Jazz beginners and improvers


A beginning Hot Club style jazz guitarist recently enquiring about our courses told me that he was coming back from a long music lay-off caused by a nasty workshop experience (I shall not name the culprits) in which he had been forced to sightread and improvise over Giant Steps, the notorious Coltrane workout! The lack of provision for keen jazz beginners has always been a problem in the UK- players just starting out generally have had no choice but to dive straight in with far more experienced players, and many, like this guitarist, hit their heads on the bottom, their bodies not resurfacing for many years! Hence this series of courses for jazz beginners, in which we set out to guide players through the first stages of small group jazz improvisation. We also welcome jazz improvers, those of you with a little more experience who want to consolidate your skills and get in some playing hours. Days run 10.30am-6pm, last course day 10.30am-5pm. Tunesheets will be provided for advance preparation.

  • Spring Beginners & Improvers Weekend APRIL 27-28 2019 (TUTORS NICK WELDON + DAVE LEWIS + NIKKI ILES)


  • Summer Beginners & Improvers Weekend JULY 27-28 2019 (TUTORS NICK WELDON + MARK BASSEY)

    In both the Spring and Summer Courses we'll be looking at basic jazz harmony, rhythmic concepts and ensemble and improvising skills.

    The courses are for players of any instrument, with or without jazz playing experience. You do need to have fairly good instrumental ability, though, and some jazz listening history.

    If you are also interested in regular study, the Gollum 1 and Gollum 2 Ensembles are suitable. More details of these on the Ensembles page.



    Saturday April 27


    Sunday April 28




    Saturday July 27


    Sunday July 28



    Q Where do the courses take place?

    A The venue is the Shoefactory at Rushden, a beautiful Victorian building (with a grand piano in all three playing spaces), which is also the home of Jazz School UK founders Nick Weldon and Andra Sparks. More details, maps and links can be found on our About Us page.

    Q What is the cost of the courses?

    A The daily rate for the short courses is £90 (20% member and U18 discounts available).

    Prices are for tuition. Baguettes available for purchase at lunchtimes. Accommodation extra (see the About Us page for our recommendations).

    Q How do I sign up?

    A Please use this booking form to register your interest and to let us know how you would like to pay. We will get back to you confirming availability and giving payment details.



    Jazz School UK, The Shoefactory, 23b Fitzwilliam Street, Rushden, Northants NN10 9YW

    home: 01933 313969

    mobile: 07971 409596

    You can also contact us by email.


    Thanks for reading!