1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I'm wondering if anyone here has gone through the entire Theory and Technique course, volumes 1 thru 4, by Rich Severson?

    The reason I ask... I bought these courses many years ago (late 1994). Back when there was a magazine called Just Jazz Guitar, Rich had an advertisement in the magazine for these courses. I almost got through the first volume and I had a few life changes that required more of my time and I did not finish. But I was very much enjoying it and learning a ton. That was over 25 years ago.

    Rich still sells all 4 volumes: GUITAR THEORY and TECHNIQUE COMPLETE Vol.1-4 (guitarcollege.net)

    I found a video about these courses that Rich put on YouTube 14 years ago. But now it is all PDFs and MP3. So I guess now you would just use your computer to view the PDF pages and listen to Rich teach the subject matter via the MP3s.

    I do know from my going through almost all of Volume 1 that Rich wants the student to understand Music Notation. And I think I understand why, even from my limited knowledge of it. That it is the best way to display music, and relate music theory to the music notation. He is teaching music theory and showing it in music notation as well and wanting you to understand the notation. So, even in Volume 1, Rich is wanting the guitar student to play a bit via the music notation and develop an understanding about music notation and the music theory which music notation displays.

    Volume 1..
    GUITAR THEORY & TECHNIQUE Vol.1 (guitarcollege.net)
    Learn to relate music theory to your guitar. Designed at a college entry level, this course lays a solid foundation of harmony (the relationship between chords and voice) and theory (the science of music). Good technique (the auto-response of your fingers to the right place at the right time) is developed with musically useful drills and exercises, rehearsed with you note by note. Includes practice tracks, 43 exercise and 6 work sheets. Suggested prerequisites; 6 months or equivalent of guitar lessons.

    LESSON 1 RUDIMENTS Covers 24 finger combinations, positions, chromatic scales, transposing one major scale up & down the neck & around the cycle of 4ths, understanding tonality, constructing major scales.
    LESSON 2 SCALES EXERCISES Explore 6 scale exercises within one major scale form. Use CAGED system for major scale positions. Study major, minor, augmented & diminished triads & identify the key of phrases.
    LESSON 3 INTERVALS Drill intervals, major, minor perfect augmented & diminished. Interval exercises of 3rds 4ths 5ths 6ths 7ths & octaves.
    LESSON 4 SEQUENCES Analyze & play 15 different diatonic sequences, diagram & transpose the cell in tonal & atonal sequences. Valuable for soloing. Lots of playing to develop good technique.
    LESSON 5 DAILY EXERCISES 1 -4 Exercise all scale possibilities, major scales around the cycle of 4ths, 1 octave lower register, higher register and 2 octaves. "Etudes in G" uses scale technique and interval studies.
    LESSON 6 SOLOING IN 1 TONAL CENTER(Am-D9) Closed & open voicings of Am7 moving to D9. Explore 20 inversions. Includes a solo played in one scale form with a Latin practice track. Encourages phrase development.

    Volume 2...
    GUITAR THEORY & TECHNIQUE Vol. 2 (guitarcollege.net)

    Develops more advanced playing technique, essential theory and harmony, arpeggios and modes. Exercises build command of scales and keys.
    Includes practice tracks, 90 exercises and 9 work sheets.

    Suggested prerequisites; Guitar Theory &Technique Course #1 or equivalent experience

    LESSON 1 --TRIADS WITHIN KEYS Harmonize scales in triads, play triad arpeggios within the keys in 5 positions within string groups. Learn the diatonic harmony numbering system. Study arpeggios thru harmonic progressions.
    LESSON 2 --ONE OCTAVE ARPEGGIOS Major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th, minor 7b5 played chromatically and in cycles of 4ths. Exercises in arpeggios shapes.
    LESSON 3 --TWO OCTAVE ARPEGGIOS 7th chord arpeggios, played chromatically, in cycles of 4ths & within keys. Connect one octave arpeggio shapes.
    LESSON 4 --MODES Learn the modes & their relationship to diatonic harmony in four positions. Learn to spell Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolin and Locrian modes.
    LESSON 5 --SWEEP PICKING Alter your picking again to the most efficient way of picking. Learn to play scale and arpeggios to increase your speed way beyond what alternate picking can deliver.
    LESSON 6 --"4 PLAY" Fusion tune with a hooky melody that modulates through four keys & gives you the opportunity to develop ideas and explore the fretboard in song format. Practice tracks & scale diagrams.

    Volume 3...
    GUITAR THEORY & TECHNIQUE Vol. 3 (guitarcollege.net)

    Recognize and master the 3 most common minor sounds, Dorian, natural minor and harmonic minor. Improvise in minor and altered dominant sounds with jazz, blues & Latin play along practice tracks tracks. Includes 9 work sheets, 101 exercises and 6 songs.

    Prerequisite: Guitar Theory and Technique Course #1 & 2 or equivalent experience

    LESSON 1 --DORIAN MODE WORKOUT Gain thorough understanding & control through ten fingerings of this popular mode applied to ten different sequences. Includes rock progression & jazz vamp practice tracks.
    LESSON 2 --DORIAN SONGS "Recordame", "Impressions" and "So What" develop soloing ideas within the Dorian mode. Practice tracks to these great jazz tunes recorded in a variety of tempos.
    LESSON 3 --NAT MINOR=AEOLIN=REL MINOR Learn differences & similarities of the 4 minor scales. Master 10 natural minor scale positions applied to 10 different sequences.
    LESSON 4 --HARMONIZING NATURAL MINOR Study diatonic chords & practice harmonic progressions. Learn to identify the key of chord progressions. Blues licks in natural minor with practice tracks.
    LESSON 5 --HARMONIC MINOR 14 fingering patterns of 1 & 2 octave harmonic minor scales. Learn to identify chord progression & phrases in harmonic minor. Use harmonic minor as an altered dominant sound.
    LESSON 6 HARMONIC MINOR cont. Diminished chords & arpeggios, symmetrical chords, sequencing, sweep picking arpeggios, dominant diminished & sequencing harmonic minor from the dominant. Latin style tracks.

    Volume 4...
    GUITAR THEORY & TECHNIQUE Vol. 4 (guitarcollege.net)

    Analyze complex harmonic progressions & songs in major & minor keys. Study the harmonic devices of professional writers, pivot chords & modal interchange. Discover diminished, whole tone & melodic minor scales creating an outside sound. Practice tracks, 109 exercises, 5 work sheets, 7 songs.
    Prerequisite: Guitar Theory and Technique Course #1, 2 & 3 or equivalent experience

    LESSON 1 SECONDARY DOMINANTS Dissonance to consonance, tonal centers, deceptive & resolving cadences, labeling dominants, 2-5-1 progressions & pivot chords. Analyze & transpose songs & harmonic progressions.
    LESSON 2 SECONDARY DOMINANTS IN MINOR KEYS Diagram minor chord progressions, parallel major & minor, modal interchange, IV of IV, diatonic substitutions, modulating to relative minor or major & song analysis.
    LESSON 3 DIMINISHED SCALES Diminished & dominant, diminished scales, 3rds, triads & quadrants within the scale, scales around the cycle of 4ths & diminished sequences.
    LESSON 4 WHOLE TONE SCALES "Outside" sounds over static dominants, sequences within whole tones, augmented triad arpeggios, augmented triads, triads around the cycle & whole tone symmetrics.
    LESSON 5 MELODIC MINOR SCALES Three unique soloing situations. Dominant melodic minor in 5 scale positions resolving shapes in 5 octaves. Connecting positions & sequencing.
    LESSON 6 MELODIC MINOR SCALES,cont. Create solos with altered dominant sounds & funky practice tracks. Minor chord and static dominant chords. Learn "Xlento" & "Cantaloupe Island,” a funky Herbie Hancock tune.

    AUDIO HOME STUDY COURSES (guitarcollege.net)
    Last edited by oceanslider; 12-02-2021 at 11:41 PM.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Looks pretty thorough. I like the way Rich plays and his left hand technique always looks very efficient in the videos of him that I have seen. He's also got a knack for getting a great sound out of virtually any guitar.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I bought some of his courses and his song lessons. He is enjoyable to listen to and a good teacher.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Looks pretty thorough. I like the way Rich plays and his left hand technique always looks very efficient in the videos of him that I have seen. He's also got a knack for getting a great sound out of virtually any guitar.
    Hello Cunamara,

    I will say one thing about how I would / will approach this course going forward in regards to Right Hand Picking Technique.

    I think that any course of this type ought to give the student options in picking holding technique. Not all hands are created equal. I do understand Rich stating his pick holding Technique into the very first part of Volume 1 in the course. But it may not work for all. And it would be better if the teacher gave the student options in how to hold the pick.

    I think Rich's main influence in regards to picking was Joe Diorio. As you might know Rich taught at GIT for just over 3 years, and I think Joe did also about the same time (late 80s, early 90s ??), but don't quote me. So I think that the Pick Holding Technique that Rich suggests in this course follows what many might call "Standard Picking". I do know that Standard Picking is the way the pick is suggested to be held in many other guitar books. Standard Picking seems to be the predominate way it is suggested in guitar books.

    I took lessons, for over 3 years in the mid 90s, pretty regularly, from a very good jazz guitarist that works in the San Diego by the name of Sandy DeVito (click here for link). And you can see how Sandy holds the pick, which I think is very similar to Rich and Joe. Sandy is amazing at Chord Melody, and that is really what he was teaching me back then. And it was all about Hybrid Picking, using the pick and your three other fingers.

    Well back then I just went with what people were telling me in regards to Technique. So, I tried really to mimic Sandy's, picking style. Sandy studied under jazz guitarist Chuck Wayne. Chuck held the pick this way also.

    However, going forward I want to use a Picking Technique more like that of George Benson.

    So regarding this course of Rich's I will not follow Rich's picking style, at least the way he holds the pick. He talks about small circle picking and such in the course. And that works if you hold the pick like he does or my teacher Sandy did, where the thumb can bend and flex up and down. But the George Benson style sort of has a locked thumb.

    Also search YouTube for a video called The Backwards Picking Technique it dives deeper into this way of holding the pick and approaching the strings.

    I am using this "Backwards" style, or personally I like calling it George Benson style, currently and it just feels so much better and I am faster and more precise. I just have to change the way I Hybrid Pick a bit. But I wish I would have been shown this years ago.

    Also Rich only describes his suggested picking in the very first part of Volume 1. But my suggestion for any student that would go through this course, would be to use the picking style that feels best for you. If Rich's doesn't feel best for you, then use what does and go through the course. The course I feel is a steal at the $200 price he offers for all 4 volumes.
    GUITAR THEORY and TECHNIQUE COMPLETE Vol.1-4 (guitarcollege.net)
    Last edited by oceanslider; 01-07-2022 at 04:50 PM.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    I bought some of his courses and his song lessons. He is enjoyable to listen to and a good teacher.
    Yes, Rich has a great way of presenting the information he wants to relay to the student. As I mentioned in my first post, I bought this course years ago, but never finished it. I only got almost the end of Volume 1 and life changed with work and kids and I stopped playing guitar.

    I am recently taking it back up. I'm sure there were many that finished the whole course. I posted this thread hoping to hear from someone that finished it for insight.

    Back when I was playing before and taking lessons it was the very beginnings of Online. There was no instant access to see you favorite players techniques with the likes of YouTube. As far as forums we only had Usenet, there was a jazz guitar forum there, but it was very primitive compared to this forum where you can post YouTube and Pictures and such.
    Last edited by oceanslider; 11-28-2021 at 06:16 PM.