Video Review: “West Coast Blues” [Guitar Masterclass] | by Randy Johnston

Review by Az Samad

"West Coast Blues" [Guitar Masterclass] | by Randy Johnston

When I started learning jazz, I remember listening to Wes Montgomery’s Smokin’ at the Half Note on repeat. After all, if Pat Metheny learned to play guitar from that album, I figured I should do that too! What I didn’t count on was the fact that my ears were so undeveloped back then. It was so difficult for me to catch ANYTHING by ear. So, instead of learning from that record, I started learning portions of slower Joe Pass material and also from any jazz guitar book or lesson article I could find. VHS tapes and books from my college library became my best friend.

Now, if only I had Randy to guide me back then! Randy Johnston’s new master class is a great resource for anyone who loves that classic Wes sound. It is THAT classic sound.

Octaves? Check!
Block chord solos? Check!
Tasty single note lines? Check!

This was the video that I wish I had back then. Even now, this video has given me so many ideas to work on. As I digested it, I learned more and more. I liked how Randy shared his personal tips on simplifying II-V single note lines. When he talked about the differences between minor, dominant and blues ideas – it was all very insightful. All that and beautiful playing explained with a lot of examples!

The special part about any of Randy’s videos is the fact that he always focuses on great sounding lines. There’s an abundance of it and I know that I always have tons to dig into in any of his videos. It’s a delight to transcribe stuff from Randy because the lines are so good!

Randy shares a lot of his personal approaches and tips to play Wes style octaves, block chords and how to imitate the big band sound. His conversational style makes it easy to relate too! This is definitely one video that I’ll be revisiting again soon.

Pros: Great playing, practical tips and lots of examples to digest.
Cons: None.
TLDR: If you love the Wes Montgomery sound and want to learn to play like that, get this master class for some practical tips that you can apply into your playing.

"West Coast Blues" [Guitar Masterclass] | by Randy Johnston

December 14, 2018

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