Still struggling with scales and modes? Stuck in a pentatonic rut? Still looking for a reliable fretboard constant? Still wondering how to play those beautiful melodic solos? Still wondering how to turn your fretboard into familiar well-worn territory? I can help.
Hi, I'm Kirk Lorange. No, I'm not a genius, but I have been twanging away on these wonderful instruments for over 60 years now (!), 48 professionally. I'm also the author of 'PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package', which teaches a very simple mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a fretboard constant, one that points to all things musical at all times. I call it 'The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn' and the many testimonials and reviews will back up that rather superlative description.
If your goal is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then PlaneTalk is for you.
For 25 years, ever since I first self-published PlaneTalk in 1995, the 'PlaneTalk Package' consisted of a book, a DVD and the 'Guitar Slide Rule'. The lesson was delivered as a comic strip conversation that takes place on a long flight—hence the title—between a pro and an amateur. The reader gets to listen in as the pro (me) tells the amateur about a very simple and succinct way of thinking about music and navigating the fretboard. He reveals the 'trick', as I call it, that I discovered many years ago, a fretboard landmark that ties everything together: chords, harmony, melody. It's a visualization technique that I have been using ever since I first stumbled upon it many years ago and it has never let me down. I started teaching it to players who asked me "what scales are you using?" to which I would always reply "I don't know anything about scales, that's not what I'm thinking about". My students were so blown away when they learned about my 'trick' that I decided to make turn it into a book and Slide Rule, a folded sleeve-with-inset affair that graphically crystallizes the lesson the book teaches. The DVD, which demonstrates the mindset, came later in 2000. I added a private discussion forum to the package not long after and then started adding extra 'bonus lessons'.
The bad news is that the tangible package that I've been sending out ever since 1995 is no longer. New technology, rising postage costs and now the covid-19 virus, which has seized up the global mail system, made me decide to not order another print-run. I sold the last physical book in late August 2020.
The good news is that the original package is still available in digital format, along with a whole new 'PlaneTalk Online' version of the same lesson. In this new format, I don't use a comic strip, I use videos—lots of them. I leave you in no doubt as to what this method is and why it's so powerful. So, you get it all in this new version of PlaneTalk: the original package in digital format ... and you get the new 'PlaneTalk Online' course. Both have a short, very simple plain English overview of some basic theory. Both teach the same huge guitar lesson which is guaranteed to change the way you look down at the fretboard from here on out. By the way, this is the only course that I know of that has been endorsed by the great Tommy Emmanuel.
As if that's not already a whole lot for your money, you also get 22 (and counting) stand-alone PlaneTalker Lessons, most are video, and you gain membership at the private PlaneTalkers' Forum where you'll find me and many active PlaneTalkers on a daily basis. We're there to discuss the mindset, answer questions and generally banter on.
I found that the best way to impart the information was in the form of a comic strip conversation. I needed to get the student and the teacher stuck together somewhere for a while so that you can listen in on the lesson. I do a lot of flying and it struck me that the perfect place would be on a long flight. So it's the conversation on the plane: the plane talk -- PlaneTalk. Not the best marketing move, I admit.
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.
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.
No. PlaneTalk makes use of an extremely simple landmark, one you learned in the first few days of playing. Many PlaneTalker 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 be consciously aware of.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.