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

  • Crushing Minor Lines

    crushing Minor Lines 3

    Good lesson for Jazz-rock player. An attached Pdf would have been nice, less distortion could help to appreciate the lines harmony
    Jacques SOULADE
  • Crushing Minor Lines

    5

    Excellent course. Joe wastes no time and covers a wide range of topics. He also plays the heck outta the guitar. Great stuff!
    Dane Clarke
  • Contrapuntal Improvisation

    Contrapuntal Improvisation I 5

    I'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 Corzo
  • Contrary Motion Counterpoint part 1: Concerted Rhythms

    Contrary Motion Counterpoint part 1 5

    Antoher clear, full of nice ideas to work on, and absolutely inspiring lesson!! Thanks a lot Steve!
    Daniel Corzo
  • Contrary Motion Counterpoint part 1: Concerted Rhythms

    Mechanisms as a Modular System, not a Dr. Seuss Book, indeed 🙂 5

    Steve, I really like where you’re going with this “Mechanisms” thing, because the creativity really comes from not just parroting it, but the ability to personalize it, individually. Modularity has become the basic principle of computer coding, especially Object-Oriented Programming. Creating re-usable, small bits, or “Objects”, that can be re-used and re-applied in multiple formats, contexts, situations. It has the same applicability with music. Mingus famously said that music is the progressive mastery of simple things that build on each other. For example, I played around with the representation of the C-7 chord in measure 1 of exercise 5. Now, instead of playing the C-7, I have additional ways of representing this information, in a linear way. This also connects very much with what Barry Harris says, over and over again, “Music is Movement”. Thanks again and cheers, Nav
    Navdeep Jhaj
  • Sid Jacobs Tucson Workshop: Session I

    Great Instructor 5

    Explains things clearly, very helpful, entertaining and make theory understandable. Good sense of humor, nice guy.
    Charles Vick
  • Blues for the New Millennium

    Blues for the New Millennium | by Randy Johnston 5

    Great course Randy. Thanks!
    Dane Clarke
  • Blues-Part I – Call and Response

    Great 5

    I liked a lot this course. A bunch of examples that includes many concepts.
    David Pérez Surribas
  • Going for Baroque

    excellent course but I wish it had tab 5

    overall there is great info in this but i found it largely inaccessible due to my lack of ability to read standard notation. I realise that this is actually my problem, not the fault of the course, (it is afterall a MASTERclass). Parts 2 and 3 include tab so I'm going to jump right into those.
    Eric Schick
  • Walking Chords for Jazz Guitar

    Another excellent class from Tom 5

    Toms lessons are always well presented with detailed notes and a treasure trove of great ideas.
    Henry Rutgers
  • Guide Tone Lines

    Not a class or instruction 2

    Maybe I'm missing something but there was no instruction or lesson here at all.
    Doug Eisenstark
  • Sid Jacobs Tucson Workshop: Session I

    Absolute Joy and Treasure of a Workshop From Master Sid Jacobs 5

    Another Awesome Lesson With The Master Sid Jacobs , Thanks Again!
    Shawn Loudermilk
  • The Life Vest Arpeggio for Jazzers

    The life vest 1 5

    It is a practical and very interesting lesson. The teacher is very competent and the video is of good quality as well as the attached material. It is probably a review of known music “rules” but straight to the point, well done and with lot of examples.
    Alessandro Caldarone
  • Double-Timing Guitar Techniques

    Another Home Run 5

    Anything Randy Johnston teaches is always good. This one breaks down some specific elements of double time playing that I find very useful. I like the way Randy teaches...organized, logical, and clearly explained and demonstrated. Can't wait for his next video!
    Robert Minchin
  • The Life Vest Arpeggio for Jazzers

    Classic Sounds 5

    Genil does a great job in this class of showing us where some of those classic Wes sounds come from. I too, am looking forward to his next lesson on this topic.
    Miguel Rodriguez
  • Exploring Modern Ideas for Jazz Standards: Pt. 1

    AUDIO PROBLEM SOLVED 5

    What I do is download the lesson and play it inside VLC Player, which has a compressor in it, which brings John's spoken word and music closer together.
    Michal ORDOGH
  • Anatomy of a Solo: Oscar Moore on “Body & Soul”

    Oscar Moore, Body and Soul 5

    I'm stumped for words in reviewing this. It will sound trite if I go on about "how much I like the course." The fact is I do love it. I love the way Jamie presents it, and plays it beautifully! A great way to learn and enjoy a great tune. Thanks!
    Robert Gannon
  • Anatomy of a Standard – “Giant Steps”

    Outstanding way to break into Giant Steps 5

    Thanks again, Jamie! You present great information in your lessons here on Mike's Master Classes, and every bit of that information is immediately translatable into playing. Your approach to Giant Steps offers new insight and helps students understand how to see the song in triads that capture the fast-paced changes of the tune. Then, students learn how to use melodic devices to make lines that are more expressive without losing the underlying chord tones. With those foundations, the door is now open to creating great improves to this challenging Coltrane composition. Another fine lesson from a great instructor!
    John Duncan
  • The Art of Bass & Chords For Jazz Guitar

    Very useful 5

    I find Tom’s classes are always full value for the money with excellent written materials and clear demonstrations and explanations on the video. This course is no exception and I now try to prepare a walking bass and chords arrangement to every song I learn.
    Henry Rutgers
  • Single Note Melody Part 1: Making The Melody Sing

    I hope this class doesn’t get lost in the shuffle because of the absolute importance of The subject matter 5

    Hey Steve, There’s so much to say about the expressive qualities you bring up here— The heart of phrasing is expression and ornamentation. . I think many guitarists don’t really focus as much as they need to on it. For those of us who aspire to play (lap) piano style guitar, what you talk about here is everything the guitar can provide as a string instrument that the piano cannot. The obvious corollaries are to European classical music and Indian classical music.. Ironically, everything that you speak of here, especially with regard to the glissando and slides, Jack C was the absolute master of, I referred to him often as the Johnny Hodges of the guitar. Interestingly, he would grease his fingers on the left hand, which Indian classical musicians do, especially on guitar and mandolin (Eg, the late great maestro U. Srinivas). The Use of bends versus slides and glissando is actually a very critical one. There is a truly great local musician who is probably the best all-around guitar player I can think of (Who is, incidentally, a dead ringer for my brother, except my brother was like a foot taller 🙂 ) who I heard playing Indian classical music using a lot of Bends. I think that comes across as more B.B. King than Indian classical music.. I don’t know if this is the right word, lyricism is a product expression and ornamentation. We can learn a lot from Indian classical musicians in this regard. I’m going to go meet with a South Indian friend of mine who is studying Carnatic guitar — His mother was a Carnatic classical singer. We’re going to do a trade off: I’m going to teach him about harmony and chords in the fingerboard then he’s going to teach me about ornamentation, which is principally slides, slurs and so forth. I think you got the critical components exactly right. This is an important subject matter, and a lot of jazz players tend to neglect it. Ultimately, lyricism is a function of expression and ornamentation. Looking forward to part 2!
    Navdeep Jhaj
  • Single Note Melody Part 1: Making The Melody Sing

    Secrets of tasteful melody playing 5

    As in all his classes, Steve does a masterful job of demonstrating the secrets of playing beautifully, in this case with single-note song melodies. He goes into the various subtleties of tone, articulation, phrasing, and register. There are no transcribed examples, but I didn't find it necessary because it's really about the creative art of taking a melody and making it sing, not about memorizing a particular example. His playing is very clear and easy to follow, as always, and he talks through what he's doing as he's doing it. He includes a very handy list of concepts to consider and he explains all of them in the video. If you envy the way a horn player or a singer can make a melody sound beautiful and want to be able to do that on the guitar, this class is for you. I'm looking forward to part 2!
    Annabel Chiarell
  • The Art of Fusion 5 – Chords and CAGED System

    Art Of Fusion 5 5

    As a chord lover this course is excellent. The fusion voicings are a great bonus treat.
    Dane Clarke
  • Heads, You Win!

    Insightful is an understatement!!!! 5

    Thank you, Jamie, for the wonderful course! Everything is done very well and your explanations and teachings are beyond my expectations! You gave me the very best analysis of Donna Lee that I have ever learned --and, sad to say, I have been playing that song for over 40 years. Your course demonstrates your expertise in musical understanding and performance; however, it is also a clear demonstration of your tremendous teaching ability. Thanks again!
    John Duncan
  • Delayed Resolutions (Appoggiatura)

    A masterpiece of utility- buy it in the morning and play it on the stand tonight. 5

    This is the masterclass that has shown me how to apply some enclosing of tones along with delayed resolutions. So far i am already realizing that Steve's presentation of ideas offers a straightforward method that give single-note lines a sense of going somewhere, via small tension/resolution patterns that lines that only float aimlessly through scales just can't and don't possess.
    Charles M.
  • The Art of Bass & Chords For Jazz Guitar

    Thinking like a bass player. 5

    Still working through the course but have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far. A great resource for solo jazz guitar. Gives a guitarist like me a much-needed understanding of a bass player's perspective. A course on jazz counterpoint from Tom would be fantastic.
    Joshua Quintanilla
  • Body and Soul: Putting Chords to Work

    Putting what you learn to good use 5

    I enjoyed this class very much. It addresses an important issue: what do you do with all the chords you've learned? Are you really using all the voicings, or are you just sticking to certain ones all the time (guilty). Are you aware of all the possible substitutions that you can use (really important, since rootless voicings keep the bass player happy). Do you play drop 3 chords starting from the 5th string? (some, not enough). Finally, do you ever use drop 2&4 or something besides drop 2 or drop 3? I will definitely use these ideas when learning tunes (and maybe even try something like comping the whole tune within the first 4 frets, then frets 5-8, etc. forcing me to not always go to the "typical" chords I use). Highly recommended.
    DAVID TARDIO
  • Body and Soul: Putting Chords to Work

    Putting chords to work 5

    Hello Tom, I really love the way you laid all this out. An immense amount of work I'm sure. What I really love is the concept of working on chord inversions while all the while being inside a really good song. The old idea of two birds with one stone. Also the included charts of associated chords for color are invaluable. Thank you very much for this course. Robert Gannon
    Robert Gannon
  • Fretboard Harmony: Breaking Out of The ‘Box’

    Great way to break out of position playing. 4

    Good class on fretboard navigation! Thank you for using a guitar with fret markers. One friendly tip to vastly improve the usefulness of your video lesson (without buying any new equipment): Reposition your camera to get close-up shots of your fretboard. This is especially important when you don’t supply a companion PDF of your lesson. As a paying student, all I need to see is the fretboard, your hands, and hear your voice. You can still do an intro video with wide portrait framing but after that its all about that fretboard. I hope you can do this on your next one. Lastly, please give us at least one VERY slow demo of each exercise. This was especially crucial in the second half of the lesson when you started demoing scales. Playing a scale exercise at full speed in an instructional video is not helpful. The half-speed feature for playback can only go so far and it doesn’t remove motion blur.
    Louis Bravo
  • The Shadow of Your Smile: Solo Guitar Arranging Master Class

    Excellent arranging class 5

    Jake Thx so much for this detailed description of how you go about playing tunes solo. This in conjunction with your 2 hr arranging course pretty much gives one all the tools needed to start playing solo guitar. I know it will take time to put in place all of the different techniques but at least I know where I am going in this style. Again thx (no PDF needed) because it is so well laid out 🙂
    George Cole
  • The Life Vest Arpeggio for Jazzers

    Life Vest Arpeggio Indeed! All the classic sounds! 5

    Great lesson! Can't wait for Part 2
    Clinton Carnegie
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