Video Review: Simplifying Jazz Guitar by Randy Johnston

In this almost 70-minute video lesson, we have the opportunity to learn from master jazz guitarist Randy Johnston. This video introduces some very useful key concepts to build a strong foundation in jazz guitar fretboard understanding.

If you’ve been playing jazz guitar and are familar with the CAGED system, 3-note per string , Leavitt style fingerings or Jimmy Bruno’s fingering system – prepare to learn something extremely elegant (different but complementary) in this video. Randy shares his take on using tetrachords to have a simplified way of visualising the fingerboard.

I actually learned this approach from Randy in person in a private lesson earlier this year (at the Thailand International Jazz Conference 2018) & having the opportunity to revisit his explanations in this video is very helpful. There are also a lot of cool and strong lines that Randy plays throughout the video.

The only thing that may deter some folks is the fact that there are no notated material, there are no accompanying PDF files for this video. However, I strongly feel that with a notepad (or open virtual notepad), one could take notes to help digest the material. For me, the section on tetrachords alone was extremely helpful along with his demonstration of utilizing it on the melody Stella By Starlight.

Pros: Great teaching, lots of examples, amazing lines worth transcribing throughout the video
Cons: No accompanying PDF File, no notated examples
TLDR: Strongly recommended video though I would say probably not for complete beginners as it can be overwhelming to digest the concepts he covers in the video especially if you’re not really familiar with the fretboard via other (more popular fingering systems).

Buy or rent the video here:

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