Jazz guitar students have three big mountains to climb; the theoretical, the physical and the aesthetical. The first two are fairly straight forward propositions. Keep your nose in the books and you will surely master the theoretical. Spend enough time in the shed and the chops will likewise surely come. But mastering the "aesthetics" of jazz is quite another thing and this is where most jazz guitar students hit the wall.
Graduated Solos presents an intuitive approach for cultivating the aesthetics of your jazz improvisations, specifically how to construct beautiful, expressive solos using the melody as the template for the improvisation. Most students of jazz guitar are so focused on the prevailing progression that they often neglect the tune itself. While there are many superb improvisations that make no reference whatsoever to the head, the most brilliant and memorable solos are generally "graduated" improvisations that stem directly from the melody.
Your professor of Graduated Solos is Mimi Fox; phenom player, accomplished educator and top recording artist on the Favored Nations label. Mimi chairs the guitar department at the Jazz School in Berkeley. Her first TrueFire course, Jazz Anatomy rocketed immediately to the top of the jazz guitar instruction charts and remains there to this day. Guitar Player cites Mimi as "a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms, but has managed to reinvigorate them." Just Jazz Guitar hails her playing as "jazz guitar at its best." In short, Fox has all the chops.
Graduated Solos is a hands-on playing course that gets you up and running without tedious theory and exercises. Mimi presents five compositions constructed with a wide range of progressions that are common to thousands of jazz tunes. You will first learn to play the melody for each composition and work through a detailed analysis of the tune's structure.
Mimi then demonstrates how to adapt the melody into a graduated series of improvisations using arpeggiated figures, harmonic substitutions, rhythmic variations, motific development, articulation, phrasing and other approaches for building a well-constructed solo and playing with "heart and commitment."
If your improvisations have "hit the wall" and you're feeling a bit in the proverbial rut, Mimi's Graduated Solos course is likely the epiphany you've been yearning for.