Subjects Stanley Teaches


  • Optimal Learning for Music (for all instruments, all styles)

    Stanley attributes much of his success to a disciplined practice and to the mastery of a powerful learning method that he uses to remain at the peak of his game. In this subject he will show you how to learn music more quickly and easily, build up critical skills and stamina, and then step onto any stage with confidence, knowing that what you have practiced will be at your fingertips. These learning principles can be immediately applied by singers and players of all instruments, in all styles of music, and at all levels of skill. You'll find yourself using these principles every time you pick up your instrument to make music.

  • Creating and Managing Your Own Lesson Plan

    This subject is for people who have already learned the basics of Stanley's Optimal Learning method and would like to go further. You will learn how to apply this powerful approach to creating your own exercises and your own long-term course of study so that you can stay on track towards your ultimate musical goals. Stanley will show you ways of organizing your practicing routine to get the absolute most out of your practice time. He'll also show you how to integrate your musical practice into your overall life, so the two can work together and enhance each other. The result: In one way or another, you'll be working on your music 24/7!


  • The Touch Technique for Guitar

    The "touch technique", also called "tapping", is the innovation that Stanley Jordan is best known for. It uses both hands on the guitar neck playing independently. It allows a guitarist to achieve a level of orchestral complexity approaching that of a piano, while still retaining the expressiveness of the guitar. Stanley has been using this technique since 1977 and today he is considered by many to be the most skilled touch guitarist. Although many other players are well-known for this approach, Stanley belongs in a class of his own, and he is doing things that are truly unique.

    In this subject, Stanley will give you advice for setting up your guitar for the touch technique. He'll give you exercises to develop the skill and dexterity in your hands. He'll give you pointers on hand position and posture, to make sure that you're avoiding physical strain. And he'll show you some of the cool new musical possibilities the touch technique makes available. If you want to begin using the touch technique, or take it to a whole new level, here's your opportunity to learn direct from the undisputed master.

  • P4 Tuning - All Fourths Tuning for Guitar

    All fourths tuning simplifies the guitar fingerboard by using the same musical interval, a perfect 4th, between strings. It differs from the standard Spanish tuning, which uses all 4ths except for one 3rd. By repeating the same interval, all 4ths tuning avoids the complexity of the standard tuning because it simplifies the fingerings as the guitarist moves from string to string. 4ths tuning is especially useful to improvisers, such as jazz and progressive rock guitarists who need to create complex fingerings all over the guitar neck at lightning speed.

    If you want to develop an extensive knowledge of the guitar fingerboard and apply that knowledge effortlessly as you move from string to string, this tuning dramatically reduces the number of fingerings you have to memorize to achieve your musical result. Stanley has used it extensively since 1975, and today he is one of its foremost experts. In this subject, he will demonstrate and explain the 4ths tuning and he will help you discover its expanded possibilities. If you are ready to accelerate your journey into the rich world of complex guitar music, this subject is for you!


  • The Art of Improvisation

    Everyone has creative potential and in fact we improvise in everyday life from moment to moment, so why do we sometimes freeze up when we're put on the spot? Stanley believes all creative blocks can be overcome and he wants to help you unleash your musical creativity. If you're already a player who wants to be more creative, making that step may be easier than you think. This process may vary from person to person, so Stanley works interactively with each student to help find the key to unlock the door of their full creative potential.

  • Composition Workshops

    This is an opportunity for songwriters and composers to get together and share ideas. The sessions take place in a comfortable environment, with a small gathering in an informal setting and a commitment to be constructive and supportive. This allows music creators a chance to get some useful feedback on works in progress, as well as to cultivate a sense of community as composers.


  • Jazz Harmony

    Many aspiring musicians find jazz harmony to be a difficult and complex subject, and even when they understand some of the principles they find it hard to apply these principles to real music. Stanley Jordan has a deep understanding of the subject and he knows how to explain it in plan language. In addition, he has his own creative approach that you won't find in any book anywhere! Get a glimpse into the thought process behind Stanley's fresh and innovative music. Vastly increase your harmonic vocabulary. Learn valuable tools to help you craft your own unique style. This topic is useful for players of all instruments.

  • The Chromatic System

    Stanley Jordan has developed a harmonic system that he calls the "Chromatic System", which allows him to more fully map out and explore the world of musical possibilities. He was heavily influenced by composer and theorist Milton Babbitt, who was his teacher at Princeton in the 70s and 80s.

    Babbitt developed a notation that uses numbers rather than letters to refer to musical tones. This system has been widely used to analyze music that breaks with traditional tonality by modern composers such as Schoenberg, Webern, Babbitt and others. Stanley's chromatic system builds on this idea, while incorporating elements that make it more suitable for improvisers.

    This is a big subject, and parts of the system are still under development. However, Stanley has already begun to share the basics with musicians who are seeking to expand their musical horizons. If you think this mathematical approach would be too complicated to learn, think again. You may be surprised to find that many things actually become simpler when notated in this way. If you want to learn the harmonic system of the 21st century, this subject is for you!


  • Customized Subject

    This is where you get to propose your own topic if you are interest in something that is not already on one of our lists, but it's important to you and you'd like to see if Stanley can bring some knowledge or insight to bear. One thing that often works well is to propose a specific problem or area of difficulty and see if Stanley can help you find solutions.

  • Unspecified Subject

    Sometimes it's best just to meet up with no agenda and just find out how Stanley can help you to become the best and most fulfilled musician you can be. He welcomes this approach and it usually doesn't take him long to figure out how he can help you on your musical journey!
PREV: Studying With Stanley UP: Help table of contents NEXT: How to register as a student