As someone who’s always wanted to play jazz on the guitar, but has never had a breakthrough (until now), I can say, in my humble opinion that “Trefor Owen’s jazz guitar method is quite brilliant!”
Over many years I’ve accumulated a very large stack of ‘how to play jazz guitar’ books and videos, which must have helped lift my general knowledge of music. Plus, I’ve always messed around with the Blues so my fretboard ability is good. But I still couldn’t improvise or even sound jazzy, which was tremendously frustrating. I was also reluctant to tackle any tune that had more than one sharp or flat in it. But all that has changed.
My improvement, which from my perspective is huge, is purely thanks to Trefor’s original and unique approach, plus a lot of enthusiasm and hard work from me. It’s simple and it works. Thanks, Trefor.
Keith Foddy – August 2018.
I’ve been meaning to write to you and thank you properly for all that your teaching has done for me. I am now gigging regularly, with three resident bookings each month as part of a quartet and loads of other stuff. It was a steep learning curve, with a long way to go, but you made it possible.
Dr. Timothy A. Hickman
Senior Lecturer (Assoc. Professor)
Department of History
Lancaster University, UK
Thanks for all your tutoring over the past jazz guitar weekend. I really enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed the whole weekend. Thanks for that.
I’ve been ploughing through your copious notes, especially your study no: 9, about approaching chord groupings, and the scales to use.
I look forward to seeing you again.
Cheers, thanks again,
Thank you very much for the excellent workshop last weekend, I found it most useful and enjoyable. I have not attended a better organised workshop, your commitment and attention to detail was extraordinary and Trefor’s teaching style was refreshingly coherent, with time taken to explain each point before moving on to the next.
I have come away with so much material to work on it will take at least 6 months to work through all the notes and study’s you provided and I’m sure they will come in useful for years to come.
I have started to use your “Fifteen Minute Daily Practice Routine” as a warm up, I am reading through all the studies to decide an order to work through them. Your Ideas on starting improvising has opened up my mind and the penny has dropped, I feel I many obstacles I had previously perceived where blocking my way have been brushed a side. I am sure I will be contacting you in the not to distant future to help me understand and use the studies, maybe a Skype lesson or two would do it, as I will not be able to attend another workshop this year, hopefully I’ll be able to come next year.
As a long-standing guitarist who wanted to get into Jazz, I heartily recommend Trefor Owen’s teaching. From ‘building block’ chords, scales and rhythms to structured studies based upon classic American and Latin standards, his method has enabled me to progress from bedroom playing to live performance. If you follow his methods and practice consistently I don’t see how you can go wrong.
Yes going well and learning a lot from your tuition books a great resource. I finally feel like I’m actually progressing my learning in a well thought out & thorough professional system. I am really looking forward to this jazz journey!
I have been learning with Trefor for around 4 months now. I contacted him as I wanted to not only start to explore Jazz but also find a way to revitalise my general playing in terms of technique, motivation and willingness to keep learning. In those 4 months, Trefor has enabled me to achieve the standard whereby I am able to play a few Jazz standards in public, without worrying whether I am being laughed at or not. Trefor’s methods are simple and easy to comprehend and based upon common sense and musical logic. I can now improvise over any song, using a few key devices that I previously might have heard of but had no idea how to effectively use to sound like a jazz player. I can also say that the quality of written material is of the highest order and better than any books I’ve ever had. Before studying with Trefor I felt I could call myself a competent guitarist but now I really can see that if I keep on with this, it’ll not be long before I can actually start to call myself a musician.
After jazz guitar tuition at London’s Guitar Institute several years ago, and frustrated with the complexity of the ”play this mode of this scale over this chord ” approach, I stumbled across Trefor’s name and he sent me his set of ”Base to Build From” lessons. He may have forgotten, but I haven’t – this simple but effective distance learning approach accelerated my playing to the extent that I was gigging with professionally – trained sax and piano players within months. If you want a down to earth, practical approach that you can take to a gig, but that also works with any level of harmonic sophistication, look no further. Trefor is a great teacher, from beginner to advanced levels.
Chris Metcalfe (London)
Thanks for the lesson and the printouts, this is the REAL JAZZ GUITAR INSIGHT that I’ve been searching for.
I’ve played electric blues and rock guitar since my early teens (I’m now in my late 40’s), but have always had a love of jazz, (I got turned on by guys like Kenny Burrell, Grant Green and of course, Wes Montgomery – to name just a few). Over the past few years I have promised myself to try to learn to play in that style before I get to the big ’50’.
I’ve spent a small fortune on books, DVD’s and lessons, learning the odd lick or chord here and there, but I have never felt that I was starting to get an overall understanding of the way that jazz works, (it’s felt at times like some exclusive club that I was never ever going to be invited to join).
Already from my first lesson I can tell that your teaching approach and experience can demystify the whole process and explain the language and techniques that will at last, allow me to ‘join the club’.
I know that it will take commitment on my part, but I’m already looking forward to the next lesson, many thanks for ‘opening the door’.
At the age of 57 I took early retirement from teaching in Further Education and decided to take up playing the guitar after a lay-off of more than thirty years. I had not touched a guitar since I played in a small dance band in the late fifties early sixties and my musical knowledge was absolutely minimal.
After a few months I was advised by my wife to seek lessons in the hope of accelerating my progress in playing. I was recommended by my local music shop ( Sounds Great ) to approach Trefor Owen for lessons. This I did and Trefor was only too pleased to take me on.
I have found Trefor a very knowledgable tutor with immense patience and an approach to teaching jazz guitar that is quite unique. He delivers his method in a thouroughly sympathetic and understanding way. I was particularly pleased with his approach to the “locked knuccle” technique of rythm playing ( a la Freddie Green ) and within eighteen months I was invited to play rythm guitar in a local seventeen piece big band. I would never have achieved this on my own.
I remain a student of Trefor and never tire of his enthusiasm for teaching and continue to benefit from his deep knowledge of his subject. I thouroughly recommend him to anyone nomatter what level they are at who seeks to improve their playing and knowledge of jazz guitar.
I have followed your suggested practice regime and developed a solid foundation in terms of facility and ability to execute. You are so right when you talk about technique being so important on the bandstand. I also believe you cannot call yourself a musician if you are not out playing in front of people, it’s there where you learn the craft of actually playing. I wanted to say thank you for your guidance at the various courses and lessons, it has paid off and I think your approach has been absolutely key to this”. And THANK YOU!!!!
John McWade (Dublin)
I have been one of Trefor’s students for a number of years and am pleased to recommend him. His knowledge of jazz is immense and his jazz guitar tuition is second to none.
At the age of 57 I wasn’t sure if I had any chance to learn jazz guitar. But Trefor encouraged me right from the start and is patiently leading me through the basics. Each lesson is a pleasure and is backed up with comprehensive written material to take home. I usually leave inspired to move to the next stage. The Major 7th arpeggio is taking over my life! This man really knows his stuff Apart from being an excellent teacher, Trefor is of course an accomplished player, active both locally and internationally, and he personally knows many of the other “greats” in the jazz guitar world. So as well as lessons, you get to talk about the business too!
Jazz Guitar Weekends
The jazz weekend was something I had been considering for a while. Being a beginner to jazz guitar I wanted a concentrated burst of focused practice that would push on my playing. I had some intrepidation about what to expect. I hadn’t experienced anything like this so was unfamiliar with how it would all work, feel and what I would get from the experience. The weekend was expertly structured so that I was matched with others of similar ability; course content was excellent as was the course materials; tutors were superb all my questions received a positive response; I felt I learnt a lot in a very friendly nurturing environment and I loved it! I’ve had comments from family that my playing has significantly improved and I feel far more confident with the jazz guitar. Would I recommend it, I’m booking qand looking forward to the next one, you should too!
Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the learning experience at the jazz guitar weekend at Wrexham.
Not only can you play, but you have a great teaching style which – in my humble opinion – is unique in such a virtuoso player.
Many thanks once again – I’ll be putting in lots of practice before the October workshop and I look forward to seeing you there.
Please pass on my regards to Maureen for organising such a great workshop experience.
Just though i would write a quick note to thank you and Maureen for the recent jazz guitar weekend.
The difference a couple of days focussed learning makes to my playing is easily noticeable and the tutoring this year was excellent. I thought that the Saturday night concert this time was a the perfect supplement to the learning sessions during the day. All in all i thoroughly enjoyed it and will be trying to put some of the material into my playing,
Scottish Guitar Workshop Weekend & Concert
JUNE 1st – 3rd 2012
Had a great weekend at Dundrennan many thanks to Geoff DePuy for organising the event.
Great students on the jazz guitar course and the Saturday evening concert was a sell out.
Letter from students:
Just writing to say thank you very much for organising an incredibly interesting and enjoyable jazz guitar course. I had a great time and really enjoyed playing with all the other people.
I have also been doing my daily practise!
Send my thanks to Trevor and Andy as they were excellent teachers and I would be very interested if anything similar happens in the future.
Subject: THANKS, GEOFF!
….for organising such a brilliant evening last night. It was tremendous fun – some first-class playing, and a great atmosphere. Dundrennan will never be the same again. This could be the start of something big?
See you soon, and many thanks again for an excellent evening,
Banbury Jazz Guitar Weekend
It was a great success. See letter from the organiser David McCormack:
On behalf of all the gang – and in particular, the main organisers
behind the event – I would just like to set on record a note of thanks
for your excellent workshop in Banbury this weekend.
We have had some great feed-back…. the guys are “pumped” and primed
to read your notes and do some practice – so they say. We’ll see !
Your unique approach to teaching the rigours of facility building
through applied practice is ground breaking.
Looking forward to The Book when it comes out.
Davey and Sheena, Bob and John.
Huddersfield Jazz Guitar Society
As expected, Trefor and Andy played great, with some fantastic ‘head’ arrangements of Here’s That Rainy Day, East of the Sun and the Oscar Pettiford blues, Blues In The Closet. The harmony parts were a pleasing blend of Ralph Burns (think 4 Brothers) and George Shearing. Trefor providing his usual expert walking bass with comp chords and Andy has come on in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, producing a beautiful fat sound from his Yamaha AE1200 with surprisingly light strings (11s which sounded like 13s). I can’t think of any other guitar duo presently performing with this level of polish and finesse. We will certainly book them again.