Chris Standring jazz guitar lessons

What people are saying about Chris Standring's "Play What You Hear" home study course...

(These testimonials are updated regularly as new feedback comes in)

I recently completed my study of PWYH, it took about a year and a half of working with it almost daily. I took a lot of time on the patterns and did a lot of careful reading and considering. I really enjoyed your approach, as well as the time spent (I also got a kick out of some of the anecdotes). Maybe best of all, I have noticed how I have really come to rely, and have confidence in, my ears. I am a better, and far more relaxed player for the effort. Thanks to you Chris ... you are a real inspiration to this guitarist! Frank Szubart - PWYH 3.0

Hi Chris - I'll tell you, my vocabulary isn't big enough to describe how great your course is. I have been playing the guitar for 10 years and I have made more progress in the past couple of months using your book than virtually the entire time I have been playing. I have also been playing the bass for the past couple of months and your book has helped tremendously with that as well. I just can't say enough about your ebook and if you write another one, I'll buy it! Gary Lee - PWYH 3.0

I can honestly say that "Play What You Hear" is one of the best things I've ever bought. I was EXTREMELY skeptical about spending money on an online guitar course because all the ones I've seen before seem to be full of shortcuts and tricks that give people quick fixes in their playing that have little more than novelty value. This course is huge and extremely comprehensive. I also really like the way it's written, as it's very succinct and easy to absorb. I can't praise it enough. It contains enough information for up to ten years worth of study and it costs as much as three one - hour private guitar lessons. It's really amazing and it's got me out of a serious rut. Thanks a lot! Mathew Barnes - PWYH 2.3 student
Chris - It is going well. I can't fault your approach. Although the IDEAS are familiar to me as a result of some jazz guitar lessons & workshops I had some years ago, my teachers (a couple of whom were very well known on the UK jazz scene) could not either express this stuff with the clarity you do or accompany it with systematic drills as on your course. So thanks a lot for the course, which is exceptional value and packs a lot of learning. - Bobbie PWYH 2.4 student
"Hey Chris, So far I have been playing with the "Play What You Hear" CD, and I must say it really bridges all the gaps between all the things I've learned so far in guitar (I've been self taught). I've been playing for several years, and have been recently trying to get off the rut I've been in, and your "Play What You Hear" really did the job. To be honest, I wasn't sure at first, thinking this is probably gonna be one of those intermediate guitar CD that only hovers on some techniques and no emphasis on the importance of them. But I was wrong, you've really detailed the works and I've learned a lot from it. And the practices really made me work out my rusty notation reading skills which I appreciate. Very beautiful stuff! Cheers!" Muhammad Kamil PWYH 2.3 student

Chris, Thanks for checking in. I was amazed at how fast the cd got here, for starters! The lessons are great. I've been playing professionally for over 30 years, and have had some basic theory. But as I get older I find myself playing the same old pentatonic & blues scales, with a few tricks thrown in here and there. I feel my playing has improved already, just by approaching the fret board in a different manner. I was listening to XM radio the other day, and heard some great guitar work, so of course I checked the display as I always do to see who was tearing up the finger board, and lo and behold......Chris Standring. I've got to check out some of your CDs. Thanks for the chance to learn from a master, Russell PWYH 2.3 student
"Chris - I am a very skeptical person. But, for whatever reason, I took a shot on you and bought your course "Play WhatYou Hear". Me being me I didn't expect much. Chris, you have got it. Everything that an intermediate (or anvanced) jazz guitar player needs to know to jump to the next level is put in your course. Even more important, it is formatted with words and examples that are easy to understand and really fun (no books that I have bought are fun). I thank you for finally showing players on my level how to get it." - Bob Austin PWYH 2.3 student

"Chris - just a quick e-mail to say I’m working through “Play What You Hear” with amazing success. My guitar playing has been…TRANSFORMED!!! This course is worth every penny!" - Mathew Powell PWYH v.2.3 student

"Dear Chris, My wife Elena purchased your guitar course for me some weeks ago, and forwarded to me your email requesting some feedback. To put it succinctly, I'm thrilled. I've found your approach to be thorough, easy to grasp and apply, and one that is taking me exactly where I want to go, to wit, learning jazz in a structured, disciplined, but very interesting way, and offering the option to explore blues, rock and folk as well. Thank you so much, Chris, for helping to make this happen. Again, I couldn't be happier. My very best wishes for your continued success. Sincerely," David Decker Falls Church, Virginia PWYH v.2.3 student

"Hey Chris, I already have both your courses, and I must admit I didn't realize how little I knew about guitar.. Ive been following your PWYH course for around 3 months now, and although im still putting the horizontal and vertical major scales in all keys (8 so far...) my playing truly has transformed.. Thankyou.. I will recomend your courses to anyone lookin to master the guitar, as I really believe I will have achieved this myself If I continue to follow your lessons.. Its nice to see a guitar course that tells it like it is.. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK.. Congratulations to you. You should be extremely proud of yourself and your courses, they are exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again,

Tim Shannon PWYH v.2.3 student
PS I think my pinkie might even be starting to listen to me also!! AWESOME course, Chris

"Hi Chris, your course and book are outstanding and that is coming from a player who has played for 32 years, and taught college history for the last 22 years and who has received awards and cash grants for developing college curriculum. In just a couple of weeks after using your course I can actually pick things out by ear, visualize scales and modes that other players are playing on CDs. This was something I had given up on as impossible for me until I used your course...it is the best I have found by far and this is after buying a medium sized library of jazz and guitar instructional books. Your course has opened up for me a universe of attattainable possibilities in terms of musicianship. For some the course might seem expensive, but it costs less than most boring college textbooks. Eric Mayer Ph.D. History CSUSB - PWYH 2.3 student.

"Hi Chris, I am making great progress with your 'Play What You Hear' jazz guitar course, the E Book format with sound makes it so convenient having everything in one place. I have been playing guitar for many years, mostly blues and country, and have always loved jazz guitar but just couldn't understand how to play it, so gave up each time I attempted it. Now, just six weeks after downloading your course, and putting in one to two hours per day, I understand how it all fits together and my playing is even starting to sound like jazz guitar should! Got a way to go yet, but I look forward to each session and the progress that I'm making gives me the encouragement to keep going. Thanks for a really great course, it's an absolute bargain and certainly the best money that I ever spent." Terry Croker England PWYH v.2.2 student

"Hey Chris, I thoroughly, enjoyed the CD's. I haven't even gone through a quarter of the information yet. This is not a learn guitar overnight crash course. This is solidifying the ground work upon which great music will be built. I love the fact that I'm learning tonal separations rather than just mindless patterns with no understanding of how they relate to anything. By forcing me to vocally imitate the scale degrees while I play made me realize how little I actually knew. I was way off, no wonder I could never "find" that note. Another byproduct of this method is I'm actually learning the fretboard for once too! It's gonna take a while but when I'm finished I'll have FINALLY got it. Thanks so much Chris, my stress levels have gone down and so has the intimidation factor. I've already turned all my guitar friends onto this method!" Jerrold Hewson PWYH 2.3 student

"The PWYH course is the best thing I've ever come across in donkey's years of trying to learn guitar (and I've tried just about everything). I've always wanted to learn jazz guitar but I don't read music (as yet) so the course has opened up a whole new world and I'm absolutely loving it. I also love just listening to the bits where you play some examples over the various changes. It's impossible to tell you how much fun this is for me. It's lifted a previously impenetrable barrier into a new world and it feels as if I've 'come home' musically. Surprise, surprise (but perhaps not) - my rock playing has improved no end too. Thanks!".
John Pritchard, PWYH v.2.2 student

"Hi Chris, Just got in. Good to hear from you. The course is fantastic. You've hit the nail on the head. In the beginning we as guitarists need to hear what we play not just let our fingers fly because we can. The great thing about your course is that you've covered al the material in a college course in a "few" pages. This course is good for the novice as well as the 'road dogs' out there who need the occasional wrap on the knuckles. 4 thumbs up! Keep pickin'!" Herbie Maitlandt PWYH v.2.2 student

"Chris - I think the step-wise approach and using the ear to find the major scale without looking at the fretboard or being locked into patterns is extremely helpful. I've been playing by pattern for years with modes, scales and arpeggios. Your exercises really forced me to use my ears. Now I'm starting to feel more freedom in improvising - and if I hear myself in a major scale sound I just go there by ear. It's a little scary because sometimes I find myself out there, not knowing where I just went. But then by the next chord I can find my way. Still some clinkers, and I've got a long way to go with the course, but this aspect has been really fun. The play along recordings are fantastic!" - Beau K. Rymers PWYH v.2.2 student

"Hi Chris, I just wanted to let you know that I think your customer service is outstanding! I have never seen a company or private distributor be as attentive to customers' needs and product and service quality as you have been!"- Nichole

"Hi Chris, Your lessons are really a breakthrough for me...all that stuff inside this program is what I'm looking for for a long, long time...As you know we Filipinos love music and guitar instrument. And I used to play professionally but my frustration to all those licks that you can buy on VHS really sucks. It gives you nothing. Now they are all in the dust bin. Lucky I browse the internet thorughly and was intrigued with "Play what You Hear" cause that's what I want to be! To play what I hear! Anyway all the best Chris, You are the kind of teacher I wanted. You give me not only lessons, but most importantly the "insight" on how you approach your guitar and hurdle stage by stage. Now I don't have any reason not to practice. Anyway your program gives me so much trouble with my wife!" Rio Singco PWYH v.2.2 student

"Hi Chris, I've been using your PWYH course as my main highway in learning jazz guitar and I just love it. I'm really learning a lot and I would like to thank you for your quick response to e-mails giving us valuable advice. I think that your "after-purchase customer service" is what makes your course outstanding aside from your outstanding teaching methods...heck...there are thousands of great guitar players...but very rare effective guitar teachers!" -
Dennis NG, PWYH v.2.2 course student

"Chris - I have to truly complement you on your course because as someone who has been collecting guitar methods dating back to 71 (Hompespun, Hot Licks, REH, Book/CD combos, videos, DVD's, and so much more) yours truly stands among the very best. Maybe if I had come across it sooner I wouldn't have had to buy every method I saw out there that only provided a piece of the overall puzzle.
Thanks again and I'm sure glad I gave your method a second look!" Edgar Villanueva PWYH v.2.1 course student

"The level of how thorough and deep your course is strips down all the illusions of 'knowing something' that players like me have or used to have. To be free you just have to know everything to the bare bones and forget about it. I believe in it and know your course will help me to achieve it. Beautiful and exactly what we need!" - Simon Luzny PWYH v.2.2 student

"Hi Chris,
I am about one-third along in Play What You Hear. I must tell you that PWYH is absolutely the best instructional series I have ever purchased--and I have bought them by the dozens! I compliment you on arranging the course in a logical, sequential manner. I especially like your Play Alongs and your fretboard chord/scale/embellishments visualization concepts. I love your "Hip Sway" album. Great tone and innovative style." - Dan Harvey PWYH 2.1 course student

"Hi Chris, your PWYH course has taught me more than an army of teachers and 11 years of practice. Not only is my playing improved but my appreciation and enjoyment of music (not to mention the range of influences I have garnered) has flourished beyond recognition. I have met a great many more people online who have been able to offer assistance, so part of my thanks must go to them, but it was your course that kick-started my understanding of what is needed. Flattery over!". David Wells PWYH v.2.2 course student.

"Chris - as far as the course I purchased from you is concerned, I think it's GRAND! It really gave me another perspective to look at the fretboard and, in general, at what is going on on it. Although I have been playing jazz as a gig guitarist for something like 15 years now, I can still find patterns and ideas in the course that I had never thought of before; it's really useful and brilliantly explanatory. Yiannis Dimitriadis, Athens Greece- PWYH v.2.1 student

"Chris - I love the tutor, since it addresses a lot of the challenges I'm facing at the moment (I'm stuck in Chord based Bebop land) . Unlike many other books (& believe me I've bought lots) its structured well, and the explanations are clear. Like lots of people I suspect, I've suffered from Guitar teachers who play well, but do not know how to structure information to aid comprehension. I also like the embedded musical examples - no need to find the CD that goes with the book ! Good work ! & thanks. Regards Jeff Holdgate PWYH 2.2 student

"Chris - I can't tell you how much I am enjoying "Play What You Hear". It is very understandable, and does not contain a lot of "fluff" that has to be waded through to get to the good stuff. I am very impressed with the material, and without doubt my playing abilities have truly improved. I am working diligently to learn the course, and know that my playing is only going to get better and better as I discipline myself to learn the material. Thank you for such a fine product. It is just what I needed to kick-start my playing to a higher level. Kind Regards" - Rick Buzzard PWYH v.2.1 student

"Chris, I would recommend the course as a great benefit to players at all levels, especially moderate players looking for rapid improvement." Best regards, Frank Andrewartha PWYH 2.1 course student

"Hi Chris - Thanks for following up on my purchase of your software. This is indeed a unique & innovative approach to playing jazz guitar. I have been struggling to remain interested in learning all the different modes & patterns which dictate a fairly rigid approach & does not promote use of the imagination to be creative & improvise. Your technique has made me realize that because I became bored with the traditional method I skipped lessons & tried to learn from lesson areas which were too advanced for my stage of knowledge & technique. I have started your program from the beginning i.e. back to basics which is giving me a better understanding & enjoyment of playing jazz. At the moment I spend about 40 minutes per night on your program, I am going to increase this to one hour soon, as I find I am progressing well. Thanks" - Charles Gromek PWYH v.2.1 student

"Hello Chris! The guitar course is great. I've been playing guitar for approximately 20 years and after purchasing your course (money well spent) I now think of the guitar in a whole different light. I see and hear the fretboard in a whole new manner. I can honestly recommend this course to anyone looking to play jazz guitar or anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the instrument. You're a great teacher!!! Cheers, Tommy Hart PWYH v.2.1 student

"Hi Chris, I have had a little look through the first half of your program so far and I think it's fantastic. It's probably one of the most logical ways to look at the guitar. I think stringed instruments are probably one of the hardest to learn because of the amount of possible ways to play eveything and your course shows how to deal with this problem Thankyou for the inspiration!" - Toby Hack, PWYH v.2.1 student

"Chris, this is a great course you've put together. I've only worked throught the 1st section so far, but I can already feel a huge difference - I'm one of the many 'post-indie-rock' guitarists that got by for years on innovative tones and sounds but never made it out of that comfort zone. This course is definitely teaching me to step outside of the box. Congrats on developing this course and I'm promoting it to my skeptical 'too-cool-for mainstream' indie-rock friends. After they hear me though, I'm sure they'll change their tune"
- John Hong PWYH v.2.1 student

"Chris - I am, indeed, enjoying the learning process of your "Play What You Hear" CD. I am also trying to place emphasis on vocalizing the lines, i.e.: at "Back cycling turnaround", and am working through a few pages a day. I'm at 95 today. I really like the many choices of melodic patterns to work from and will spend much more future time on each, after I work through the remaining pages. And, I really like that each pattern has both an example played by you and several turnarounds by a small combo that I can practice those patterns to. The "And now to the music" chapter looks inviting, indeed.

I can see that the structure here is very precise and germane to the process of playing jazz on guitar, and is easy to remember. Of course, the student, me, has to put in the time, over and over. But even practice can be as easily structured by anyone working on this course because of the easy "browser" access to any page in the entire lesson. Just make a note of the page you were at yesterday and go back there today. Or, having been through the course, use the guide on the left hand side of the page to return to a section you would like to work on. It's really a life's work, and it seems to be all there for review. A great course, and well worth the study by any guitarist wishing to learn how to create those single note lines over chord changes in jazz tunes". Regards, George West PWYH v.2.1 student

"Chris - I'm finding the course to be simply outstanding! I would consider myself an experienced player (20 years+) I can generally play anything I hear with little practice, however- I always felt I lacked strength in some very important fundamentals, which you address- the ability to really HEAR the notes, and to make every note have value and importance in their relationship to each other. I'm working the course from the very start, but I love the structure of being able to move to various sections to study and jump around as the interest hits me. Because I don't have a ton of time on my hands, this type of structure is very helpful.

Playing along to the chords is a great help, and really forces me to hear the notes and work on anticipating/understanding the changes. The course does not lack in any area that I have studied - it is an incredible tool, and I plan to refer to it as long as I'm playing the guitar.

I'm convinced that this program has already dramatically changed my thinking and approach to playing, but that it will also take me to new levels of understanding and success as I study it more. This course is not a snack - it's a full course meal, and was just what I was looking for but could not find in any instructional programs I examined". - Paul Pazienzo PWYH v. 2.1 student

"Chris - Your approach to gaining a full understanding and fluency of the guitar finger board is second to none. I say this because those dark areas of the fret board that challenged me and in as many ways restricted my freedom of expression, have now started to be removed by my diligently following your very clear and concise charts and grids as well as the exercises contained in them. I say this to all guitarists both professional and novice , you need this book, and you need to put away for a little while say at least 3 months, any other theory book and patiently study Chris Standring's method. You will come out benefiting with great technique, a better and more intimate understanding of the guitar fret board and by extension a full command of your axe that will afford you the freedom of expression that is so necessary for creative jazz improvisation. Kindest Regards, Stanley Ruiz , Guitar Tutor

"In my experience yours is the only course that really addresses ear training along with melodic development in the context of specific harmony. The more usual approach is to just assign a mode/scale/arpeggio based on the chord and key (if even that is addressed) and trust to luck. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have someone endorse the idea of actually being melodic and then back it up with a concrete plan to get there. I'm very impressed with your work and it has been very effective for me. I find it very pleasant to work on the course. Regards, Bobo PWYH v.21. course student.

I wanted to let you know how much I love your course! I've been taking it very seriously and working quite hard, but all that work has been painless, a) because of all the method books, etc. I've bought over the last three decades, I feel that yours is the only one that truly gets to the point of what it is we're all trying to do with our instruments, and b) because it feels as though the benefits I reap from the work keep expanding exponentially. Just at the right time, I happened on your wonderful program and I feel that the results I've already gleaned have been truly astounding. I can't thank you enough!" Robert Ithaca, New York - PWYH v.2.0 student.

"PWYH is great, I am really enjoying it, and taking my time with each part. It has added a considerable amount of fuel to the fire for me, and my playing has opened up already (and I really am still just beginning with it, although I have read ahead on numerous occasions.) I think the biggest benefit from the early exercises is that I am becoming fearless in my movement around the fretboard, and I enjoy trying to traverse the frets in odd and interesting ways, and with a 90% success rate at that! It beats twiddling my thumbs in a few box and extended box patterns. It feels like advancing from treading water in the shallow end cautious not to get in over my head, to doing the breaststroke into the middle of the ocean, it's very liberating. I love PWYH!! Thanks a lot!" -Travis Roberts PWYH v.2.0 student.

"Hi Chris, I have to say that I was impressed with your course. The way it is laid out is very logical and it has helped me fill in some gaps that I really didn't know I had until I started to get into jazz . The single string approach to learning the fretboard is a much faster and easier way then I learned it. Also the way you think about harmony is very straight forward and easy to grasp. Thanks for a very good product, I will use it for many years to come!" - Fred Scofield, PWYH v.2.0 student

"I continue to work on PWYH, and I am constantly amazed at the effect these exercises have had on my ability to hear a note before I play it. I've begun to realize that the biggest thing that was holding me back in learning to improvise was that I truly didn't know my instrument well enough. PWYH has certainly set me in the right direction." - Barbara Cuvier PWYH v.2.0 student

"Chris - I've studied with several instructors, and worked through at least 23 different books and I can say without a doubt that the unique and effective approach of your course is untouched by anything I've ever worked with. Your course is more than a bargain - it's a dynamic process that has already begun to transform my playing to a much better place - and your prompt attentiveness to one of your 'students' is part of what makes that transformation so effective. Thank you so much!" - Larry Feinstein PWYH v.2.0 student

"So far I really like what I am seeing. I am learning and retaining a lot more than I ever have taking live lessons from somone. You have produced a wonderful way to teach jazz guitar. I only hope it is profitable for you! I have a life goal of being the best jazz guitarist I can be and PWYH 2.0 is helping me get there. There is a lot of material here and it is taking me a while to go through it. Overall this is a wonderful package and I appreciate you making it available." - Alan Hoops PWYH v.2.0 student

"Hello Chris, This is just what the guitar doctor ordered. I had been, until recently, attending a well known music school in Hollywood, and I just couldn't take the patterns anymore. I think it's better to try and sound musical as opposed to sounding like a scale player. I've always had this philosophy regarding any education: It's not how fast you get through the material that counts, but how much of the material can get through to you. Guitar playing is a life long pursuit that can't be taught in 1 year at a school. That's just baby food. Your course provides enough "meat" to last years and at a fraction of a fraction of the cost of that school. It's made studying guitar fun again without feeling like a chore. At my pace, on my time, without worthless tests or a piece of paper at the end that says I'm now a qualified guitar player. Thanks, George Stevenson PWYH v.2.0 student. (p.s. Private instruction is still pretty important though.)

"Hi Chris, I'm getting stuck into your 'Play What You Hear' course and I have to say it's the best 50 quid I've spent on tuition!" - Wayne Scott PWYH v.2.0 student

"I have bought a few good jazz books over the years but none of them have been able to actually grab my attention and get me motivated to make a comittment to take my studies any further in the way that yours has. Since getting this course now I can actually see a proper direction to head in and all I've got to say to you is a very big 'Thanks' for making the effort in putting this together, I am sure there's a lot of fellow guitarists out there who will agree. Additionally, the web browser based 'interactive' format in which it is presented, goes to make this course heads above anything else I have been able to find out there. Please keep up the good work!" - Michael Paul Maitland PWYH v. 2.0 student

"Yes, I am making headway. I guess what I really like is that your course feels 'real'. So many of us (me) spend so much time looking for a magic pill. A magic pill that will help us avoid the obvious hard work required to get anywhere. You've outlined several key elements that I certainly feel are necessary. If I can just keep plugging along, and not get side-tracked, I'm sure your course is going to be extremely helpful. Thanks for your course." Steve, Tulsa PWYH v.2.0 student

"The PWYH course you have created is exceptionally well thought out in my humble opinion. I've spent most of my time digesting the information, the lessons and illustrations are laid out quite clearly, not to mention the pristine audio examples. This wealth of knowlege you have laid out and formulated so well can't help but take a jazz enthusiast to the next level. One of the greatest assets I personally love, is the fact that the course is portable, meaning that I travel extensivly, as long as I have my Axe with me, an audio source, and the printed lessons and charts I can practise anywhere at any time. The downloadable MP3s of the lessons and lines are played constantly in my vehicle as I travel, this helps tremendously in firmly implanting the rhythms and melody lines visually and aurally in one's head on the lesson being worked on. Aces Chris, Thanks!" RK WELLS Toronto ON. Canada - PWYH v.20 course student.

"Chris, I am very impressed with your integrative approach to teaching, especially using multimedia to its highest for learning. You have touched upon very important concepts that may be overlooked by many teachers. One of the greatest things that you show is the importance of tension and release with your notes while still maintaining the MELODY. Also I think your CD will help the player develop their hearing which is especially important when one improvises. Also with this approach you're still allowing them to creatively explore new ideas and theories where the sky is the limit. Above all music should be fun and you instill this into every lesson." - Justin Briggs PWYH V.2.0 student

"Hi Chris, I am getting on great with the course thanks, it is really well laid out and the audio clips are what makes this course better than any of the others I have tried. It is so much easier to click on a link rather than play a CD over and over, also I like the fact that it doesn't interfere with my other practice routines and I can go along at my own pace, thanks again Chris it is excellent value." Steven Embray, PWYH v.20 student

More testimonials and student reviews

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