Released: 2010, Rock House Method
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Rock House Method, an industry leader in innovative instructional tutorial DVD's have just released the three disc set ROCK HOUSE METHOD PRESENTS: JAZZ GUITAR - BREAKING THE TRADITIONAL BARRIERS, FEATURING ALEX SKOLNICK. Those familiar with Alex Skolnick's current rap sheet will recognize that in addition to performing as lead axeman for Testament, he is also an accomplished jazz guitarist moonlighting with his group the Alex Skolnick Trio in addition to his festive seasonal work alongside Trans Siberian Orchestra.
In a nutshell, the Rock House Method line of products integrate DVD instruction complemented by website support from the Rock House Method staff of instructors. The 3 DVD set comes complete forty lessons, i-Pod ready video for on the go lessons and a 62 page interactive "E" tab book. Various jazz concepts are explored, many of which your average metal guitarist may not have yet delved into. Among them are, chord progressions, triads, embellishments, chromatacism and incorporating elements of Bossa Nova, 6/8 and Waltz rhythms into your repertoire. Alex also reveals his approach on transforming an eighties hard rock ballad classic, in the form of "Still Loving You" by Scorpions, into a jazz number without sounding like too much of a novelty.
Where as other Rock House products like the Alexi Laiho DVD's or the excellent Marc Rizzo DVD's focus on fretwork firepower and speedy runs at times, Alex's set will challenge the viewer in other areas. Jazz by nature, can be complex and unorthodox and some of these licks played at normal speed can play tricks with your head and give an overall sense of accomplishment when mastered. A fun set by one of metal's veteran players that should complement your playing and add to your musical knowledge. Now if they'd just release an Alex Skolnick "Metal" three DVD set, all would be right in the world.