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Rusty Cooley Fret Board Autopsy- Scales, Modes & Patterns Level 1,
Rusty Cooley Fret Board Autopsy- Scales Modes Patterns Level 1
Actor: Rusty Cooley
Director: Rock House Method
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2008     1hr 0min

In the Fretboard Autopsy- Scales, Modes & Melodic Patterns, Level 1 DVD Rusty Cooley presents his unique fretboard visualization system of shapes and patterns, along with years of modal knowledge. Rusty was named one of th...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Rusty Cooley
Director: Rock House Method
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals
Studio: Rock House Method
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 10/10/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/2009
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Falls short due to lack of explanations and graphics
SeekingTraveler | 05/13/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a review Fretboard Autopsy (Scales, Modes & Melodic Patterns) with Rusty Cooley.

As with all Rock House products, the production values (video and audio) are outstanding. The instructor, Rusty Cooley, is obviously a master guitarist and a Lord of Shredders. He communicates very well, and is obviously a great teacher. The reason this DVD falls short (as an instructional program) is not because of what is there, but because of what is missing.

As Rusty explains, this instructional program is supposed to teach "fretboard visualization" (the ability for mind and fingers to immediately know where every note is on the fretboard). To achieve this goal, Rusty shows a series of fingering patterns (for scales) across the entire fretboard, across all six strings, down to the 24th fret. The pattern training is great. The seven major mode patterns are fairly standard; but Rusty also presents some new split patterns that are very helpful in achieving mastery of the fretboard.

The problem with this DVD program is . . . the DVD video is of little value in learning the scales. The patterns themselves are in the included booklet; all the DVD shows is Rusty playing the scales. At no point does Rusty or the booklet explain what a "mode" is. At no point does Rusty or the booklet actually identify the notes being played on the fretboard. Therefore, I must assume that the producers of this video have assumed that the student already has this knowledge. If this is the case, then the only benefit of this product is to learn the fingering patterns. I do not need to watch another guitarist play scales to learn fingering patterns, I just need the patterns themselves.

"Fretboard Autopsy" would have been more effective if the producers had used techniques employed in other courses. For example, when teaching modes in "Learn and Master Guitar" (with Steve Krenz), three split screens are used to show (1) the instructor playing the scale, (2) the note patterns shown in tablature, and (3) the note patterns shown on a music staff. If "Fretboard Autopsy" had used on-screen scale patterns (as the instructor played), it would have been much more effective. Also, when teaching modes in "Learn and Master Guitar," the instructor states the names of the notes as each is being played, and he encourages the student to state the notes when playing scales. I do not understand how Rusty's "fretboard visualization" ability can be achieved without doing this. At no point in "Fretboard Autopsy" does he encourage the student to make this a part of practice. Two other programs that also do a better job of teaching scales is the Fender and the Berklee videos. If "Fretboard Autopsy" had used fretboard animations (such as used in the Fender videos) the whole process of "fretboard visualization" would have been greatly simplified.


In this instructional DVD, Rusty Cooley uses his Rusty Cooley signature, seven-string Dean guitar (which he tunes down one-half step). For an instructional video, he should have used a six-string guitar in standard tuning.

Rusty primarily uses (unbelievably fast) hammer-ons and pull-offs while playing scales. I think Rusty should have spent several minutes explaining (in slow motion) how he (so expertly) performs three-note pull-offs. I suppose the designers of this instruction assumed the student is already a master of this skill.

Rusty never explains how to move the scale patterns around for other keys (he demonstrates the patterns in the key of G). I think he should have spent an additional 60 seconds explaining how to move fifth and sixth string root patterns for other keys. If the student already knows how to do this, then there is little value to be gained from buying this DVD.

In summary, "Fretboard Autopsy" is surprisingly less effective than other Rock House products I own. "Fretboard Autopsy" provides no instruction on keys, modes, and the notes on the fretboard. Since no mention is made of these topics, I must assume that the designers of this training program assume you already possess these knowledge and skills. Yet, if you already know keys, modes, and the notes on the fretboard, then you probably do not need this DVD (although the split-pattern exercises are beneficial). While the included booklet is very helpful (in that it shows the scale patterns), the DVD itself only shows the instructor playing scales on his guitar. I found this to be of little use. I am disappointed that I spent money on this DVD when all I really needed was the little booklet."
A Rusty Cooley Vid, with Production!!!
F1Filter | San Francisco, CA United States | 04/22/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rusty has released several instructional vids through another publisher. Some of which have attained near legendary status by the bedroom-shredders out there. But while the material on them was worth the purchase alone, their production value was slightly higher than a webcam session. Finally, Rusty has lined himself up with a company that's got a budget for production. Great closeups of his fretboard, good sound, generally an impressive presentation overall.

But what about the actual material? Like the other reviews said. This is definitely one of the better fretboard learning vids currently on the market. Quite frankly, I've thought that Rockhouse Method's choices for some of their "artist" vids has been somewhat sketchy. A good player doesn't always mean they'll be a good instructor. Rusty definitely shines on both fronts. His approach is always easygoing with a hint of humor. Although his knowledge of theory, and the chops he possesses are clearly nothing to laugh at. He does a fantastic job of explaining the material, and presents it in a manner that everyone above an absolute beginner status can understand.

Some things to keep mind of. Rusty tunes a half-step down, although the printed material is presented in standard tuning. This 'might' throw the uninitiated off a bit at first. Also, he uses a 7 string guitar in all the examples. Although he doesn't make use of the lowest string. This might also confuse the novices at first.

TIP: There's a URL in the manual, for an companion e-book available for purchase through the Rockhouse site. The URL's address is broken. But you can find the e-book available for purchase through their store. If you're an advanced-beginner to intermediate player, and want to get the most out of both Fretboard Autopsy DVD's. Consider buying it. There's quite a few diagrams and extra material presented in the 94 page e-book that's not shown in the included manuals."
Very good for learning across the neck
J. Lovell | Arkansas | 08/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like it says fretboard autopsy, although it says level 1 it is a little misleading, but in a good way. Rusty Cooley Starts by showing you the basic layout of the G major scale and how each mode fits into that and later combining the modes to put the "Puzzle pieces" together. This is a great buy for anyone wanting to gain a good knowledge of the fretboard and get some music theory along with it. If you are looking to buy get ready to take notes because the more notes you take the easier it is to put the scale together, it's good to have all the variables laid out in front of you. This also has a fairly long interview with rusty and a rusty cooley music video. On the inside of the case is the tablature and above the disc is a code to enter yourself into the support site for all the rock house dvd's not just rusty's. the site is very helpful and contains the tabs to the bonus lessons at the end of the video showing single and double string techniques. All-in-All this was an extremely helpful dvd and i have nothing bad to say about it. BUY IT NOW!!!"
Best Guitar instructional ever!
shredmonger | usa | 06/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This video teaches fretboard visualization like ive never seen in any other instructional. Rusty cooley is a fantastic teacher and the format of the video is perfect. the video itself has many extras and comes with a code to get additional content from the website. The quality of production is also top notch, rusty cooley has made a name for himself with his home made instructional videos over the years, finally we see him in a major production quality vid. the guitar graphics look amazing on an HD bigscreen with an upconverting dvd player! this is an absolut must have video for any guitarist at any level. not just for shredders this vid teaches guitar technique and fretboard mastery, although shred lovers will not be at all disappointed!"