Self Development in Music

High Performance Guitar Instruction

We are also proud to offer a 4 year course of study in jazz guitar chord melody soloing, single note improvisation, comping and speed learning - a systematic approach to complete and total mastery of the jazz guitar as a solo instrument by Steven Crowell. This is an exceptional series of courses and books with CDs which you can do at your own pace, in your own home. Guitar Player Magazine calls Steve's books "some of the best!"

The SDM (Self Development in Music) 4-year lesson course began as a monthly correspondence course for students needing a way to study advanced jazz guitar. It is a compendium of lessons featuring college level theory with practical playing, important things players/musicians need to learn, presented in an easy-to-understand way. There are 42 lessons in all. They are designed so that you can go to any area of interest. The CD's were made from the original recorded tapes, so the audio is not of the best quality, but the information is inspiring and timeless; a treasure trove for advancing guitarists.

THE SDM LESSON PROGRAM - PART 1: Twelve (12) folios plus 1 CD.

  • Lesson 1 - Includes instructions for good practice habits and Steve Crowell's book "Major and Minor Scales in Chords." Instructions are given for playing in all 24 major and minor keys.

  • Lesson 2 - Includes an in-depth chord melody solo study of the famous standard "Tenderly," harmonized with numerous superb chord voicings. Also includes an arpeggio warm-up study.

  • Lesson 3 - Includes a 32 bar single note solo based on "I've Got Rhythm." Shows diagrams of related chords and substitutions and how to connect solo lines to generate melodic flow.

  • Lesson 4 - Includes an absorbing chord melody solo study of the standard "Isn't It Romantic." Diagrams show how to use contrary motion, substitutions, reharmonizations and moving bass lines.

  • Lesson 5 - Includes more improvisational techniques in single note soloing over the 32 bar progression based on "I've Got Rhythm." More of Andres Segovia's exercises for developing technique.

  • Lesson 6 - Includes a review of the scale-chord functions and a study of the flat-five chord types with special exercises for applying them to your own playing.

  • Lesson 7 - Includes a discussion of chord progression theory and possibilities for performing in group situation. Also, "Country Style" rhythm changes and more flat-five chord inversions.

  • Lesson 8 - Includes interchanging major and relative minor and harmonizing melody lines with flat-five chords. More single note soloing over the 32 bar progression "I've Got Rhythm."

  • Lesson 9 - Includes using the chord technology from previous lessons to construct a beautiful chord melody solo of the standard "The Days Of Wine And Roses".

  • Lesson 10 - Includes rhythm patterns and stretch chords for left hand development. Another outstanding chord melody solo of "The Days Of Wine And Roses" is presented and explained.

  • Lesson 11 - Includes how to superimpose advanced chord substitutions over a 12 bar blues progression. Walking bass lines, chords voiced in tenths, and rhythmic concepts are taught.

  • Lesson 12 - Includes beautiful chord melody solos of "My Foolish Heart" and "Darn That Dream." More advanced chord progressions are taught and analyzed.

Regular $59.95, now only $49.95 (Save 20%!) [International shipping is higher]

THE SDM LESSON PROGRAM - PART 2: Twelve (12) folios plus 1 CD.

  • Lesson 13 - Includes inversions of dominant, altered dominant, and diminished chords. Explores the paradox of dominant and non-dominant diminished chords in great detail.

  • Lesson 14 - Includes special exercises for synchronizing the right and left hands. The various chord inversions taught so far are applied to a blues chord melody solo.

  • Lesson 15 - Includes a unique chord melody solo of "Body And Soul" utilizing many different chord examples. Choice chord voicings for accompanying "Body And Soul" are also taught.

  • Lesson 16 - Includes how to use great sounding replacement chords over the basic ones utilizing dominant substitutions. Other topics include improvising intros.

  • Lesson 17 - Includes a masterful chord melody solo rendition of "September Song." Many different chord melody solo techniques are explored and demonstrated.

  • Lesson 18 - Includes new and different ways of applying whole tone scales to your playing. Augmented chords are discussed and analyzed.

  • Lesson 19 - Includes a consummate chord melody solo of "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" with intros and tag endings. The finer points of arranging for guitar are discussed.

  • Lesson 20 - Includes a block chord study based on the style of the great Wes Montgomery. More harmonizations for the bridge section of "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" are taught.

  • Lesson 21 - Includes a discussion of how to improvise with chords. Chord inversions and substitutions are given for creating a 24 bar jazz waltz ala Wes Montgomery.

  • Lesson 22 - Includes using arpeggio studies of the four chord types to refine technique. Steve shows ways of eliminating unnecessary motion in the right hand.

  • Lesson 23 - Includes a scale study in shifting tone centers and mode applications. The arpeggio studies from lesson 22 are applied to chord progressions for further technique refinement.

  • Lesson 24 - Includes a big band style blues chord melody solo using rootless chord inversions. Examples of melodic soloing show how to approach an arpeggio from any string or position.

Regular $59.95, now only $49.95 (Save 20%!) [International shipping is higher]


(Picks up where the SDM Lesson Program leaves off.) Designed as an in-depth 1 year course of advanced study, this course includes 12 folios with 6 CDs for the guitarist with a commitment to excellence...Price, $99.95

  • Project 1 - Includes a chord melody solo of "The Lady Is A Tramp," featuring numerous chord substitution devices. Also split-octave principles of chord substitution and augmented arpeggios.

  • Project 2 - Includes a magnificent chord melody solo of "As Time Goes By." More in-depth arpeggio applications are discussed and demonstrated.

  • Project 3 - Includes an ultra hip chord melody solo of "Here's That Rainy Day" using contrasting devices. Principles of diminished substitutions with transposition chart and arpeggio studies.

  • Project 4 - Includes a chord melody solo of "I Can't Get Started With You" featuring substitutions and two part playing. Also, single note solo arpeggio study on the standard "Satin Doll."

  • Project 5 - Includes blues in several keys used as a vehicle for improvisation. A solo is featured for analysis. Also, dominant cycle solo studies and how to write out your own music.

  • Project 6 - Includes a masterful chord melody solo rendition of "Indian Summer" utilizing augmented harmonies and other devices. Elements of improvisation are also discussed.

  • Project 7 - Includes a single note solo section and tag ending to the chord melody solo of "Indian Summer." Exploring relative keys shows new ways of finding chord substitutions.

  • Project 8 - Includes a chord melody solo of "Penthouse Serenade" providing a valuable study of chords borrowed from other keys. Also, how to put a band together and advertise effectively.

  • Project 9 - Includes a beautiful chord melody solo rendition of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes." Other topics discussed are how to write a contract and how to deal with clients.

  • Project 10 - Includes a lovely chord melody solo of "Our Love Is Here To Stay" featuring many unique compositional devices. Also cultivating a successful attitude and negotiating techniques.

  • Project 11 - Includes a chord melody solo of "Shiny Stockings" arranged in big band style plus a rhythm comp study of "Our Love Is Here To Stay" using Freddy Green style moving chords.

  • Project 12 - Includes a rhythm comp study of "Shiny Stockings" and new elements of music featuring devices and alternatives for coming up with unique sounds.

$99.95 + 3.95 shipping [International shipping is higher]


This ultra-advanced 6 month course picks up where the Master Class Guitar Seminar leaves off; teaches the art of "instant learning." Includes 6 folio plus 3 CDs -- Price, $79.95

  • Project 1- Includes a chord melody solo, single note solo and rhythm comp chords to "Birth Of The Blues," showing how to structure an arrangement using diatonic and chromatic chords.

  • Project 2 - Includes an in-depth study of Jimmy River's guitar style featuring his harmonized arrangement of "Little Rock Getaway." A spectacular display piece!

  • Project 3 - Includes a beautiful chord melody solo of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and five (5) choice standards in stereo separation that let you play along, simulating a live "jam."

  • Project 4 - Includes a lovely chord melody solo of "Deep Purple" plus chord solos, rhythm charts and play along tape to "Caravan" in the style of Wes Montgomery.

  • Project 5 - Includes a challenging chord melody solo of "Sweet Lorraine." Also a big band rhythm chord study featuring the Freddy Green style on Count Basie's arrangement of "Easy Street."

  • Project 6 - Includes an advanced chord melody solo of "I've Got Rhythm" plus an in-depth single string exercise using whole tones.

$79.95 + 3.95 shipping [International shipping is higher]


Buy the entire 4-Year lesson course and receive all 42 lesson folios plus 11 CDs for $199.00 ($250.00 value). [International shipping is higher]

"I've gone through, and continue to go through, the SDM, Master Class and Action Workshop lessons on a regular basis. There is so much in this course material that it takes literally years to absorb it all. I also have the Jazz Guitar Soloing and Rhythm Guitar books. There is no more comprehensive, nor more reasonably priced, material for the advancing jazz guitarist out there..."

Glenn Betcher