D. Carbone | Arlington, VA United States | 09/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've bought too many instructional DVDs over the years. This one finally has what I was looking for. If you have a basic knowledge of music theory Joe ( you can call him Joey) will show you how to actually use it. He's great natural teacher. He focuses entirely on the I vi ii V progression in the key of C (C, Amin, Dmin, G7). From there he starts substitutions, which were always a mystery to me. No heavy theory here, mostly: "this sounds right", lots of humor. For example he substitutes from Cmaj7 to Emin7, then to E7, then to Bflat13. With other substitutions for Amin and Dmin he ends up with that chromatic movement that sounds so funky, but I always wondered where it came from. He makes it so simple.
The on screen tabs and chord diagrams are just right. I spent 3 hours taking notes and made my own booklet. Pause, or slow motion, and write it down. All the substitutions are clearly diagramed and explained. And all the chords are simple to finger as he says he doesn't like to work too hard. So he greatly simplifies all those confusing voicings. (Throw most of them out!) Then there's a really great section on how to play your scales in a way that's interesting and useful. Then he goes over two very cool running base lines, and explains how to comp with them . (He says the base line is more important than the chords, so he keeps the chords very simple.)
The information just flows out from him like music did. He was a truly great teacher, and this DVD is 10 times more useful and enjoyable than any of the 30 others I've seen."
I, VI, II, V..................
Namrekoj | Chicago | 01/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mr. Pass really only speculates on that progression. Which, helps simplify things a bit. Bouncing around that concept; he illustrates substitutions, logical voicings, and some pretty stellar chromatic movements. For such an amazing guitarist, I was pleasantly surprised how he kept things "real". Not focusing so much on theoretical hoopla, but focusing more on getting the music in your head and your heart out through this specific medium. A comfort to see that you don't have to bury your head knee deep in the textbooks to come up with your own sophisticated lines and comps. Included tuning feature and chord dictionary a major plus, as well. A recommendation for anyone looking to GET INTO solo jazz concepts as well as group jazz improv!"
Not really a 'solo jazz guitar how to' lesson
Music Lover | Boston, MA | 03/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I expected this video to be more of a 'how to' for solo jazz guitar. It really isn't that. I love Joe and his playing, so anything with him is good, but I found the title to be a little misleading.
What the video does cover is the I-VI-II-V chord progression. Joe covers embellishing this progression and coming up with chord substitutions for it. He then lightly talks about a walking bassline over it and the generalities behind basslines on guitar. I do wish he covered the actual construction of a bassline some.
If this video was titled something about the I-VI-II-V, then my expectations of it would have been totally met because Joe does an excellent job showing how he comes up with chord substitutions for it and other things with it. If that's what you're looking for then this video is a 4 or 5 out of 5 stars. But if you're looking for a 'how to' for solo jazz guitar, this is not it. Maybe try Robert Conti's Chord Melody Assembly Line for an introduction to solo jazz guitar playing."