In recent weeks, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting and speaking frequently with my friend, Master guitarist- Bob Conti. Bob & I met 15 years or so ago in Vegas where he was performing. I went to the club and introduced myself as a friend of PM’s. It was a memorable night – one I will never forget- great music, some good Italian food and wine, and talking guitar with a humble and generous jazz giant. I should mention that Pat & Bob grew up in Philly together. Both young guitarists hit the jazz circuit playing clubs in their early teens. That’s another story!!!
So- where was this man, the great Robert Conti, when I was subscribing to, what I consider, an antiquated approach to jazz guitar – The Berklee Guitar Method. PM stated in his groundbreaking book- Linear Expressions- “There are no better ways, just different ways.” (patmartino.com)
What’s good for some, may not be as good or beneficial or enjoyable for others. So, I’m simply stating that, for me personally, it was a rigorous approach that didn’t appeal to me, especially after getting to know PM. What he shared with with me in a few hours, would provide “food for musical thought” for a lifetime. I should mention that Pat has continued throughout the years, now spanning 4 decades, to share with me many eye-opening thoughts both spiritually and musically, his perspectives, compositions, approaches, ideas, etc etc., in addition to his love, support and never-ending mentoring and friendship – which I remain forever grateful for.
Back to Bob…In more ways than one, PM and Robert Conti are geniuses with remarkable and keen abilities to present both their knowledge and music approaches to us- IN WRITING.
I came from a school of record copying when in my youth (lifting and dropping the needle – with very little site reading until I attended the Berklee College of Music). It is clear that the Conti approach would have been much easier for me to engage in, and develop a comfortable command of the fingerboard in its entirety – in a much shorter period of time. In addition, to being acclaimed globally for his technique, wizardry and mastery of jazz guitar, Robert Conti is a world-class instructor, who has been sharing his no-nonsense, thought provoking and simplified approach to guitarist around the world for many, many years and with great success. His efforts have resulted in methods that, if applied properly, give jazz guitarist’s a total and full command of the fretboard without having to, well… “think your ass off”. I only wish his innovative approaches were available to me in my youth. Very few accomplished jazz musicians have the ability to break down, and share with you their approach, not to mention, simplifying the entire improvising process.
So all you young players, and anyone else for that matter, who love the guitar and want to “get with it” swiftly, and expand your knowledge rapidly and sensibly, I urge you subscribe to Robert’s approach. It’s a game changer!!! YOU WON’T BE SORRY. In fact you won’t want to put your instrument down. I sure don’t!!
In closing, the intent of my thoughts was to simply introduce to the jazz guitar enthusiast, and especially you young players, an inspirational learning source; refreshing, engaging, and well thought out content from a true gentleman and, in my opinion, one of the greatest jazz guitar players and educators of all time. Simply put- NO BULLSHIT!!! Robert Conti is brilliant. Peace….ENJOY!!!
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