A selection of comments from Jamie’s past and present students:
The following comments relate to Jamie’s video classes at www.mikesmasterclasses.com where they were originally posted by Mike’s customers, and where they are still on display. Go to the Video page to see extracts from the materials that customers are calling “the best they’ve ever seen“…
Paul Brooke – For me, the Rhythm Changes “Two Speed” video is the best I’ve seen on the subject. I’ve looked at lots of other books and videos and never had things explained so simply, clearly, and effectively. Jamie Taylor gets my vote as being one the very best guitar/music teachers ever. Great teachers are great communicators, who know how to break their subject down to its basic foundations in a way that makes things fascinating and easy to understand. In additional to his superb teaching skills, Jamie really knows how to play. That’s a rare combination. He’s someone you want to emulate.
Eric Byron, USA – This is by far the best comping / chordal lesson I have ever seen!
Jamie’s tone is very nice and he guides us through all the very important and core comping from bass line comping to melodic with a very practical guide line.
I have to say I knew 98% of the shapes involved in this class but the way they are explained and combined into real music is fantastic. I just wish I had this class 10 years ago … Gives you tons of material to work on standards for years … and I’m now jumping into Part II. Thank you Jamie!
Steve Vetter, USA – Jamie is the real deal. Such a wealth of ideas that just flow out of this musician. I instantly bought his 2 speed blues approach right after going through this one. Very likeable fellow as well! Studying with Jamie is like having direct access to all of the greats in just one person. He can and will make you a better player if you let him. Very good instructor and human being!! Thanks Jamie!
Wai, Hong Kong – Wow! Just finished watching this lesson. Jamie has talent to teach difficult things in a very digestible way. This class (Making the Changes Pt. 1) is by far the most organized and well prepared class I’ve bought in Mike’s Masterclasses; it helped me to clear up and integrate so many things I’ve learned from so many different places in the past. Totally worth it – thanks!
(And from the same customer, on “A Two-Speed Approach To Rhythm Changes“):
Awesome!! It’s the most completed and organized course I’ve seen so far. Take ideas from this video and use the practice method from Jake Langley’s video, we have a complete practice system – at last!
Posido Vega, USA – Jamie’s teaching style really has resonated with me. I’ve found these “Making The Changes” videos 1 and 2 have really filled in some gaps that I had. The concepts that he explains are also very musical and allow me to play more freely, with less clutter in my thought process. Because of this, I have found that I can focus less on thinking and more on execution (dynamics, articulation, rhythm, phrasing, etc…). Thank you Jamie for all of your teachings – you really have a gift!
Mano Flick, Germany – These lessons had an imediate impact on my playing. Seeing the larger context of everything (rather than stumbling from chord to chord) certainly improved my playing, making it more fluent. Great teacher!
(And from the same customer, on “A Guide To Practical Comping, Part 1“):
The magic of Jamie is that he truly acts as a catalyst. I really knew everything presented in this lesson (drop 2 and 3, bass lines etc.) and yet something changed in me, a tiny change of perspective that made me pick up the topic with new energy and come up with results that I did not dare to hope.
Fred C, USA – “What a great class! Practically the equivalent of a college course on the subject. Really helpful!”
George Kormendi – I find Jamie’s approach actually quite different than Aebersold, in that it does not so much focus on a chord by chord analysis, but rather goes for the big picture, giving students the barest bones structure, the essence, of Rhythm Changes and then working up from there, gradually adding more sophisticated harmony. This matches my approach to teaching and studying jazz harmony. I really appreciate how Jamie is able to impart this understanding with less technical jargon, than the usual approach, and still impart something substantial — as opposed to either getting very abstract and technical (which is a tendency I struggle with when teaching), or on the other hand just giving a bunch of licks to play, a la “50 licks you must learn”, which don’t necessarily impart a deeper understanding of the music. Well done Jamie! This approach is well worth developing and fleshing out with other standard progressions. I would say go for it!
Richard Handel, USA – Jamie Taylor is a remarkably gifted teacher. I plan on purchasing all Master Classes that he creates. This Master Class (and part II) are the best instructional materials on comping that I have ever seen.
Steve Barnette, USA – Just finished watching this for the first time and have to watch it again. There is so much info, it not only covers the stuff you typically hear, but is a history lesson in how the legends approached rhythm changes to make hip and take them out. There is something for all level players interested in playing Rhythm Changes.
Ray Bartlet, USA – A definite 5 stars for this lesson. Why? Because under the guise of the blues, Jamie lays out a pretty comprehensive jazz course. From funky blues licks (and how to construct them) to lines derived from scale substitutions and harmonic variations, it’s all here. What’s more, the material is explained in a way that makes it easy to apply. I find I’m able to make music with ideas that I couldn’t make work before. The blues changes variations section is a mini course in jazz harmony and is then applied to composing originals. Because all of this is applied to a context that we are all familiar with, it is easy to understand and hear. Highly recommended!
Ian Gow, Australia – This lesson (A Two-Speed Approach to Blues) is a goldmine of information. Jamie explains everything and gives a lot of examples. His explanation and examples of different blues forms is very useful. Great value. Thanks Jamie, for increasing my understanding.
Scot Gormley, USA – This is an excellent class. Jamie is a real burner! He plays some great choruses over Rhythm Changes and is great at illustrating how to work on different time feels. This is a unique class, and the video quality is very high. Thanks, Jamie!
James Seaberry, USA – I just bought this class, and I must admit that I have not yet gotten through the whole video….the reason being that his ideas on how to use the metronome in unorthodox ways has kept me busy all this week!!!!! Thanks, Jamie!
Anders Ostling, Finland – Your lesson on jazz time feel is one of the best lessons I’ve ever found! Very clear and informative with a relaxed feeling. The subject is of course not new for me, but your lesson has really inspired me to work on my time.
Caroline Merrill, USA – A fantastic lesson on a crucial yet overlooked topic–rhythm and phrasing. Jamie’s lesson thoroughly demonstrates the fun and the value of enhancing one’s familiarity with the subject. This purchase is indispensable for anyone wanting to expand his or her musical wisdom and artistic creativity in the dimension of rhythm.
Sandro Norton, Portugal – Your lesson on jazz time feel was very inspiring!
Dave Whyte, USA – Great class from Jamie, very helpful for breaking out of the usual rhythmic phrasing ruts that most jazz guitarists fall into…myself included! Thanks Jamie, more of this please!
From two of Jamie’s ‘offline’ alumni:
Oliver Manning (former student of Leeds College of Music)
Jamie inspired me to be the best musician I could, and on my own terms. He made sure he was teaching me what I desired to learn, always respecting me as a student. At the core of his teaching is a fascination and appreciation of the beauty of music, whether simple, complex, loud or quiet. The lessons he shared with me go far beyond what is expected of a guitar teacher. He knows no two pupils are the same. He is interesting, passionate, caring and above all, extremely talented.
Adam Hastings (former student of Leeds College of Music)
I was under the tuition of Jamie Taylor for two years whilst studying on the Jazz degree course at Leeds College of Music and my one-on-one tuition with Jamie was my favourite experience out of my whole time at the college. I really felt during the whole course that I was getting a very personal teaching experience absolutely tailored and adapted to my character, not just my musical ability, and never felt like just one of a number of students being taught the same thing regardless of who they are. The lesson time was always very enjoyable and Jamie would be very encouraging but also would locate any weaknesses in my playing very astutely and would always have a range of exercises and focuses to hand that would best help me to improve in all areas. As a result of this, since graduating from university, I am now making a living solely as a professional musician and taking much pleasure from doing so. I would happily recommend Jamie as my first choice teacher to anyone, he is a brilliant musician and guitarist but also a very personable and considerate guy who is an absolute pleasure to study under.
Finally, some comments from Jamie’s fellow professionals:
Steve Herberman, Washington D.C. jazz guitarist and educator
I’m really impressed with Jamie Taylor’s classes for Mike’s Masterclasses. Jamie puts a lot of thought into the classes and it really shows. He’s very organized and uses some great ideas to help follow along easily with the written material and video. His topics are well chosen and he sets a fine example for guitarists looking to improve their time and harmony and solo lines. You’re a fine teacher and player, Jamie, and you certainly have a great time feel and tone.
Phil Robson, NYC-based jazz guitarist and educator
Really great, man! Fab playing and super clear teaching ideas, as of course it would be.
Peter Sklaroff, jazz guitarist and educator
Was just watching some of your videos on You Tube and especially the stuff you’ve done for Mike’s Master Classes. Absolutely excellent..outstanding! I was completely blown away not only with how well you played but how clear and concise all your teaching was. It’s some of the best material I’ve EVER seen on the web and I just wanted to express how totally impressed I was.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE! YOUR COMMENTS MEAN A GREAT DEAL TO ME. JT