With 47 years of experience on the acoustic guitar, Rolly has been a National Fingerpicking Champion and a Philadelphia Music Award nominee. He has performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Tasmanian Folk Festival, and tons of places in between. He hosted the Guitar Wizards radio show which ran on public radio in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Maine for several years, introducing listeners to guitarists and techniques usually searched out only by total guitar maniacs. He has served as a sideman for Magpie, Winnie Winston, Saul Broudy, Jack McGann, Priscilla Herdman, Jay Ansill, and many others, and has performed extensively with National Flatpicking Champion Mark Cosgrove, and, until her tragic death, with the late fiddler and singer extraordinaire Freyda Epstein. For the past decade, Rolly has been a popular teacher and performer at a number of guitar camps, appearing at Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Kamps (Maryville TN), the Swannanoa Gathering (Asheville NC), Summer Acoustic Music Week in New Hampshire, the convention of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in Nashville TN, and others. His Youtube videos (instructional and performance) have garnered well over 100,000 hits.
This lesson is designed to start you on the road to playing improvisationally over all manner of chord progressions. It will teach you how, with just a couple basic scales, you can understand how all of the twelve tones fit into a framework for soloing, and, then, how you can develop great soloing chops without even thinking about scales.
Material covered includes:
• Major and Blues scales; the basic building blocks.
• Understanding how each note sounds within a key signature by training your ear.
• “Altered” and “Hybrid Blues” Scales, for more advanced ear training.
• Pentatonic major scales for country/rock guitar.
• How to approach solo fingerstyle Blues improvisation.
• Rolly's 3 step process for non-scale soloing, based on chord shapes and arpeggios.
• Chord melody playing.
• Physical mechanisms for expressive soloing.
• Making your music sound human
80 minutes • Level 2 • Tab/Music material is on the DVD as a PDF file
Review: I just finished watching your DVDs on the Nuts and Bolts series for both Chords and Melody and I just wanted to write to you to thank you so much for producing these! These have been the most instructive and useful guitar lesson videos I've ever watched.
Being one of those who has struggled with the notion of improvisation, it's been a real obstacle for me to play melody beyond uninteresting scale sequences and patterns. So, it was a huge, huge awakening for me to understand the relationship of the phrasing of melody with the human voice and the cadence of speech. I immediately started observing the rhythm of my own speech and its relationship with music. That insight left me, well... speechless :) With respect to chords, your approach is the most lucid, logical 'system' I've been introduced to. I can see the path now for learning how to comp or to play chord melody. Having already developed quite a bit of theory, physical technique and a good understanding of the geography of the fretboard, I now feel a level of confidence in approaching my playing with a sense of musical expression. And, five years into this 20 year project of learning to play guitar, I didn't think it was going to happen but I see it's possible and I'm forever grateful for your insight.
Thank you for sharing your own insight as well as the lessons you learned from your mentors. And, I hope you've enjoyed making your instructional materials as much as I've enjoyed watching them. – Chris Giordano