Theory and Improv with Marcelo

How can you play any solos if you don't know your chords? It's with this mantra that Marcelo Berestovoy dives into his Theory and Improv series. Learn the foundational aspects of chording that will set you up for the ultimate improvisation success!

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How can you play any solos if you don't know your chords? Learn essential chording techniques from Marcelo Berestovoy that will help you develop into a serious improv player!

Lessons in this Series:

Lesson 1

Series Introduction

"How can you play any solos if you don't know your chords?" Marcelo looks to remedy this situation with his new Theory and Improv with Marcelo series. Learn foundational aspects of chording, along with the modes and scales that will make you a complete improv player!

Length: 7:30 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 2

The CAGED System

A mastery of harmony is required before one can improvise successfully. The CAGED system is a tried and true method that compartmentalizes the visual shapes of chords and scales. In this lesson, Marcelo gives you his take on the CAGED system.

Length: 16:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 3

Diatonic Triads and 4 Note Chords

What is a chord? How do we know which notes make up the chords we are playing? Join Marcelo in this foundational lesson on identifying diatonic triads and 4 note chords!

Length: 21:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 4

Finding New Chords Part 1

Getting tired of the same old chords? Are those massive chord books not any help? Check out Marcelo's unique way of discovering new chords!

Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 5

Finding New Chords, Part 2

Join Marcelo as he continues to discover new chords! In this lesson, Marcelo puts the C major scale underneath each of the chords in the C tonality.

Length: 20:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 6

Finding New Chords Part 3

So far, Marcelo has shown us how to discover new chords by placing the diatonic scale on top of or underneath the chords. Now, he uses the chromatic scale to find more advanced chords.

Length: 17:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 7

Improv Concepts for Beginners

Improvising: Where to start? Marcelo gives us some great, easy to follow jumping off points in this lesson on improvisation.

Length: 21:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 8

Understanding the Modes - Major Modes

The modes are an often misunderstood aspect of guitar playing and improvisation in particular. In this lesson, Marcelo shares his perspective on the modes, starting with the major modes.

Length: 22:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 9

Understanding the Modes - Minor Modes

Now Marcelo takes a closer look at the most commonly used minor modes.

Length: 13:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 10

Gypsy Jazz 12 Bar Swing

Join Marcelo as he applies some of the improv techniques we've learned so far to a 12 bar gypsy jazz etude.

Length: 20:52 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 11

The Shiek of Araby Improv Lesson

"The Shiek of Araby" has been covered by countless artists. Now it's time to hear Marcelo's take on it! Join him as he integrates his improvisational tools into this timeless standard.

Length: 18:02 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 12

Gypsy Jazz Ballad - Pa'Cito, Part 1

True to gypsy Jazz form, Marcelo teaches us one of his original compositions, "Pa'Cito". Watch as he invokes many of Django's original gypsy jazz stylings!

Length: 16:37 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 13

Gypsy Jazz Ballad - Pa'Cito, Part 2

In part 2 of "Pa'Cito," Marcelo explains some scales that can be used when improvising over the progression.

Length: 17:04 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 14

"After You've Gone" for Beginners

In this lesson, Marcelo teaches a beginner's version of the classic tune from the early 1900's: "After You've Gone". Learn the basic chords, as well as the basic single note melody line.

Length: 16:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Member Only
Lesson 15

After You've Gone Intermediate

Now Marcelo teaches us a much more advanced version of the standard, "After You've Gone". This version makes use of traditional gypsy jazz chord shapes and substitutions, as well as scales to use for your improvisation.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 17

Chord Scales

In this lesson, Marcelo shows us a simple, yet unique way of determining improv scales based on the chord tones. This will simplify and revolutionize you improvisation!

Length: 17:35 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 18

Cycle of Fifths

In this lesson, Marcelo takes us through the cycle of fifths and ends with a very cool etude to cement these sounds in your head!

Length: 6:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 19

Gypsy Bossa

Marcelo now teaches us his own, very beautiful gypsy bossa. Learn the chords, melody and improv concepts for this very catchy and unique tune!

Length: 22:04 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 20

Modes - Triads and 7th Arpeggios

Interested in adding new and different sounds to your improv? Check out Marcelo's unique method for doing just that!

Length: 14:36 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
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