Apr 19, 2017
It was productive and interesting time. I learnt a lot of new things and got much fun improving my improvisation skills.\n\nCite from course: You will have plenty to keep you busy in the months ahead.
Nov 20, 2016
This was a truly great course, I learnt so much. And I have been playing piano for almost 60 years! Thanks to a wonderful teacher and musician (brilliant rendition of Chick Corea's Crystal Silence)
von Joseph C•
Aug 10, 2016
I thought this was a great course. It provided a new approach to improvisation that I hadn't previously considered.
The criticism I would make is that the final marks seem to depend entirely on the skill level of those marking. I assume that the proportion of beginners to advanced players is quite large based on the fact that I generally received very high marks for work that I personally probably would have given a poorer mark to. I guess that is just a result of the peer marking system and I don't think that there is much that can be done about it.
von Elif S I•
Aug 13, 2016
Besides being a great musician, Gary Burton is a great educator and he teaches in a very simple way the basic knowledge that an improviser needs.
Thank you so much for having this course.
von KaLani S•
Aug 26, 2015
This is fun interactive class i am excited and what is to come and what I will learn from it.
What a great instructor, he's very clear in teaching. I very much appreciate this.
von Stephen W•
Jul 10, 2018
There are several basic concepts that this course presents for Jazz Improvisation that I found very helpful, such as chord scales and modes, guide tones, and theme & variation. Although there was some technical difficulty perhaps for Mac users (no download button appears after the 1st downloadable track) and requirements to submit multiple attachments when only one can be submitted at a time, I found workarounds. Overall, an excellent course on jazz improv to dive into if you're fairly proficient in your instrument/voice and work hard on the chord scales/modes!
von Torsten P•
Nov 21, 2015
While the content is very helpful and Gary does his best to make people confident to improvise in Jazz music, this course has imho two major flaws:
The biggest one: assignments given and results accepted do not fit together. E.g. in week 1 learners are supposed to describe in their own words how a piece of music does sound like. But the accepted answers are totally different from such a description. Instead only a very detailed and specialized answer is accepted. This leads to studends copying these answers into their assignments without them learning anything.
The other flaw is that Gary is very brief in his explanations. Even intermediate musicians seem to struggle with content just because some explanations are not exact or vague.
von Ance L•
Feb 17, 2016
The course itself and the content of it is great, the only suggestions would be:
1) It could be reviewed, how the evaluations of each submission are made. For example, 1st assignment - descriptive analysis was asked to evaluate based on if the 3 "most important" things - if they have been mentioned in the description. The thing is that in real you can not tell, which are the most important because people think differently and could focus more on other details. It was easy to add also those "important" points by resubmitting work, but the problem is that only with that the analysis of a student is not getting better, thus the evaluation is not precise. For tasks like that I would suggest at lease to make a list of 20 things to mention and then count how many are there - thus making the quality assessment more precise.
2) Some topics could have been explained more detailed in the videos, e.g., about guide tones and lines
3) The requirements for the submissions could have been more clear. I also got the impression that in if switching the sessions the requirements could be slightly different (As I got the case when somebody pointed out a particular thing that he thought was required and I have not done. I checked the page but nothing about that. Also other classmates mentioned nothing about that and thought all was perfectly fine).
I hope this helps.
Thank you so much,
von Nikolaj L•
Apr 18, 2017
The lectures are very short but convey all the necessary information to solve the peer-graded assignments. And the assignments are really what this course, and musicianship in general is about: practice. Doings the assignments involves recording yourself playing, and analysing a few songs on paper. Depending on your skill level the assignments may take you between 1-4 hours per week.
This is not a course for beginners. You should be able to play the melody of a jazz standard from a sheet, make sense of chords beyond simple major/minor, and ideally have some basic knowledge of music theory.
von Daniel T•
Sep 28, 2015
This is a really hard course for an intermediate player. But it is an outstanding course, and it is amazing, if you think about it, to have hours of free access to Gary Burton. Students of Jazz will enjoy it, but it requires advanced chord theory, the ability to sight read, and a damned good ear to follow along. Some of the materials are strictly by sound, so if you can't follow chord changes you might be lost.
That said, this course helped me improve my playing in several ways. I was kind of blown away by what I was able to achieve in the later lessons.
von Ulla L P•
Jan 25, 2016
A tough but rewarding course!
Especially if you are a beginner with respect to playing jazz, as I am, and if you are also a beginner with respect to music theory (which I am not, I have a master's degree in musicology), I guess it is more than tough. It's been more hard work than I expected, and I have spent more than 6 hours per week, but I also learned much more than I expected: a complete method for understanding jazz harmonization and developing solos.
I know for sure that I shall benefit from this course for years to come.
von Yonatan B•
Sep 23, 2015
It is a great course and Gary Buton is amazing. It also has some insights about improvization and music that are very deep.
However, It suits mostly to piano players and not guitar players (I play both) and it will be naive to believe that after that course one should know how to improvise. even with years of practice, it will not happen. this course is a marketing material of Berklee and I must say I does make you want to go there for the whole package, anyway, do not develop expectation regarding your future as an improvisor.
von Justin G•
Feb 22, 2016
Challenging yet accessible for people who have a smattering of theory and experience with notation and jazz idioms. A lot of people gave it a go as near beginners and got loads out of it. Gary Burton is a clear and personable teacher as well as a jazz legend, so you can't go wrong. Hearing and giving feedback on other students' assignments was a lot of fun. Thoroughly recommended to give you a boost on your way to improvising with confidence and understanding
von Phil L V•
Aug 28, 2015
A lot of great insight and knowledge here; well worth the time. I almost didn't give it five stars, because I feel that they could have made room for just a bit more explanation and just a few more examples of the topics covered. Some of this is heady stuff, and doesn't benefit from being glossed over. Regardless, what you DO get out of this course is well worth the effort. Put in the time, and you'll be rewarded.
von Cherwyn A•
Jan 04, 2019
Fabulous, fabulous information. Learned so much! Only drawback was homework was all corrected by other class members, most of whom knew what they were doing but some, not. And some people's homework was never corrected. But what do we expect for free, I guess? I would have deducted a star for this problem, but the teaching of the instructor was so incredible that it overcame the temptation to deduct the star.
von Carlos F•
Feb 11, 2016
Really great course. I am currently working on the Jazz Guitar Professional Certificate program at Berklee online, and I will definitely take this class for a more detailed dive-in. Gary opened my mind on the keys skills to improvise, his chord-scale method explanation, and demonstration is simple to understand and provides a great way to continue practicing and developing the skills thought.
von Pawel S•
Apr 19, 2016
Excellent course. Perhaps too advance for a novice but for an average intermediate musician, it is a great intro to Jazz Improvisation. I would encourage the organizers to expand the course by adding exploring the concepts of guide tone lines and theme development, emphasizing the practicum - I know that I would take such courses in a jiffy.
von Ruben d G•
Dec 04, 2015
Amazing introduction to improvisation! After lots of personal research on improvisation I could never find such a concise yet thorough explanation. After completing this course, and some personal work, one can hope to at least understand the language of jazz improvisation and become a far better listener, if not an improviser.
Jul 18, 2016
The class was very helpful to me. The information learned definitely improved my improvisation style. It was presented very clearly by the instructor. The assignments were interesting and helpful. I have recommended the class to a friend who is taking it at the moment:) Will recommend it to others!!!
von Giampietro F•
Dec 29, 2016
Really liked it. I've learned a lot of things, and the honor to hear precious hints and marvellous notes by Gary Burton. This course helped me a lot improving my improvisation skills, broadening my vocabulary of improvisator. It gives informations and advices you will use for your entire life.
von Шуршаков А В•
Jul 15, 2016
This course reveals the possibilities of which I could only guess or not even be aware of them. For me as a person involved in music for many years, it was a real discovery! Exciting atmosphere, the progressive movement, the legendary Gary Burton, classmates from around the world... Amazing!
von Ian B•
Apr 14, 2020
Wonderful, in-depth study of jazz improvisation from one of the great masters. Gary's teaching is clear and informative. He presents techniques and ways of approaching improvisation that set the student up to continue learning after the course is finished. Highly recommended!
von luis s t•
Aug 26, 2015
hello! how are you! my name is Luis Santacruz and i want to know why i can't download the play along for make the differents homeworks, i want to make them but i can't , i would apprecite if you can send me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org . thanks!
von José C C C•
Jan 11, 2016
Excelente opción para quien quiera mejorar sus habilidades musicales al improvisar en cualquier situación musical enfrentada. El curso tiene bases en el Jazz pero ciertamente ayuda mucho a abrir el panorama para cualquier genero con el material que se estudia.
von Fatih Y ( F F•
Nov 28, 2017
Pretty Helpful. Liked especially the part where he explains the modes - 10 scales used in jazz music. The importance of scales/modes and what to look out for on modes to what play over what specific chord and so on... Found that very detailed. Good Work!
von Wil K•
Jul 21, 2017
Awesome class! Gary is the real deal. His depth of understanding on the subject is rich and the way the course is organized is well-thought-out. I do wish the improv assignments were graded directly by the instructor and not TA's or peers, however.
von Marlene C L•
Jun 19, 2018
I have learned so much already and I'm only on week 4. I have taken other improvisation courses before, but this one its the one that finally helped all the isolated knowledge I've gather during the years finally click. I highly recommend it!