Worldwide Students Speak

4767 reviews

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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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Vol. 1 – Ticket To Improv


Subject Lesson Songs:

  • Satin Doll
  • On Green Dolphin Street
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Bonus Solo!


Streaming Video Options (Info About Streaming Video)


The time-tested and acknowledged pathway to become a skilled improvisor is to play your instrument at every jam session or other opportunity that becomes available. That’s exactly how the early greats learned their craft, simply by playing jazz, not wasting time talking about modes, scales or unimportant activities that prevented them from actually playing their instruments. As seen in 25 prior DVDs, the core success of the Robert Conti approach is his ability to teach the jazz language (improv) at the street level, where it actually began.

If you’re an entry level jazz guitarist such as a blues or rock player trying to make the crossover to jazz, Ticket To Improv will take you on one of most exciting and productive musical events of your life. Very soon, you will be impressing your friends with your new playing skills.

As in each of his learning products, once again, Conti delivers another “Motherlode!” How? By teaching you exactly how to start playing an arsenal of lines over the chord progressions to three “must know” tunes that are played in every real life jam session. More importantly, after you learn the first three tunes, he will also teach you how to quickly begin reshaping those lines for usage in other tunes.

Play Video

Volume 1 Subject Lesson Songs:

  • Satin Doll
  • On Green Dolphin Street
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Bonus Solo!

Ticket To Improv, Volume 1 Includes:

  • Printable PDF of lesson solos in notation & tablature
  • MIDI & MP3 files of single note solos & rhythm sections

DVD Running Time: 4 Hours

Customer Reviews

Based on 51 reviews
James V Brown - Churchton, MD
Wish I found this course much earlier...

Hi! My name is Jim Brown. I am retired and I have been playing guitar since I was a child. I have had a very difficult time learning jazz improvisation. I started the Conti Ticket to Improv course about six months ago and have to say that I wish I found this course much earlier in my guitar career. I have tried many guitar books and courses in the past, with little success. Most courses emphasize theory, scales and licks. The Conti method uses whole songs and melodic lines. None of the other methods I have tried in the past have given me the access to the melodic lines needed to learn jazz guitar. In particular, this method covers melodic lines that run four measures, or more, you learn by playing actual jazz solos. The Conti approach is ideal for people trying to learn jazz who feel like their progress has stalled. Mr. Conti is one of the true New York Italian jazz guitar pros of the sixties. For those of you on a limited budget like myself the cost of the CDs in the ticket to improv series is ridiculously low, especially when using the new streaming option. Now is the time to get instruction from a jazz great before the opportunity is gone. YouTube video placeholder
Bonar Harris - Gibsons, BC Canada
No better place to start...exceptional

I gotta share this. I study with Robert Conti's courses. They are outstanding. He is one of the best teachers I have ever seen period. (and I have reviewed dozens and dozens of guitar instruction DVDs over the years.) If you want to start to play Jazz lines, there is no better place to start. And, for the beginner Jazz student, the Ticket to Improv series is exceptional (and incredibly affordable). And no, Bob's not paying me anything to plug his stuff. It really is just that good.

Eric Philippsen - Martinsville, IN
Progressed more in these last few weeks

I''m 61 (yep) and play in a jazz combo. I do pretty well playing and reading changes which works fine because I'm the only rhythm instrument. Soloing? Even after all these years/decades, I struggle in spite of owning just about every jazz guitar instruction book there is. I mean, really. So, I committed this last month, come hell or high water, to go thru RC's first Improv DVD along with his Technique DVD. Every day. And you know what? I've progressed more in these last few weeks, improvisationally, than any time before. Again, mind you, I've been playing and getting paid to do so for decades!

Julian Wilson - Northwich, UK
Benefits of a Changed Mindset

For the first time yesterday I found myself really swinging playing two of the midi backed solos from 'Ticket to Improv 1'(Satin Doll and Green Dolphin Street) and I will be working a lot on Autumn Leaves today. It just keeps getting better and better now I am really getting this stuff under my belt. I've found that one of the keys is to master each step without rushing to substitute quantity for quality just by increasing the number of songs you can 'get away with'. This really drives home the subtle edges of the tasty licks on the DVD and makes that quality feel become instinctive - after that, as Bob says, they are yours for a lifetime of playing and endless reshaping. All that's needed is patience. I keep surprising myself all the time. I discovered yesterday that my ability to find notes by ear has suddenly increased - likely purely as a result of repeatedly playing the same licks thousands of times against their 'home' chord shapes. I have come to realise that jazz really is easy once the basic skills are hammered home by PLAYING not thinking about it. After you can play enough Chord Melodies and Solos the theory really does (as the master states) "take care of itself". As taught,it should always be secondary to the ability to actually employ it's desired outcome first - playing great tunes on the guitar and enjoy it. Bob keeps saying he "knows he sounds like a broken record" when he repeats over and over that it's "all in the playing". I have come to fully realise that he does this because he knows that a lot students just don't get into that mindset very quickly and totally stop worrying about theory the FIRST time he tells them to do so. I have to be honest and say it took me a long time to do that after years of thinking the opposite thanks to the blind alley of 'mode and scale misdirection' by others - who are not a fraction the player Bob is. Now that I have crossed that mental bridge, everything is starting to come up roses. I cured myself of the former belief by repeatedly telling myself "Bob's a world class player - and he didn't get to be like that by knowing less than me!" lol Now I just keep doing what he says in the order he tells me to do it in and good things happen all the time. I am 100 percent right in doing that as he never fails to deliver more abilities and insights! Sorry if I KEEP writing on the site, but this stuff really is eyesight to the blind. Keep working on it and it will happen for you - I know because it's happening for me every day.

Robert Barnes - Jacksonville, NC
Found a new enthusiasm for the instrument

I've been playing guitar for 20+ years and now have a new found enthusiasm for the instrument that rivals the day I got my first guitar. You know, when you strummed your first chord and fell in love. Both Volume 1 & 2 of this series is so awesome, I can not put into words how much I appreciate what you have made available to those who want to learn to play jazz, but never knew where to start. Concise and to the point, I was playing away with the backing track to Satin Doll on day one. Thanks for everything!

Billy Stanley - Landis, NC
Letter From a Former Student (Pt. 1)

Hi Bob, It is doubtful you would remember much about me, Billy Stanley but I am a former student from back in the mid-seventies when you were in Jacksonville Fla. Because I was in the Navy, I was only able to stay with you for a couple of months before shipping out overseas but I kept virtually everything you ever gave me. I even have an order for two patty melts and a large coke that you wrote in that classic, hand written Conti style on the black of my lesson one night while you were starving to death but refused to stop working. Everyone that knew me back then said they had never seen anyone progress so rapidly on the guitar as I had while studying under you. As one may guess after we lost contact my progress slowed to a lame, geriatric snail pace. After being discharged from the military and returning to Charlotte N.C. I set out on a futile mission to find another mentor, anyone who could teach me anything about Jazz. This resulted in over fifteen years of frustration and wasted time and money. I will say in my own defense, I became a master at playing scales and modes at blinding speed and precision. At some point, out of frustration I walked away vowing to never touch another guitar for the rest of my life. In the late nineties, I found myself remarried to a wonderful woman who somehow sensed the sadness I had internalized due to my perceived failures related to music. After several months of prodding, she talked me into taking up...

Billy Stanley - Landis, NC
Letter From a Former Student (Part 4)

...ago, it is simply amazing to see how little you have changed. Your energy, enthusiasm and commitment to helping your students comes across with professionalism and a sincerity that is uncompromised. Owning these DVD’s is like having the man himself sitting in my living room carefully guiding me, with a convenient playback button. I hold no reservations in stating there is no greater value for the student of guitar at any level, at any price! I apologize for the length of this little essay but it remains a pitiful example of just how grateful I am to you for your motivation, your inspiration and for rekindling a bright shining light in a once broken spirit. There is no doubt in my mind the line of people who could make that statement would stretch for miles. Someday in the not too distant future I hope to make the trip to Vegas for a private lesson. The wife wants to meet you. She says you remind her of one of the Sopranos. I keep telling her you are not a gangster, you are The Socrates of Swing!!! Take care Bob, we love what you do!

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