For Jazz Musicians That Aren't Sure How To Practice:

9 Things Every Jazz Musician Should Know About Practicing But Probably Doesn’t

How To Get Better Faster With A Few Simple Changes To Your Practice Routine

Hey Cats! Chris Cooke here.

I started playing jazz a little over 21 years ago. I’ve gotten to play and study with many world class musicians. I’ve also gotten my butt kicked and had to learn some hard lessons the hard way.

But, over the past 20 plus years I’ve figured out a thing or two about playing and learning jazz. The big lessons I’ve picked up along the way have transformed my music as well as the music of my peers and students.  And that’s why I know they'll work for you too.

The thing is:

  • I also know what it’s like to be stuck with your playing and continuously struggling to play real jazz.
  • I know what it’s like to free frustrated and disappointed with the results you get in the practice room each day.
  • I know what it’s like to sound boring like you’re just playing patterns and on solos that never seem to go anywhere.
  • I struggled on like this for years. Then something happen that changed everything.

After 2 years, I finally made it into one of Hal Crook’s (Best Jazz Teacher In The World IMHO) ensembles at The Berklee College of Music. I had arrived!

I did everything I was told. Practiced my butt off. Logged 1,000’s of hours in the shed.

And now I was a member of one of Berklee’s most elite ensembles. But guess what? I got booted out of the ensemble on day 2 by Mr. Hal Crook himself. It was a soul crushing moment:(

Hal told me to go play with other musicians (i.e. play a session) everyday for a year. He said I needed to be a better listener, not a better instrumentalist. “Do that and then call me in a year.” That stung. But it was the first time someone explicitly told me to do something other than practice - to go play.

This is the moment where I learned a key law of Musical Success: Jazz is an art form you learn by doing. You could spend 3 lifetimes in the sheds and you would never become a real jazzer until you got out there and played some damn music.

This revelation put me on track to transform my whole musical life. And if I’d never stumbled upon Mr. Hal Crook I might not have ever learned it! (I called him in a year like he said. And I got back in to his ensemble. Victory:-)

Now, ‘learn by doing’ is 1 of 9 laws of musical success that I focus on these days with my students as well as my own practice.

When applied, these 9 laws can radically transform your playing. Put these principles and laws to work in the shed and magic can happen. Alright, not exactly magic. You still have to learn and practice.

But things can dramatically change for you. And the truth is you don’t even need to use all 9. Not all at once, right away anyway.

But as you begin to change your practice some very hip things happen to you:

  • You’ll start to be able to play what you hear, you’ll understand what that actually means, and you’ll never run out of ideas that come pouring out of your musical imagination.
  • Improvising will become natural for you. Over time, things will just flow.
  • Your musical vocabulary will grow and you’re playing will become more exciting to listen to. You’ll finally get away from noodling and patterns and you’ll start to develop ‘your thing’.
  • Practicing will actually become a fun and rewarding activity. The overwhelm will melt away and you’ll literally watch yourself get better over time.
  • You’ll be able to learn and acquire musical skills at a faster and continuous rate. And continuous progress is a fun thing to experience!

What Our Students Have To Say About These Laws & Ideas

"Chris is certainly the best jazz music teacher I've ever had, but he's more than that: he's one of the best teachers I've ever had--in any subject. He has a special talent for taking complex topics and breaking them down into the simplest possible parts. Chris' lessons have been a huge help for me."

Ken Hiatt
Accordionist, Band Leader, Teacher, Waltham, MA

"I've never come across a person who could explain what, and how to practice as well as Chris can. When I first saw Chris play at a jam here in Boston, I thought, that's the guy I want to take lessons with. Luckily for me, he's as good a teacher as he is a player. I would recommend Chris to anyone looking to take their understanding of music to a deeper level, I don't know anyone who will give you a more honest, and passionate education."

Mike Tucker
Drummer and Band Leader, Boston, MA

"You have a direct and genuine approach to the development and sharing of knowledge which makes the medicine go down with great ease. It is satisfying to have a kind of jazz-practice guardian-angel!"

Liam Fionescu
Multi Instrumentalist, Including Clarinet, Guitar and Others, London, England

"Chris, You seem to always nail this thing down! Congrats to another great video that keeps us thinking different. I also try to promote the art of playing music by ears as well on my website, but my focus is more on the aspiring or amateur musician to lay out a plan on how to accomplish this goal. However, your method is highly recommended for the “serious” student.” "

Henry Krupp
Saxophonist, South Korea

"The Monster Jazz Formula materials are in a class by themselves. Any musician would be miles ahead having these courses in their "repertoire"."

Darryl Ruff
Guitarist, Kelowna BC Canada

"Your knowledge is great, but on the top of that, it is the way you present that makes it unique. You do not make any tricks or give away half-hearted information and I have learned a lot from your materials. It is great that you cover up the mental topics as well, not just technical stuff. We are lucky to be able to wade through your methods!"

Bruno T.
Guitarist, Slovakia


The Big Jazz Puzzle

Jazz is a lot like a puzzle - a really hard puzzle with 1,000,000 pieces and no right way to put it together. There’s not even a ‘picture on the box’ and when you finally get your puzzle together it’s gonna be totally different than everyone Else’s puzzle.

But there are core practice & learning principles that form the foundations of a successful journey with jazz. The Big Jazz Puzzle will show you the big pieces - the core principles - so you can put YOUR puzzle together and find your voice as a player.

Here's what you get with The Big Jazz Puzzle:

Video Lessons

9 Modules with 18 lesson videos coming in at 3:20 worth of lesson content

Mind Maps

Detailed mind maps for each module outlining each law of success

Audio Tracks

All 18 audio tracks; listen to the lessons on your phone, in your car, etc.

The 9 Modules:

Let's take a look at each module, what's covered, and what you'll get out of it.

Module #1:

The Law Of The Paramount Ear

  • The secret behind playing what you hear.
  • What your musical memory is, why it’s so important and how to feed it so you never run out of ideas again. (And so you really start to develop ‘your own thing’)
  • One shift you can make in your practicing immediately that will have a dramatic impact on your playing. (Small hinges swing big doors…)
  • How to use special types of listening to become a better listener, get better faster and unleash your musical creativity.
  • The step by step paradigm you can use to assimilate vocabulary and make it your own (“Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate” ~ Clark Terry)
  • And tons more

Module #2:

The Law Of Doing

  • One simple habit you can easily start using today that will make improvisation natural for you no matter what level you’re at.

  • How to organize and succeed with practice groups, partners and sessions so you can ‘learn by doing’, get the (mandatory) experience you need and have fun doing it!

  • How to maximize your practice groups and activities (Simple steps to accelerate your musical progress)

  • Introduction to ‘R & C’. This will make you a great listener, explode your awareness and change your playing in incredible ways. (One of those things you just have to experience)

  • 5 Easy ways to start improvising now no matter where you are with your playing and what you’re working on.

  • And tons more

Module #3:

The Law Of Vocabulary

  • The expanded learning paradigm you can use to absorb vocabulary and make it a functional part of your playing.

  • The ’10 phrase solution’ you can use to become fluent with jazz faster than you might think and so you can ‘hang’ on most any standard or situation.

  • The smart way to learn jazz that will make becoming a solid jazzer a reasonable and manageable process (So you can become a solid cat much more quickly than you might think possible)

  • How to stop struggling with the same old things and start filling in the holes in your playing.

  • How to become a more confident player by targeting specific musical situations that you are most likely to encounter at a session or gig.

  • And tons more

Module #4:

The Law Of The Tradition

  • Where creativity comes from and how to start developing your own voice.

  • What music you should start with and focus on (This will make practicing WAY more fun and productive)

  • How to use ‘The Paradigm’ to steep yourself in the tradition and add any element to ‘your sound’ that you choose.

  • How to effectively make yourself more creative so you have more musical ideas than you know what to do with (This works for anything – tunes, endings, arranging, writing, improvising)

  • A simple practice idea I got from Hal Crook that will ‘blow open the doors’ to the whole jazz tradition so you become a real jazzer, truly steeped in this great tradition.

  • And tons more

Module #5:

The Law Of Deliberate Practice

  • How to shred through anything you’re practicing or learning by using the concept of D.P.

  • How to choose topics and targets that are designed to create skill and make you a better player (Day after day after day…you getting better and better and better)

  • The two big steps of D.P. that will make your practice sessions infinitely more productive (i.e. you get better faster)

  • Using the step by step practice paradigm to slash through musical targets so you can hit your musical goals and keep moving forward towards playing the way you really want.

  • 2 Key elements of D.P. that will give you forward momentum and keep you excited about your music.

  • And tons more

Module #6:

The Law Of The Edge

  • Discover how and where learning actually happens. (Remember: Jazzers are self-learners and they are always learning and improving.)

  • The ‘Hal Crook Rule of Thumb’ for choosing practice topics and exercises so you choose things that will actually make you better (This’ll make practicing less frustrating too)

  • Discover the 3 zones of practice. Hint: 2 of them will lead to frustration and stagnation. 1 of them leads to a high level of musical skill.

  • Learn how the ‘comfort zone’ is killing your musical progress.

  • How to stay out of the ‘panic zone’ so you can find the ‘sweet spot’ and just keep on getting better day in and day out.

  • And tons more

Module #7:

The Law Of Musical Awareness

  • Discover why musical awareness is necessary to play jazz at a high-level and how you can increase yours.

  • The simple attitude adjustment that can lead to an immediate increase in musical awareness (And the potential for exponential growth down the road)

  • Discover the R & C paradigm you can use radically expand your awareness and your listening skills so you can get better faster.

  • Discover 3 tools you can use to expand musical awareness, learn faster and ultimately become an M.F.

  • Discover how to combine R & C with musical meditation to dramatically expand your musical awareness.

  • And tons more

Module #8:

The Law Of The Vital Few

  • Discover how a small percentage of your practice activities causes the vast majority of your progress as a player (This principle is a game changer. Focus on the ‘vital few’ and you will improve faster than you can imagine.)

  • Use the law of the vital few to get better faster (much faster) while practicing less.

  • Discover how the law of the vital few can help you become a competent, fluent jazzer in less time than you think possible.

  • Discover how to separate the important practice activities (The Vital Few) from the stuff that’s wasting your time (And slowing your progress down)

  • Find out how one of the laws of success is actually an application of The Law of the Vital Few. (Focus more attention on this law and everything changes. In fact it’s a force multiplier)

  • And tons more

Module #9:

The Law Of Balance

  • Learn how to find balance on the micro level (Your solos) and the macro level (your process and your life) so you can continue to improve as quickly as possible (and become a badass!)

  • Discover how finding balance can help you avoid burning out (all too common) while actually helping you get better faster.

  • The concept of polar opposites that you can use to design ultra-effective jazz improvisation exercises that will increase your depth and your interest as a soloist.

  • Discover where to put your attention so you can get your process dialed in and so you progress becomes a self-perpetuating process for you.

  • Find out hour to avoid the big pitfall of balance and how balance is not necessarily what you think (The impact of this on your solo construction is huge)

  • And tons more

To Recap:

Here's what you'll get with The Big Jazz Puzzle:
The 9 Irrefutable Laws of Musical Success.

Video Lessons

All 18 lesson videos coming in at 3:20 worth of lesson content

Mind Maps

You'll get detailed mind maps of each lesson and law of success

Audio Tracks

All 18 audio tracks; listen to the lessons on your phone, in your car, etc.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

The Big jazz Puzzle is covered by our 30 day, No B.S. No Questions Asked Guarantee.

Take 30 days to go through the material. If not 100% psyched with the material I’ll refund your full payment. No questions. No hard feelings.

Add To Cart

More From Our Students

"I’ve made the transition from classical to jazz keyboard largely due to your monster formula as it help me set useful goals after many months of wandering in a fragmented way and getting nowhere. That was about 1 1/2 years ago. Thank you SO much for taking the time to share your knowledge."

Ginny Simonds

"Using Chris’ course, I’ve made more progress in the last couple months than at any other time. I’ve also gained confidence in playing which feels great…thanks Chris!"

Troy H.
Guitarist, B.C. Canada

"Man, what can I tell you…I’ve been working with The Monster Jazz Formula for only 10 days now, but it changed the way I practice. I’m much more focused……2 weeks ago I bumped into one of your clips on the Internet. I actually believe that the whole thing was created for me:)"

Guy Shkolnik
Pianist, Israel

"Hi Chris! I own the monster jazz formula since 2009, and it really changed my life! Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle is killing the wings of mind and free spirit, and people are not aware or do not believe what a human mind can do..Thank you for setting up my mind not only for musical, but life development also! True words of wisdom from a modern philosopher!"

Themis Nikoloudis
Violinist, Athens, Greece

"As a teacher I see myself improving and also passing the knowledge in a more effective way!!! Thank you for sharing jazz monster formula!!!!"

Javier Vargas
Jazz Studies teacher at the National Conservatory in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

"Your course was nothing else than a fresh re-beginning of everything I learned since ever: My Music (and so my practicing) began to live and improved 10,000-Times!!!...thank you very much Chris now, practicing and performing is grand joy every day!!!...”"

Saxophonist, Zürich, Switzerland

The Big Jazz Puzzle: 9 Irrefutable Laws of Musical Success.

If you’re ready to start playing what you hear, feeding your creativity and never run out of ideas to play…

If you’re ready to for improvisation to become natural and normal for you…

If you’re ready to learn and acquire musical skills at a faster rate and progress with jazz faster than you might think possible…

Then now’s the time to put together The Big Jazz Puzzle. And put those laws of musical success to work on your music.

Plus, when you get your copy of The Big Jazz Puzzle you'll also be getting a second course, totally free.

That's TWO jazz courses for just $97

The Big Jazz Puzzle

(Reg. price - $97)
The 9 Irrefutable Laws Of Musical Success That Will Transform Your Playing, Practicing, And Your Progress With Jazz.

Power Practice Paradigm

(Reg. price - $97)

How To Shred Through Your Musical Goals, Get The Chops You Want, And Learn Jazz Faster.

Get Started Today!

Hit the button below to get started right away and get:

The Big Jazz Puzzle for HALF OFF the regular price. Plus you'll also receive The Power Practice Paradigm totally free!

Get both courses today for $97


And of course the course is covered by our no B.S., no hassle guarantee. 30 Days to check it out. If you don’t like it (For any reason) you get all your money back. So go ahead and get started today.

Click below and get instant access to:The Big Jazz Puzzle: 9 Irrefutable Laws of Musical Success plus The Power Practice Paradigm.

I appreciate you taking the time to check this out. I'll see you on the inside...

Dig It,

Chris Cooke


P.S. These lessons are SO important for jazzers like yourself. And it just makes sense to get these big lessons under your belt the easy way.

Rather than struggling like a Mo’ Fo for 21+ years like yours truly.

There’s no risk to try it for 30 days. Get started today.


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