Book/DVD Review: Hal Leonard's Daniel Donato - The New Master of The Telecaster

It's only fitting that I review a book/DVD combo from Hal Leonard that has the name "Telecaster" in the title after that sweet experience with the Michael Kelly T-Style guitar I reviewed a short while back. After all, if you love rock'n'roll you know that country and blues music are what inspired the entire genre that I've dedicated my life to worshipping.

I had no idea who Daniel Donato was until I got my copy of "Daniel Donato: The New Master of The Telecaster", so I looked him up. Good Lord, children. You need to hear this young man play! If you don't believe me, here is a sneak peak. I'm still putting the splinters of my guitar back together after throwing it out the window after watching this.

After checking out this very talented guitarist on YouTube, I was excited to start going through his instructional book and DVD. If I could learn to play even ONE of the licks this guy is playing, my day would be made. Heck, my whole YEAR would be made.

As with most Hal Leonard publications, Daniel's first foray into guitar instructional books is a solid one. I will warn readers/guitarists ahead of time: this is not for the faint of heart. Daniel is very well-versed in chord theory (okay fine, theory in general!) and his sublime tone permeates the instructional DVD. If you are just starting out on guitar, this is not the book to start with. However, if you want to master YOUR telecaster and play some blues-inspired Nashville-friendly licks and solos, then you've picked up the right book.

To give our readers an idea of what to expect from this instructional package, here is the listing in the table of contents.

1. Train Jam
2. The Pathways - This is where Daniel teaches you about the various chord inversions and practice methods to learn them.
3. Chromatic Notes - Daniel guides through learning the use of chromatic notes in your solos and how they can impact your overall lick repertoire.
4. Application of Bends - Look no further if you want to bend like Nashville's best! Daniel teaches you how in this chapter.
5. Double Stops - No explanation needed. Mr.Donato shows you the power of double stops, especially when you stay away from cliched type licks.
6. Analyzing Different Styles - This section is a real treat, as Daniel goes through some of the influences on his own playing and in the process teaches you some licks in the style of J.D. Simo, James Mitchell, Red Volkaert, Danny Gatton, Grady Martin, Roy Nichols, and Hank Garland. Those are some pretty heavy names people!
7. Blues Jam

As you can see, there is a lot packed into this 32-page book. "Daniel Donato: The New Master of The Telecaster" can be purchased anywhere Hal Leonard publications are sold, or online at Hal Leonard Corporation.

We have a special treat for all of our readers: We will have an interview with Daniel himself coming up in the next few weeks! I promise you it's something you won't want to miss. In the meantime you can check him out on the Daniel Donato website.

Recommendation: Intermediate to Advanced level guitar players, looking to improve their country/blues licks and their understanding of how to break out of those stereotypical pentatonic "boxes".