Over the last 20 years, the glut of books and instructional videos devoted to playing guitar really, really fast has spawned a cottage industry. But any shredder worth his or her weight in metronomes will tell you there is no silver bullet—you must put in serious time if face-melting chops are your ultimate goal. To that end, woodshedding with Shred! The Ultimate Guide To Warp-Speed Guitar will most definitely improve your skills. The sections on alternate picking, sweeping, legato, finger-tapping, and palm-muting will get you going with shred’s five basic food groups—but with chapters that focus on speed riffing a là James Hetfield and bands such as the Dillinger Escape Plan, as well as primers on whammy bar chicanery and blues shredding, this book is more than a neo-classical how-to. All of the musical examples come in standard notation and tab, and the book’s accompanying CD shows the authors to be some pretty wicked players themselves (Prown, in particular, is frightening). Shred! also does an admirable job of educating the reader about shred’s origins and some of the genre’s most important players. But with all due respect, if Def Leppard’s Phil Collen is a shredder, then I’m the Great Kat. (Backbeat Books).