Is this you? You love to improvise; you learned all the scales and modes and you know the Pentatonics like the back of your hand ... and you're still wondering what the trick is to playing those beautiful melodic solos without copying someone else's note for note. You're still wondering how it is that some players have the whole fretboard at their disposal; they know how, why and where to find every last fragment of music with total ease, the whole fingerboard seems to be friendly, well traveled territory to them, no matter what is going on musically.
Enviable? Yes, and learnable
Hi, I'm Kirk Lorange. I've been playing guitar since 1961 and I'm the author of PlaneTalk. I live in Australia and I have played in a dozen bands, on countless album tracks, movie sound tracks and TV commercials, and I've shared the stage with the likes of ex-Eagle Don Felder and ex-Beatle Ringo Starr.
PlaneTalk has been selling online for over fifteen years now, teaching thousands of players from all over the world a very simple way to map out the fretboard, how to decode that annoying 'kink in the tuning' and a mindset which enables you to freely improvise over any old chord progression without once thinking 'scale' or 'mode' or 'Pentatonic box'. I never found those useful when it came to making real music. I learned them all, I still know them all, but they always just sound like scales and fail completely over more complex chord progressions. I moved on to something far more practical, powerful and musical years ago. The basic mindset is nothing new—follow the changes—but that's easier said than done. That seems to imply that you follow chord progressions, but how? What do you think about? What do you look for, down there on the fretboard? There are hundreds of chords and, anyway, what does that mean exactly? (more)
These are just some of the questions that PlaneTalk answers in an amazingly simple way
Here are some examples of me playing some melodic improvisations over different styles of music. These are all played without once thinking 'scale', 'mode', 'Blues scale' or 'Pentatonic'.
The PlaneTalk Package
PlaneTalk is a 12" X 8" 80 page book. I used the comic strip format as a way of imparting the information in a fun and concise way, as a conversation between the guy who knows and the guy who doesn't. I have them trapped together on an airplane flight, hence the title. I also designed the Guitar Slide Rule — a folded-sleeve-with-insert affair — that graphically crystallizes the lesson. The DVD demonstrates the mindset in real time to real music.
The PlaneTalkers' Forum — a private forum — is an online discussion board where you can find me and other PlaneTalkers (not all at once!) on a daily basis. It's also where you'll find the 19 Bonus Lessons that I have put together over the years. It's a very active meeting place where members regularly upload examples of their playing for critique and where you can ask questions about music in general and the PlaneTalk mindset in particular.
The bonus lessons are a collection of 19 lessons I've put together over the years that teach various aspects of the mindset. I have just finished yet another looking at a 'Smooth Jazz' progression which I have added to the other 18 other stand-alone lessons teaching various aspects of the mindset, over 3 hours worth of movies, all reinforcing the simple but all-powerful lesson that PlaneTalk teaches.
I send these out air mail from Australia in sturdy packaging. Unfortunately, Australia Post doesn't offer tracking numbers for international parcels for standard shipping. A $15 fee is applicable if you want that but problems are rare and if any occur, I will re-ship. Transit time is usually between 7 and 10 working days for America, about the same for Europe. I include instructions for joining the forum in the package.
Frequently Asked Questions
I only just bought my first guitar. Is PlaneTalk for me?
I didn't write PlaneTalk for beginners but more for those who have mastered the basics and are now stuck. However, many beginners have bought it and tell me that they're very pleased they did, that the basic theory lesson, fretboard map and mindset it teaches have made learning much easier. I certainly wish someone had shown me this when I was starting out, it would have saved me a good twenty years of poking around the fretboard searching for that one 'constant' I knew must be there.
Do I need to know any theory?
No. PlaneTalk in fact goes through basic theory in plain English before moving on to describing the 'trick' to seeing your fretboard as familiar, well traveled territory. You will learn why it is so important to always know what it is you're playing and how music is structured and how easy it is to keep track of it all using the PlaneTalk mindset. It's a lot easier than you think. With lots of practice, of course.
Will I be needing to remember endless patterns?
No. PlaneTalk makes use of an extremely simple landmark, one you learned in the first few days of playing. Many PlaneTalkers tell me they're amazed and annoyed that they didn't 'see' it themselves. As simple as it is, its ramifications are endless and -- if you're anything like me -- will become the only thing you really need to consciously be aware of.
This doesn't require me to remember movie stars' names or other odd mental gimmicks, does it?
No, no silliness, no gimmicks. The PlaneTalk mindset uses a landmark that IS music, one that displays at a glance the context of the moment. With practice, of course.
What if I don't understand it?
The chances of that are slim, as it's such a simple mindset. However, depending on your level of playing, you may wonder how to use the knowledge. In that case, just come to the PlaneTalkers' Forum where you can ask me and many other PlaneTalkers any questions you may have. Sometimes it takes a while to see the need to have the whole fretboard at your disposal, but once you do, the PlaneTalk mindset will be yours forever more. Most PlaneTalkers say they will never need to buy another book again, that all they need now is time to refine their art.
Do I need to read notation or tablature?
No. PlaneTalk doesn't go into any of that. PlaneTalk, among other things, describes in plain old English a way to map out the fretboard. It teaches a mindset that you can use to improvise chordally and melodically, to literally see the endless possibilities the whole length of the fretboard ... with lots of practice, of course. I use graphics and common analogies to explain some aspects of music, but you won't be scratching your head over any dotted crotchets or mysterious Greek names. I don't read notation very well myself.
I know all my scales and modes. How will PlaneTalk help me?
If you are happy with the results you achieve when improvising using scales and modes, and happy with your understanding of how music works and applies to the guitar, then don't bother ordering. But, as I've heard said, if you practice scales, you end up playing scales. Scales and Modes are not really music, they're the building blocks. Melody is the music and melody is not all that easy to extract from scales and modes, especially when you start getting into more complex chord progressions where just playing the 5 notes of the Pentatonic scale doesn't work. The PlaneTalk mindset allows you play over any chord progression ... with practice, of course.
What's the difference between the book and the DVD?
The book describes very methodically the logic behind it all. It takes you through basic theory then explains the power of the PlaneTalk mindset in plain English. The DVD demonstrates the technique to real music clips, showing real playing and using all the overlay features of modern video editing. So what the book explains, the DVD demonstrates.
What's the slide rule all about and why can't I see a better image of it?
The Guitar slide Rule crystallizes the whole mindset, shows you instantly how your brain should perceive the fretboard at any given moment. I don't show a better image of the slide rule because the mindset is so simple I'd be giving it all away.
What are the bonus lessons all about?
Over the years I have put together many stand-alone paid lessons demonstrating the PT mindset, many of them related to The Blues. Most are video lessons, over 3 hours of viewing in total. They're all free now.