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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Jazz Improvisation by Berklee College of Music

611 ratings
189 reviews

About the Course

Learn the basic concepts of improvisation from Gary Burton, one of the most renowned improvisers in the jazz world, including the mental, melodic, and harmonic processes that contribute to the instinctive skills that an improviser puts to use when taking a solo. While many people are fans of jazz and understand that musicians are often “making up” the notes they are playing during a performance, most people—often including musicians, themselves, who are beginning to learn improvising—aren’t clear about what exact processes take place to enable this to happen. The purpose of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of modern improvisation and how to go about mastering the different musical and mental skills involved. Course author Gary Burton codifies a sought-after approach to improvisation that has been at the core of Berklee College of Music's curriculum for decades. Students who complete this course will know what to practice and how to practice the various aspects of improvising, in addition to understanding how the improviser spontaneously communicates to the listeners through their musical creations....

Top reviews


Nov 20, 2016

This was a truly great course, I learnt so much. And I have been playing piano for almost 60 years! Thanks to a wonderful teacher and musician (brilliant rendition of Chick Corea's Crystal Silence)


Jul 03, 2019

It showed got me real close to a personal tutor combined with its active class discussion network, keeping me on my toes and giving me a boost in my Jazz learning. I am happy I took this one.

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126 - 150 of 186 Reviews for Jazz Improvisation

By Ricardo S

Jan 20, 2017

Excellent course ! Having Gary Burton as teacher is priceless.

By Nicolas L

Mar 21, 2017

Just a perfect improvisation course from Gary's heart! Thank you Gary!! There's only one con, the assignments are peer reviewed only (not teacher feedback at all).

By Jolanta G

Dec 11, 2016

Thank you very much for the wonderful course. The assignments are so well created that this provides wonderful guiding to the jazz improvisation. I hope a lot of participat enjoy the course.

By Kerstin L

Oct 17, 2015

A very good and educational course, but you have to know your basic theory before you get started.

By smartphone.mel

Aug 21, 2017

Great instructor, excellent feedback with professors!

By Matthias J

Feb 13, 2018

Great view on the art of improvisation, very inspiring and helpful!

By 冯禹腾

Aug 16, 2015


By Volodymyr P

Jan 23, 2016


By Pawel S

Apr 19, 2016

Excellent course. Perhaps too advance for a novice but for an average intermediate musician, it is a great intro to Jazz Improvisation. I would encourage the organizers to expand the course by adding exploring the concepts of guide tone lines and theme development, emphasizing the practicum - I know that I would take such courses in a jiffy.

By Alejandro L

Sep 11, 2015

Really useful course with easygoing lessons

By Lisa L

Dec 30, 2015

I really loved taking this extremely inspiring and informative course. Gary Burton is a fabulous instructor. I learned so much. Really wonderful. Thank you.

~ Lisa Lukas

By Ilya K

Mar 05, 2016

An excellent and very well structured course that can significantly improve your improvisation skills. Highly recommended.

By Deleted A

Oct 01, 2016

me ayudo mucho a entender lo que parecia complicado

By Yonatan B

Sep 23, 2015

It is a great course and Gary Buton is amazing. It also has some insights about improvization and music that are very deep.

However, It suits mostly to piano players and not guitar players (I play both) and it will be naive to believe that after that course one should know how to improvise. even with years of practice, it will not happen. this course is a marketing material of Berklee and I must say I does make you want to go there for the whole package, anyway, do not develop expectation regarding your future as an improvisor.

By Ance L

Feb 17, 2016

The course itself and the content of it is great, the only suggestions would be:

1) It could be reviewed, how the evaluations of each submission are made. For example, 1st assignment - descriptive analysis was asked to evaluate based on if the 3 "most important" things - if they have been mentioned in the description. The thing is that in real you can not tell, which are the most important because people think differently and could focus more on other details. It was easy to add also those "important" points by resubmitting work, but the problem is that only with that the analysis of a student is not getting better, thus the evaluation is not precise. For tasks like that I would suggest at lease to make a list of 20 things to mention and then count how many are there - thus making the quality assessment more precise.

2) Some topics could have been explained more detailed in the videos, e.g., about guide tones and lines

3) The requirements for the submissions could have been more clear. I also got the impression that in if switching the sessions the requirements could be slightly different (As I got the case when somebody pointed out a particular thing that he thought was required and I have not done. I checked the page but nothing about that. Also other classmates mentioned nothing about that and thought all was perfectly fine).

I hope this helps.

Thank you so much,



By 王馨悦

Jan 26, 2016

good,and continue.

By Albert R Y

Sep 05, 2016

Excellent course. Scheduled step by step. I learned a lot of things. Let's do the solo!

By Bruce G

Jan 23, 2017

One of the best things I've ever done to become a better jazz improviser.


Dec 13, 2017

Excellent awesome!

By Antonio r

Nov 23, 2015

I like its its pushing me to think and motivate myself for progress...and I'm only just in the initial stages from the beginning it has my enthusiasm.

By Alberto M T R

Sep 08, 2016

Excellent start in Jazz improvisation.

By Jose D B

Jan 26, 2016


By Gilberto S

Jul 24, 2017

excelent course

By Michelle E A

Sep 29, 2017

Loved it, I'm so happy finishing this course.

By Ivan M

Jun 24, 2018

very good course to improve your musical skills!For me, like EDM producer it was really useful and necessarily to look in a new way (Jazz way) on music. I think this course is very useful.