This Saturday morning class on Contrapuntal Improvisation for pickstyle and fingerstyle guitar will be live from the IAJE in NYC.  A refreshing alternative to block chord soloing, Steve will show you techniques to expand your playing into 2 and 3 part multi-line improvisation. Written examples will begin with the basic principles of contrapuntal playing and progress towards melding single note lines seamlessly into modern chordal structures. Add these vital and flexible concepts into stream of consciousness improvising. This type of playing sounds great in a bass/guitar duo or guitar/bass/drums trio.
Break out of those chord boxes and let your creativity flow! All examples are written for 6 string guitar and are easily adaptable to 7 string guitar.

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Class Content

Contrapuntal Improvisation 1
Contrapuntal Improvisation 1 01:10:00

Course Reviews


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  1. Profile photo of Sandro Norton


    Another great lesson from Steve. You can´t go wrong with any of his lessons. This lesson will open your ears. And you will see fast results. Forget about licks. This is about music. Great topic.
    Thanks Steve

    ~ Sandro Norton (October 30, 2009)

  2. Profile photo of Nico Sabatini


    This is a mind-expanding class. There are 6 pages of written examples, many based on the same sample tune approached with different types of counter melodies. Also very helpful and inspiring are the many beautifully improvised and clearly explained examples. Several devices are discussed like improvising against chromatic cliche-lines like Root-7-b7-6 etc or 5-#5-6 and playing arpeggio-based countermelodies against a held note. This class, in conjunction with Steve’s Van Eps-Style classes and the Inner Line class, represented a bit of a breakthrough for me and are revolutionizing the way I play and approach the instrument, from trying to combine chords and melodies, to juggling independent lines inside an organic improvised arrangement. Superb stuff!

    ~ Nico Sabatini (March 21, 2009)

  3. Profile photo of jeff stocks


    I have several classes from Mike’s offering, including half a dozen of Steve’s and I feel this class is easily his most engaging, interesting, and for me, useful. After watching the lesson and studying the material, I felt like I had seen/heard something on the instrument I didn’t know existed prior. Hearing the lines and counter-lines was truly like an epiphany. The class is well-presented (as always w/ Steve), easy to follow, great examples which can be played quickly to gain confidence, and extremely ‘usable’ in real world jazz settings. Steve is a huge asset to Mike’s roster and this class is a great example why. Be prepared to be challenged!

    Jeff Stocks, Kansas City, MO

    ~ jeff stocks (January 28, 2008)

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