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Entrada Archtop Guitar
Scott Tarulli
Berklee Professor Reviews Lefty Entrada

See Attached Video Review by Scott Tarulli of Boston, MA

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Vol. 4 - Ticket To Improv
gerald mckinnon
volume four

Super excellent

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The Jazz Lines
Jack Marchewka
Just getting started

Worked though the first two lessons of the Jazz Lines book (more to go), but it opened a door for me. I’ve come to understand there is a difference between theory and harmony. This is about learning harmony. If you want to play jazz learn harmony.

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Vol. 4 Wave
Mike Sanders - Las Vegas, NV
One of Conti's Best Solo Lessons

All of the Robert Conti DVDs are top-notch, but this one takes the cake. He takes what some consider to be a harmonically complex tune and breaks it done into the simplest of terms. From here, the viewer is taken through the lesson a few measures at a time, with each concept explained in detail and with care. Once you have the lesson under your hands, you not only have an impressive solo but an increased vocabulary of lines to use on other songs and a better understanding of how to approve improvisation over any song. Great fun and well worth the effort. If you are new to improvisation, I recommend learning from a few of Conti’s “Ticket to Improv” DVDs first as you will internalize the lesson much faster and have a greater understanding of the concepts presented.

Preferred Gauge Strings

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Preferred Gauge Strings
Jack Marchewka
My choice of strings

For my Entradas. These strings came with my Entradas so I’m sticking with them. Live the wound 3rd string. Great tone and playability!

Chord Melody at Its Best!

This is a great DVD to start building your chord melody repertoire. Mr. Conti walks you thru the classic “Since I Fell for You” and provides you with several ways to approach the tune using a series of different chordal harmonic arrangements. Besides learning to play the song several different ways, Mr. Conti is at the ready with his famous “Off the Sheet” tips. These are items that not part of the regular lesson plan, but are sure to help take your chord melody playing to an even higher level. Of the Chord Melody arrangements, this is my personal favorite, but after finishing the DVD, I purchased ALL the other Chord Melody DVDs as I was so inspired to learn more.

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

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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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