I purchased an Entrada archtop jazz guitar from Robert Conti and it sounds as beautiful as it looks. I have been attempting to play jazz guitar for many years. I had excellent teachers, learned theory and chord melody. I would practice all the time and never feel comfortable playing or learning how to improvise. Then I found Robert on the internet and in just a couple of months I am shocked at how much I improved. His simple, straight forward method has helped open a whole new world of guitar playing for me. Just like many of his other students, I regret not studying with him years ago, but I’m here now and I’m getting better every day
I'm Brazilian, I play as a hobby and I would like to play jazz. This lesson got me off to a good start!
Back in 2017, I stumbled across Robert through one of his YouTube promos. One particular line that really grabbed my brain and threw it on the floor was a fast bebop-style enclosure over D9#11. I was able to figure it out what he was doing and have used it ever since; mostly as a speed exercise. Getting it up to speed btw is not as easy as RC makes it look but, practice makes perfect. And I still think it's one of the most fantastic jazz lines I ever heard.
More recently, I was reviewing enclosures and remembered the RC clip. Perhaps it was time to find out what came in the bars preceding and following the YT clip (I had no idea it was part of a solo for "Ipanema"). I wasn't looking for lessons as much as lines to steal. 🙂
On the RC.com web site I found what seemed to be the same title that appeared on the YT video. But was it? And was the transcription PDF really included with the DVD? Was it any good? And was all this really available for just $15? It almost looked too good to be true.
That's where the online Chat sessions with Steve came in. Steve is not a bot. 🙂 He was extremely helpful and thoroughly addressed all my questions (including a later follow-up). He's a big part of what makes the RC web site work.
Having been involved with video productions myself, I know how much work has gone into the lesson structure, the video recording, the music transcription, the mp3 files, etc. It's beautifully done: especially for $15!!! Simply put, this instruction video is a very
high-quality product that is exceptional value for money.
My only regret is not having had RC as a teacher, early on, when I was desperate to get some fast-ish jazz solo lines under my fingers without being constantly frustrated by teachers insisting on doing every but.
JazzMaster Product Review:
I have quite a few Conti courses and I think he is a great nuts-and-bolts teacher, especially be-bop soloing. I haven't found anyone who offers so many chord substitutions. He shows how to play a tune that has maybe 6 - 8 chords and use maybe 40 - 50 choices. Mind boggling at first but when you figure him out, he's WOW!
JazzMaster Product Review:
This course is a little gem among the many Truefire course. At first, you might be thrown by the old-timey production, but actually there's a ton of great information. Conti, a real master of jazz, take you measure by measure of solos for three different types of jazz tunes. However, it's not a just a play-this-note, play-that-note course. Conti tells you the substitutions he's thinking of when playing the line and there are some great comping ideas too. By the end of the course, you'll have a lot of great moves to add to your vocabulary. Definitely worth the time and money for this course.
JazzMaster Product Review:
Good course, I particularly appreciate the second part which is devoted to accompaniment of standards, rich and complete it will take me time to learn everything!
Review on Jazz Master product:
This is my first experience with Conti's methodology and it's fascinating - unusual compared with most other approaches, but it seems to work! Looking forward to trying some of the others.
Review on "Jazz Master" Product:
Wow, Robert Conti blazes across the fretboard, and I'm thinking I'm never going to do any of this. But slowly putting small chunks together, and practice exactly how Mr. Conti tells you and Wow I'm getting there.
Review on "Jazz Master" Product:
I like his explanation of fingering the left hand and that he explains that he has transcribed a jazz standard do that it fits within a box. I think it is a fantastic idea and will be working on it as I go through the course.
Surprise, surprise. Miss Entrada showed up this evening. Wow! What an absolutely beautiful instrument. I am absolutely stunned at how beautiful this guitar is. But more than that, the strings are perfectly matched for a balance in tonal quality that you could only imagine. It’s lightweight makes it a dream to handle. I own a Fender Starcaster, it’s too heavy and doesn’t give me the sound I’m looking for. I saw and purchased a Washburn J7. It’s thick but the strings and action leaves something to be desired. The thick neck put stress on my finger/joints and you have to manhandle it. The Conti Entrada is a petite lady, beautiful visually and tonally. She’s going to get the best out of me. I think I’m in love. I could not be happier with the performance of this magnificent jazz box. The action and playability is unmatched. I got mine, better get yours.
have a number of your teaching books, but this is the best yet that I've ever had keep up the good work of teaching this way,
Please anyone out there that cant make up your mind, Please get the works NOW!!!
Great material! It's balanced between enough explanatory text to make sense of what you're being asked to do, and simple, direct guidance on how to pull off the cool tension tones that add the zest to jazz changes.
Robert could have made the materials more voluminous by going into endless fluff and extraneous observations. Instead, he opted to give players the meat of jazz thinking in as little as a few sentences in each of the sections.
If you plan on teaching jazz at the college level, by all means stick with the Modes-Go-Round of abstract, difficult to assimilate materials. If you want to be able to get up on a bandstand with a Real Book and not embarrass yourself in front of serious players, get this and do your woodshedding. You will be surprised at what once seemed utterly incomprehensible makes simple, logical sense...and that you can begin to use right away.
Originally, I had a straight tail piece on it. This is a very unique Archtop Guitar, it is a full carbon build except for the fretboard. I am a retired shaper/board builder, so now I have the time. The Conti Gold Finger Tailpiece balanced out the strings very nicely. It really sounds amazing; I play it through my Quilter MicroPro amp.
RC is fantastic. He is one of the very few who actually teach how to ‘play’ the instrument rather than memorize single tunes or riffs. The state of guitar lessons is tragic and if the instrument is going to survive/flourish we need players not tape recorders.
I pick up ideas from the right and left techniques of the different lessons, I have progressed at the technical level of the chords, I like the approach and the philosophy by Robert Conti. I'm French so sometimes I strain my ears to understand the wise advice but with patience it's fine. thank you again
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.