Hard Bop Jazz Guitar - Robert Conti Is The King!

Jazz guitar player Robert Conti was born on November 21, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He initially began learning the guitar by taking one-on-one lessons from Joe Sgro who was a local guitar virtuoso. During his teen years Conti was performing nightly with a variety of groups while spending his summer seasons on the road. After he graduated from high school, Conti ended up spending a lot of the mid 1960’s traveling and performing throughout the United States as well as Canada.


Although he has actually had a number of departures from his music career, Robert Conti is a consistently exceptional hard-bop jazz guitarist. He was turned on to Howard Roberts, Joe Pass, and Johnny Smith by Pat Martino who was a friend of his when he was growing up. Conti started playing live when he was 14 and was on the road quite a bit throughout 1962-66 before settling in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1970, he stopped playing music for a living and throughout the next six years had a very lucrative career in the securities industry. He is credited with advancing the concept of the financial supermarket.


In spite of his successes in the business world, in 1976 Robert Conti went back to playing jazz guitar. He made his first recordings in 1979 consisting of “Solo Guitar”, beginning a series on Trend-Discovery and Time Is Records that also included a 1981 recording with Gerald Wilson. While continuing in jazz he spent much of the 1980s back in the business world, including working with film maker Dino De Laurentis in 1988 which was the exact same year that he relocated to Southern California. He was the resident jazz guitar player at the Irvine Marriott for 10 years from 1988-98. In more current times, Conti has produced around 30 instructional DVDs and 9 volumes of chord melody solos for jazz guitar.


In addition to citing Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery, and Howard Roberts as the main jazz guitarists who influenced his bop style of playing the guitar, Robert Conti also gives credit to jazz pianists Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson for helping to influence his unique harmonic approach to playing solo jazz guitar arrangements. Conti’s extremely successful method of teaching guitar players the best ways to improvise does not make use of modes and scales like most other approaches.


Instead, he teaches students to learn to play jazz guitar by playing jazz on the guitar which is the way he learned to play. Conti strongly thinks that the very best way to obtain excellent results on guitar quickly is to memorize real jazz guitar solos immediately, then begin playing them over their respective chord progressions to embed the sounds in your head while getting the notes under your fingers.


Robert Conti performs live primarily in the Las Vegas area and Southern California. His most recent recordings for Pinnacle Records consist of “The Jazz Quintet”, “Comin’ On Strong”, and “To The Brink”. He continues to work on new educational products and assures his fans that some unique new releases for aspiring jazz guitarists will be available in the very near future. They will certainly be well worth the wait if these future releases are anything like his present jazz guitar courses!

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