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Luca Mantovanelli: Masterclass Q&A

Thursday 18th July 2019 Blogroll

luca mantovanelli jtc guitar behind the pack

A prolific teacher, a dedicated guitarist, and a family man. The guitarist that JTC guitarists learn from, Luca Mantovanelli.

Fusion Essentials: Advanced, is the culminating part of yet another amazing Masterclass series by Luca, and oh what a series it is.

To give you more of an insight into how he frequently creates these superb releases, and what to expect from this one, here’s the man himself.

Q: What was the inspiration behind this Masterclass?

Well, I love to play fusion and I noticed lots of people like my quick videos about it. I get a lot of questions about scales, how to play over fusion chords etc. So I decided to create a fusion Masterclass. Starting from very beginner stuff to ‘’crazy’’ advanced level. This Masterclass is built to cover step by step all the stuff I know and play over fusion chord progressions.

Q: What’s your favourite part of the series?

In all my Masterclasses I have used my own method to teach. That is my favourite part. Giving you the knowledge to create your phrasing. Not just copy and paste but a complete guide to create your own stuff. I’ve done it with all of my JTC content, starting from the Pentatonic Masterclass through to my 2-5-1 releases, and now this.

Q: What is the most important lesson from it?

In the Fusion Essentials Masterclass, I choose chord progressions from a few famous fusion standards like Summertime, Sunny’’, Cantaloupe Island’’ and Spain. These are usually the first tunes I use to teach fusion playing, and it’s funny because it's not just a backing but a real song where you can play all the things you learnt from the Masterclass.

Q: With so many great JTC products out in the world, what's your process for creating them?

Well the first step is, find out what players need. I like to watch videos from my followers to see what they like and what they need. I then choose a topic and write down all the stuff I can use and create.

Everytime I create something new I see how I can use it for myself as well! It’s not just telling you what I know, but how I use it. This lets us create brand new guitar stuff. Lets see how that works. Everytime I create a Masterclass I create a lot of things but only the most useful ideas make it into the end product.

When I finish writing down the exercises, I write the backing tracks and the licks using the exercise concepts. At the end I create the solo using a few licks to show how you can mix together all the licks. The last part is recording the videos and create video using audio and video tracks. As you can see it’s not a fast process haha!

Q: Bootcamp is in the Beta phase and you have lots of students already. How much do you enjoy that closer relationship?

Bootcamp is an amazing thing. When we started working on it (2 years ago?!) we didn’t expect this huge feedback. I like it because you can chat with your student, you can give them tips about everything; timing, sound, technique. My actual students love it is well.  Totally different from a Masterclass because we have interactions and this is great. The full launch will be very soon

Can’t wait!

Q: What’s next for you at JTC?

I have already written four different Masterclasses. But before I release them,  I will release my 1st solo album this year. I am very excited about it and I hope people will dig it!

Q: We know you’re a family man. Are your daughters picking up the guitar yet?

Yeah, I am. Full of girls! Haha.

Well my 1st daughter, Eleonora, likes all the instruments I have in my house. Guitars, drums, bass. Everytime I go into the studio she comes and says, “Dad, gimme the pick (she wants only the JTC Pick) and then I pick up my guitar. She plays the rhythm and I play the chords every day! Sometimes when I record a JTC video she comes and starts dancing, it’s funny haha. 


Five of the best Guthrie Govan covers

Thursday 6th June 2019 Blogroll

Who is the best guitarist in the world? It’s the kind of question that bedroom guitarists, music fans and even professional players ask on a regular basis. You can argue there is no right answer, but many would argue that it’s Guthrie Govan.

It would seem that no time signature, style or technique is a challenge to Guthrie, and that’s in part why he is held in such high regard. Spend any time looking for guitar videos online and you’ll find a whole heap of Guthrie solos, interviews and live performances; you’ll also find a huge selection of covers.

Some are messy, some are great and some have made our list of the best Guthrie Govan covers. Enjoy!

Nili Brosh - Larry Carlton Style Track

Dial back over ten years, and you’ll find a video of Nili Brosh playing some Guthrie at the tender age of 18. The title of the video - plus as usual with the internet, something - caused much debate.

A lot has happened since that first video went up: Obama, Trump, Brexit. More importantly, Nili has gone on to become one of the most accomplished guitarists around, landing a long term gig with Cirque du Soleil, and of course, becoming a JTC artist. We love this cover not only because of the story, but just because it’s very, very good.  

Li-sa-X - Fives

“No matter how good you get, there’s always a kid somewhere that’s better.” Said by JTC’s very own Steve Martin, and of course he’s right. When filmed, Li-sa-X was a mere 8 years old. You may find better, more accurate versions of the track out there, but for sheer jaw dropping, “oh my god”, you can’t find much more astounding than this.

JTC’s Josh Smith is one of many players that started young, and there are no doubt countless more, but to tackle such a difficult track at such an age shows not only a natural talent, but also that a hell of a lot of practice must have taken place; and for that, we clap our hands.

Matteo Mancuso - Fives

JTC Guitar co-founder, Jan Cyrka, sent this video in a round robin email to the team, and every single one of us was blown away. Matteo’s unique finger-style playing creates something that is equally astounding both sonically and visually. It would even be fair to say that Matteo probably trumps Guthrie in terms of “uniqueness”.

And that takes some doing. 

Jess Lewis - Wonderful Slippery Thing

If you’ve followed JTC Guitar since the early days, you’ll know Jess Lewis. If you haven’t, then watch this video. What you get with this cover is a finesse and feel all of its own.

The meandering track is played to perfection, so much so that the video has racked up well over a million views and counting. A classic cover for the digital age.

Jack Thammarat Band - Fives (Yes again!)

We thought it best to end where we began, with another JTC artist having fun. While there may be tighter more faithful covers out there, what we like about this take is that it sums up the “spirit of Guthrie”.

Tangential, shifting and heavily improvised, this cover from the Jack Thammarat Band clocks in at over 8 minutes, and is a joy to watch. You do have to put up with the 2009, mobile phone recording, but when the playing is this good we can live with that. 

And as a bonus, here's the original

Way back in 2007, Guthrie Govan sat down at JTC HQ, and got jamming. So, here’s one of the original videos, that not only helped to inspire these covers, but no doubt doubt inspired thousands of people to pick up the guitar.



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