Gene Bertoncini Art of Solo Jazz Guitar Melbay 2006
The DVD Gene Bertoncini: The Art of Solo Jazz Guitar documents a Master Class with guitarist Bertoncini. A nylon-string guitarist who has worked with the likes of Buddy Rich and Wayne Shorter, Bertoncini answers questions from a small group of off-screen students, while explaining the concepts behind his graceful technique.
Bertoncini discusses how many guitarists tend to memorize chord fingerings without really being aware of what's inside these chords. Switching from electric guitar to the nylon string forces him to slow down to develop the technique for this instrument while also allowing him sufficient time to explain how he started playing scales on the nylon string not across the neck but up and down each string. Moreover, he analyzes each note in relationship to its complementary chord.
Besides a master's knowledge and insight, Bertoncini demonstrates his consummate mastery of the instrument itself, applying the aforementioned concepts to several jazz standards, including frequently-played albeit challenging tunes like "All the Things You Are," "Lush Life," and "It Had to Be You."
The guitarist also stresses the importance of melody, reminding the assembled students that jazz guitar is not about "playing hot licks." Rather, the role of the musician, he emphasizes, is to communicate and tell a story.
The DVD closes with Bertoncini offering up some practical exercises for students to work on, such as keeping the top note the same throughout a tune, demonstrating the application of the technique to various chord tones and their extensions. Finally, he encourages students to expand their ears, advice that might be well heeded by all musicians, regardless of instrument.
For the student guitarist who is a beginner to intermediate, the material covered here would be over their head. For the advanced guitarist, there is a treasure trove of ideas in this DVD, a sufficient number, in fact, to lead the extra-motivated student to virtually total knowledge and freedom on the fretboard.
Tracks: Introduction: Half Diminished Scale and Applications; All the Things You Are (Improv); Invitation; Girl Talk; Alone Together; Medley: Sophisticated Lady/ Mood Indigo; Lush Life; Round Midnight; Creating a Melody; The Shadow of Your Smile; Exercises; Medley of Tunes; Here's a Rainy Day.
Personnel: Gene Bertoncini: guitar.
Post a comment
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.