The more that I get into Andy Fite’s classes, the more I realize how lucky we are to be able to learn from him. Andy is an experienced musician with an immense passion for breaking apart music to core practical concepts. I really loved Andy’s recent class, Into Tonal Beauty and was looking forward to digging into this follow up to the class.
What’s so special about the class? Well, it’s the elegant simplicity of it! Andy gives us a clear framework to develop our ears, fretboard knowledge and improvisational skills all at once. The beauty of it is that this stuff is easy to understand (after watching the video even once) and then the real task is to do the work and absorb the sounds.
Some of my favorite parts of the video are the short improvised interludes and examples that Andy plays in between the core material. It’s one thing to learn the exercises but to see how Andy is able to apply the material in a musical context is really inspiring!
Prelude No 8, another one from his 24 Preludes collection (one for every key, both major and minor keys) provides a solid piece of music for us to see the concepts in action. Even this piece alone is worth deep study, evoking glimpses of poetic Bach-like melodic lines that flow into a beautiful satisfying cadence. The Prelude also provides a great workout for alternate picking practice. Along with Soundsliced notation, I discovered Andy’s tasteful use of dynamics, and phrasing. He mixes straight 8ths along with swinging 8th notes and discerningly uses rubato in his performance of the piece.
Andy’s teaching style is very honest and conversational, friendly and approachable even when he started explaining the subtleties of hearing notes as chromatic approach notes into chord tones rather than chord tones of a chord. All in all, this is a great class that I’m sure many will benefit from.
Pros: Clear examples, easy to understand teaching style, great material.
TLDR: If you want to improve your inner ear, fretboard knowledge and improvisational skills, this is a wonderful masterclass for you. Together with the first class (Into Tonal Beauty: Escaping Chord Grips), you will gain a lot of ideas to help you become a more well rounded guitarist, in any style.