"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
0 items in your cart
$0
Blog // Sounds
March 3, 2010

Berklee Guitar Certificate

Recently the postman brought me a lovely package, my BerkleeMusic Master certificate in Guitar. This is my third certificate from BerkleeMusic and on a personal level, the most rewarding. As a younger man, I harboured dreams of moving to Berklee College of Music in Boston and studying Jazz. There was a fine Jazz programme available […]

Recently the postman brought me a lovely package, my BerkleeMusic Master certificate in Guitar. This is my third certificate from BerkleeMusic and on a personal level, the most rewarding.

As a younger man, I harboured dreams of moving to Berklee College of Music in Boston and studying Jazz. There was a fine Jazz programme available in Sydney and I even went so far as to prepare an application. But, the nature of the course was not for me. However, the musicians coming out of Berklee, especially players like Bill Frisell and John Scofield embody what I love most about Jazz Guitar.

The Berklee Master certificate in Guitar involves 8 courses of 12 weeks duration. The material is delivered online, in a combination of text, PDF charts, audio clips, videos and flash animations. For my programme I chose Rhythm and Groove Guitar, Blues Guitar, Classic Rock Guitar, Funk and R&B soloing and two courses each of Chord Theory (101 an 201) and Jazz Guitar (101 and 201).

Each course involves weekly learning of songs and musical examples. There are recording assignments to complete, class discussion and online chats to participate in and plenty of feedback from the tutors.

In tune with Berklee’s overall ethos, the courses are built around giving you a solid repertoire for playing and professional work. On the Rock course, for example, we had the opportunity to learn 3-4 songs a week, covering a range from early Eric Clapton to Joe Satriani.

The pace can get pretty intense, especially if you do two courses at once. It’s not hard to go over 15 hours a week on the more difficult material. And, make no mistake, the material gets tough. In my final course, Jazz 201, we were learning and playing solos from Jazz greats like John Coltrane!

I took the course to kick my practice habits up a gear. Although I play and record most days, not playing live can make you lazy. Moreover, the vocabulary of Jazz and Funk is constantly evolving and it helps to have an expert guide you to new sounds, voices and ideas.

To that end I’m glad I made the time for this certificate. Listening back on assignments I can hear the growth in my playing. Moreover, my practice habits have changed (including regular use of Amazing Slow Downer to play along with and transcribe solos).

Of course, it’s not the same as packing up and moving to Boston full-time. But, for someone in my stage of life, with nearly 25 years of electric guitar playing behind me, it is such a gift to access this kind of programme and faculty via the internet.

[tags] BerkleeMusic, Berklee College of Music, Guitar [/tags]

Responses
zwai bala 13 years ago

This is very encouraging. Congratulations. I am still on my first course. How long did it take you to complete?

Doug 13 years ago

thank you for writing this article. it’s really inspired me to do the same in the near future. I’ve applied to Berklee 2 or 3 times but for whatever reason, I’ve never been able to make it to an audition. after hearing your feedback, I can definitely say that this is exactly what I need to be doing.

thank you!!

Maurice Ottey 13 years ago

Great article Fernando ! Congrats on your certificate. We took a class together. I got the Professional Certificate in 2007. I remember our great chat sessions. Take Care – Maurice Ottey,Las Vegas,NV

roy 13 years ago

congratulations Fernando!

Toni 13 years ago

Congrats Fern – that’s quite an achievement.

Fernando Gros 13 years ago

Doug I hope you do check these courses out. All the best!

Fernando Gros 13 years ago

Zwai, the whole programme took me two years to complete. I took a session break in amongst it all.

Fernando Gros 13 years ago

Hey Maurice, thanks for the comment and good to hear from you. The improvements to the Berklee network now make it easier to stay in touch as well.

Fernando Gros 13 years ago

Roy and Toni – thanks for the congrats. Means a lot coming from you guys.

Leave a comment

Enter your and your to join the mailing list.