30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing

Accelerate your jazz skills with a focused, goal-oriented practice plan.

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So you want to become a better jazz musician, but more often than not you find yourself completely lost. There’s too much information out there, jazz seems to be too difficult, and you just don’t know where to start.

Most of the time you feel overwhelmed. Your practice sessions are disorganized and you’re just not improving as quickly as you want to. You feel like you’re wasting your precious time.

I totally get it. I’m Brent Vaartstra (that’s me above!), and I’ve been there before. You see, when I first started studying jazz, it was at the end of high school.

I wanted so badly to study jazz in college, but I just couldn’t get any scholarship money. Basically, they were saying “Hey, Brent, we’ll take your money, but you’re not talented enough to invest in.”

It was true. My jazz skills were lagging behind, and I needed a jump start. I struggled to keep up with my more experienced friends at jam sessions.

Thankfully, a mentor of mine convinced me to study with him for a year, and work on a focused, goal-oriented practice plan.

And guess what? That was the best thing that could ever have happened to my jazz playing and music in general.

Not because I had time to practice, but because I learned what to practice, and how to practice in a way that produces real results.

The happy ending is the next year I did go to college, they gave me money, I moved to New York and completed my studies.

Now I’m a professional jazz musician, educator, author, and own a renowned jazz education blog and podcast. I’m living my dream.

Now, your dreams and aspirations may not be the same as mine. Jazz may just be a hobby for you, which is awesome. But I do know that we have one thing in common: we want to become better jazz musicians.

You need a focused, goal-oriented jazz practice plan.

That’s exactly why I created my jazz practicing course, 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing (2.0).

I want to take out all of the guesswork for you. I want to lead you down a path of focused, goal-oriented practicing where you will be working on the stuff that will actually move the needle in your jazz playing.

I call these “The Big 3” things you need to be practicing in order to accelerate your jazz skills.

You can’t do it alone. You need guidance, and you need community.

What you will achieve:

Step-by-step, you will have accomplished these main course goals.

Learn 2-4 jazz standards. Including 4 key Improv Lessons.

Learn 1-2 entire jazz solos by ear. Using a batching method for real internalization.

Learn 2-4 jazz licks in all 12 keys. Over important chord progressions.

Practice technical exercises during each session. Specific patterns to improve flexibility.

You’ll never have to wonder what to practice, or how to do it. I spell it out for you and hold your hand throughout the process.

I don’t want you to continue to waste your time on aimless practice or waste your money on music lessons that don’t give you an actual plan to improve.

I guarantee that by the end of this course you will have experienced real improvement in your jazz playing.

Don’t take my word for it.

Hundreds of students have enrolled in this course, and here are what some alumni and current students have to say!

“30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing has been great for me! It’s helped me sit down at my piano more often with a clears sense of direction, without feeling overwhelmed. 30 Steps allows me to practice at my own speed and makes me improve step-by-step without ever feeling stuck or lost.”

-Joyce from Paris, piano/trumpet

“The thing I love about 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing is the emphasis on the importance of how and what to practice. This course made me a smarter musician, and now I have the tools to self-organize efficient practice. I think this course is a game-changer for me!

-Francis from Quebec, guitar

“I have always wanted to play jazz piano and I have purchased every instruction book there is.  This course is the first time I have really understood. The first time information was presented in a logical and understandable way. I never write these kinds of things, but this is a great program!”

-Dr. Paul from Florida, piano

Here’s what you get:

Hours of video and audio lessons and guidance. I’m on the journey with you, taking you through it step-by-step.

A community to help motivate and inspire you. You will post assignments I give on the Community Discussion Board to give and receive constructive feedback from others.

Two learning “Path” choices. Choose to take a heavier or lighter workload depending on your skill level or schedule.

A 66-page pdf Exercise Book, for C, Bb, Eb and Bass Clef instruments, containing all Improv Lessons and exercises.

Download folder with tons of audio examples and backing tracks for all of the material in the course.

Trackable progress, to help you visually see how much you have left to go, which can help drive motivation.

All with an affordable price tag.

If you wanted to take a college music course, you could spend thousands of dollars. If you wanted to take private lessons with me to cover the same material, it would cost thousands. But my former course student says it pretty well:

“I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing course! It really is the ticket to improving many of the nuances and intricacies of playing jazz. On top of this, you get 30 lessons with the course. I don’t know of any teacher that would charge less than $30 per lesson so the math makes it easy to show a pretty good deal. Thanks again!”

-John from Wisconsin, guitar

John is right. Except…I don’t charge $30 a lesson. I charge $100 a lesson. You can do the math. But even if we tried to cram everything into only 15 lessons, it would still cost $1,500. Then, just for fun, let’s pretend I decide to be generous and cut my rate in half…still $750.

I’m offering all of this at a fraction of the price because I believe in this course, and want you and others to become a part of it.

And if you want a little extra help…

I offer a few higher-level packages that include one or both of these:

Personalized video critiques. You’ll get a limited number of assignments you can email me where I’ll send you a video response to help you improve.

One 45-minute coaching call. We’ll schedule a Skype call within the first 1-3 weeks after starting your course for further guidance. My time is limited and scarce, so this is for very serious students only.

It’s time to get started!

Your journey towards better jazz playing is about to begin.

30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Until Practice Journal Bonus Expires
Basic Course Access
$197
  • Lifetime access
  • 66 page pdf Exercise book and audio examples
  • Course community
  • 4 module practice plan
Premium Course Access (Recommended)
$247
  • All of the Basic plus...
  • 2 instructor video critiques
  • $35 discount code for additional backing tracks
VIP Course Access
$400
  • All of the Premium plus...
  • One 45 minute coaching call (booked first 1-3 weeks. For serious students only.)
30-day-money-back

I’m so confident you’re going to love 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing, that I’m willing to do something that puts me at risk. I’m making a guarantee: a 30-Day, 100% Money-Back Guarantee.

  • If you’ve gone through this course and have done the work, yet don’t feel like you’ve gotten value from it, send me an email, show me you did the work, and I’ll refund all of your money* (I’ll even eat the credit-card processing fees). Me and the LJS team believe in this course and we’ll take responsibility for it.

*Refunds not offered at VIP access after coaching call.

Who should take this course?

This course isn’t for everybody. If you already do everything this course teaches and are happy with your progress, this might not be for you. But this course is for those who:

Want a structured practice plan.

Want guidance and community for support.

Are willing to put in the practice time.

Want to improve faster and get results.

Join other students getting results!

Stop wasting time and money. Invest in a practice program that works.

George Lancaster

“The course is terrific, the materials and concepts excellent. It’s called “30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing,” but the materials and ideas provided are forever.”

-Andy from Washington, saxophone

Andy Geiger
Patrick O Hare

Still have questions? Here are some answers: 

If you are new to jazz and are looking to get some skills, this is absolutely a great course for you! As long as you know how to play your instrument, you are good to go. If you are new to learning songs and solos by ear, it might present a challenge for you. But that’s a good thing and it will only get easier.

Absolutely, but it depends on what you want to get out of the course. The main idea of the course is to provide a practice plan, with guidance and community, working on the right things for jazz improvement. Most students say the top benefit of the course is giving them that structure.

This is stuff pro’s continually practice, so the material is beneath nobody. But make sure your desired outcomes align with the premise of the course.

How quickly you move through it is mostly up to how much time you can invest, and your current experience level. You will have lifetime access and can start and stop anytime. However, I do suggest that if you take this course you should commit to some level of consistency.

Students who consistently practice for at least 3-4 hours a week can complete it in 2-3 months. Shorter than it would take to complete a college course.

Keep in mind, you will get lifetime access and there is no start or end date. You can take this course at your own pace. I don’t recommend a specific amount of required hours, but I find that those that can commit to at least of 3-4 hours a week have the most success. It’s more important to be consistent than practice long hours.

If you are a harmonic or melodic instrument, yes! Even singers can take this course, especially if you want to improvise. The material isn’t instrument specific, as these are things all jazz musicians work on. If you are a drummer, I would not recommend taking this course, as the material isn’t catered to percussion instruments.

30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing is truly a unique course in both the online and offline world. This course is one-of-a-kind in that it is a comprehensive practice program that has you working on the important aspects of developing jazz improv skills. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything quite like it.

Not to mention, our students’ raving reviews speak for themselves!

When you start taking the course you will have email access to me where you will be able to send me audio or videos of you completing assignments I give you. You can also just send me videos of you improvising over one of the jazz standards you are learning.

You can send these to me while you are working on the course, and I’ll do my best to send you a video response within 3-4 business days as my schedule allows.

We will book your coaching call within the first 1-3 weeks after your course enrollment. It must be booked within the first month unless the instructor is unable to do so. I want to assess your skills right away and help you get set up for success.

It’s important to realize that if you were to take even an unaccredited college music course you could spend over $1,000 dollars. If you wanted to take private lessons with me or someone else, you would also spend thousands to get the same guidance and framework. This course is being offered at a fraction of those prices, in fact, it doesn’t even compare. Studies have also shown that those who are willing to sacrifice and invest in their education, usually take it much more seriously than those who don’t. So really, this deal is a no-brainer.

For the VIP package, my time is limited and scarce. I rarely do private lessons these days. This is only for students who are extra serious about this course and know they need that one-on-one time for extra help.

  1. Technique: you need to develop flexibility and skills on your instrument. The more ability you have, the easier and freer you will be to improvise.
  2. Jazz Repertoire: you need to learn jazz standards. The tunes will teach you everything you need to know about harmony and how to improvise over them.
  3. Jazz Language: you need to be listening to and mimicking great jazz musicians. This is how you learn to improvise like a jazz musician.

Absolutely, this course isn’t for everyone. First and foremost, if you are not willing or don’t have the time to practice, this course is not for you. If you are someone who already feels great about your jazz practicing and feels good about your progress, you may not need the help of this course. If you consider yourself an advanced jazz player, this course could still be great for you, but if you feel like you already practice the core material on a regular basis, you might want to pass up on it. Be sure to read up on the main course goals, and make sure it’s a fit for you.

Absolutely, you have lifetime access to the course and can login and start at any time. However, if you wish to order the VIP package, wait until you have time. I only book coaching calls within the first 1-3 weeks after enrollment.

I’ll be sending you detailed instructions in an email, so no need to worry! But you will log in to your account at learnjazzstandards.com and find your course access there.

You’re making a great decision!

I’ll see you on the other side.

Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Until Practice Journal Bonus Expires
Basic Course Access
$197
  • Lifetime access
  • 66 page pdf Exercise book and audio examples
  • Course community
  • 4 module practice plan
Premium Course Access (Recommended)
$247
  • All of the Basic plus...
  • 2 instructor video critiques
  • $35 discount code for additional backing tracks
VIP Course Access
$400
  • All of the Premium plus...
  • One 45 minute coaching call (booked first 1-3 weeks. Serious students only.)