“Number One with an AXE! Vol 4, 1970-74”
December, 2017
With the British Invasion and the Summer of Love in the rear-view mirror, the guitar was used in new and exciting ways to dress up, funkify, and otherwise embellish the #1 hits of the day. Michael Rays keeps on truckin’, rating the 122 #1 hits of the early 70s based on four criteria: Riffage, Rhythm Playing, Fills and Solos. He includes a brief commentary on each song, as well as providing video links to each tune.

“Number One with an AXE! Vol 4” sells for $2.99 and is available at:
smashwords, amazon, kobo, iBooks, barnes & noble.


“Number One with an AXE! Vol 3, 1965-69”
June 2017
The guitars get hot and heavy in the late sixties! The Beatles, Stones, Byrds, Doors and many others had some huge #1 hits with some great guitar work. Michael Rays continues his guitar-oriented analysis, rating each #1 hit (all 101 of them) based on four criteria: Riffage, Rhythm Playing, Fills and Solos. He also writes a brief commentary on each song, as well as providing video links (when available, which is most of the time) so you can watch/listen to each tune.

“Number One with an AXE! Vol 3” sells for $2.99 and is available for pre-order at:
smashwords, amazonkobo, iBooksbarnes & noble.


“Number One with an AXE! Vol 2, 1960-64”
November 2016
Our guitar-oriented tour through the history of Billboard’s American #1 hits continues, starting in January ’60 with Marty Robbins’ “El Paso” and ending in December ’64 with a cheerful ditty called “I Feel Fine” by an obscure pop quartet who apparently called themselves The Beatles. As in Volume 1 (1955-59), Michael Rays rates each #1 song based on four guitar-centric criteria: Riffage, Rhythm Playing, Fills and Solos. He also writes a brief commentary on each song, as well as providing a video link so you can watch/listen to each tune. Anyone who loves the guitar and pop music will enjoy this trip down memory lane!

“Number One with an AXE! Vol 2” sells for $2.99 and is available at:
smashwords, amazonkobo, iBooksbarnes & noble.


axe-50s-cover-100x150“Number One with an AXE! A Look at the Guitar’s Role in America’s #1 Hits”
July 2016
The guitar’s pre-eminence in rock & roll is well-known–but what about pop music? Specifically, what about Number One hits? Michael Rays takes you on a guitar-oriented tour through the history of Billboard’s American #1 hits, starting in 1955 with “Rock Around the Clock” and proceeding through Frankie Avalon’s “Why”–the final #1 song of 1959. Rays rates each song on four guitar-centric criteria: Riffage, Rhythm Playing, Fills and Solos. He also writes a brief commentary on each song, noting the many strummed surprises, oddities and innovations that enriched the American soundtrack of the late 50s. This book is about great music, great memories, and great (and occasionally not-so-great) guitar!

“Number One with an AXE!” sells for $2.99 and is available at:
smashwords, amazonkobo, iBooksbarnes & noble.


“Six-String Sleuth: A Guitar Player’s Guide to Figuring Out Song Chords”PageLines-howto-cover-bw-80x120.jpg
October 2015
Some people can listen to a song and figure out its chords before it’s finished. For the rest of us, it ain’t so easy. But there’s hope! There are tips and techniques you can learn that can help you become a “six-string sleuth.” This ebook treats songs as crimes committed by groups of chords, and the book’s fictional narrator, Detective Benjamin Nightly, shows you how to find clues and solve the case.

“Six-String Sleuth” sells for $5.99 and is available at:
smashwords, kobo, iBooksbarnes & noble.


“Guitar Odyssey 2: Talkin’ Dirty”PageLines-go2-cover2-80x120.jpg
March 2015
Back to the basement I go, this time to learn C.C. DeVille’s great solo on Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me.” I get into a bit of theory in this ebook.

 

“Guitar Odyssey 2” sells for $2.99 and is available at:
smashwordsamazon, koboiBooksbarnes & noble.


“Guitar Odyssey: A Journal of Musical Growth”PageLines-go-cover3-thumb-80x120.jpg
April 2014
My first ebook! In the fall of 2011, I decided I was going to learn Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar solo from Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” come hell or high water. I also decided I’d chronicle each and every practice session along the way. “Guitar Odyssey” is the result of this two-year journey.

“Guitar Odyssey” sells for $4.99 and is available at:
smashwordsamazon, kobo, iBooks, barnes & noble.


“Headers: Soccer Scores and Headlines from Brazil 2014”PageLines-headers-cover2-80x120.jpg
July 2014
Guitar, no. Soccer, yes! This is a collection of zany headlines from all 64 matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Funny? YOU be the judge!

 

“Headers” sells for 99 cents and is available at:
smashwords, amazon, kobo, iBooks, barnes & noble.