You might have heard of Daniel Weiss from him being a Guitar Idol Finalist of 2016, his active posts on Instagram or his work with the band Square to Check. Although both of us are Berklee College of Music graduates, we did not meet there as I graduated in 2007 and he began his studies there in 2008. However, thanks to the awesomeness of the Internet we got connected recently! As a result, I’ve been checking out his release called 51 Galactic Jazz Licks.
This new course by Daniel Weiss is a cool addition on the current slew of contemporary jazz lick packages such as Modern Linear Vocabulary For Guitar Vol. 1 by Isaac Negrene, 50 Modern Jazz Guitar Phrases by Ben Eunson and Steal My Licks By Armov (Armen-Gurgen Movsesyan).
With these 51 jazz licks, Daniel shares with us his melodic sensibilities navigating through the jazz harmonic plane. Although “lick books” have been abundant in the jazz guitar education market, there still is a lack of contemporary ones which go beyond standard cliched jazz vocabulary. In this work, Daniel gives guitarists an opportunity to expand their melodic language to a more (for lack of a better term) New York centric jazz approach.
The course is divided into 5 parts:
- Galactic Jazz Licks Part 1 – Maj7
- Galactic Jazz Licks Part 2 – min7
- Galactic Jazz Licks Part 3 – Dom7
- Galactic Jazz Licks Part 4 – Major ll-V-l
- Galactic Jazz Licks Part 5 – Minor Il-V-I
With a Special Bonus of Bonus Lick Over G7 Chord (This is lick #51)
- the licks in both standard notation & TAB (as a downloadable PDF)
- streaming videos demonstrating the licks at performance tempo + slowed down (6 videos in total, one for each section)
- downloadable backing track to practice the licks
The course begins with a video of Daniel introducing the material & what you get in the course. This is a nice touch to see the man himself welcome us to the course!
The licks are laced with bebop chromaticism, blues ideas, tasteful sequences, intervallic legato lines, melodic flowing inside to outside phrases, sequenced approach noted embellished ideas & even some edgy Scofield/Stern style dissonances.
In the 5 parts, Daniel gives 10 licks for each section. The final lick (Lick #51) is a bonus lick over G7 which goes across a wide range of the fingerboard using a lot of legato playing (slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs).
It’s also worth noting that many of the licks are 16th note double time phrases around 4 bars long. This means you could potentially use each lick as the basis for more licks when you dissect them apart.
In terms of practice, I would recommend watching all the videos to find your favorite licks for study. For some guitarists, you may enjoy going through the licks chronologically. Personally, I feel there’s a lot to digest so working on 1 or 2 licks at a time would be how I would approach Daniel’s material.
The question you’re probably asking is whether it’s worth buying this.
This work is definitely not for a complete beginner. I would recommend this for intermediate to advanced guitarists who are interested in a very hands-on approach to learning jazz vocabulary. There is no actual verbal instruction in terms of explanation of how Daniel came about with the licks so if you’re curious about the theory aspect, you may have to study the lines yourself.
For guitarists who want to just learn the language, this is perfect for you. The lines sound great and have a good balance of technical challenges from legato to string skipping. The most important thing is that these lines sound good.
Right now Daniel is also offering:
- Access to his Private VIP WhatsApp Group
- Transcriptions and more licks from his most popular Instagram posts
- Live Webinars
for those who purchase the course within the promotional period. These bonuses are definitely awesome for those looking to get deeper into Daniel’s playing.
The most frustrating feeling I with typical lick collections is when they don’t have any personality. Cliched licks are abundant in half-baked “jazz products”. In Daniel’s work, you can really have a feeling for the amount of dedication and time he put into it. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the good stuff.
So, if you like modern jazz licks & want to just get some of that inside + outside chromatic & intervallic goodness into your playing, get this now.
Pros: Great sounding licks with a modern flavour. Clear notated transcriptions of the licks in standard notation & TAB. Downloadable backing track for each section included for practice.
Cons: Lack of individual audio files for each licks will require you to scroll back and forth to find the individual licks in the video. No downloadable audio or video for the licks performed, only streaming access.
UPDATE (Jan 8 2020): The current version of the course now includes individual licks in their own respective videos. Each video has both the performance tempo version and slowed down version of the lick. As before, there are no downloadable audio or video for the licks performed, only streaming access. All previous buyers of the course have access to this update. 🙂
TLDR: If you want a dose of jazzy inspired licks that go beyond cliched textbook licks, this new offering by Daniel Weiss is worth checking out!
Thank you Daniel for the review copy of this course!
Get your copy here now:
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
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