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.
- Solo Guitar Arranging Techniques
1Very poor class
Miguel BurguenoBody and Soul: Putting Chords to Work
More than information 5This 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 PopeBebop Flow: Connecting Harmonic Concepts with the Family of 4
Baileys Bebop flow 5I 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 BlaggOut of Nowhere: Solo Guitar, Harmonic, and Melodic Approaches
out of nowhere 5Two 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 seaberryChordal Strategies to Stella By Starlight Pt. 3
stella #3 5Outstanding class; lots of new material and ideas.
james seaberryJazz Phrasing Part 2 (For All Instruments)
Jazz Phrasing part 2 5This 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 BlaggA Guide to Practical Comping – Part 1
Connect the islands of your knowledge of applied jazz theory 5Jamie’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 BennettThe Life-Vest Arpeggio Part II
Insightful is an understatement!!!! 5If 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 DuncanMapping a Tune with Bebop Scales (Chroma Zone 02)
Mapping a Tune with Bebop Scales (Chroma Zone 02) | by Genil Castro 5Excellent. 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 ClarkeSwing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses
Big Band chord riffs and shout choruses 5I 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 BlaggThe Life-Vest Arpeggio Part II
Life VEST ARPEGGIO 5incredible useful material. thank you very much for your lessons
yakov esterlisChroma Zone ( the chromatic world around the Life Vest Arpeggio) an Introduction to Bebop Scales
Chroma Zone 5the best course if you want to improvise fluently. great instructor! all examples are real, ready to be Incorporated in your playing
yakov esterlisJimmy Wyble’s Etude #1
Excellent and very enjoyable class 5This 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 NeveriskyComping the Blues part 1: Comping Rhythms
Comping The Blues Part 1 & 2 5I'm working on both Part 1 & 2. As to be expected from Tom these course are excellent. Very complete and informative. Thanks Tom.
Blair HunterThe Life Vest Arpeggio for Jazzers
LIFE VEST ARPEGGIO 5OUTSTANDING! LOVE THE TIPS, TEACHING, EVERYTHING
yakov esterlisJohn Stowell and Tim Lerch Jazz Guitar Conversations #1
Wonderful Stuff 5two fantastic players
James MackayThe Life Vest Arpeggio for Jazzers
Peder MøllerBen’s Basic Bossa and Samba Grooves
Clear, concise and applicable. 5A relief to have an explanation of Brazilian rhythm playing that I can understand and apply. Thanks Ben
Ray BartletBlues-Part I – Call and Response
Blues Part 1 Call and Response 5This class is just what I was looking for, some great ideas to add to my blues and jazz vocabulary. The call and response concept makes these ideas perfect for playing with a bass player. But many of the lines are punctuated with chord "hits" enabling the combination of single note and chord punctuation to stand alone. The lines are tasty, bluesy, and authentic. The focus is mainly on the key of F and Bb, which gives the student the opportunity to see cool ideas in different positions. The accompanying tab is accurate and the course is laid out with easier ideas first and then moving to more challenging phrases involving syncopation, triplets, chordal movement, thirds, sixths, octaves, etc. Steve is a wonderful teacher. He moves the class along at a good pace with thorough explanations. Lots of great material in this course! Thank you Steve!
Robert BlaggLet’s Burn One! – Playing Fast Tempos
Loaded with great ideas 5Excellent video with a lot of great ideas and concepts to work on.
Robert MinchinII-V-I Motivic Phrases
Excellent course 5This course was a real eye and ear opener. I'm looking forward to taking these concepts and applying them to the tunes in my set list. An excellent addition to my jazz vocabulary. Thank you Steve for a thoughtful and thorough presentation.
Robert BlaggFurther Phrasing Concepts
Exceptional!!! 5An exceptional more than useful course. Thank you very much Jamie.
Gabriel EneDiscussion/Demonstration of the Modes of the Melodic Minor Over Dominant Chords
Finally I get... 5...the melodic minor! Really enjoyed the video which repays repeated viewings. I can now visualise and hear how different melodic minor shapes lock onto the dominant chord and can be mixed with dominant and major arpeggios to bring out varying amounts of tension. The articles are useful too, although the lesson would be enhanced by a 1 page worksheet referring to the material covered in the video. Still excellent value overall though.
C E IsaacDiscussion/Demonstration of the Modes of the Melodic Minor Over Dominant Chords
5Great discussion. Too short for such a rich topic as melodic minor. Also, more examples from actual songs would help e.g. the Ellington illustration greatly clarified what was being discussed. Thanks to you both.
Dane ClarkeAdvanced Harmony for the Jazz Guitarist
Stephen JacksonContrary Motion Counterpoint Part 2: Mixed Rhythms
Simply some of the best materials available on the whole Internet 5I bought my first class on this site (and it was from Steve Herberman!) in 2009. I have to say in the intervening 11 years one class after another, these materials have turned my playing around, as well as my way of approaching the guitar. What I say about Steve's latest offering can easily apply to any of his classes: generous amounts of materials, accompanied by clear explanations that are never overly theoretical, and sound like music - never like exercises. The contrapuntal approach on the guitar is difficult and for this reason tends to be rare both in performance and in educational materials, but this site - and Steve Herberman in particular - offer a clear way into this world, tackled in a very methodical way and approached with the immediate goal of making music and improvising with the outlook of an arranger. For anyone interested in this style of playing/ composing/ arranging there is an old class of Steve's called 'Contrapuntal improvisation' that really started it all for me and, despite a video quality that 11 years old, is worth the price of admission alone for the opening rendition of Alone Together. In fact, that reminds me, I need to roll up my sleeves and transcribe it!
Nico SabatiniCrushing Minor Lines
crushing Minor Lines 3Good lesson for Jazz-rock player. An attached Pdf would have been nice, less distortion could help to appreciate the lines harmony
Jacques SOULADECrushing Minor Lines
5Excellent course. Joe wastes no time and covers a wide range of topics. He also plays the heck outta the guitar. Great stuff!
Dane ClarkeContrapuntal Improvisation
Contrapuntal Improvisation I 5I'm always amazed by the so clear way Steve explains complex concepts, shown with great examples and with such a high level of musicianship on the demonstrations!
Daniel CorzoContrary Motion Counterpoint part 1: Concerted Rhythms
Contrary Motion Counterpoint part 1 5Antoher clear, full of nice ideas to work on, and absolutely inspiring lesson!! Thanks a lot Steve!