Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rush (Guitar Superstar Series) (Donato, Ray)

Rating: 4
Year: 1986
Genre: Music
Read again? Yes

I re-named this "Rush for Sissies" on the inside front cover. Donato's arrangements aren't as bad as those in the "Rush Complete" or "Deluxe Anthology" books, but there was a lot of correcting to be done, once I knew enough to know the difference.

The book's arranged specifically for vocal and guitar, with both standard staff and TAB notation. The main thing missing in every song is chord notation. Donato simply notes the generic chord name--"Bb sus 2." It's not a terrible omission, given that you can look at the TAB notation to see which fingering of a B-flat suspended-second chord Alex Lifeson was using for that song.

The actual mistakes aren't glaring, but they irritated me 20 years ago, when I was trying to learn to play like my guitar idol. Things like having the guitar silent when it's not, entire sections of a song omitted (done deliberately, without a good reason) or shortened, solos omitted (but included in other songs?). Knowing how hot-headed I was in 1989 or so, I'd have been pretty pissed off at shelling out $20 I could barely afford only to find that the arrangement for "Tom Sawyer" was as sucky as this one. One thing he does do well is keeping up with the insane meter-changing of certain songs.

Still, figuring it out by myself and going back to fix Donato's omissions and errors made me learn the songs and made me more confident in my own ability to listen and understand Lifeson's note choices. I wouldn't have gotten that if Donato had been note-for-note accurate, so I'll only take one point off.

The songs:
New World Man
The Spirit of Radio (w/solo)
Jacob's Ladder (solos omitted)
Between the Wheels (solo omitted; has guitar echoing synth; choruses wrong; ending wrong)
Tom Sawyer (solo omitted; main intro riff wrong;)
Free Will (solo omitted)
La Villa Strangiato (solos omitted)
Red Barchetta (intro wrong; solo omitted)
Distant Early Warning (sketchy solo?)

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