9. What to buy

Very often guitar players ask which product they should purchase, where to start. Obviously that depends on what you are looking for, and what your background and skill level is. Here are some guidelines to choose the right products.

First off: if you want lessons with extensive TABS/notation, with some supporting videos, you should go for the The Jazz Guitar Exercises and/or the Refills. It contains supporting videos as well, but that is not that main thing.

If you want mainly full video lessons, there is Talking Jazz Guitar, Private Sessions, Blues Forms. This does not come with TABS.

For all products you need basic guitar skills and some very basic knowledge of scales and chords.

So, if ''C major scale'' means nothing to you, you need to look that up, and learn it. By the way, all those basic things are very easily found on the web, so it shouldn't be a problem.

If you want an introduction to (jazz) linear improvisation, the Jazz Exercises package is your best bet. It starts with basic principles of building licks and phrases, and works up to soloing over chord changes. It has extensive notation and tabs, backing tracks, and a fretboard display, plus a text book where everything is explained. By the way, the Jazz Exercises are also very useful if you already know improvisation principles, but you need some inspiration and ideas to play better solos. If you don't read notation or TABS at all, you can use the fretboard display / fretboard video.

If you have a basic improvisation skill, but want to learn from advanced soloing examples, the Smooth Jazz Refill and All Jazz Refill are the best choices. They are also great as a follow-up of the Jazz Exercises. They contain full and mature jazz solos, fully notated/and tabbed with backing tracks and explanations. Some solos are quite advanced, so be ready to work, if you want to play them! But, you will learn a lot from playing them and reading about how they are constructed. Also just listening to the solos, and picking out some ideas that you like, will help you along with your musical vocabulary.

So, the stuff above is for studying from notation/ABS, and fret board display, and some supporting video. The stuff below is primarily video, also with fretboard display video, but not with TABS.

If you want a little bit of everything, playing chords, comping, soloing, walking bass, etc, and you want something just to watch and listen to (no reading / TABS etc.), then the DVD Loop Fun is appropriate. It contains video lessons based on chord loops: you learn to play the chords, and how to solo over them. Fretboard videos show easy and advanced solos in detail.

If you want a little bit of everything, playing real jazz with full instrumental backing, and you want something just to watch and listen to (no reading / TABS etc.), then the DVD Talking Jazz Guitar would be good. It contains extensive video lessons based on full (original) jazz tunes: you learn to play the melodies, the chords, how to solo over them, how to comp, etc. Fretboard videos are integrated in the video lessons.

If you are looking for video lessons, with some jazz standards, chords, theory and practice, tips, examples, etc, the DVD Private Sessions gives you nearly 4 hours of instruction, recorded in a very informal way, and covering a wide range of topics. Very accessible and informative for aspiring jazz players.

If you are looking for a book with jazz standards for solo (chord melody) playing, the book Solo Jazz Guitar Standards is the thing for you. This is not a tutorial book per se, but a book with great and extensive arrangements to perform solo. This book is popular among both jazz and classical guitarists: jazz guitarists like the rich jazz harmonies, classical guitarists like the subtlety of the arrangements, which sound great on nylon string guitar.

If you want to play blues, and understand how blues is played by jazz players, the DVD Blues Forms is the ticket: An extensive set of video lessons based around 11 different blues tracks, from basic blues to advanced jazz blues.

Finally, if you just want some jam tracks, to jam over some cool smooth jazz tracks, then the Tube Tracks are what you need. With the CD version you get fretboard solo videos as a bonus, so you can actually see exactly what is being played, and you can draw many ideas and licks from that as well.

BTW: don't confuse the Tube Tracks (which are jam tracks) with the YouTube Sound Tracks CD's, which are just some of the Youtube video soundtracks put on CD, for listening pleasure, not for jamming.

For an compact overview of what you get with each package, look here.