I had earlier written a guitar piece entitled 'Mysterioso.' With a bit of developing, this piece not only seemed to fit nicely into the concept, but also offered an apt title for the book. My next step was to come up with nine more titles. It occurred to me that it would help the book conceptually if the titles referred not only to the mystery concept, but also to the particular musical skill, event, or mood that was being addressed by the composition. Thus, in 'The Chase,' a study in harmonic inversions, the fingers seem to chase up the neck of the guitar. 'A Daunting Haunting' uses inversions of A minor along with the harmonic minor scale and a slow triplet feel to create a spooky atmosphere.
As suggested by its title, 'The Plot Thickens' is additive, starting out as a simple bass line, with each repeat getting more and more dense, ending in a full-blown bass and chordal melody. In writing these pieces, it was my intention to provide the student with music that was idiomatic to the music of our time. 'Guitar Noir' and 'The Gumshoe’s Smooth Move' both contain chord progressions and melodic patterns one might find in a blues or a rock piece.