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 close to twenty 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?
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. You get to listen in as the pro teaches the amateur his simple visualization 'trick' to seeing the whole fretboard as the playground at all times in any kind of music. 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. Read more about the book here.
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 20 or so (and counting) 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 lessons I've put together over the years that teach various aspects of the mindset. I recently finished yet another looking at a 'Smooth Jazz' progression which I have added to the 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.
Enough to keep you busy for a lifetime and I can pretty much guarantee that your playing will move ahead by light years. In fact, most of my customers tell me they will never need to buy any other instruction books again.
I send these out air mail from Australia in sturdy packaging. Transit time is usually between 7 and 10 working days for the North America, about the same for Europe. I include instructions for joining the forum in the package.
If you're into slide guitar (my favorite way of playing) you can add to the package with a DVD on the subject that I put together and/or one of my beautiful custom made solid brass slides. More info at the order page.
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.
Below is a playlist from my YouTube Channel with a few improvisations I've done over the years. These were all played using the PlaneTalk mindset rather than thinking scales and modes and 'boxes', not because I think it's wrong but because I simply have no idea how to turn scales into melody and I got tired of being stuck in the Pentatonic rut twenty odd years ago. I base all my lines and phrases off the chord progression and scales/modes simply take care of themselves. The trick, of course, is being able to see the chord tones down there on the fretboard for whatever chord is in play, no matter what the flavor, and that is the main lesson PlaneTalk teaches.
I receive these almost daily from satisfied players from all over the world. Notice that the first is from Tommy Emmanuel, regarded by all who have heard him as the best player out there. Tommy endorsed PlaneTalk right from the beginning. Many of these are comments posted in the private PlaneTalkers' Forum. You can read more here.
"A fresh and new approach to helping young and old to have a more complete understanding of music and the guitar. Well done, Kirk."
Tommy Emmanuel CGP ~ Nashville, USA
"The whole PT idea is truly a brilliant concept and has improved my understanding of guitar playing beyond all recognition. I just can't thank you enough!"
'Zap' ~ PlaneTalkers' Forum
"Please accept my sincere thanks for your PlaneTalk efforts - truly outstanding work."
Dennis D ~ USA
"Wow! The book made me feel so dumb and so enlightened at that same time. All these years I never noticed some of the things your book showed me."
Eric ~ Georgia, USA
"I did my first read-through of PlaneTalk and watched the video last night. Super stuff - I am very impressed. Years ago I used to claim to my AI students that intelligence was the ability to see differences where others see sameness and to see sameness where others see differences - that puts you off the scale in music IQ, I reckon. ;-)"
'Aigeezer' ~ PlaneTalkers' Forum
"I have had PT for about two weeks now and can safely say it is the best thing I have ever purchased."
'Knight46' ~ PlaneTalkers' Forum
"Just wanted to write and say a big thanks for Planetalk. For years I've been fruitlessly searching for a way to link together the little pockets of guitar knowledge that I've been plugging away at - and you have provided that link through Planetalk. ... So thanks again, and hats off to you!"
'gogogoch' ~ PlaneTalkers' Forum
"I'm absolutely thrilled with the product- in two weeks I've learned as valuable an approach to studying the guitar as I have playing it over the past 11 years. Everyone should learn to play this way. Thanks very much and kudos on a great product. Best."
Mike ~ NJ, USA
"Plane Talk...sheer genius my friend. It has already helped me expand my knowledge of the fret board by maybe 10 light years."
Julio P ~ New Jersey, USA
"Some 45 years after learning to play guitar, I found Plane Talk and it changed everything. Kirk's simple, entertaining book and instructive DVD opened up a whole new way for me to think about and play the guitar that I wouldn't have found on my own."
Dave Berman ~ LinkedIn post
"Plane Talk is a cleverly illustrated and clearly written book that leap frogs over much of the tedium involved in guitar study. The concept is simple to the point of obvious, once you get it. But it took a professional musician's combined genius for melody, words, and pictures to condense the intricacies of guitar playing down to this simple concept, and into a form we amateurs can quickly understand and utilize. A lifetime's worth of accumulated knowledge has been concisely communicated in this package of book, dvd, and slide rule. In addition, you get access to the forum, where Kirk Lorange creates a friendly space and proves to be open to and patient with beginners' questions. For more advanced players, he's articulate in explaining how the mindset supports theory and an exhaustive study of music."
Lorrie ~ Fort Worth, TX, USA
"Hi there. Well like most people I'm a bit blow away. You'll be my teacher from here on in. So many thanks it's brilliant to say the least. Not enough superlatives to describe it. Cheers."
Brian ~ Posted atthe PlaneTalkers' Forum
"Kirk, just wanted to say that I've been using PT for about a month now and I am just having a ball. I've been going through your lessons, and they are just so interesting. I've just been through the one on licks and it made me laugh with the sheer joy of it. Brilliant!... I think your ideas about how to see the guitar are increasingly out there - I'd guess that in 50 years everyone will be doing it. I just thought I'd use this space to give you my thanks and feedback, Regards, Brian"
I have, over the years, used many different contacts forms and all have been hacked and abused by spammers. So I will now simply ask you to write me at
My snail mail address is:
PO Box 186
Qld 4272 Australia
You can also use the little third party chat / message whatchamacallit, bottom right hand corner of the page. You might even catch me at my computer and we can chat. Keep in mind I'm on Brisbane Australia Time, though.
You can also call me! I'd love to hear from you.
Within Australia: 0424 555 918
Outside Australia: +(61) 424 555 918