Cecil Alexander is one of the most impressive up and coming jazz guitarists of the recent years. From being 1st place winner of the 2017 Wilson Center Jazz Guitar Competition and the 2018 Lee Ritenour Six String Theory Competition to being one of 3 finalists in the 2019 Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz International Guitar Competition, he continues to blaze in his music career. Most recently, he announced that he will be an Assistant Professor of Guitar at Berklee College of Music starting fall 2021.
In his latest release, this Picking Masterclass is something I’ve been eagerly waiting for ever since he announced he was working on it. This is a almost 44 minute video masterclass with an accompanying PDF (musical examples in standard notation & tablature). All the picking directions/articulations are also included so you can double check in case anything is not clear on the video.
The masterclass is divided into four parts:
Part 1: Mechanics
Part 2: Application
Part 3: Advanced Application
Part 4: Putting It All Together
Cecil shares his pick grip, the pick angle, the pick movement, the importance of rest strokes, basic picking exercises to get the pick grip to feel second nature. The video includes close-up video of his picking hand so you can clearly see how he plays.
The best part of this masterclass to me is how organized Cecil is. He’s figured out a way of explaining his technique that is potentially helpful to fans of his playing. It’s one thing to see him play & it’s another thing to see him explaining all the moving parts.
As a guitarist who’s experimented with different picking styles and techniques, I found Cecil’s video helpful for my own playing. Cecil is very articulate when he explains his playing. There’s no filler material in the video & it’s just the right amount of instruction for this instalment.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend this masterclass for fans of Cecil’s playing. This is great if you want to get your picking chops together especially if you want to play jazz, jazz blues & bebop.
Pros: Great masterclass with good clear teaching, good video & PDF.
TLDR: If you’re a fan of Cecil’s playing style, this video is probably the best resource available to learn his technique besides actually taking private lessons from him.
You can get this masterclass from: https://www.cecilalexander.com/shop
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