Useful free on-line course from Eastman

  • Am currently enjoying a course provide by Coursera and would like to recommend it to TBers with an interest in playing/learning to play jazz, blues or simply expanding you knowledge on harmonic structures (beyond that which many of us have/had as players of a single tone instrument).

    I'd previously bypassed this course because the abbreviated title "learn the blues" implied, in my mind, a simplistic overview of the genre. Happily, I was way wrong. The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form ranges widely from the origin of and foundation to much of our current music that the blues has given. From a practical point of view, the lessons provide good theoretical depth on harmonic structures along with practical take-aways. The starting point may be simple 12-bar blues as played by every guitarist and their dog, but delves into complex extensions such as those from Charlie Parker.

    There are some great suggestions for ear-training technique, voice-leading, building/improving improv techniques and of particular use for wannabe key-boardists like me, comping techniques.

    I could waffle on, but best that you take a look and form your own opinions,

    For anyone that battled through the Gary Burton improv course on Coursera, I can say that this one is way more digestible with a lot of small elements that can be taken on board straight away.

    About Coursera - there are two mode of using Coursera material - you can take a course for free, or pay to have an assessment and certificate at the end of the course.

    Would love to hear from anyone who has had a look at this course.

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