“When I ‘discovered’ Richie Zellon and his Bebop Guitar Improv Series and read his biography, I couldn’t relate more to his story. Of course I am not attempting to compare my self to Richie, but I have also been on a long journey of trying to learn Jazz Guitar with private teachers, several courses in Berklee Online, innumerable books, etc., and I still couldn’t improvise a decent Jazz line.
As an Electronics Engineer by background and ‘serious Jazz Guitar aficionado’, Richie’s BGIS method is just what I needed; a structured, progressive, science based, yet artistic and creative path to learn the language of Jazz applied to the guitar. To some an instruction to ‘follow what your ears and fingers tell you’, or listening and copying licks from the greatest day and night might work, not for me, and I bet not for many.
I can’t recommend Richie’s method enough and that you make every effort to add 1-on-1 lessons along with the books, exercise and videos; believe me, it is hard work, but you will hear and enjoy the progress, and will be amazed at how the theory meets with actual playing and how all makes sense.”
(To Richie) “I would like to say thank you for providing such a thorough course. I really enjoy the opportunity to dig into the technical aspects of playing jazz guitar. My facility on my instrument has improved so much over this first module, much more than with other courses I have completed.”
(To Richie) “I have been playing guitar for more than 45 years. For 30 years I have had a great passion for jazz and have been playing rhythm guitar in a big band for 20 years. Likewise, I have been trying to learn to improvise for 30 years, but all previous attempts have brought little. With your course, however, I really have the feeling that I am progressing. It is the best and most effective course ever found in all the years. Thanks for that!!!”
To Richie: “I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14 mostly by ear, and focused on rock and folk. About 6 years ago, I made an effort to learn to read music and was interested in jazz in particular. That led to lessons and getting together with a bunch of jazz wannabes on Friday nights. The problem was I was playing rhythm off lead sheets (using those chunky chords rather than the first four string set), but soloing was virtually impossible for me due to the rapidity of the changes and the fact that I didn’t know the fretboard. Trying to learn chord extensions, scales, and arpeggios simultaneously left me frazzled and confused. As a result, I did little more than revert to playing pentatonic licks when it came time to solo. In short, I became discouraged and pretty much stopped playing.
Then I found your Bebop Guitar ImprovSeries course. I’ve taken it slow an steady, putting in the time to learn chords, scales, and arpeggios using your method. You don’t pull any punches regarding the time and effort. It takes time to learn it takes time. But I’ve learned more from your course in less than a year than I learned in the previous five. That because you present material in a logical, ordered way, that builds a step at a time. That got me to practice basics slowly and methodically, rather than frantically jumping from one thing to the next without having much of it sink in. I’ve still got a ways to go, but thanks to you, i’m learning incrementally by building on basics. And its fun again. Thanks “
“I’ve always struggled with being able to play the changes. I’ve tried various books and teaching techniques only to find myself mostly running scales and relying on licks. The Bebop Guitar Improv Series is the best and most complete method I have found. By following a combination of Richie Zellon’s exercises, etudes, and Skype lessons I am gaining a true understanding of intervals, various approach techniques, syncopated rhythms, and voice leading on my guitar. I am finally playing the changes. I highly recommend the Bebop Guitar Improv Series to anyone interested in really grasping the concepts needed for perform improvisation on the guitar.”
“I’ve tried so many books, courses and even real teachers in the past! None made me feel that I was on the right path. Then I came across the Bebop Guitar Improv Series, and let me tell you that by far, it’s the best method I’ve come across!
It uses a very interesting process in which new tools are added to your playing with each new lesson. The most important thing is that you learn to play with confidence, thanks to the calisthenics which are exercises developed to help you master the different positions within the fretboard.
It really takes away the worry about finding the correct way to learn the art of jazz improvisation. All you have to do is follow the method and practice!”
To Richie: “I want to say thanks for the awesome course you have set up for us aspiring jazz guitar players. You have no idea how much I have enjoyed your course and, even though I am not even near to what I want to become as a jazz musician, the growth I have achieved since I started Bebop Guitar Improv Series Vol 1 has been exponential.
I have struggled through different educational methods for guitar, especially since I just moved to Miami from Venezuela, and yours seems to be the one that I have really adapted to the best!”
To Richie: “I am playing changes better than ever, and my arpeggios and scales are becoming natural like never before. A lot of this improvement is due to my studying your method and puzzling through your advice and demos. There is a LOT to learn!…I’ve spent many hours listening and learning from you, and my investment in your course has been returned many times over.
Thank you for an enjoyable and valuable experience. Your bebop course has improved my playing ability and my understanding of Bebop jazz beyond what I’ve gotten from any other source.”
“After playing guitar most of my life, jazz guitar was something I could not find a way to get around. That was until I came across the Bebop Guitar Improv Series.
It develops the necessary skills for a smooth improvisation gradually, and really focusing in teaching the language of jazz and how to properly ‘speak’ it.
To Richie: “I just wanted to tell you how happy I am to finally be making progress toward ‘intelligent’ jazz improvisation…Thanks for making a logical approach to jazz improvisation available. I’ve spent so much time, effort, and money on books, videos, and even schools that in the end didn’t really point me in the right direction. Thanks again!”
“I have always wanted to learn to play jazz guitar. I wanted to understand the art of improvisation and how the greats were able to make their solos sound so good. What were the ‘ingredients’ of their lines? How did they come up with those rhythmic patterns?
I began looking for a jazz instructor in 2014. What I found were very capable players who taught random ideas from lesson to lesson. Most provided no documentation so there was nothing for me to reference between lessons. I guess what I am saying is that there was no real structure to their program.
I came across Richie Zellon via his YouTube channel called The Jazz Guitar Channel. I enjoyed both his playing and the teaching videos that I found on his channel. I eventually found my way to his website called the Bebop Guitar Improv Series.
What I like about his program is as follows:
– The system is well documented, well thought out, and presented in a professional manner
– The concepts are functional and build upon one another from lesson to lesson
– I can work through it at my own pace
– I am learning how to construct and play my own solos using these concepts.
I also take bi-weekly lessons from Richie which allows me to get regular feedback on my playing as I work through his course. Invaluable!
I would highly recommend Richie Zellon as an instructor and his Bebop Guitar Improv Series to anyone wanting to learn the art of jazz improvisation.”
“Después de muchos años de método en método y diversas cursos en Internet considero que “The Bebop Guitar Improv Series” es el mejor curso online para la guitarra jazz, con una calidad superior a un precio muy interesante.
Orientado de forma progresiva vas interiorizando los distintos procesos en el aprendizaje. Es un curso completo para todo aquel que quiera sumergirse en el mundo de la improvisación y el jazz, desentrañando lo que al resto de los humanos nos parecen grandes misterios cuando escuchas a maestros del jazz, añadiendo poco a poco todas las herramientas para conseguirlo.
Y por supuesto mencionar sus “ejercicios calisténicos”, que son la mejor forma que he encontrado en años de interiorizar las distintas posiciones de escalas, arpegios, y un conocimiento profundo del mástil. Etimológicamente la palabra calistenia proviene del griego kallos (belleza) y sthenos (fortaleza), es decir, la adquisición de belleza con el ejercicio así que Richie no podia haber escogido un nombre mejor para ellos.”
To Richie: “Thank you so much for putting these courses together. I’ve been playing jazz guitar for years, and my playing has never progressed faster. Many of the concepts in Vol 1 were review for me, but your organization of the concepts (and extremely useful heptatonic fingering patterns) completely changed how I approach improvisation. It’s like I already had several puzzle pieces, but needed you to show me how they fit together! I play fairly regularly in a jazz quintet, and all four other members have commented on how much less I’m relying on “licks” they’ve heard me use and abuse.”
“I have seen and tried many Jazz Guitar Methods and and Richie’s is the first one where I feel I am on the right path. Countless times before I was guided with a scale and then instructed to “create a solo”. That never went well. But with this course I feel I have a way now to actually learn the vocabulary to create good sounding lines. Using the templates provided you get to demonstrate and use each new concept that is learned as you progress through the various modules of the course. I highly recommend this course.”
“The ability to improvise a bebop line as it weaves from chord change to key change may seem like an impenetrable code understood by a few gifted jazz masters as they jam, eyes closed, swaying hypnotically to the rhythm.
Richie Zellon has decoded this mystery into an approachable system that dissects the improvised line into easily digestible musical concepts that are built upon the basics of music theory and lead the student from scales to improvisation step by step.”
The trio of a logically planned lesson book, a primer of scales and arpeggio fingerings, and a workbook decodes bebop jazz in an understandable sequence. The books are cross referenced to each other and to a web-based series of videos which illustrate each principle with examples and documentation.
Richie’s methodical system is an approach which appeals to me because each lesson builds upon the previous concept moving me incrementally towards spontaneous bebop improvisation. By following his process, jazz improvisation is not a prospect but an inevitability.”
“The effort put into using this method of learning pays off faster and is more effective than any other method that I have been exposed to.”
“This step-by-step approach provides all of the tools and resources necessary to actually learn the art of playing jazz guitar.”
“The Bebop Guitar Improv Series is an innovative guide for guitarists of all levels who want to learn jazz improvisation. (This is the jazz-instruction book that didn’t come with that nice guitar you bought but can’t play, at least not like you want to.)
Richie seamlessly integrates the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic elements of jazz improvisation and demonstrates how they are used on the guitar. The Series, to my knowledge, is the clearest and most concise and comprehensive guide to jazz guitar out there. It’s no dry-as-dust text book, but rather a concrete hands-on instruction guide whose lessons are supplemented by detailed multimedia instructional materials accessible at Richie’s Website.
Perhaps more important than how much the Series can improve your guitar playing is how much it will enhance your love of jazz by deepening your understanding of it.
I can’t recommend the Series highly enough to guitarists who want to learn how to play jazz—whether beginners or journeymen.”
“Having spent now over 30 years studying guitar with countless number of great teachers and graduate music studies, I have seen the teaching of guitar evolve from a disorganized,and sporadic source of learning into a professional and comprehensive abundant source of disciplined, efficient learning. It used to be that you first had to find a teacher and then succumb to their conclusions over their time with usually weak foundations. Richie Zellon’s Bebop guitar series illustrates the evolution of the teaching of guitar into the level where it should be: a comprehensive and strategic approach to mastering this wonderful and rich style of music. With text, videos and backing tracks you can reach a professional level of playing by following this wonderful system which is full of knowledge and stuff that works!
I can only say that I respect my teacher, friend and colleague to the highest level by putting this out and making it available to anyone who wants to play bop in the guitar to a deep level.”
(to Richie) “I think the ability to play one’s ideas without the instrument getting in the way is huge. I think this is the first course I’ve encountered that really gets at the nuts and bolts of applying these principles of music specifically to the guitar. Or at least doesn’t take for granted the idea that the guitar is a difficult instruments to come to grips with. I just want to take this time to thank you for your work and endeavors. I’ve only just started the course, and just thinking about some basic things you present, I feel like I’ve made a big breakthrough in terms of not being impeded by positional playing or fingering issues.”