Jimmy Bruno No Nonsense Jazz Guitar

This DVD (also 2-volume video) could also be titled "Everything you wanted to know about jazz guitar but were afraid to ask" or maybe "This video and a fake book are all you'll ever need". Seriously. Jimmy has managed to cover all the fundamentals of playing the instrument in this video. Not only that, his method of learning scale and chord fingerings are so simple as to be innovative. Throughout, his easy conversational style and the excellent videography make this video a joy to watch.

Oh yeah, and his playing isn't half bad either.

As anyone who knows Jimmy or read his posts on the jazz guitar newsgroup can attest, Jimmy is not a man without an opinion. He proves consistent here, beginning the video by stating his view that the major, minor7 and dominant chord forms are the only basic forms that exist in Jazz. (Joe Pass echoed this view many times.) Jimmy goes on to eloquently prove this view with a detailed look at the arpeggios and scales that derive from those three chords. He details a simplified system of interlocking scale patterns that contain elements of all three chord types, as well as ways to deal with altered chord tones that eliminates the mystery associated with them.

The second half of the video is taken up largely by Jimmy's discussion of chord voicings. Using his three-chord model, he lays out four interlocking voicings for each chord, each with one inversion. In this way, he makes it easy to memorize 24 voicings for a ii-V-I in any given key. Coincidentally, they match up with their corresponding scale fingerings. The rest of the video is taken up with a look at basslines, pick technique and 7-string guitar playing.

Sprinkled throughout this almost 3-hour presentation are beautiful examples of Jimmy playing. The excellent audio and top-notch camera work make him and his Benedetto archtop seem like they're in the room with you. The enclosed booklet is packed with transcriptions of the examples on the tape.

I have a lot of videos in my collection. I've seen dozens of them. But not until now have I seen a video that lays out the basics of jazz guitar in such a simple, easy-to-learn way. Not only is this a must for any student of the instrument, it is also a boon for teachers. I've refocused my teaching concept a bit as a result of seeing this video. You probably will too. Basically, I'll say this: If you don't want this video, you either don't play jazz guitar or don't own a TV.

Check out Jimmy's new website.


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