I'm not here to start a discussion on Jeff's playing or his philosophies. His chord tone book, or even better is the Trombone book he based it off, is one of the better books I've used to develop. So with that in mind I recently took the hit and purchased his lesson packages to see what he was up to with this stuff. For anyone interested in them or not knowing what they entail I'll give you a quick rundown of my initial thoughts. Package 1 - Reading The first package is pretty much getting your skills as a reader developed. It starts at the absolutely basics of whole notes on the first few frets on the E string and each lesson includes a a handful of etudes dealing with a specific subject such as half notes. Each lesson gradually develops to and the etudes within focus on the next subject. It's laid out in a super methodical manner for example quarter notes don't appear until you have mastered etudes that deal with a mix of whole notes, half notes, their respective rests and ties etc. So it's one of the better things I've came across to help people get off the ground with their reading, which is something I do a lot with my students. To begin with there are a few fingering suggestions but as the lessons develop these gradually start to disappear entirely and you are left to work out your own. I've spent the past month doing a handful of theatre shows so my reading is pretty solid but even I was thrown by some of the reading involved in the later lessons. There are 24 lessons in that package but by about 21 the etudes are doing some pretty complex reading. For anyone whose reading is pretty solid I'd say this package could be skipped out but you can still take the simpler reading exercises and mix them up. They are all written in 4 so I played a lot of the half note ones earlier in 5. All I did was make one half note a dotted one and kept the other normal to make the bar split into 3 + 2 and vice versa. Plenty of ways to take even the simplest material and make it work for you. Package 2 - Flats & Sharps This package reminds me of the Simandl book. You basically get a key and a few etudes written in that key. Each lesson has the etude written with a key signature as well as the same etude written with accidentals which I think is a nice inclusion. Reading a C# major etude as accidentals is a bit of a roast but in my experience that's almost always how it crops up in reading gigs as a brief passages through that key rather than an out and out key change. These etudes are deceptive. They read extremely simple but they very quickly present a series of problems that the player has to find solutions to, in order to execute some of the passages you have to change where and how you play things. It's all too easy to read a few bars and fall into playing it all down the business end until you realise that passage has a few awkward jumps that lead up to the dusty end. This has been a pleasant surprise actually as I had to really dig into some of the etudes and work out the most effective ways of getting from point a to point b as smoothly as possible. There are 14 lessons in this package, each lesson contains a handful of etudes as per the last. Don't expect this stuff to be the most exciting musical examples you'll ever hear they are pretty dry and written with specific purposes. You'll be forced to work and think more about what's happening on the fingerboard and really forces you to break out your comfort zone. I took one of the etudes in F major and played the first section in all 12 keys which opens up a whole other set of problems for you to over come. Package 3 - Various Scales This package is pretty much a straight up study of modes/chord scales. Straight off the bat the first lesson is a Lydian workout. Much the same as the previous package these look like straight forward read but present technical problems you have to start thinking about. There are 14 lessons in this package, all with various etudes within, they are all written in C. Thereby forcing the player to take them through all 12 keys. Package 4 - Chord Tones For anyone that knows anything on Jeff he's pretty big on his chord tones, something I do agree with him on. I'd say if you have the Trombone book, Jeff's chord tone book or seen that article from Bass Player years ago with the chord tones then this package is very much an expansion of those, in a good way. I'd say the books are more depth but these etudes are challenging. He basically gives you 4 bars of each etude and the player is left to work out the rest so you have to do some thinking again. Expect these etudes to be a bit of a roast. Package 5 - Approach Notes Package 5 is almost split in two. The first section pretty much picks up where the 4th finished. You are given the chord quality and etudes focusing on the various approaches above and below the chord tones. This includes chromatics, scale tones, double chromatics above and below etc. The next half of the package is longer lines comprising of approach notes. This moves a bit more into 'jazz' territory. You get them starting on the 3rd/5th/7th etc and going round the cycle of 4ths and 5ths. Later on you get longer lines over chords. The package finishes with a bunch of major and minor ii V I lines and you are left to transpose them into all keys. This package is a bit of a difficult one and requires a lot of shedding but as well as fluidity on the instrument your ear will start to develop as you start to hear the changes as well. It's without a doubt the hardest of the packages but if you spend time with it you'll undoubtably benefit, or at least become a hell of a player in the process. Overall thoughts Along with each package you are sent a link to videos of Jeff playing an etude from each of the lessons. I've not really checked many of them out, Jeff's approach to executing some of these etudes is just one of the possible ways of playing them. I'm trying to solve the problems on my own first and comparing it to how Jeff approaches them. None of this stuff is going to make you rip of Giant Steps in 7 in all 12 or make you slap like Marcus etc It isn't meant to do that. They are pretty much exactly what they are and what you make of them, if you don't want to put the work in then I'd say you'll get a good bit of milage out of them but if you really dig in and approach it the way Jeff wants you to then you'll have years of material in any one of those packages. They are definitely designed to be studied alongside all the other stuff we are working on rather than being a singular source for us.