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Improvise on a String Instrument

with Zach Brock

Ever wanted to take your violin, viola, or cello into a new musical context?

Zach Brock, violinist with fusion all-stars Snarky Puppy, provides a pathway for any musician to embracing improvisation and groove on stringed instruments, giving you the confidence and knowledge to join the jam and experiment with playing jazz, rock, pop - whatever you want!


Instrument Violin , Viola , Cello

For you get:

  • On-demand lifetime access to all lessons
  • Course workbook with exercises and pro tips
  • Slow down and looping video player
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
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Course Length
24 lessons · 2h 35m

Zach Brock is a Grammy Award-winning violinist and composer heralded as “the pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation." Zach is steeped in the traditions of jazz, classical, world, and popular music, and has enjoyed finding new ways to fuse them while on tour with the likes of Snarky Puppy and Stanley Clarke.

In this course Zach provides string players with a toolkit to take their playing beyond the traditional territory of strings. Zach shares the techniques and habits that got him off the page and led him to start experimenting on violin, as well as the practice hacks and exercises he now uses to stay sharp on the road. This course takes you quickly from the very basics of improvisation, to mastering modes and gaining fluency. Zach discusses what you can learn from past masters like Stéphane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, and Zbigniew Seifert, as well as current innovators such as Christian Howes and Casey Driessen. He deconstructs techniques such as 'the chop' and explains how to attain 'natural distortion' on your instrument, as well as discussing the use of electronic effects with stringed instruments.

Everything that Zach teaches won't compromise your classical or folk-fiddle techniques, it'll enhance it! After this course you'll realise that your violin, viola or cello is practically a whole new instrument with loads of exciting new musical possibilities to explore.

Lesson Plan

Show All 24 Lessons


Introduction - Learning the Language of Improvisation

The Lingus Loop

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Zach Brock

Heralded as “the pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation,” Zach Brock is an violinist and composer whose music draws on the traditions of jazz, classical, world, and popular music. Zach received his first Grammy Award in 2017 for his work on Snarky Puppy’s album Culcha Vulcha. His acclaim as a bandleader has grown through appearances at venues such as Carnegie Hall and festivals like “Tudo é Jazz” in Brazil, while his reputation as a sideman has spread through his work with legendary bassist Stanley Clarke, contemporary instrumental super-group Snarky Puppy, and jazz masters Phil Markowitz and Dave Liebman. Zach has made ten recordings as a leader or co-leader and is the first violinist to record for the venerable Dutch jazz label Criss Cross. Zach has also represented the U.S. Department of State as a Musical Ambassador in the Solomon Islands, has performed as a featured soloist for two Sundance Festival feature film scores, and is currently an “Artist In Residence” at Temple University in Philadelphia. 

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