Play Pro Chord Melody Today Review – Vols. 1 & 2

Having just gotten Robert Conti’s new DVDs “Since I Fell For You” and “God Bless the Child”, I thought sme here might be interested in what these are like. Both these DVDs follow the same format in print and intent as his books on chord melody. Each DVD only treats ONE tune, the title of the DVD. That way, he has a lot of time to devote to making sure the student “gets it”.

As with his books, his approach is to get the music into your hands first and foremost, and then to explore what he is doing and why. He references his two chord melody books “Chord Melody Assembly Line” and “The Formula”, as these are an integral part of understaind what is going on and why. However, it is not necessary to have either of these books to learn to play the tune that is the primary subject of each DVD.

Each DVD has a PDF file that contains the arrangement in the same printed format as Conti’s books of chord melody arrangements,
along with a page or two of tips for approaching the music and DVD. If I can access and print these easily on my Linux system, I am sure there will be no compatibility issues with Windows or Mac. On the inside cover of the DVD, he tells you how to access the PDF on these two systems.

In addition to thoroughly teaching the designated tune, Conti also talks about how to determine the audience and play to them. He clearly has a professional attitude toward workig as a musician. He said that he loves to “burn at 300 BPM”, but there is a time and place for that. Often, “society” and corporate gigs require playing “nice” music where you tend to stay with the melody, rather than “blowing”. His chord melody work is for that, though instead of “blowing”, he does creative things with the harmony and adds some fills and interesting things around the melody. He stresses that keepng a “pulse” so the listener knoews where you are in the tuneis important too.

Conti takes the tune measure by measure, and spends time talking about various ways to harmonize it, embellishments, etc. The DVD menu has the measures grouped in a sensible way, based on how he approaches teaching it. So, he may have a two measure intro, and that is one selection, followed by one or two measures, a bridge, etc. The menu is well laid out and makes going between sections of the tune quite easy to do.

To me, while these DVDs easily stand on their own, I also thinkthat they are really an excellent addition to his chord melody books. DVDs are another way of viewing the material and brining it home. Conti’s teaching style is really well suited to this medium.

I have a lot of various books, DVDs, and CDs teaching various aspects of guitar, and once agian, I have to say that Conti’s materials are far and away the most effective, especially for self-learning. These new DVDs really bring his chord melody teaching to life, and he is able to provide a lot more insight on these that really builds on what his books teach.

Tony Beltran
Posted in rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz
September 16, 2006

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