Thanks so much for filling out the survey I sent yesterday. The two biggest issues were more basic lessons and for me to slow the examples down. I’d like to take a minute to address both of those.
I never intended for the site to be geared to the beginning jazz guitar player. The first video I did, which was the inspiration for creating the website was on the tritone substitution on the blues. That video got so many views and comments that I thought starting a website dedicated to that level of jazz guitar instruction would be great.
In the past I have received requests about doing more basic lessons but I thought that other jazz guitar websites covered that well and thought that my level of expertise would mainly benefit the intermediate to advanced guitarist. After reading your comments I have been thinking about creating a series of very basic lessons that I plan to call “stepping stones” which would cater to the beginning level jazz guitar player. My only hesitation has been, could I do it any differently then the other jazz guitar teachers out there and as I’ve considered that, I think that I do have an original and unique way of dispensing that information. I will do these lessons in very short segments and cover what I think are the building blocks of very basic jazz guitar and improvisation. Other points that were brought up in the survey were dealing with gigs, artistic considerations, working with singers, and other very specific situations that guitarist will find themselves in.
Regarding the speed of the examples. I always play the examples the way they sound good. I understand that me playing them slower will help you to hear them better but I am a staunch advocate of developing your ears and hearing lines and solos at their intended tempo. The other issue is as things slow down I would start to phrase things completely differently because regular swing lines at slower tempo sound bad. The whole conception of phrasing lines at slower tempo completely changes and at ballad tempos, swing eighth notes essentially become straight. I also begin to utilize more triplet figures as this is the way most jazz musicians phrase those tempos. Some of the best examples I can think of are Clifford Brown and Kenny Durham. My solution to this was to create very detailed PDF materials that you can practice at your own speed. There is also a great plug-in for the chrome browser that slows any video on the Internet down. You can get it here. I also created a direct link to this plugin on the Video Lesson Website. There were also several suggestions for me to do more chordal examples at slower tempos. This has been rectified in all of the most recent videos I have done. Most of them come with substantial transcribed chordal examples at moderate tempos.
This is the way that I learned and I think is the most beneficial to everyone. I came up at a time before computers and phones that could slow audio down. I’m not so sure that this is going to be helpful to musicians in the future as in my own experience my ears grew the more and more the more I listened. A good example is there were several noteworthy the solos that I transcribed three and four times over the course of several years. Each time I re-did them I was hearing more and more of the lines to the point now where I can hear every note that is played even at ferocious tempos. I could be completely wrong about this but my gut is telling me that slowing things down in order to hear them would be a deterrent to developing strong ears.
Again, thanks for your time on this survey. It was very enlightening for me and has been very helpful in my desire to try and create the best jazz guitar lessons on the internet. I welcome your feedback anytime and am very happy that you are part of the Barry Greene Video Website. Look for these new lessons by the end of the year!