Reviews

Worldwide Students Speak

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Great

Someone who teaches how to play rather than memorize. What a concept!

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The Formula
Dr. Dave Walker - Canada
Terrific materials on chord melody

I am a retired (EARLY retirement!) university professor and administrator who taught music criticism at the graduate level. I've also been a practising musician for over 40 years now. Although I have played in jazz bands for years, I restricted myself mostly to comping until I discovered Robert Conti's column in Just Jazz Guitar, and then his terrific materials on chord melody. I was delighted with the DVD of The Formula to finally be able to see and hear Mr. Conti. His down-to-earth style of instruction really resonated with me.

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The Jazz Lines
James Macneil - Fayetteville, NC
Find endless ideas...

I just love all the material presented. I have all the Source Code and Ticket to Improv series. Even though the TTI series is an introduction, I find that coupled with The Jazz Lines you can find endless ideas from those "simpler" lines presented. I really think I've seen other people imitating the approach Conti has used for decades. The problem with theory is that many students don't understand how to apply it. Robert demonstrates that theory in real world application. Anyone who understands theory can analyze Robert's lines and see how that theory works in real playing. I think Robert understands theory as much as any music theory teacher, but he also knows that on the bandstand the mind doesn't have time to compute all that information when chords are flying by at break neck tempos. He just presents things that make sense to the mind in real time playing.

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Chord Melody Assembly Line
"Monkmiles" on The Gear Page forum
Gets you playing quickly

Robert Conti has a good book/method called the Chord Melody Assembly Line. It's been many years since I looked at it but I remember it as a straight forward, easy to follow approach that gets you playing quickly.

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The Formula
Hinton Owens - Georgia
He is a gifted educator

I just received Robert Conti's Source Code Book Four ("The Formula") last week. The man has a way of packing a tremendous amount of information into my brain quickly. He is a gifted educator. His concept of harmonizing melodies is fantastic and it works great for me. If you have not seen a copy I recommend it to you. You will have fun reading it and applying his concepts to any standard tune within a couple of hours. It's the best money I have spent on a learning aid ever.

A knack for making the esoteric obvious!

I discovered Robert Conti through the article in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine. I have purchased his Chord Melody Assembly Line book/DVD, and am working through it at this time. Robert certainly has a knack for making the esoteric obvious! I would be interested to know of any new offerings he may have for guitar instruction. Also, he should really come back to his roots here in Pennsylvania once in a while so that us east-coasters can meet him, see him play, take a lesson or two!

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2 Hour Lesson
Tony Pereira - Las Vegas, NV
Best musical investment I've ever made

I just wanted to give a shout out to Robert Conti. I started taking lessons with Robert about 2 years ago and picked up a few tricks. I decided to get serious back in February and made a weekly appointment for a 2 hour lesson. It is the best musical investment that I have ever made. The progress has been amazing and his teaching style fits with the way I need to learn.

Robert teaches a no modes/no scales method...and he hates that I use the word “method”. Make no mistake though the guy knows his music theory. Not only does it sound good to your ear but he can explain at a Ph.D. level why it sounds good.

Do yourself a favor and take a lesson from the guy. I guarantee you will walk away with something new. Every week I have met with him save a few times when I was traveling and I walk away exhausted and energized.

He has completely changed my playing...for the good. He’s a rare combination of being a stellar player who can teach.

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Jazz Guitarists to the Rescue

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An Inspirational (and true!) Tale

No jazz musician needs to be told how tight money is in this recession. Budgets are being slashed everywhere, and perhaps most in education.Now imagine that you have a class of eager guitar students but no guitars and no money to buy them.  What would you do?  Welcome to the world of Bruce Edmiston. Bruce has been teaching his guitar class at Oxnard High School for thirteen years, focused mainly on jazz guitar. He tells us: “I inform everyone from day one that I teach music and that we will be using the guitar as the instrument to bring that music to life.” JJG readers will be familiar with the materials that Bruce uses in the classroom: “Robert Conti offers materials that are just fantastic. From chord melody, to improv, to technique, he provides it all. Most importantly it is affordable which is important because of dwindling school budgets for music. Howard Morgen is a  treasure trove of material as well. I believe that I have every book both of those men have published which might explain why I haven’t bought a new guitar.” Bruce also uses his    own teaching materials, an extensive collection that he has built up from his years of playing with different acts. Lots of material, but no guitars.

Robert,Thank you for your introduction to your friend Jon Puhl at Dean Guitars, as your influence resulted in extremely favorable pricingthat enabled me to obtain sixteen guitars for my class. This pictures represent your willingness to help a bunch of guitar playing students in my music program at Oxnard High School. You have been a part of helping make some dreams come true for some very enthusiastic guitar students. Don’t forget we want a blonde Conti for our showcase. ” Where Words Fail Music Speaks, Bruce Edmiston

So picture Bruce in his classroom trying to think up a solution to his dilemma. He picks up the phone, and calls the office of Robert Conti to ask for two Conti Guitars – just two, and he really could not even afford them! “Having begged, borrowed, and stolen for so long I’ve become numb to making ridiculous and outrageous requests. But I hold on to the noble notion that my motivation is teaching guitars to kids, swallow hard and open my mouth and ask for the impossible.”

It turns out that Bruce had made the right call. Considering the request, Robert decided that two guitars would not be enough for a group of sixteen eager young guitarists, so he got on the phone to Jon Puhl at Dean Guitars to see if there was something they could  do for Bruce’s kids. As a favor to Robert, Jon did. Dean Guitars decided to offer Bruce 16 archtop jazz guitarsat a tiny fraction of their true price – enough guitars to outfit the entire class!

Back in Oxnard, Bruce was floored to receive the call from Robert Conti telling him of the generous offer from Dean Guitars. Having planned on holding a competition between the students to use one of the two new guitars, here was an offer of one for each student – but he still had no money to buy them. “I didn’t have enough money at that moment but went calling in every favor I’ve ever done for our administration and district personnel until I got the money and we purchased our guitars.” Are the kids happy? Take a look at their picture!

Bruce Edmiston is unreserved in his appreciation of Robert Conti’s magnanimous gesture. “If not for Robert Conti we would not have these beautiful guitars to play. Mr. Conti has helped create an excitement in my students that is unmatched. Thank you Robert! You walk the walk. Look at the photo and the sheer delight on the face of the students. This is why I do this job and I am grateful to JJG and Mr.Conti.” Ever the gentleman, when I contacted Robert Conti about this story he pointed to Jon Puhl and Dean  Guitars as the ones who saved the day, but I think we can all agree that this was a group effort.

In these tough economic times, it is inspiring to see jazz guitarists pull together to help the next generation on the path to music. Robert Conti, Jon Puhl, and Dean Guitars – you are an inspiration to us all!

Dr. Dave Walker

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2 thoughts on “Jazz Guitarists to the Rescue”

  1. That’s my truest friend andhes just like that only if you deserve it.Consider yourself special because you have to be worthy of a favor because he doesn’t waste his kindness. Robert Conti will be at the front of the line when he gets to the Pearly Gates. I’m honored to call him my Old Friend from Jax.Fla.

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