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Great

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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Volume 3 – Ticket To Improv Review in JJG

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Robert Conti may well be the most successful jazz guitar teacher on the planet, and deservedly so. With over 31 instructional DVD’s ranging from absolute beginner to pro, Mr. Conti seems to barely finish one before his fans and students ask for more. While most other guitarists, including some of the finest players, are finding it difficult to maintain a student base, Mr. Conti has continued to attract more students with each release.

His highly successful Ticket To Improv series is Robert Conti’s introduction to jazz improvisation. The first two volumes set the tone for the series with high quality jazz lines that were well within the technical capabilities of most beginning jazz players. However, Mr. Conti’s success is a combination of his know-how and teaching skill combined with his intense interest in the needs and requests of his students. So when he was deluged with requests for material that was easier to play, and also for an introduction to jazz-blues improvisation, he combined the two into his latest DVD: Ticket To Improv Volume 3.

With Volume 3 Robert Conti continues to improve this outstanding series. If your approach to blues soloing is noodling with the pentatonic scale,then you need this DVD! As in the first two volumes, Mr. Conti presents several projects by playing a solo and then teaching it bar-by-bar. For Volume 3 this means three blues solos over different chord changes, from very basic to more complex. The chord progressions range from basic blues changes, to Miles Davis’ All Blues, and finally Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man. But although they are well worth the price of admission alone, these very cool lines and their explanations are only the beginning.

From the very first solo, Robert Conti emphasizes the usefulness of each line over different chord changes. He illustrates this by playing individual phrases over more and more complex chord progressions, showing that the inner motion that directs the lines over the basic chords functions equally well over a more elaborate progression. This should be both a revelation and a relief to those many players who feel intimidated by “jazz changes” for the blues. This alone should open up the possibilities for almost any beginning to intermediate improviser. Best of all, you can try these for yourself as the DVD includes the backing tracks as MIDI files so you can set the tempo that is comfortable for you. If MIDI is not your thing, the backing tracks are also included in MP3 format. All of the solos are included in PDF form with both notation and tablature, and the PDF also contains the different sets of changes for each solo.

If you have worked through one of Robert Conti’s other DVD’s, you know that he will often spontaneously come up with a brilliant tip that adds a new dimension to a line, a fingering, or a chord progression. In the past couple of DVD’s he has added a light bulb to the screen to make these insights easier to find again. For Ticket To Improv Volume 3 he goes even further by adding several sections after he has finished teaching the solo. These demonstrate the use of phrases over different chord progressions as well as ways to beef up your own comping. Another section gathers up tips and hints on varying the lines and creating your own style. After you have learned the solos, you will be coming back to these sections to learn fresh ways of varying them and creating your own style.

Those who have worked through one or both of the first two volumes of Ticket To Improv will find that some of the phrases from the earlier solos are given new shape to fit into these blues lines. This makes learning the new lines easier, and has the added advantage that your own modifications to the other lines will also work with the new blues material. Don’t be surprised by seeing light bulbs go off around the world as legions of students suddenly ‘get’ how to form their own blues lines over any chord progression. This is a powerful technique for accelerating learning.

Emblematic of Robert Conti’s love of teaching is his addition of a Bonus Jam to the DVD. After recording over 4 hours of video for the DVD, he let himself be gently coerced into adding one of his own blues songs, which he teaches in detail as well.

In short, this is a great learning resource for anyone who wants to improve their improvising with the blues. You get top-flight instruction on great lines over classic changes, all geared to make you play better. At over 4 hours of instruction, this DVD is a great value for a little money.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Dr. Dave Walker for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine

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