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Where Blues Meets Jazz

  • Taught by: Rolly Brown Add to Wish List
    Hard Copy   $29.95  Item Number:  GW1052

    Where Blues Meets Jazz

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    Rolly Brown has spent a good bit of his guitar career navigating the territory between the more primal and emotional forms of blues and the more cerebral and sophisticated elements of jazz as they apply to the acoustic guitar. In this video lesson, he explores the large blurry area where the two closely related genres meet. Beginning with an exploration of how the bass line can imply chords which transform a basic 12 bar blues into a jazz progression, Rolly shows how a blues player can add a touch of jazz to his playing, and how a jazz player can increase the blues feel of certain jazz standards. This includes discussion of scales, "blue notes", chord movement and chord substitution, as the student learns several instructive arrangements.

    A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen.

    Titles include: Route 66, Drown in My Own Tears and Lover Man

    Running time: 110 minutes - Level 2/3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD

    Review: The demarcation line between blues and jazz is neither defined nor restrictive. And it's in that bubbling grey zone where Rolly Brown and his acoustic guitar instructively work for two hours. Concepts and their finger-on-string application travel back and forth along the continuum from jazzy blues to bluesy jazz, viewing what life is like from the other side. Importantly, Professor Brown makes commuting between both camps readily doable. "Route 66," "Drown in My Own Tears" and "Lover Man" put method into action. To do so, the trophied National Fingerpicking Champ who absorbed jazz string theory directly from Joseph Federico and John Carlini, pits arpeggiated jazz structure against scale-based blues. Beauty versus the beast, in coarsest terms. Chord movement and melodic choice get reconciled. Flat fifths and 12 bars mingle within the mindset. Aspects of bass motion, progressions, and the cycle of fifths are among the many highpoints spanning the in-between. Hey, you Robert Johnsons out there: Feed your inner Django. And vice versa. - Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag 

    Review: Read this in conjunction with the review for Beginners Fingerstyle and you will have enough to keep you practicing for years! There is always an overlap between Blues and Jazz, and this DVD seeks to show some of the many ways to keep blurring those gaps, so that if you favor Jazz, you can throw in some Blues licks and vice versa. Starting off with implied bass chords, I quickly got thoroughly absorbed in the lessons and found that I had been sitting in front of my computer for a couple of hours! Rolly uses this to lead on into working with jazz standards and how to increase the Blues feel, You will probably have guessed by now that I am a great fan of the Guitar workshop series, and this latest release has done nothing to change my mind, all that I have to do now is to keep my New Year resolution and stick to the ten minutes a day practice I have set for myself. Oh Bugger, there's another hour just gone! – Dave Stone/Blues Matters!

    Review: Guitar players of all skill level, from campfire amateurs through to spider fingered professionals, need to be taught how to play and can benefit from new ideas. Freshening up one’s six-string technique is the most important part of being a professional slinger. Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop is one of the places that pilgrim players of all levels can go to get some education. Grossman is one of the great intellectual folkies and a talented artist and teacher in his own right. But, the genius of his line of instructional videos is that he has found kindred spirits, master technicians who make beautiful music and are empathetic and organized enough to be master teachers. None is better than the enigmatic Rolly Brown. An acupuncturist and T’ai Chi Ch’uan instructor, Brown is the soft spoken Bob Ross of guitar instruction whose “nuts and bolts” approach to teaching primarily finger-picked Blues and Jazz guitar is accessible and entertaining.

    Your humble reviewer has been playing guitar professionally for the past 25 years and I learned a number of cool tricks and techniques from Where Blues Meets Jazz. Using the songs “Route 66,” “Drown In My Own Tears” and “Lover Man,” Brown offers a primer in common tricks used by Blues and Jazz musicians that will make you say “Oh, crap that’s how that’s played!” Rolly breaks down these techniques and adds some music theory into it. But, the instruction is never bogged down by the academic. In fact Rolly clearly shares his at times decidedly non-academic philosophy. This makes Rolly all the more endearing.

    Warning: this video is an intermediate to advanced hardcore guitar nerd lesson. It is recommended that you do not watch this with loved ones who do not share your passion for guitar learning, it might be grounds for divorce, (it certainly would have been in my case). The video is plainly shot, straight ahead, and Rolly works through the 3 sections of this lesson with methodical slowness and clarity. There is no flashy arena rock-god shredding or sexy fiery string breaking. What is taught is beautiful and pastoral passes through some of the most common Swing Blues chord substitutions such as the flatted 5th chord and the cycle of 5ths turnaround and solo finger picked Jazz techniques such as bass and harmony complementary lines and arpeggiated chord based soloing verses minor pentatonic scales. If that last sentence left you a little lost, you want to find a more beginner video, Rolly and the Guitar Workshop have them. But, if you have a certain facility and are looking to add a little more zip and spice to your 12 bar Blues game while also challenging yourself to impress your friends and family with some seemingly complicated, but actually quite easy, solo Jazz standards, then get into this video. – Bucky O’Hare/Blues Blast





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