes don't seem to share this and so I guess it must have been a mistake. Otherwise, recording quality is good and the durability and convenience of the CD format proves its worth.

The books are designed to be taken either as a course or as individual tutors and in so doing the same ground is covered on a number of ocassions, but never to the point where the going gets laboured.

When the books are considered as a whole it has to be said that Troy Stetina has provided one of the most accessible heavy metal courses to date and if this is your thing, I'd advise you to check it out.

********************

[Correction/change notice: The following is an older review, made upon the original versions of these methods. All are book/CDs now, and the current retail price is $19.95. Hal Leonard's current address is 7777 West Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53213.]

Review #2:

Heavy Metal Lead Guitar, Vols. 1 & 2;
and Heavy Metal Rhythm Guitar, Vols. 1 & 2
By Jim Ferguson
As printed in Guitar Player magazine (November 1987)

No stranger to high velocity, author Troy Stetina won a gold medal at the 1975 National Bicycle Road and Track Championships. Now devoting his energy to guitar full-time, he has penned one of the most thorough rock book/cassette packages currently available. Heavy Metal Lead, Vol. 1 starts with an aural explanation of the timing and rhythmic notation (the series features tablature only). Next Stetina introduces the A minor pentatonic scale, hammer-ons, pull-offs, familiar double-stop bends, common bend combinations, rock cliche licks, muting, slides, and artificial harmonics.

The book's first section culminates with a smoking, fully transcribed solo. The remainder of the volume deals with speed exercises, triplets, rakes, improvisation, phrasing, the Dorian mode, and using the vibrato bar (five other solos are included). Heavy Metal Lead Guitar, Vol. 2 includes increasingly complex examples and solos- with the emphasis on fast playing. Heavy Metal Rhythm Guitar, Vols. 1 and 2 cover rhythm playing and present a variety of useful chords, rhythms, progressions, riffs, and theoretical ideas.

Most of the examples in each 50 page volume are included on its accompanying cassette; for the solos- the author is backed up by a full rhythm section. While a chapter on equipment in one of the books would have been helpful, this is one of the best rock series currently available, and it will have you rocking out in no time. Each book/cassette package costs $12.95; the series is published by Hal Leonard - 8112 W. Bluemound Rd. - Milwaukee, WI 53213.

********************

Printed Review of Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar:

SPEED MECHANICS FOR LEAD GUITAR
By Iwo Iwaszkiewicz
Guitar School magazine (Sept 1991)

Sharpened your axe but having trouble sharpening your chops? Or maybe you just need to add to your collection of killer riffs?. Well, no need to fret, maim or murder, Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar, by Troy Stetina, can help. This three-part book and cassette package, divided into Mechanics, Rhythm and Creativity, is an excellent tool for anyone, beginner to advanced, who wants to fine-tune his lead chops and overall playing.

Part One, Mechanics, starts with an abundance of warm-up exercises, tips for practicing and specific exercises for both the right and left hands. Later, Stetina gives you a catalog of great licks for speed and sweep picking in the styles of Rhoads, Lynch, Maimsteen and others.

Part Two, Rhythm, covers different variations of 12-bar blues progressions, shuffles and off-beats. Stetina also includes some very easy-to-understand explanations of triplets, 16ths and other rhythmic concepts. The section ends with a transcription of Paganini's 10th Caprice, a great piece in which to apply the techniques taught in this book.

Part Three, Creativity, includes lessons on intervals, voices and scale integration. Stetina concentrates on creative playing and developing your "ability to bring something into existence by imaginative skill."

This lesson's strength is in the 195 written and recorded examples, its clarity and classical transcriptions. The entire project is complemented by Stetina's flawless playing on the included cassette. After working through Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar, you'll feel a lot more confident about your lead chops.

********************

Printed Review of Thrash Guitar Method:

[Correction/change notice: The following review was made on the original version of this book, which has since been revised, re-mixed, and retitled Thrash Guitar Method. However, the content is largely the same. The price is now $19.95.]

THRASH GUITAR METHOD
By Nick Bowcott
From Guitar School magazine - January 1992

If you're an intermediate or advanced player whose been bitten by the infectious thrash/speed metal bug and wants some helpful pointers on how to tackle the idiom, this book/CD package definitely warrants your attention. Penned by Troy Stetina (whose praiseworthy Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar picked up some deserved kudos in this column in our September 1991 issue) and Tony Burton, this well-thought-out book has sensibly divided chapters covering power chords, muting, syncopation and upbeats, the gallop and reverse gallop, harmony, shifting time signatures and more. Each section stands on its own and is well presented, "user friendly" (i.e., not overly stiff and textbookish) and superbly peppered with "hands on" examples that appear on the 43-minute-long CD that accompanies the 64-page book.

The 49 sonically sound and superply performed examples contain several cool thrash-type instrumentals with charming titles like "Bug Guts" and "All Things Repulsive." They're all written out in full tab and illustrate the many techniques taught in the book. But, above all, they're fun to play.

In my opinion, the asking price of $17.95 makes Speed And Thrash Guitar Method a bargain that shouldn't be overlooked. My conclusion? A massive. stage-diving, two-thumbs-up!

********************

Printed Review of Secrets to Writing Killer Songs:

SECRETS TO WRITING KILLER METAL SONGS
From Guitar School magazine - January 1994

Hard rockers rejoice -- finally, there's an instructional book to help you write heavy rock songs. In Secrets to Writing Killer Songs, authors Stetina and Joyce present an intelligent method for learning the basics and specifics of rock and metal songwriting. Every area of hard rock song construction is covered: structure, melody, lyrics, riffing, chord progressions, rhythm, arranging and methodology. The book offers clear musical examples and well-written, in-depth explanations that won't intimidate the novice. The CD pack-in is also a big plus, as it emphasizes good ideas and provides valuable examples for budding metalheads.

********************

...And Still MORE Testimonials! Jeez, will this page ever end?!

Your book is the most practical book I have ever come across with teaching the techniques needed to play the guitar correctly.

--M.D., New York

I'm a musician in symphonic orchestra in Tehran. In Tehran we have not methods, books, cassette, about the Heavy Metal, I saw your Heavy Metal Lead Guitar 1 and 2 and also Heavy Metal Rhythm Guitar 1 and 2 in one of the shops in Tehran. And I bought it early. And I'm playing from your method for 6 months. It's wonderful methods.

--B.M., Iran

I think the way of your teaching and playing style is just number one. I have a lot of book like yours but I really learn easy and fast by this method.

--E.T., Turkey

Your books are a great help and I'm glad that you decided to share your talent with me (us). I've always wondered, why don't you go public. Music is raw, pure emotion and you're great at it! Do you have any more tapes of your work? I really don't have any more questions- you did a very thorough job on Speed Mechanics and the Heavy Metal Lead books.

--D.N., Kansas

Well -- my hats off to you! You sure have impressed me... I want to say thanx for the time and hard work that you've put into creating the 'heavy metal lead series'.

--S.M., Virginia

I want to thank you. Your Heavy Metal Lead Guitar Vol. I and II and Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar have greatly helped my playing, and so far I've barely scratched the surface of these books, you're an awesome guitarist!

--T.S., New Mexico

"Thank you for your methods! I'm 22 and I play guitar for 2 years. I don't have teachers. I'm learning by myself, with methods and magazines. Your methods are really the best."

--A.S., France

"I go take lessons around here and it seems they just beat around the bush and I don't learn nothing. I guess they just want the money, and don't really care if you learn. But I can tell that you care."

--J.H., Virginia

Thrash Guitar was really well done. The book analyses many of the "standard" techniques of thrash. Plus, the musical examples, especially the songs, are marvelously executed. But their main value was inspirational. I'm a lead guitarist for a little band, here in Honolulu. Your book serves as a great influence on my playing. My next purchase will be Speed Mechanics. Thanks.

--M.C., Hawaii

I have bought almost all your guitar books- including the one with Tony Burton, Thrash Guitar Method. All your books are fantastic, and so are you!

--S.S., Greece

I have tried a lot of things. Private lessons, video tapes, etc. None of which, unfortunately, fulfilled my desires or held my interest. Then to my good fortune I discovered the Thrash Guitar Method. The book was and is a lot of fun, I've been making a lot of progress with the songs and exercises. So much so that I purchased Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar. The book was a revelation, inspirational as well as instructional. Thank you for the time and effort that you have expended in your books. From my point of view -- your books have brightened and enriched my life.

--D.C., Illinois

I own most of your guitar teaching books. All these books helped and influenced me very much and I really think that they are the best material available. I also own your newest book Secrets to Writing Killer Metal Songs which you wrote with super-vocalist Shauna Joyce. It is very helpful.

--C.T., Germany

The "Rain Song" is excellent!

--A.K., Wisconsin

Having studied a number of guitar tutor books I found that your series on Heavy Metal Guitar really hit the nail on the head, I thank you for your inspirational books.

--M.B., England

I find your CD first class!! The voice of Shauna and your guitar playing on this record are great! Congratulations!! My favorite tunes are "Hair", "You & I", and "Rain Song"

--R.M., Austria



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