Video Review: Bebop Flow – Connecting Harmonic Concepts with the Family of 4 by Sheryl Bailey

From Mike’s Master Classes is this interesting instructional video from jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey. I first heard of Sheryl from my time as a student at Berklee College of Music. I was a fan of her first self-published book, The chord rules : a handbook toward mastery of jazz improvisation for the guitarist which was at that point available in the Stan Getz Library at Berklee. Later on, I discovered the amazing work she did via Mike’s Master Classes, another book on Mel Bay as well as her Truefire courses.

Getting back on track on this particular instructional video, this is a course that I’ve gone through several times over the years. I’ve actually also attended Sheryl’s live workshop at The Jazz School (now called The California Jazz Conservatory) on the topic when I was living in California which was amazing. This video provides the same material as the live workshop and goes at a good pace for the aspiring bebop guitarist. Sheryl is a passionate educator and her enthusiasm for the subject shines through the video.

I can say that this video is a real gem for those interested in getting the “flow”. Sheryl Bailey shares her approach to practicing and developing strong sounding bebop lines and gives specific examples to demonstrate the concept. This is a lesson from a real performer so it’s real practical application rather than just theory! Some bebop lessons that I’ve encountered at times tend to be dry and removed from the melodic flow and intensity of the real music.

The best part for me is the accompanying PDF files that she uses as the basis for the demonstrations. It really helps me to study the ideas, pausing the video after she plays the examples so I can digest the sound and the fingerings for the lines. Sheryl refers to the handouts and this is helpful in pacing as well as creating a clear format for the class.

For anyone interested in developing bebop chops, this is a good investment to help develop your skills.

Pros: Great course, good notes. Also, if you buy the video and not rent it, you get unlimited streaming and you can redownload the file too.
Cons: Video resolution is not HD as this is an older video. This however, doesn’t detract from the quality of the content.
TLDR: If you’re into bebop guitar and want to learn to play long flowing lines, get this video now, watch it, take notes and start shedding.

How to Buy:
This course is available here on the Mike’s Master Classes website, one of 12 videos from Sheryl Bailey currently available. There is a rent option (limited time streaming only access) as well as a download version. Personally, I would recommend the download version as there’s a lot of material to digest for most guitarists new to this topic and approach.

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