Theory and Improv with Marcelo

Skill Building Guitar Course from Marcelo Berestovoy

How can you play any solos if you don't know your chords? It's with this mantra that Marcelo Berestovoy dives into his Theory and Improv series. Learn the foundational aspects of chording that will set you up for the ultimate improvisation success!

19 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

How can you play any solos if you don't know your chords? Learn essential chording techniques from Marcelo Berestovoy that will help you develop into a serious improv player!


Series Introduction

"How can you play any solos if you don't know your chords?" Marcelo looks to remedy this situation with his new Theory and Improv with Marcelo series. Learn foundational aspects of chording, along with the modes and scales that will make you a complete improv player!

7:30 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


The CAGED System

A mastery of harmony is required before one can improvise successfully. The CAGED system is a tried and true method that compartmentalizes the visual shapes of chords and scales. In this lesson, Marcelo gives you his take on the CAGED system.

16:14 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Diatonic Triads and 4 Note Chords

What is a chord? How do we know which notes make up the chords we are playing? Join Marcelo in this foundational lesson on identifying diatonic triads and 4 note chords!

21:47 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Finding New Chords Part 1

Getting tired of the same old chords? Are those massive chord books not any help? Check out Marcelo's unique way of discovering new chords!

17:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Finding New Chords, Part 2

Join Marcelo as he continues to discover new chords! In this lesson, Marcelo puts the C major scale underneath each of the chords in the C tonality.

20:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Finding New Chords Part 3

So far, Marcelo has shown us how to discover new chords by placing the diatonic scale on top of or underneath the chords. Now, he uses the chromatic scale to find more advanced chords.

17:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Improv Concepts for Beginners

Improvising: Where to start? Marcelo gives us some great, easy to follow jumping off points in this lesson on improvisation.

21:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Understanding the Modes - Major Modes

The modes are an often misunderstood aspect of guitar playing and improvisation in particular. In this lesson, Marcelo shares his perspective on the modes, starting with the major modes.

22:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Understanding the Modes - Minor Modes

Now Marcelo takes a closer look at the most commonly used minor modes.

13:44 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Gypsy Jazz 12 Bar Swing

Join Marcelo as he applies some of the improv techniques we've learned so far to a 12 bar gypsy jazz etude.

20:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Shiek of Araby Improv Lesson

"The Shiek of Araby" has been covered by countless artists. Now it's time to hear Marcelo's take on it! Join him as he integrates his improvisational tools into this timeless standard.

18:02 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Gypsy Jazz Ballad - Pa'Cito, Part 1

True to gypsy Jazz form, Marcelo teaches us one of his original compositions, "Pa'Cito". Watch as he invokes many of Django's original gypsy jazz stylings!

16:37 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Gypsy Jazz Ballad - Pa'Cito, Part 2

In part 2 of "Pa'Cito," Marcelo explains some scales that can be used when improvising over the progression.

17:04 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


"After You've Gone" for Beginners

In this lesson, Marcelo teaches a beginner's version of the classic tune from the early 1900's: "After You've Gone". Learn the basic chords, as well as the basic single note melody line.

16:26 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


After You've Gone Intermediate

Now Marcelo teaches us a much more advanced version of the standard, "After You've Gone". This version makes use of traditional gypsy jazz chord shapes and substitutions, as well as scales to use for your improvisation.

17:34 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Chord Scales

In this lesson, Marcelo shows us a simple, yet unique way of determining improv scales based on the chord tones. This will simplify and revolutionize you improvisation!

17:35 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Cycle of Fifths

In this lesson, Marcelo takes us through the cycle of fifths and ends with a very cool etude to cement these sounds in your head!

6:32 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Gypsy Bossa

Marcelo now teaches us his own, very beautiful gypsy bossa. Learn the chords, melody and improv concepts for this very catchy and unique tune!

22:04 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Modes - Triads and 7th Arpeggios

Interested in adding new and different sounds to your improv? Check out Marcelo's unique method for doing just that!

14:36 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

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  • Dallas, TX
  • Playing since 1982
  • 198 lessons at JamPlay
This Latino artist, composer and guitarist, has inspired a new musical trend that he has called “Southern World Music”. This innovative mix of sounds is a blend of the tango from Argentina, flamenco from the south of Spain, and several musical styles from Southern California. Marcelo has done live presentations and recorded with artists like Ricky Martin, Selena, Leon Gieco, Daniela Romo, Sergio Arau and Bebu Silvetti to name a few. In television, he accompanied stars such as Jorge Moreno, Grammy Award winner in 2002 in the “Best New Artist” category. He also composed the song “Gitano Corazon”, recorded by Natalia Oreiro in her album “Tu Veneno”. This album was nominated in the Latino Grammy Award 2001 in the category of “Best Female Pop Album”. He is co-author of the song “One Heart” with Steven Segal, Larry King and Tommy Coster. His musical talent has been shown in movies including “Dirt”, “The Mexican”, “Un Pedazo de Tierra” and “Paulie”. He has participated in television shows, concerts and kick-off parties for movies like “Mission Impossible II” and “The Disapearance of Garcia Lorca”.

Marcelo was born and raised in Argentina. He says he felt a passion for the music since he was about 11 years old when he started to take guitar lessons. His father had a lot of influence in his love for music. Together they used to play the songs that Marcelo wrote. His father always took him to listen to jazz. At this time, listening to jazz gave Marcelo another perspective since he was a rock fanatic. His motivation was first the Beatles and then Charly and Spinetta “the skinny”. Marcelo recalls that by the age of 18, he was playing in different places throughout Buenos Aires, Argentina. He would play four to five nights a week with different groups or to accompany solo singers.

His decision to come to Los Angeles was motivated by his interest in jazz. In 1985, he came to study to GIT and he never returned to Argentina. Marcelo currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his lovely wife and son. He performs live at several local places. In addition to playing the guitar and composing, Marcelo teaches in the “Musicians Institute”, one of the most prestigious in the music world.
Reviews & Feedback 94/100 with 218 ratings

All of the above!!!!!


and he has his soft inteligent humor to make you remember things! Thanks Marcelo


I like Marcelo's instructional style; he explains in a very practical fashion, applies music concepts regarding guitar playing!


Beautiful playing and a very positive outlook. Looking forward to this series.


Beautifully explained, fun teacher, easy to follow. Thanks


Best teacher


brilliant teacher!! In every lesson.


This is the first time during the many years of trying to learn how to play the guitar that I feel enrolled in a class with an attainable goal. Awesome !


Good professor!!!


Great lesson. Spent lots.of time on this and really helped me learn different voicings and fretboard awareness.


Great teacher!


He is the man

Hung kim

He provides step by step approach how to improvise from basic knowledge that what I am in need.


I had 4 teachers who learned me about scales, and none of them told me about the caged system.


Marcalo always teaches very clearly.


Marcello's chats are very helpful and I'm coming back to use his theory and improv lessons to help push me along my guitar path.


Marcelo rocks!


Marcelo Sir i awesome


Professor Berestovoy is an excellent player and teacher.


Seriously the best teacher on JamPlay! Well worth the monthly fee just for him alone.


The best presentation on this material I have ever seen in my musical life.


This guy is brilliant. A natural born teacher! Many great teachers In Jamplay, and they all have different methods of breaking through our thick skulls. I have been playing a long time, so my skull is extra thick. I don’t always understand


Very good lesson, helped to put together lots of things I was aware of but couldn't quite fit altogether in a motivating way!


What a great way to explain! Like cousins and everyone visiting each other at their house.


you're very lucky to have Marcelo on your team I believe!