Class Reviews

A gigantic list of our class reviews.

Over the years, Mike’s Master Classes have accumulated a lot of reviews.  We want to thank all those that have taken the time to write out thoughtful responses upon completing the classes.  We hope your responses will help others find a new class to expand their studies.

Course Reviews

  • Motives Maximizer

    Az is great! 5

    I’m really enjoying this course. I’m feeling more confident in my jazz blues lines and overall approach to incorporating motives into my playing. Az’s sophisticated and clear teaching style is great. Mike’s has some of the best courses out there and this is no exception!
    James Rustad
  • Developing a Personal Approach to Chords

    Developing a Personal Approach to Chords | by Dan Arcamone 5

    Even though I was only able to spend a very limited time learning personally from Dan Arcamone before COVID hit, I still consider him my teacher and myself a student of his. I know I am therefore sounding biased when I talk about his playing, but don't take anyone's word for it, just listen to his CDs (he has many of them) of his original music. And I know this will sound like blasphemy to some but I'll take his original compositions over Metheny, Scofield or Martino any day. He sounds like no other and in my humble opinion is probably top 5 in jazz fusion, (or whatever you want to call it) on the planet. This particular lesson is only the tip of the iceberg of what he knows and is capable of playing. I hope you guys at Mike's Masterclasses can get him to do many more lessons. I've seen him rip up and down the fretboard from about a yard away and went home just shaking my head in disbelief.
    Anthony Saragias
  • Melodic Comping

    5

    Blues and ballad with lots of examples of chord choices and approaches; importance of respecting the melody and complimenting the soloist. Great lesson.
    Dane Clarke
  • Sid Jacobs Tucson Workshop: Session I

    Not nice! 1

    Full of ridiculous jokes and useless stuff!
    panthojon
  • Comping

    Comping Paul Bollenback 4

    Excellent class lots of info on what and how to practice. Also what to listen for 🙂 I understand it is hard to practice comping you just have to do it and get feed back from other musicians how it feels. I would give it 5 stars but the video quality is pretty poor and hard to see (this is a minor point but would help if Paul had a good video camera).
    George Cole
  • Spring Is Here: Exploring the Harmony of Bill Evans

    BILL EVANS IS HERE 5

    Great class, reasoning and applying Evans harmony on the six strings. Hope there will be some more of the kind ... (Monk, Debussy, Nichols, Ravel .. who knows?) Thank you Tom Marco
    marco giussani
  • Practicing the Life-Vest Arpeggio (Days of Wine and Roses)

    Jazzy arpeggios 5

    It's so useful, what a didactic lesson. Thank you Mr Castro. Vc esta de parabéns !
    Denis Boutrais
  • Comping the Blues part 1: Comping Rhythms

    Comping the Blues part 1 5

    Really helpful and informative for the first time I'm feeling the rhythm correctly . The taping exercises really help cement the feel . He clearly explains everything ! This was a good lesson for me ...would recommend to any jazz beginner
    Willie Stephens
  • Spring Is Here: Exploring the Harmony of Bill Evans

    Spring is Here 5

    This class is beyond fantastic. I have never gone wrong with any of Tom's lessons, but this one is so clear, so accessible, and so unique, that I am utterly floored. Great.
    james seaberry
  • Intervallic Soloing Using 4ths

    THANK YOU,MY MASTER JEDI... 5

    Pure Inspiration...,Sid opens the Door...Amazing....A ''Must have''...for every serious musician...Thank you from the bottom of my Heart...
    Emil Gemedzhiev
  • Harmonic Rhythm

    Excellent Concepts! 5

    Nicely laid out and demonstrated! Phil (I have never heard of him) is an excellent player! Wow what control! I really like his ideas. This video deserves multiple viewings because there is so much info imparted. This class is a must have! Thx Phil!
    George Cole
  • Harmonic Rhythm

    top 5

    this is it !!!! thank you very much,
    Karel Vijfschaft
  • “Naima” – Exploring Modern Dominant 7ths

    Tremendous Course on Tremendous Tune!!!! 5

    I first heard this tune about 1970. About 20 years later, my teacher helped me develop a chord melody (in E rather than Eb). It was close but she gets it more precisely. I never could figure how to solo after the first chorus. Now I have a number of options. Perhaps THE most important thing for Me is to listen to the chord and play the different scales and arps absorbing the emotional aspects and sounds. And keep doing it to get to the next level. For Me, this course was both Practical, as well as DEEP!!! Thanks Sheryl!!! Hope you'll be coming to Cleveland when some normalacy and safety returns.
    Mike Miller
  • Improve Your Right Hand, A Classical Guitar Approach

    Somewhat helpful 5

    There was some helpful info on improving right hand dexterity. NO pdf of Etude. No discussion of using pinky. He seemed to have a fancy metronome, that I'm unaware of, that you can set for triplets, etc. I will work on exercises, as well as finding the piece he used to show case these exercises. Addendum - Victor Responded VERY Quickly! He sent me pdfs of Etude. He also provided additional info - pinky not used much in classical music and his metronome is called "pro metronome." THANKS VERY MUCH Victor!!!
    Mike Miller
  • Bebop Flow Part 2: Combining Families for Altered II V’s

    5

    Very interesting course, very well complemented with the pdf. It is mandatory to have some write information and Sheryl knows that us so good teacher as she is . Thanks a lot
    Miguel Burgueno
  • Anchor Chord Forms/Smile Insights and Tips on Harmony

    Quick wins 5

    This is the a very nice lesson in harmony and chord melody. Deceptively simple it is unlocking a lot of doors. Recommended.
    Ray Bartlet
  • Solo Guitar Arranging Techniques

    1

    Very poor class
    Miguel Burgueno
  • Body and Soul: Putting Chords to Work

    More than information 5

    This course contains a lot of very useful material. Maybe more importantly, it gives you ways to apply that material, and not just to Body and Soul. You get a very full palette of chord voicings and inversions and substitutions, but also exercises to really get them under your fingers as quickly and securely as possible. Probably the most useful course I've taken on MMC.
    John Pope
  • Bebop Flow: Connecting Harmonic Concepts with the Family of 4

    Baileys Bebop flow 5

    I found this course to be very insightful. The family of 4 concept is great and provides the player multiple melodic options. Sheryl's 8 Bebop lines are very cool and I'm having fun working them into Just Friends. So glad I took this course.
    Robert Blagg
  • Out of Nowhere: Solo Guitar, Harmonic, and Melodic Approaches

    out of nowhere 5

    Two of the nicest, most generous, most talented musicians I have ever met and been lucky enough to play with, and lucky enough to get all this great information and insights.
    james seaberry
  • Chordal Strategies to Stella By Starlight Pt. 3

    stella #3 5

    Outstanding class; lots of new material and ideas.
    james seaberry
  • Jazz Phrasing Part 2 (For All Instruments)

    Jazz Phrasing part 2 5

    This introduction to triplet rhythms and other asymmetrical patterns shows the student a way to build lines that float over the chord changes. The course uses There Will Never Be Another You as a vehicle to demonstrate these concepts. Steve's examples flow over the chord changes and I found myself presented with a whole new way to think about soloing. The examples are tabbed out and broken down into 4 and 8 bar sections to facilitate learning. Steve puts all the sections together at the end and the result is a beautiful etude that shows the concepts perfectly. I'm already experimenting with these concepts on other songs and beginning to see the unlimited possibilities of playing more freely using these rhythmic concepts. Thanks Steve for an insight into this very cool way of phrasing.
    Robert Blagg
  • A Guide to Practical Comping – Part 1

    Connect the islands of your knowledge of applied jazz theory 5

    Jamie’s course is a tour de force of pedagogical brilliance. He focuses upon the harmonic aspects of jazz guitar comping (not much about rhythm here) which he approaches from a good number of interrelated angles. Some or many of these angles may already be familiar to the student. What is so magnificent in this course is Jamie’s insightful explanation and reasoning about basic matters, and then his exciting demonstration of techniques for extending and interconnecting the basic principles of the topics that he covers. Those topics include: shell voicings, different voicing strategies according to whether a bass player is involved, bass line comping (on guitar), chord cognates (same fingering yielding different chords depending on choice of root), drop 2 voicings, the chameleon nature of diminished and half diminished chord voicings and how they can be leveraged to form chord substitutions in an applied context, basics of chord melody and voice leading. You have likely visited and possibly concentrated upon a good many of these topics. But Jamie’s masterful presentation is bound to get your harmonic thinking and feeling flowing in new ways; new synapses will form, islands of familiarity will become connected by new causeways, and your archipelago of knowledge and skills risks becoming... a continent. Thank you, Jamie, for this treasure chest!
    John Bennett
  • The Life-Vest Arpeggio Part II

    Insightful is an understatement!!!! 5

    If you are having trouble organizing your sound options when soloing over the standards, and have "had it" with learning a hundred scalar variations, this course will solve your problems. Sr. Castro is frankly one of the best teachers I have seen and his work in his series on the "lifeboat arpeggio" will give you a new way of thinking, a new system of organizing, and a revolutionary new insight into the fretboard that will make approaching even the most difficult standard understandable. Moreover, his insight enables you to do this "on the fly," while you are performing a tune. I wish that I had the opportunity to study with this amazing player and teacher when I was a young man, but at least I have found his insights so helpful even after over 40 years of playing jazz. Thank you, Sr., Castro, for your insight and flawless teaching style!
    John Duncan
  • Mapping a Tune with Bebop Scales (Chroma Zone 02)

    Mapping a Tune with Bebop Scales (Chroma Zone 02) | by Genil Castro 5

    Excellent. Gives great insight into how the melody of a tune can be conveyed by the appropriate chord scale while being faithful to the melody.
    Dane Clarke
  • Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses

    Big Band chord riffs and shout choruses 5

    I took my time with this course. After the first two or three examples, I realized that this is fundamental material that was missing in my playing. These choruses give the student the knowledge and ability to play bluesy chordal riffs that sound very sophisticated. The chords used are pretty basic but the syncopation and voice leading produce a sound that is hip, musical, and can stand on its own as a chord solo or sound great with a bass player. The ideas presented are in various keys. They are explained well and demonstrated accurately. The ideas are written out completely. I am not a great music reader but I did not find it difficult to learn these phrases. It definitely does not hurt to challenge oneself in the skill of reading music. Thanks Steve, for a great course. You have given me some super cool ideas to take on the bandstand.
    Robert Blagg
  • The Life-Vest Arpeggio Part II

    Life VEST ARPEGGIO 5

    incredible useful material. thank you very much for your lessons
    yakov esterlis
  • Chroma Zone ( the chromatic world around the Life Vest Arpeggio) an Introduction to Bebop Scales

    Chroma Zone 5

    the best course if you want to improvise fluently. great instructor! all examples are real, ready to be Incorporated in your playing
    yakov esterlis
  • Jimmy Wyble’s Etude #1

    Excellent and very enjoyable class 5

    This is an excellent and very enjoyable class. Prior to this presentation I had a vague awareness of the name Jimmy Wyble but hadn't studied his etudes and didn't know the details of his ideas. With this lesson, I feel like Sid Jacobs has given me a solid start. The technical and music content is top-notch, the video and audio are clear and Sid's command of the material and relaxed presentation connects very well.
    Michael Neverisky
  • Comping the Blues part 1: Comping Rhythms

    Comping The Blues Part 1 & 2 5

    I'm working on both Part 1 & 2. As to be expected from Tom these course are excellent. Very complete and informative. Thanks Tom.
    Blair Hunter
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