Fred Sokolow is best known as the author of a library of instructional books and DVDs for guitar, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel and ukulele. There are currently over a hundred of his books or DVDs in print, sold all over the world. Fred has long been a well-known West Coast multi-string performer and recording artist, particularly on the acoustic music scene. The diverse musical genres covered in his books and DVDs, along with several bluegrass, jazz and rock CDs he has released, demonstrate his mastery of many musical styles. Whether he's playing Delta bottleneck blues, bluegrass or old-time banjo, 30s swing guitar or screaming rock solos, he does it with authenticity and passion.
Born in Los Angeles September 14, 1945, by the early 1960s Fred was well known in the California bluegrass scene, playing with Jody Stecher, Brantley Kearns, Sandy Rothman and Eric Thompson. Relocating to Berkeley, he toured and recorded with a hippie rock band throughout most of the 60s, the Bay Area-based Notes From the Underground (Vanguard Records). In the early 70s Fred performed with R&B, rock, country and bluegrass bands. By 1975 Fred had played with bluegrass luminaries like John Herald, Frank Wakefield and Jerry Garcia, had opened for the Dead, the Doors, B.B. King, Country Joe and the Fish and countless other acts.
If you love old standards like Autumn Leaves and Moonglow, but always thought only advanced guitarists could play jazz, you'll love Fred's easy-to-play jazz chord solos. In this lesson, you'll learn six timeless tunes from start to finish: how to play backup while you sing them, and how to play a beautiful chordmelody solo/instrumental for each song.
The tunes are arranged for beginners, with very few difficult chords. Fred plays and sings each song, then goes over the tricky spots in each tune before playing it slower, on a split screen with close-ups of both hands. Best of all, you can read all six arrangements (tablature, music and chord grids) in the booklet that comes with this lesson as a PDF file on the DVD. Chord soloing (playing the melody and chords at the same time) is a very complete and satisfying guitar style. This lesson will get you started and Fred's relaxed teaching style makes it easy.
Titles include: Autumn Leaves, Moonglow, Gee Baby Ain't I good To You, Til There Was You, Young At Heart and In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.
106 Minutes - Level 2 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: By beginners, he doesn't mean absolute beginners at guitar, but closer to advanced beginners, which is where I would put myself. While he says that the arrangements are primarily first position chords, you will need to know some barre chord shapes as well. Still, I think these are probably pretty simple arrangements as jazz standards go, but they sound wonderful to my ear. Now, I'm still working on the first song (What a Wonderful World) in the companion DVD to this one, Jazz Chord Solos for Beginners. But I plan on tackling Autumn Leaves next. I've been working on it for a month, and I think it will take me another month before I can play it well enough for the girls I go with. If you are an advanced beginner, then you can play these arrangements, if you take the time and put in the effort. Intermediate players will probably find a lot easier. In either case, this DVD is a bargain. - Patrick D. Dinsmore/Amazon Customer Review