Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Davy Mooney

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Davy Mooney

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Davy Mooney

Join hosts Ryan and Vin as they interview jazz guitarist and educator Dr. Davy Mooney of the University of North Texas on this episode of the Fret Dojo podcast.

This was a fascinating discussion that showed us a glimpse of what it was like growing up in the jazz music mecca of New Orleans and how the music scene differed for musicians from places like New York City and Austin.

We also heard some great tips for jazz guitar students from the head of the department at one of America’s leading jazz guitar programs. Great stuff!

 

Key Highlights:

  • Mooney grew up in New Orleans and was introduced to jazz guitar through local teachers and the jazz program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts high school.
  • He started on electric guitar playing rock and gravitated toward jazz via progressive rock and metal.
  • Davy says teaching at UNT has made his own playing more modern and he tries to give students tough but constructive feedback.
  • Mooney discusses his recently released 7th album, “Way Back”, as well as his two jazz guitar instructional books published by Mel Bay.
  • The differences in the New Orleans and NYC jazz scenes. New Orleans has more opportunity to “fake” different jazz styles; in NYC you have to specialize more.
  • Davy gave us his unique insights into the challenge of playing solo guitar gigs and his approach to practice and goal-setting.
  • He advises students to set realistic goals and not get frustrated playing things that are too difficult and provides other valuable insight for any aspiring jazz guitar student.

 

 

 

Where to find out more:

Davy on Bandcamp: https://davymooney.bandcamp.com/

Davy’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@DavyMooneyMusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davymooney/

Davy’s Instructional Books on Mel Bay: Davy on Mel Bay

What are your thoughts?
What stood out or gave you something to think about (there’s a lot here!)?

Leave your comments below!

Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

 

 

If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions – get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts – the ultimate idea “grab bag” for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Jazz Guitar Books
Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Rotem Sivan

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Rotem Sivan

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Rotem Sivan

Fret Dojo instructors Greg O’Rourke and Ryan Dillahay sat down with one of the guitar’s leading performers and instructors, Rotem Sivan, just a few weeks before his new release in Jan 2024!

 

Key Highlights:

  • Rotem has an eclectic musical background, studying classical composition and guitar as well as jazz
  • He was immersed in high-level classical music from a young age which inspired him to learn more deeply
  • Moving to New York and attending music school there was a shock that pushed him to study and improve more
  • Key tips for jazz guitar practice: learn songs deeply, understand melody/chords relationship, sing melodies, start simple then dive deeper into changes
  • Improvisation tips: see the fretboard clearly, know chord tones, feel the rhythm, transcribe masters like Wes Montgomery
  • Gear setup: uses a hollow body archtop guitar with blending pickup, mic and piezo for wide range of sounds
  • Recommends finding a teacher or mentor to guide you rather than just using books/YouTube
  • As a teacher, focuses on fundamentals like a language – simple pieces that clarify musical relationships

 

Where to find out more:

Rotem’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@RotemSivanGuitar

Rotem on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rotemsivanguitar/

Rotem’s Website: https://www.rotemsivan.com

 

 

What are your thoughts?
What stood out or gave you something to think about (there’s a lot here!)?

 

Leave your comments below!

Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

 

 

If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions – get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts – the ultimate idea “grab bag” for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Jazz Guitar Books
Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Beth Marlis

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Beth Marlis

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist and Educator Beth Marlis

Greg and Vin recently had the chance to chat with the fabulous Beth Marlis, professor in the guitar department at Musicians Institute (M.I.) in Los Angeles, CA since 1987 and the Vice President of M.I. since 2010.

She has decades of experience teaching thousands of guitar students and was very kind to share her best insights and tips for students!

 

Key Highlights:

  • Joe Pass and Joe D’Orio were important mentors for Beth. They emphasized learning melodies and breaking down chords/harmony.
  • Having a background in martial arts and Aikido informed Beth’s teaching approach – focused practice, being present, transforming through diligent work.
  • Beth has taught thousands of students over 37 years at M.I. She tries to be conversational and meet each student where they are.
  • Common mistakes Beth sees in students: practicing non-musical exercises, getting distracted collecting information, being self-judgmental, only practicing what you already know.
  • Beth advocates focused, deep practice rather than broad shallow learning. Suggests establishing a practice routine, learning melodies/phrases you love, singing/transcribing, breaking chords down into fragments to see musical possibilities.
  • Though still male-dominated, Beth is seeing more accomplished female jazz guitarists emerging. She leads by example and supports dialogue on this issue.
  • Access to online learning and global connectivity is expanding jazz education worldwide. Beth is optimistic about the future of jazz guitar.
  • Key is avoiding distractions, going deep into the music with discipline, being part of a community of fellow musicians. Finding great teachers/mentors is still very important.

 

Listen to Beth’s fantastic version of Sonny Rollins’ ‘Oleo’ below!

 

Where to find out more:

Beth’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@bethmarlis

Beth’s Website: https://www.bethmarlis.com/

What are your thoughts? Do you resonate with Beth’s teaching tips and tricks or thinking learning to play jazz guitar requires martial arts discipline to learning the guitar?

Leave your comments below!

Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

 

 

If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions – get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts – the ultimate idea “grab bag” for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Jazz Guitar Books
Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist Jimmy Bruno

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist Jimmy Bruno

Podcast: Interview with Jazz Guitarist Jimmy Bruno

Vin and Ryan had the chance to chat with Jimmy Bruno, one of the USA’s foremost jazz guitar performers and educators.

Listen in as Jimmy gives his unique tips on learning the guitar fretboard, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the making of some of his most popular recordings and his experiences meeting and playing with Frank Sinatra!

 

Key Takeaways:

  • His professional career started at age 19 when he joined the Buddy Rich Orchestra and toured internationally. He later played with Frank Sinatra, Doc Severinsen, and was an in-demand LA session musician.

  • He returned to focus on jazz guitar and has recorded over 13 acclaimed albums. He’s shared the stage with legends like Tal Farlow and Howard Alden.

  • Concord Records helped launch his solo career by releasing his albums. The label also recorded other iconic jazz guitarists which introduced Jimmy’s playing to more fans.

  • He discussed his approach to teaching improvisation, focusing on developing the ear first rather than scales/modes. He advocates learning melodies by ear rather than from sheet music.

  • His advice for new jazz guitarists is to learn simpler melodies first, like Miles Davis on Kind of Blue and to learn tunes turn to soloists like Frank Sinatra who sing melodies very cleanly.

  • He aims to simplify improvisation on guitar by teaching consistent fingerings across chord changes. This builds associations between finger positions and scale degrees.

  • Now in his 70s, he still performs but is selective, focusing on teaching and composing. He enjoys collaborating with longtime friends like Frank Vignola.

 

What are your favorite tracks or albums by Jimmy Bruno? Leave your comments below!

Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

 

 

If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions – get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts – the ultimate idea “grab bag” for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Jazz Guitar Books
Podcast: Introducing Ryan Dillahay – FretDojo’s New Community Manager

Podcast: Introducing Ryan Dillahay – FretDojo’s New Community Manager

Podcast: Introducing Ryan Dillahay – FretDojo’s New Community Manager

Join hosts Greg and Vin as they welcome Ryan Dillahay to the Fret Dojo team and for a one-of-a-kind look into the world of a working jazz guitarist.

In this exclusive interview, Ryan pulls back the curtain on his evolution from blues to jazz. You’ll hear how this recent college grad and student of one of the most highly regarded jazz guitarists and educators in the country, made the leap into full-time musicianship and hustling gigs across town.

Ryan shares the highs and lows of making it as a working player, with valuable lessons for any aspiring jazz guitarist. Hear his tips on developing chops, growing your sound and getting those breakout gigs, as well as his plans to bring his fresh and fun approach to learning jazz guitar to Fret Dojo!

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Hear what it was like to study with University of North Florida acclaimed educator and performing artist Barry Greene.
  • Learn the daily routine of a working jazz guitarist as Ryan talks about teaching, networking, gigging and other tasks that fill up the day of a typical working jazz guitarist.
  • Hear about the influence jazz greats like George Benson and Pat Martino had on his learning journey and playing style to this day.
  • Ryan recalls subbing last-minute with unknown band and how that taught him the importance of preparation and building an ever expanding repertoire
  • In his role as Community Manager, Ryan is excited to engage FretDojo members through jazz guitar lessons and fun challenges that both educate and ignite a passion for learning to play like the greats!

 

What was your journey to learning jazz guitar like? Have you played another style for years and now wanting to learn jazz or are you brand new to guitar? Leave your comments below!

Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

 

 

If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions – get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts – the ultimate idea “grab bag” for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Jazz Guitar Books
Podcast: Using Guitar Picks for Jazz – Tips and Techniques

Podcast: Using Guitar Picks for Jazz – Tips and Techniques

Podcast: Using Guitar Picks for Jazz – Tips and Techniques

 There’s no doubt about it:

Choosing the right picking style is one of the mostly hotly debated topics in jazz guitar.

Tune in today where we’ll have an in-depth discussion on the different picking approaches for jazz guitar and our recommendations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fingerstyle and picks are both valid and important techniques for jazz guitarists.
  • Heavier, stiffer picks are common in jazz, providing more control and a warm tone.
  • Picking location along the strings affects tone, with playing near the bridge sounding brighter and near the neck warmer.
  • Guitar and amp settings have the biggest impact on electric tone, while right hand technique and nail shape affect acoustic fingerstyle guitar.
  • Picks may help build speed faster on single note runs for beginners, but fingerstyle can also reach advanced speeds with practice.
  • The choice between fingerstyle and picks depends on musical goals – fingerstyle suits chord melodies and multiple voices, while picks excel at fast single-note lines.
  • Other picking options like hybrid picking, thumb picks, or tucking a pick provide versatility.
  • There is no universally superior choice between fingerstyle and picks for jazz guitar – it depends on each guitarist’s musical goals and personal expression
  • Experimentation is key to finding the ideal picking approach.

Audio Version:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

 

 

If you’re keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here’s what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured – play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum – A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions – get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts – the ultimate idea “grab bag” for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Jazz Guitar Books
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