Play What You Hear

customer rating:

Score: 8/10 (34 votes)

Play What You Hear is a self-study course for jazz guitar. It was created by Chris Standring, a jazz guitarist and recording artist who has already recorded 8 individual albums (his latest CD is entitled Love & Paragraphs) and has featured as a guest on many others. With "Play What You Hear" course, Chris Standring wanted to give aspiring jazz musicians an effective, practical and easy-to-understand approach to improving their jazz improvisation skills. The ultimate goal of this course is, as the title suggests, to have you become a musician that can ‘play what you hear'.

The course covers everything, from recognizing sounds against harmonies, playing melodies up and down the fretboard, learning how to construct even the most advanced jazz chords (without having to memorize all of the shapes), completely familiarizing yourself with the fretboard, so you can play anywhere you like without having to look down at the guitar neck, and be able to hear things that you were never able to hear before... In fact, Chris Standring promises that this course alone will give you enough jazz guitar instructions to last you the next 15 years.

You can get Play What You Hear course on a CD, shipped to your doorstep, or you can simply download it to your computer. To choose the option best suited for you, visit the product's website.

Price: $97.00
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Clear and easy to follow course
posted this review on February 22, 2014

It’s a very easy to follow course and very clear. But your musical aptitude must be high to get it, I think. If you have no knowledge about music at all, it might be hard for you and getting a formal music course might still be better. I’d been playing the trombone for 3 years when I tried this so I already had musical knowledge back then.

This has something for different levels
Peter Rulie (from Calgary, Canada) posted this review on February 1, 2014

There is still some room for improvement, but the product is pretty good. I just got it and I’ve already seen most of the content. I was a little bit skeptical because of some negative reviews, but it all depends on what you need and how you work as a musician. When I first saw the content, I wondered how it can let me learn how to play by ear, but when I started applying it and practicing, I realized that it really got easier for me to figure out how to play certain pieces by ear alone. But you still need a lot of practice to master this. I wouldn’t say that this is a one-click solution to learning how to play by ear, but it does help. Another positive thing I noticed about Play What You Hear is that it’s something even beginners will surely understand. I know a lot of new musicians, and some of them are already using this course, and they’ve made a lot of positive reviews about it. It’s got something for everyone, but it still all depends on how much time and effort you want to invest in your training because the problem with online courses is that you dictate your own pace. You won’t have a coach or an instructor to push you to do what you need to do.

Misleading Title?
posted this review on December 16, 2013

Although this is a good package for beginners, 'Play What You Hear' is a misleading title. The package really just contains information on scale choices and licks over certain chords sequences common to jazz standards. There are some examples of Chris playing over the 'Stella' progression or 'Blue Bossa' changes that are quite useful but there is no information that you can't find in say Mark Levine's 'Jazz Theory Book' in more detail and for a fraction of the price...those of you looking for a 'Holy Grail' of playing what you are actually hearing will be disappointed....

This made me a lot more confident in my skills
posted this review on December 13, 2013

I’ve gained confidence since I started learning from Mr. Standring’s course. The man knows everything I needed to know. All the questions I got in my head before were answered by this course. I think this is good for both late beginners and intermediate jazz guitar players. The best thing about this course is that it’s specific. If you are already sure that you want to play jazz, this is what you need. It’s not like other courses that are just general guitar playing courses. This is the only course I used when I was learning how to improvise. I tried learning on my own for a few months, but then I found this affordable course with many positive reviews, so I gave it a shot. I was right to trust this guide. Mr. Standring is amazing not just because of the way he plays but also because of the way he teaches. He’s an excellent musician, and this work is really impressive.

This course is highly recommended
posted this review on October 18, 2013

Chris’s jazz guitar playing techniques are great. These are basic jazz playing techniques which you can use to build your own style. As a fan of jazz guitar, I’ve already established how I want to play long before I decided to take this course. I’ve taken two other jazz guitar courses, by the way, which are a live course, and another online course. I found both of them to be a bit lacking. I only had 3 sessions with my live course (and spent a hell lot of money for them), and then I didn’t even complete half of the other course I had. They were difficult to grasp because I found them disorganized, both of them. It’s like you got one lesson now and then one set of drills, but before you know it you’re already on to another set of practice drills. I like how Chris organized his course. It’s very smooth-flowing, and I didn’t find myself wondering, how did I get here? Like I did with most others. The last thing I like about this is that it allows you to have your own style as a musician. You will not be limited to Chris’ style. That’s one of the most common problems when you have live classes. Your instructor will probably impose his own style on you. Since Chris is doing this for everyone in general, he allows you do discover your own playing style. All in all, this has been a great experience for me, very enjoyable, and I really learned a lot. I highly recommend Chris and his course to everyone.

Chris is very generous
posted this review on September 14, 2013

Playing jazz guitar is more difficult than other genres. I started playing the guitar at the age of 12. I’ve taught myself most of the styles out there, but when I tried learning jazz guitar on my own, I failed. I tried a lot of different jazz guitar guides both free and paid. I joined a forum for jazz guitar players, but most of them were just full of air, and a lot of the good ones didn’t want to waste time on a newbie like me. They couldn’t get anything from me in return, so why would they waste time teaching me? They were friendly alright, but aside from telling me how awesome they could play, they didn’t share anything much. Getting into formal jazz guitar lessons also wasn’t an option for me because I couldn’t pay for it. I tried 3 sessions, then didn’t come back because I felt like I was throwing away an awful lot of money only to be told to do this drill and then that. It thought I was just gonna have to give up my jazz guitar dreams when Chris came along. Here is a credible jazz guitar player and instructor willing to share his knowledge for such a low price. If I were Chris, I would offer this at a much higher price because of its quality. Since I started with Chris’ course, I’ve been able to play more complicated jazz pieces effortlessly. I don’t struggle anymore, it just flows smoothly like in other styles. I really thank Chris for helping spread this guitar playing style through his course.

It's a very good alternative to having a real jazz guitar teache
posted this review on July 4, 2013

This is no doubt the best jazz guitar course you will see on the internet. I think you’ll be surprised with how Chris teaches jazz guitar in his course. It’s so different from others. I trusted this because I know Chris’ work, and I thought he wouldn’t put his name on this course if it weren’t sure it was awesome. It will also put his career as a musician in trouble wouldn’t it? I have now improved my playing a lot, although it’s still so far from Chris’ level. My point is that if you’re gonna trust an online course to teach you how to do something, you’d better look for one with a real person behind it, and a popular name at that. For me, 70 dollars isn’t bat at all for a jazz guitar course from a real jazz musician.

This is an awesome learning technique
posted this review on June 9, 2013

It’s a great learning technique. Chris’s approach is so much better than my teacher’s when I was learning how to play the guitar through a formal music class. I only lasted 3 weeks there because I really didn’t like my teacher. With Chris’s guidance everything got a lot easier.

Proud to be Chris' product
posted this review on May 23, 2013

Trust no other teacher than Chris when it comes to jazz guitar. He’s both an awesome player and an awesome teacher, and there’s a good reason why his course is getting such rave reviews. I’m definitely happy to be one of his products, cause I already have a few playing gigs, and I’m getting positive feedback too!

The best guitar course online
posted this review on March 18, 2013

Chris’ Play What You Hear is the best guitar course I’ve seen on the internet. Too bad it only comes in jazz. Chris is a gifted teacher, and he managed to teach me through his course and through email support. He’s a real guy and he replies to emails. Not that quick, but he does reply, and he’s generous when it comes to additional tips and tricks. I think he’s just that passionate in jazz guitar. I’ve got nothing but praises for his course, and I hope he comes up with more guitar courses. The internet needs more high-quality products like this one.

Chris is a very good teacher
Mike Matters (from York, USA) posted this review on February 21, 2013

I’ve worked with a lot of guitar teachers in the past when I was in college, and I’ve also tried a lot of guitar courses online and offline, but this is the most useful, most detailed and most clearly explained among the ones I’ve tried. Chris is a very detailed teacher. He makes sure that you understand each point before moving on. While practice is very important when it comes to learning and playing the guitar, theory also provides a solid foundation for guitar players. Play What You Hear clarified a lot of things about playing that confused me for years. For some reason, practice got a lot easier and more productive after I learned Chris’ method. I am a member of an amateur jazz band, and they were all shocked with my improvement in just a week. It’s possible if you take Chris’ method seriously and practice a lot. I am really impressed with Chris and I’m pretty sure you’ll be too.

You will be more passionate about music because of this
Brianna Dawson (from Yarmouth, USA) posted this review on February 13, 2013

Chris’ course is extremely detailed. You will learn how to play step-by-step. You won’t feel like you’re learning alone because most of your questions are answered in the course. I’m a self-taught jazz guitarist, but after a while of practicing day in and day out, I couldn’t think of anything new to learn. His ear training program including the practice drills are really innovative. I bet you can find a lot of free or cheap courses on the internet these days, but I assure you, they’re nowhere as good as Chris’. Another thing I like about this course is that it’s filled with passion. It’s obviously made with love, so you have no choice but to get drawn to it. I find myself rushing from work everyday so I can train with Chris. I have played in front of friends who also noticed the improvements. This is definitely a big contribution to music and I commend Chris for coming up with such a great product.

Awesome cours... I learned a lot
posted this review on February 3, 2013

Play What You Hear is a very easy to follow course with some of the best playing techniques and practice drills I’ve ever seen. I have several courses in here, and this is among the ones that I really recommend. Chris has made a name for himself in jazz, and here he proves that he can also teach. I’m not sure if he has a formal jazz guitar school but if there is, then this will be a good alternative if you can’t go there for any reason. The course is so clear and organized that you will really feel like there’s a real coach guiding you. It made me more interested in playing because I’m now able to do stuff I wasn’t able to before. This really made it possible for me to jump from being an absolute beginner to advanced playing status. It’s awesome and I recommend this course to everyone.

Perfect for self-taught jazz musicians
posted this review on December 30, 2012

A lot of naturally talented musician can play songs just by listening to them. I’m just a self-taught guitarist, and I’m not naturally talented in music, so I had difficulties playing songs that I hear. I wanted to learn it so badly, so I tried practicing on my own. When I found Play What You Hear, I realized that there are some steps you should follow if you want to learn how to play by ear. It’s not what I thought it was. The only downside here is that it only works for jazz. There are some techniques you can use for all genres but the techniques are mostly for jazz. But once you learn the basics it will be easy for you to improve on your skills like I’m doing right now. The techniques will give you the most out of your practice time.

If you want to take your love for jazz to the next level
posted this review on August 14, 2012

I agree that this course is perfect for beginners. It covers everything you need to know to get started, and it’s complete, so you won’t have to go searching for courses on YouTube. It’s worth investing on especially if you want to learn quickly. I believe these are things you can learn through years of practice, but for an investment of less than a hundred dollars, you can learn everything in a few months, so it’s really worth the money. I also like that it has a goal, which is to help budding musicians learn how to play a certain piece of music just by listening to it. Since I started from 0, I still have a bit of work to do to get to that level, but I can feel myself improving, so I just keep going. I recommend learning from Chris if you are a jazz fan who wants to take your love for music to the next level.

more than enough for the beginner
Samuel (from Worcester, USA) posted this review on July 8, 2012

I’m a fan of jazz music, and I like Christopher Standring as a musician. What I didn’t know back then was that he’s also a remarkable music teacher. I got this course to see how he fares in the teaching field, and I have to say he does so well! I am still at beginner level, but I find his lessons easy to understand. I’m still a bit slow as I’m not taking formal music classes, but I’m doing really well with the help of this course. For those who want more advanced lessons, I think simply taking a course like this won’t be enough. A formal music class would be advisable in that case. But for those who are just starting out, this course is more than enough.


The best lessons I ever had in such...

...a short amount of time! The CD has greatly improved my understanding of jazz and sight reading and improvising and knowing the fretboard in ways I never thought possible. It's really given me a big boost of confidence.

Steven Kunoth

Play What You Hear - PWYH Review

I love the course. So far it's great. My wife couldn't believe the difference in my playing after just one day!

Kevin Long

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