Jimmy Bruno is a pivotal and influential figure in the world of jazz guitar & jazz guitar education. From his early videos with Hot Licks , “No Nonsense Jazz Guitar” and “Inside Outside Jazz Guitar” to his books published by Mel Bay, “Six Essential Fingerings for the Jazz Guitarist” (previously reviewed here) and “The Art of Picking”, Jimmy has contributed a lot to jazz education.
After that, he started The Jimmy Bruno Guitar Institute (JBGI) which was his first virtual online guitar school with David Butler (Affiliated Artists, LLC.) in 2007. Then, around 2011 he started his own website called Jimmy Bruno’s Guitar Workshop (JBGW). In November 2022 he began his latest work called the Jimmy Bruno Online School on YouTube.
With this new project, it’s an interesting mix of the vibe that he had with his 2016 6-part series “Everything You Wanted to Know About Jazz Guitar But Were Afraid To Ask”- Jimmy Bruno” and his more monologue-driven videos on his previous Jimmy Bruno Jazz YouTube channel and his Facebook profile.
The new videos really give you the vibe of sitting in the same room as Jimmy while he teaches jazz guitar along with the experiences that shaped his approach.
The main thing with this new online school is that the videos are available on YouTube and all Jimmy asks is for a US$10 donation based on an honor system. If you enjoy the videos and donate to his PayPal page, you can suggest what topic you’d like Jimmy to cover in his future video.
As of February 1, 2023 there are 21 videos on the channel:
- F Major Pitch Collection HD 720p
- Five Fingerings in F HD 720p
- LESSON 3 key signatures and picking
- The F7 dominant HD 720p
- five fingerings continued HD 720p
- II V I in Bb HD 720p
- introduction out Outside Notes
- Pratice tips for II V I
- Am7 D7 Gma7
- Pitch Collections Comping
- Rhythm Changes bridge HD 720p
- lesson one
- noodling about minutae
- II V I in C Major
- turnarounds to II chord
- turnarounds slow
- turnarounds bass lines
- bass lines
- IV chord, Bach fugues, Melodic cells
- chord subs, extensions ,alts
- tonal centers1
Jimmy begins by demonstrating the five fingerings in the key of F and the key of C. Jimmy emphasizes learning these fingerings in all twelve keys. According to Jimmy, a fatal flaw of many by-rote players is not knowing all your key signatures. He mentions that when he was running his online school, out of 2,000 students, only about 3% actually completed a specific assignment of playing an exercise in all 12 keys.
In his II V I in Bb HD 720p video, he explains how the five fingerings he teaches now is not that different from his previous fingerings in his Mel Bay book, Six Essential Fingerings for the Jazz Guitarist.
In his Pratice tips for II V I video he shares different ways to play interesting ideas on a II-V-I progression. According to Jimmy, “it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible”. The point is to practice so that “you don’t have to think about it when you’re playing.”
In the lesson one video, Jimmy explains the basics of how he ran his previous online guitar schools from the five fingerings to playing II-V-I, soloing using specific fingerings and working through different voicing inversions and voiceled II-V-I voicings. There’s a lot to unpack even from this one video.
Jimmy also shares a story about Joe Beck in his noodling about minutae video and also we get to see some behind the scenes video of his recording setup, his Tascam recorder and his lighting setup.
In the later videos on turnarounds, Jimmy demonstrates different turnarounds that target the II chord. There’s a lot of cool chord melody playing in these videos. Also, as we get to the later videos you can see the lighting, audio and video quality improve too. The videos do have close-ups of certain parts so that you can see what Jimmy is doing on the right hand.
Jimmy explains in his “tonal centers1” video the concept of a tonal center and why his fingerings are not modes or scales. You can also hear Jimmy play “Body and Soul” and then his way of approaching parts of the songs, “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Darn That Dream”.
He also explains how he looks at the different minor scales and how they relate to the major key. In the end, Jimmy also plays a bit of “Blue Bossa” which sounded great.
In conclusion, this online school might be most useful for aspiring jazz guitarists looking for a “no nonsense” way of learning jazz guitar. There’s no filler material and everything Jimmy teaches is useful, as long as you actually practice it the way he teaches it… in all twelve keys. Strongly recommended stuff & I look forward to studying his future videos too. Thanks Jimmy!
Pros: Great lessons from an experienced jazz guitar teacher.
Cons: Some folks might be uncomfortable with Jimmy’s language and sarcasm. However, I find these add a lot of personality to the lessons.
TLDR: If you enjoy Jimmy’s playing and jazz guitar playing in general, these videos are amazing. I recommend them strongly for serious aspiring jazz guitarists.
Go to the Jimmy Bruno Online School’s YouTube channel here for the videos, and remember to donate to his PayPal account if you enjoy the videos!
I wrote a lot of other book, course and video reviews too.
Check out the rest here:
[Read more reviews]
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
- Are you an author who wrote a jazz, guitar or music book?
- Have you created a DVD or an online video course or subscription based website?
- Would you like me to review your book/course?
Please send me a message at azsamad3 at gmail.com with:
For courses: a link to the course/video/product + access info etc.
For books: a link to the book (Dropbox) or PDF attachment (if it’s small) for review consideration.
Depending on whether I dig the book/course, I’ll let you know if I do plan to review it!
I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p
NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig?