Basic Starter Series

$180.00 $129.00

Mikes Master Classes is loaded with video after video of high quality classes great to study jazz guitar.  Sometimes, the amount of choices available can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are new to studying with masters through online video resources.  This Basic Starter Series is designed to give you an introduction to a variety of Masters and a good base of classes that will serve as your foundational lessons in your online guitar learning experience.

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Series Includes:

Tonal Centers for Jazz Improvisation Class Content | Frank DiBussolo

Join guitarist Frank DiBussolo for his first Mike’s Master Class, “The General Tonal Center Concept for Improvisation”.  This is a concise system for processing complex chord progressions making improvising a simpler thought process.  It will free the player to create musical ideas rather than concentraing on playing the “right notes”.

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Tonal Centers for Jazz Improvisation
Tonal Centers for Jazz Improvisation 01:23:00

Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses Class Content | Steve Herberman

Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell are two guitarists that loved to imitate a horn section with chordal riff figures. Wes used them in his solos and while he comped, even while a pianist was comping along to a soloist. Often overlooked by guitarists, riff figures are an important part of jazz history rooted in the blues, making the music swing hard. So much of Wes Montgomery’s style comes from riffs in octaves and chords sometimes straight from big bands like Basie and Hampton. In this Master Class I’ll go over many of these swinging riff figures and shout choruses and adapt them for guitar.

These are deceptive animals in that they sound easy but are often very hard to negotiate in a chordal style. For example, many figures are quite syncopated and the chord changes occur in what seem like unusual places.

Many times call and response type of motifs are employed to create very interesting solos and comping, with good use of space. This is important work for the jazz guitarist that often gets ignored. For the guitarist who is looking to improve his or her time feel and play compelling chordal motifs created by the swing masters, this class is for you!

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Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses
Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses 01:28:00

Quality Practicing Jazz – Part I Class Content | Steve Giordano

One of the most difficult issues for a jazz artist’s development is prioritizing their practice time. “How should I best invest my time?” University students never have time to think about things like this because they are always given piles and piles of work to do in keeping up with their grades. In today’s world, there is a saturation of  methods of “how to” do this and that. This can be overwhelming to the point of frustration for the serious jazz musicians seeking guidance on how to best spend their time. My inspiration for making this video series comes from the many questions that my students have asked me over the years of teaching. Questions like: “how can I obtain better ears” or “how can I get better time” just to name a couple. I will say up front that the content on this video is not traditional nor is it chock filled with numerous technical exercises. It is rather filled with my personal take and belief on how to best develop the tools needed to grow as a jazz player. It is geared, like all my videos, toward personal development in a non-dogmatic manner. It is a video of tips and suggestions that point toward inner self-development, rather than how to “fit in” with the crowd, so to speak. It has multiple segments and chapters, each in response to the most FAQs I have encountered over my many years of teaching. I started out thinking I could achieve this in one 90 minute video, but once I began, I soon realized it was a bigger project than I thought. I certainly did not want to skimp or cram things in, or worse yet, leave out things that need to be said. “Quality Practicing Jazz” Part I is already over 100 minutes long.

I believe every jazz musician will benefit from this series in some way. Even the seasoned players will get a kick out of how some  “untouched” subject matter such as “does a jazz musician with perfect pitch have an advantage over one who does not?” get addressed in a fresh way that is common-sense oriented and sometimes humorous.

Steve Giordano

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Quality Practicing Jazz - Part I
Quality Practicing Jazz – Part I 01:42:00

A Guide to Practical Comping – Part 1 Class Content | Jamie Taylor

Advanced Jazz Guitar Lesson: A Guide To Practical Comping – Part One:

The art of jazz guitar accompaniment, and the study of chords in general, can be daunting topics, especially if you’re new to the style. That’s why this lesson dives straight in with the essentials; it’s full of devices that you can go out and use on your next gig. The focus here isn’t on complicated harmonic theory; it’s all about getting stuck in to the basic changes of well-known standards, and giving them a sprinkling of the magic dust! During almost 90 mins of easily digestible material, we learn all sorts of tips and tricks that the pros use to make their accompaniments sparkle. Even if you’ve never comped a set of jazz chord changes before, this video gives you all the tools you need to emulate greats like Joe Pass, Freddie Green, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Martin Taylor.  No need to worry about struggling to keep up either – every concept we cover is broken down slowly and notated fully (including tablature) on the accompanying PDF. There’s plenty to keep the more experienced player occupied too…

Topics covered include:

  • Quickly build a rock-solid foundation of basic jazz shapes.
  • Add passing chords to basic progressions to keep them moving.
  • Introduction to moving inner parts.
  • ‘Freddie Green’ style 4-to-the-bar comping. What shapes to use, what technique to use, how to get that sound!
  • Martin Taylor/Joe Pass style bass line comping. The class includes a complete chorus of this over “All The Things You Are”, played slowly and fully tabbed out on the PDF.
  • Voice leading through common progressions – all over the guitar.
  • Combine voicings with scales, to make exciting chord/melody phrases.

Finally, the class comes complete with a 13-page PDF booklet (including standard notation and tablature), plus synchronised on-screen captions, so you know exactly where you are at all times.

A Guide to Practical Comping - Part 1
A Guide to Practical Comping – Part 1 01:27:00

Minor Line Concepts Class Content | Jay Umble

“Become a sculptor of sound to create any effect you want”: Jay Umble states this as the  aim of this course. Over 88 minutes Jay provides an arsenal of approaches to achieve this sound-sculpting goal. While minor lines are a recurring theme, he includes information that covering harmonic, melodic and rhythmic ideas.

From the onset he discusses viewing the entire fretboard as one chord,  using G minor7 as a recurring tonality throughout the video examples.

Jay starts by identify the fretboard areas guitarists tend to avoid while soloing over a G minor7.  Giving a range of approaches, he  builds confidence to create solos seamlessly over the neck.

There is an emphasises on targeting chord tones so that ultimately the improviser can play effortlessly both inside and outside, deliberately manipulating the solos with what he terms as “random points of entry”, i.e., starting a solo either diatonically or non-diatonically at will.

There is a wealth of information about approaches for note decisions on when to play using either a scalar approach (easier for the listener) or  intervallically, ( which the human ear tracks less accurately), which allows the guitarist to take more chances.

This is where wilder and more ‘outside’ tonalities can be created.

Jay also offers ideas on becoming confident even when playing the occasional ‘avoid’ note and how to get away with it!

In this comprehensive course, there is also a wealth of information on ideas about on:

  • approach setups – short and long
  • the use altered dominant ideas
  • how to view chord shapes across the neck for greater fluidity
  • the use of fifths harmony for ultra-modern sounds
  • Single-string soloing ideas
  • Becoming familiar with intervals in relation to the root in every position
  • Gaining control over randomness to build more interesting lines.

Jay’s approach is friendly and relaxed and these concepts are presented in a way that players will find easy to adapt to their own style.

10 pages of written materials in Standard Notation and TAB 

Running time: 83 minutes 

[Class Description by Mike Bryant]

Minor Line Concepts
Minor Line Concepts 01:22:00

Useful Voicings Class Content | Paul Bollenback

Have you ever been working on developing your chord vocabulary and just gotten frustrated at the shear number of possibilities of note combinations?

Ever wonder how you can go from the world of exploring voicings, to actively using good sounding voicings that fit well on the guitar?

This course does an excellent job of shortening the learning curve for guitarists. Master jazz guitarist Paul Bollenback teaches the student by using Victor Young’s standard “Stella By Starlight”, the major Blues progression, stock 2-5-1 and 3-6-2-5-1 progressions as vehicles to demonstrate how to get the most mileage out of using just a few shapes (chord voicings) on the guitar.

The useful voicings course is a masterful study of the application of a concept and doing a lot with a small amount of information.

This Class Includes:

  • Five pages of notes in a downloadable PDF file
  • Boils down years of Paul’s in-depth explorations of harmony to shorten the learning curve and get great results right away
  • Focusing mostly on 3 note voicing on strings 2,3, and 4
  • Voicings for Tritone Substitutions
  • Practicing in Cycle of Fourths/ Circle of Fifths
  • String set conversions
  • Shell Voicings
  • Rootless Voicings
  • Four Note Voicings primarily on the second set of four strings (B,G,D, and A strings)
  • practice routine suggestions
  • Tritone plus Perfect fourth interval voicing used as Dominant 13th, Minor 6/9, Dominant 7 #9, and min 11 flat 5 voicings all depending on the root note.
  • Moving the Augmented 4th + Perfect Fourth voicing moving down chromatically on a 3-6-2-5-1 progression
  • Applications of these voicing in common jazz settings such as major and minor 2-5-1 progressions, 3-6-2-5-1, and applying them in a blues context.
  • Great for comping, chord melody, chord soloing and generally getting away from harmony based in voicings containing the root as the lowest note.

All this with a straightforward and no nonsense delivery of these very advanced concepts. All this and he ends with the greatest words of wisdom: Go Practice!

[Course Description by Andrew Boyce]

  • Intermediate-Advanced level.
  • 5 pages of written material in standard notation and TAB
  • Running time: 90 minutes
Useful Voicings
Useful Voicings 01:29:00

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