The greatest barrier to learning is stress.
When we were young, we learned our native tongue in a relaxed environment. An environment free from anxiety, stress, and fear of failure.
Given simple words and phrases, we learned by doing. As an older (and wiser) musician once taught me: "Experience first. Then comes explanation."
Mistakes were never considered failure. They were part of the game. And every piece of new information opened up a new world of possibilities. Believe it or not, our brains still work best this way.
The Conversational Jazz Course returns us to these essentials of true learning. Over the eight-week course, I'll retrace my own steps to learning jazz with you, and show you how to make this music your own.
I'll walk you through the very same steps that I took to learn jazz from the ground up
(no metronome or sheet music required)
TRY IT FREE FOR 7 DAYS
During this course, I'll retrace the steps I took to learn this music (believe it or not, it took me twenty years to take the plunge—the fear is real), and created this online course to help you get the results you want.
When I first tried learning jazz, I looked everywhere for guidance. Textbooks were of little help; memorizing scales and patterns was useless without context, which is rarely given. Jazz sheet music (yes, it's actually a thing) was the dead end of all dead ends. Listening to jazz recordings was helpful—to a point. What are you supposed to do with an Oscar Peterson solo when he's playing sixteenth notes at 80 miles per hour?
It wasn’t until I hit the restaurants, bars, and local street corners that I started to discover the best way for me to learn, which became the same method I'll use to teach you.
Over the years, I've used these principles to teach others and have seen them achieve remarkable success learning the genre. They start out thinking they’ll need years of formal training, but within a matter of weeks, they're riffing and creating their own renditions of their favorite tunes.
And now it's your turn. Let's play some jazz.
What Doc Watkins has created is something truly remarkable. He breaks down so many barriers for the classically trained as well as those new to piano. A great course in every way and I HIGHLY recommend it.
Founder and CEO, Musical Arts Center of San Antonio
You keep lifetime access to your course, including video lessons, Q&A calls, and all downloadable resources to support your learning. And if you're not satisfied with the course, read my unbeatable guarantee in the FAQ section below.
My Crazy Satisfaction Guarantee
Buy the course, and use it. Take as much time as you like. There's no rush. If you're not 100% satisfied, I will:
1. Refund your money.
2. Send you a $50 gift card to the restaurant of your choice.
That's right. I'm willing to take the risk for both of us. If I'm wrong about the course, you win. Go and have dinner on me.
Conversational Jazz is an 8-week course that gives you a solid foundation of the most fundamental principles in jazz, the way I learned it. The goal is to teach you how to think for yourself within this music, build chords, improvise your own solos, and learn new tunes for years to come.
New material released each week will provide you with fresh and stimulating content to keep you moving throughout the course.
- Overcome the most common obstacles to learning jazz
- Learn fundamental building blocks of jazz
- Gain confidence improvising your own melodies and solos
- Learn to build jazz chords intuitively
- Understand basic song structure and form
- Explore the blues (my favorite)
Each lesson will be posted in our private online studio (you'll receive access after registration), where you can watch and learn at your own pace. The videos are short and easily digestible so you'll have plenty of opportunities to practice what you learn as you go along.
THIS COURSE IS FOR YOU IF:
♪ You've taken some lessons in the past, but always wanted to get into jazz.
♪ You're a classically trained musician, but never learned to improvise.
♪ You've got some chops, but it's been a while. You're ready to get playing again.
♪ You've always wanted to play jazz, but didn't think you had it in you. And you've reached the point where you're sick and tired of self-doubt (that was me).
ADDITIONAL COURSE FEATURES
New Content Each Week
To keep you moving at a steady pace, we'll release lessons one at a time. This will give you time to work out the concepts and ask any questions that come up along the way.
You keep lifetime access to your course, including video lessons, Q&A calls, and all downloadable resources to support your learning.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee!
If you're not 100% satisfied, I will refund your money and send you a $50 gift card to the restaurant of your choice. That's right. I'm willing to take the risk for both of us.
Full access to the Q&A archives
You'll receive full access to the Q&A archives, featuring an additional 20+ hours of Q&A sessions with Doc. In these videos, Doc covers hundreds of common questions related to learning jazz.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY..
"I’ve been playing piano for most of my life and have always struggled with reading sheet music. So much that I never enjoyed learning pieces or would just give up and “fake” them…. I knew Doc was a fabulous musician from visiting his Jazz, TX! Club. So when I had the opportunity to try his Conversational Jazz course, I had to jump in!
Doc’s easy, “conversational”, approach to chord development, chord progressions and jazz improvisations really worked for me. It’s given me a whole new approach to playing jazz and swing, and the confidence to jump into music that I never would have been able to master."
- Mike Acquisto
"I am a daughter of a piano teacher who taught me all the basics of piano with concentration on READING MUSIC. With that being said, I lacked the skills of improvisation, chord building and chord progression, along with the joy of playing jazz and blues. Doc Watkins’ Conversational Jazz Course gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge & skills AND experiment with “getting out of the [music] box” I lived in.
The website is very user friendly with all courses and materials easily accessible. The best thing I liked was being able to take the courses at my own pace. You’ll have a lifetime availability to all material, as well as, all recorded tracks and Q&A sessions associated with the course. I find myself going back to the material occasionally for a refresher or to practice my jazz riffs with the snazzy accompaniment tracks."
- Liz Morales
"To any young at heart and aging and aspiring jazz pianists, I would like to recommend Doc Watkins "Conversational Jazz" piano course.
After seeing what Doc had developed, a conversational approach to learning, and having been involved in education all my adult life I knew this was the best way of gaining an understanding of something new. I decided to try the course knowing that if it didn't fit and being budget-conscious I would get a refund.
Today over a year later I can play jazz tunes, not like Bill Evans or Oscar Petersen of course but at an early intermediate level. And I am able to appreciate Evans and Petersen and others like the Doc to a much greater degree. To boil it all down, Go for it and keep Swingin’!”
- Frank Syster
ABOUT DOC WATKINS
Doc Watkins is a pianist, vocalist, producer, bandleader, and the owner of Jazz, TX in San Antonio. He co-hosts the weekly radio show, Live at Jazz, TX on Texas Public Radio. He's also the creator and host of The Doc Watkins Show, an online television broadcast created in 2020. A typical year for Watkins involves over two hundred live shows with multiple groups under his name, and so far he has released nine albums, covering multiple genres including Classical, Jazz, Blues, and Texas Swing.
Watkins received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Music Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and moved to San Antonio, TX in 2006. He has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Russia, and Europe, and has performed twice at Carnegie Hall.
In 2016, Watkins opened his own music venue, Jazz, TX, and performs there regularly with his groups. Deeply committed to the heritage and tradition of Texas music, he includes a wide variety of styles at Jazz, TX including Jazz, Blues, Texas Swing, Salsa, and Folk music.
Watkins currently resides in San Antonio with his wife, Jessica and their four children. He is a self-declared enthusiast of Texas BBQ.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(Click the question to read the answer)