Jazz Guitarists to the Rescue

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 …

Continue ReadingJazz Guitarists to the Rescue

2010 Just Jazz Guitar Cover Story

Preface by Paul Getty During a recent conversation with Ed Benson, we were discussing how the economic downturn has affected numerous guitarists who voiced complaints about their substantial loss of income from lessons, gigs etc. Our conversation turned to the success of Robert Conti. In the midst of the punitive economic conditions during the last three years, he recently released his thirty-first full-length DVD, as an obvious result of the ongoing demand for his unique ability to teach effectively. To my knowledge, that level of consistently creative teaching production is unprecedented. On the heels of ongoing DVD production plus a heavy …

Continue Reading2010 Just Jazz Guitar Cover Story

Conti Thinline Archtop – Equity Model


Mike Irish Conti Guitar Review

A Player’s Perspective

I just bought a new guitar.  I don’t do this very often, but when I do, I need it to have two main characteristics:  it must have a beautiful sound and  it must facilitate the expression of my music.  On both accounts, the Conti Archtop hits a home run. I had been wanting to move up to an archtop that has a solid spruce top and a wonderful sound.  But, for me, price was a consideration.

The instruments ranging in price from $3,000 to $10,000 are way out of my range.  So, I was intrigued when I saw Robert Conti playing and endorsing his new Conti Guitar.  I had experienced the sound of this archtop from Conti’s terrific instructional DVD’s and the YouTube videos from the recent 2010 NAMM Show, and I was duly impressed.  But, again, I figured that the street price on this guitar would be in the $3000 – $4000 range.  Man, I was really surprised to see the guitar on his website at the current introductory price of $1,949.00 plus shipping.

I seldom buy a guitar sight unseen, but due to Conti’s exemplary customer service record, I decided to give it a try.  It arrived via FedEx overnight, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.  I was so impressed that I could play the Conti Thinline Archtop right out of the box – it was set up perfectly.  So, I put the rest of my life on a two-hour hold, and commenced exploring my new guitar.  It exceeded all of my expectations.

The guitar has a beautiful “singing” sound, the action plays like butter, and I couldn’t believe how light and balanced the guitar was in my playing position.  I have never had easy access to 24 frets before and loved exploring that new range.  The appointments on the  guitar are beautiful: Spruce Top, Ebony Fingerboard, Rosewood Tailpiece, High Quality Grover tuners, Florentine cutaway, etc.  When plugged in, the single pickup with the ’57 Alnico specs delivers a bright (yet, warm) sound and is very even throughout the range of the guitar.

 

That night I did something unusual – I took this brand-new, out of the box guitar on a gig.  It was a quintet gig with trumpet, tenor, guitar bass and drums.  The Conti fit right in, played effortlessly and really allowed me to focus on the music.  I love it when the guitar just “disappears” from the equation, and it is just me and the music.  The Conti really facilitated the flow of ideas.

The next day, I recorded some solo guitar stuff in a studio. After laying down a few tracks, the engineer came out and just had to see the guitar  making such a beautiful sound.  Needless to say,  he was very impressed (as was I) with the recorded sound of the Conti Archtop.

I have found no weaknesses with the Conti.  Prior to my purchase, some of my “gear-head” buddies told me that the fixed bridge would alter the sound of the natural wood top.  I have not found that to be the case. The unplugged sound of the axe sings and sustains, as does the amplified sound.  The resonant sound quality of the solid spruce top Conti is far superior to other guitars I own with laminated tops.

I am extremely happy with my purchase, as it is certainly a great  value at the current introductory price of $1,949.00.  I strongly encourage other  archtop players to check out  the Conti Archtop at www.RobertConti.com .   Thanks again, to Robert Conti for making  this sweet guitar readily available to the public. Just like the motivational bang in each of his DVDs, the Conti Archtop is a six string stimulus package that really delivers!

Mike Irish
Director of Jazz Studies
Michigan Technological University
For Just Jazz Guitar Magazine

Intros, Endings and Turnarounds Review

Robert Conti is no stranger to readers of JJG. He has dozens of DVD learning products available, and I want to be sure that you do not miss Intros, Endings and Turnarounds. This valuable learning resource fills in a major gap for most players.  I will admit right off the bat that I am a Robert Conti fan, although probably not for the reasons you may think. Yes, I am impressed by the almost super-human number of notes that he can squeeze into a few minutes while remaining tasteful and true to the tune, but there is more to Mr. Conti than virtuosity. You see, …

Continue ReadingIntros, Endings and Turnarounds Review

Ticket To Improv DVD Series Review

Volumes One & Two $24.95 Each For Entry Level Jazz Guitarists www.RobertConti.com 888 – JAZZ DVD In 2004 I had become aware of Robert Conti and his education products via an ad in JJG magazine.  I was originally intrigued by the rave reviews and also wondered how and why this guy had “flown under my radar” of awareness. So, I checked out the website, was very impressed with his playing (especially the chord melody things) and saw listed a series of “Source Code” books that were available. I was particularly interested in the “Precision Technique” book because it seemed to …

Continue ReadingTicket To Improv DVD Series Review

Conti Approach To Teaching Jazz Guitar

– Why It Works – Preface To Original 2004 Article In the latter part of 2004, I wrote the following article and sent it to Robert Conti with a request to have it published on his website with the intention of sharing insights of my learning experience with other aspiring jazz guitarists.  Since this article was first written, there has been an increase in the number of guitar instruction books that emphasize the use of melodic phrases and licks as a means of enhancing improvisation skills. As an avid reader of JJG, I also see other respected players who are now advertising a …

Continue ReadingConti Approach To Teaching Jazz Guitar

Play Pro Chord Melody Vol, 3,4,5

I reviewed the first two DVD’s in this series in the November issue. In these Three DVDs Bob teaches you arrangement of Danny Boy, Poor Butterfly and Indian Summer.  Once again his method is to teach you measure by measure, chord by chord so when you are finished with the DVD you have an understanding of how to play different versions of the arrangement. I viewed Indian Summer first. Check out his new Parker archtop on this one. He begins by playing the chord melody arrangement slowly with great closeups of his hand position. He always has something going in in …

Continue ReadingPlay Pro Chord Melody Vol, 3,4,5

Ventano Gig Review in Just Jazz Guitar

On a recent visit to Las Vegas I had the opportunity to catch a three hour set of Bob Conti’s solo gig at Ventano Italian Restaurant about fifteen minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. Much has been written about Bob, and after seeing him in person I can say that all of it is true. . . Playing an 8 String guitar with the 7th string tuned to a low B and the 8th string to a low F# (with a neck that seemed to me the thickness of a Louisville Slugger and a wafer thin pick) and having over …

Continue ReadingVentano Gig Review in Just Jazz Guitar

The Formula: 2003 Product Review in JJG

Review appeared in the May 2003 Issue of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.  This was a review of the original book, 7 years prior to the addition of the two DVDs. Nowadays the guitar educational field is simply glutted with a plethora of method books and learning aids, ranging from excellent to mediocre, but every once in a while there comes along a contribution that is truly unique and ground-breaking in scope. Jazz guitarist Robert Conti’s “The Formula” falls directly into that category, and I recently had the pleasure of reviewing his recent publication for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine. “The Formula” …

Continue ReadingThe Formula: 2003 Product Review in JJG