Yesterday I signed up for the new Hear and Play Jazz Intensive Training Center program. I must say that I’m very impressed with it and look forward to picking up quite a few new techniques along with a having a new source of inspiration. I have been a member of the GMTC ( Gospel Musicians Training Center ) for almost two years now and have enjoyed it immensely. These Hear and Play online training programs I cannot recommend highly enough, so if you’re on the fence you definitely should give it a try.
So far I can’t comment on any problems with the program or website. On occasion it can be slow, but I have elected to download the video and that works the best for me. I am then able to scrub the video to any point of instruction and learn faster than just viewing online. You also get the PDF transcript, MP3 file, and a place to write comments about the material for the week. As each week passes, a new video is unlocked so you cannot view all 52 weeks beforehand. You have to take the program for 52 weeks in order to get 52 videos, but honestly that is fine with me for now. There also looks to be a bi-weekly Q&A training session which might be via phone or chat session, not sure.
Video quality is good but you don’t get the highlighted keys which might bother a few. I’m used to that with GMTC, but I understand it was a bit more difficult putting together the material for the Jazz Intensive Training Center so I’ll adjust. Like I said above, downloading the video and viewing it offline helps greatly to make up for the lack of highlighted keys. ( Not trying to be picky, but the highlighted keys do make a world of difference for some. ) The audio quality is good and the view of the keyboard is great as depicted in the screenshot above. Note that I’ve only seen the first video. Perhaps later in the series the video quality and/or highlighted keys will magically appear. My review of the videos are based soley on the video for week one.
I also find the Jazz content to be excellent so far. This is very subjective of course and one’s opinion will greatly be based on your Jazz playing level or interest. There are no split levels in the course so you take what you need and come back to the advance stuff when you are able to work with it. I think James Wrubel does a FANTASTIC job of repeating and clearly explaining all of the material. I think Hear and Play has been pretty successful in mapping out the material across all levels.
With that said, I’d say intermediate level jazz keyboardists “may” benefit more from the Jazz Intensive Training Center. It’s still too early to tell and perhaps as I progress I’ll comment more on the level of the content. Another quick point is that the material seems to center on improv rather than learning Jazz standards. I rather like this as I’m more into improv, but for those looking to learn a specific Jazz Standard, the Jazz Intensive Training Cente might not be what you are looking for just yet, however, the elements of jazz songs I’m sure will be there.
You can find more info about the Hear and Play Jazz Intensive Training Program here: http://www.hearandplay.com/jitc/
Please feel free to comment or ask questions if you like about the program. I have a lot of experience with GMTC and of course the Jazz Intensive Training Program is new, but so far I really like and enjoy it. GMTC is a definite MUST if you are into Gospel songs and grooves. Hoepfully JITC ( Jazz Intensive Training Center ) will be similar. Right now I give the Hear and Play Jazz Intensive Training Center a big thumbs UP!!!
Great job! – Jim
Here is a video of James Wrubel explaining about how to Play Runs Over Multiple Chords. It gives you a great idea of his style of instruction and play. Enjoy!