Learn Jazz Standards Podcast

By Brent Vaartstra: Jazz Musician, Author, and Entrepreneur

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Subscribers: 207
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 Jul 2, 2020


 Oct 23, 2019

Description

The LJS Podcast is the podcast where you get weekly jazz tips, interviews, stories and advice for becoming a better jazz musician! Hosting the show is the jazz musician behind learnjazzstandards.com, author, and entrepreneur Brent Vaartstra, who’s one goal is to answer any question about playing jazz music you may have. Jazz can be a challenging music to learn and play, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. Each episode features a specific musical challenge that jazz students may come across, where it is discussed and answered. Special jazz guests frequent the show, sharing their expertise on an array of different musical subject matter. Listeners are invited to call in with their jazz questions to the podcast hotline, where it could get answered on a future LJS Podcast episode. Join thousands of other listeners getting free jazz education every week!

Episode Date
LJS 225: When to Stop Practicing Something and Move On
20:37
Welcome to episode 225 of the LJS Podcast where today I answer a question that I get asked quite often: when do I stop practicing something I'm working on and move on to something else? Often we get overly concerned about mastery and perfection, which can lead to getting stuck. Learn when you know something "good enough" and why you may want to move on even if things aren't perfect. Listen to episode 225 There's that famous Winston Churchill quote that goes, "Perfection is the enemy of progress". And when it comes to playing jazz and becoming a better musician, this can't be more true in my opinion.  When we get stuck trying to "master things", we don't move on to the next lesson that we need to learn. We get stuck in one place, we over-obsess over something. We're not allowing ourselves to learn all of the multitudes of things that could be learned and refined when we move on to other material. But at the same time, how do we know when we've learned something well enough? We don't want to move on to the next thing if we really haven't gotten any control over a particular musical concept. So, in today's episode, I'm going to dive in deep with that. I want to help us answer this question: how do we know when to move on to the next thing in our jazz playing? In this episode: 1. Why moving on is sometimes the path to quicker improvement 2. Q1: On a scale of 1-10 how comfortable do I feel with the material? 3. Q2: How long have you been working on this material? 4. Q3: Does the material you are working on occur often in other jazz concepts you will work on? Important Links 1. LJS Inner Circle Membership
Jun 29, 2020
LJS 224: By the End of This Episode You’ll Know a New Jazz Standard
47:01
Welcome to episode 224 of the LJS Podcast where today I learn a new jazz standard in real-time on the show. If you'll join with me you'll know a new jazz standard by the end as well. You'll see how I approach learning a jazz standard by ear, no filters, no edits. Listen to episode 224 You know, I love a lot of things about jazz music, like I love the improv, I love the creativity, I love the challenge it provides to us as individual musicians. Just a lot of things are great about it that I enjoy playing and listening to it. But what a lot of people don't know is, my favorite part about jazz is the ballads. I just love ballads! I love playing the ballads. I think it's just some of the most beautiful music. It's all tunes! Oh man, it's so great!  And so, I've been thinking to myself for a while, there's this particular ballad that I've really been wanting to learn and still don't know it. So in today's episode, I am going to learn that jazz standard for the very first time. And I think in the process, you might learn it as well just by going along this with me and maybe at least get inside of my head of what I think about when I learn a jazz standard by ear.  In this episode: 1. I walk through a Brad Meldau recording of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and learn it by ear Important Links 1. LJS 212: Improv Hacking Jazz Standards (3 Step Process) 2. LJS Inner Circle Membership
Jun 22, 2020
LJS 223: 3 Jazz Theory Lessons from On the Sunny Side of the Street
30:54
Welcome to episode 223 of the LJS Podcast where today we go over three music theory concepts in the jazz standard On the Sunny Side of the Street that can be helpful for improvising on standards in general. I discuss the three concepts as well as a few different ideas on how to approach them in your solos. Listen to episode 223 I don't know about you, but whenever I work on a jazz standard or learn a new jazz standard, I'm always looking for little nuggets of wisdom, little tidbits that are going to help me in my jazz improv, not just with that song but with all other jazz standards.  Because each jazz standard really is a treasure trove of new explorations, new opportunities for different kinds of improvisation and to spark new creative ideas for ourselves. So, in today's podcast episode, I'm going to look at a really awesome jazz standard called On the Sunny Side of the Street and we are going to look at 3 different jazz theory takeaways and some different ways to approach them in an improvisational standpoint. In this episode: 1. Deceptive Cadence 2. Diminished replacing a dominant 7 3. Dominant II7 chord (Secondary Dominant) Important Links 1. LJS Inner Circle Membership
Jun 15, 2020
LJS 222: Jazz, Racial Injustice, and What This Music Really Means (feat. Kyle Younger)
41:30
Welcome to episode 222 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Kyle Younger on the show to discuss the history of jazz and its ties to the racial oppression of the African American community. Jazz is African American music, and we cannot understand or play this music without recognizing the oppression of those who created this music. Listen to episode 222 When we play jazz music and when we practice jazz music, it's important that we remember that it is African American music and it was born out of slavery. It was born out of racism, injustice, oppression, and it developed under injustice and oppression.  And music is always the reflection of the times. It's always the reflection of the people who are playing the music. And we can never untie jazz and playing jazz, or not connect the two together. They are so intertwined.  And so it's important that when we play this music, we have a reverence, we have an understanding of what this music really means, just even outside of the notes and the theory and how to play it.  Now, I am not the right person to deliver this message, obviously. So I've got a very special guest on the show today, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and jazz aficionado, Kyle Younger, to share what jazz music means.  Not only what it means to the African American community, but what it should mean to us, and what we should think about when we play this music. In this episode: 1. Jazz is a music born out of slavery, injustice, and oppression. 2. When we play this music we need to understand the context of which the music was created. 3. Jazz is music created by African Americans but shared with all. Jazz is love. Important Links 1. Kyle's Book Suggestions: Beneath the Underdog 2. Music is My Mistress 3. The Jazz Life
Jun 07, 2020
LJS 221: Improv Hacking Jazz Standards (3 Step Proven Process)
48:24
Welcome to episode 221 of the LJS Podcast where today in celebration of the launch of my new LJS Inner Circle Membership, I go over my 3 step proven process for "improv hacking" jazz standards. This is one of those episode that has so much value packed into it, I know you'll be reaching for your notepad! Listen to episode 221 From time to time on this podcast, I like to come out with a super high-value episode like one that just really packs a punch.  And in my opinion, when it comes to becoming a better jazz improviser, it's all about frameworks. It's all about step-by-step processes for actually getting better. Not fancy tricks, not new little licks or solos to learn. These are the things that really matter to me in our practicing.  So when a lot of us look at jazz standards and we're confused, we don't know where to start, we're not sure how to take our jazz improv on a jazz standard from one place to the next level, we need frameworks. And so, in today's episode, I'm going to be talking about improv hacking jazz standards. My 3 step proven (and I mean that when I say that) process for really starting to crush it on jazz standards and start getting better at jazz improv.  In this episode: 1. Step 1: Learning Jazz Standards by Ear the Right Way 2. Step 2: Mapping Out Jazz Standards for Improv Success 3. Step 3: Creating Killer Jazz Solos in 2 Phases Important Links 1. LJS Inner Circle Membership
Jun 01, 2020
LJS 220: Less is More (Reduce Overwhelm While Skyrocketing Your Jazz Skills)
34:56
Welcome to episode 220 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about how working on less is oftentimes the best way to improve as a jazz musician quickly. It seems counterintuitive to many that practicing less stuff (or even for less time) will produce greater results in your playing. But in this episode I share what will make the biggest differences, and how to apply a less is more strategy. Listen to episode 220 Have you ever been going through YouTube or maybe a podcast like this or blogs collecting a bunch of jazz lessons? Just learning a bunch of different concepts, working on them, going to the next thing, and to the next thing, and to the next thing, and to the next thing. And then before you know it, you're not really quite sure what you've been learning, what you've been doing, what direction you're going in. You just kind of feel overwhelmed.  Or here's a different scenario. Maybe you learn a tune one week and then you learn another tune in the next week, and you learn a solo for that tune.  So you keep learning a bunch of things really quickly and maybe you're reading it off a piece of sheet music so you just blow in through it and you're thinking to yourself, I'm doing all the right things. This is what everybody tells me to do but it's just a lot of stuff.  Right. So you don't really get a lot out of each one.  Well, I don't know about you. I've definitely felt like this before. I'm sure that you can relate to this as well. And my message in today's podcast episode is less is more. So, today we're going to learn about what we should be doing, and some different methods for applying the lessons more strategy.  In this episode: 1. The 80/20 rule applied to jazz 2. Working the 3 Pillars of Jazz Improvisation 3. The Single Project Method 4. The Batching Method 5. The 1 Big, 1 Small Method Important Links 1. LJS Inner Circle Membership VIP Waitlist
May 25, 2020
LJS 219: How to Apply Scales to Jazz Standards
24:08
Welcome to episode 219 of the LJS Podcast where today I walk through an exercise for applying scales to jazz standards and song forms such as the blues. Scales are a great way of mapping out note choices over chords. But we want to be able to do this in a way that connects chords together melodically. You'll learn how to do this over a 12 bar blues. Listen to episode 219 Imagine you are planning a cross country road trip in whatever country you live in. And before you go on your trip, you want to map out all the different possible attractions you could possibly see on the way to your final destination. And even though you are not going to end up seeing all of them, at least you know what's available to you. Sometimes it's just going to look like a zigzag. It's going to go way off course. It's going to be taking twists and turns but eventually, you will get to your final destination. But when it comes to jazz improvisation, sometimes we want to map out all the different note choices we have available to us before we start trying to create actual melodies. And this is where scales can be helpful when applied in exercises. So, in today's episode, I'm going to talk about how to start applying scales to jazz, in a way that we can start mapping out note choices but connecting them together so that we end up getting to our final destination at the end of the song form.  In this episode: 1. Scale choices over a concert C blues 2. Scale tone map over a concert C blues Episode Images: Important Links 1. LJS Inner Circle Membership VIP Waitlist 2. LJS 214: 16 Scales to Know for Jazz
May 18, 2020
LJS 218- Practicing with Intention and Growing Through Consistency (feat. Trent Jordan)
53:42
Welcome to episode 218 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk with LJS course member and saxophonist Trent Jordan. Trent is a hobbyist musician living in Brisbane, Australia who enjoys spending his downtime practicing his saxophone and honing his jazz improv skills. In this episode, Trent shares what's working for him in the practice room and get inside what he's doing to improve. Listen to episode 218 One of the most enjoyable things for me as an online jazz educator is getting to watch my students in my courses post video and audio assignments of the different things that we do in those courses, a video and audio of them practicing, of them playing and improvising. It's just really fun for me to see people making progress and it's also really fun for the rest of the community to see each other working on things. It's very motivating and I feel like everybody gets to learn from each other by just seeing what each other is doing in the practice room.  So on today's episode, I'm going to have on a special guest, Trent Jordan from Brisbane, Australia. He is a member of a few of my different courses and he is an avid practicer, someone who is very engaged in the community. I'm just excited to learn alongside with you what he's doing, what's working best for him, and we will all learn from him together. In this episode: 1. How Trent got started playing jazz 2. Why Trent plays jazz and what keeps him motivated 3. What Trent is working on in the practice room and what is working best 4. I help Trent with a few exercises to help him start connecting his lines together Important Links 1. LJS Inner Circle Membership VIP Waitlist
May 11, 2020
LJS 217: Learn Music Faster with Community (feat. Christopher Sutton)
45:13
Welcome to episode 217 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk with the founder and director of Musical-U, Christopher Sutton. Musical-U is a music education membership with a focus on training and community learning. Christopher shares the impact he's seen with learning music within his own community, and the power of musical social connection for your jazz playing. Listen to episode 217 It's been my personal experience with learning jazz that when I do it in a community with other musicians who are trying to accomplish the same things that I'm trying to accomplish, I learn much faster and much more efficiently. This is because I'm looking at other musicians taking action. I'm watching them do something that I want to do. I get motivated, and I get to ask questions and learn from them.  And when we pull all of our knowledge and resources together, it can become a powerful force in our jazz education.  I've seen this as well in my students in all of my courses, and how much of a powerful effect this can truly have to get together as a community, even an online community, and learn together and grow as jazz musicians faster and more efficiently together. So, that's what we are going to talk about today. Today we have special guest Christopher Sutton from Musical-U, to talk to us about the power of learning in community.  In this episode: 1. Musical-U and the community it provides 2. Why introverts should buy the idea of community learning 3. The psychology behind learning music in community 4. How to benefit from being a part of a musical community Important Links 1. Musical-U 2. The Musicality Podcast 3. Inner Circle Waitlist
May 04, 2020
LJS 216: By the End of This Episode You’ll Have Learned a Jazz Blues Solo
29:04
Welcome to episode 216 of the LJS Podcast where today I go walk you through a 12 jazz blues etude I've composed, and help you learn it by ear. Learning jazz solos by ear is important, so instead of talking about it and giving strategies, we actually do it on the episode. Listen to episode 216 What if I told you that by the time this episode is over, you are going to be able to play a 12 bar jazz blues solo by ear by memory?  Would you believe me? Well, that's exactly what we are going to do today in this episode. I'm going to walk you through 12 bars of a jazz blues solo, a little etude that I've composed, and I want you to learn it, and we are going to do it on the podcast.  So, even if you are new to learning music by ear and you've heard people talk about doing it and how important it is, and how it's going to help you become a better jazz improviser, and you are feeling a little bit nervous or anxious right now, don't worry. We are going to go slow and I think that you are going to surprise yourself by the time this episode over. And if you are a veteran of this stuff, you are going to know some great new jazz language and this is going to be well worth it for all parties involved.  In this episode: 1. Why learning solos by ear is important 2. I teach you the 12 bar jazz blues solo Important Links 1. Boost Your Jazz Blues free Masterclass
Apr 27, 2020
LJS 215: Apps, Software, and Technology for Practicing Jazz
27:22
Welcome to episode 215 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over different apps, software and technology that I and other members of the LJS community recommend for practicing jazz. Apps and software shouldn't be used as crutches, but if they are used as aids to help the learning process they can be a really helpful thing. Listen to episode 215 One thing we're lucky to have as jazz musicians here in the 21st century is lots of apps, software, and technology to help aid us in our jazz practicing and learning the music more efficiently.  Now, some would say that's not so much of an advantage. I mean, if you look back at the jazz greats, they had to put in the hard work and really train their ears by picking up that needle on the record player, by going to gigs, and listening and picking things up on the fly. And absolutely, sometimes, things made easier are not made better. On the other hand, we have all these great tools at our disposal, at our fingertips, and they can be really helpful for us if used as tools and not crutches.  So, in today's episode, I'm going to be sharing some different apps, software, and technology that you can use to help you on your jazz education journey. In this episode: 1. iReal Pro 2. Chord Bot 3. Tonaly 4. Band-in-a-Box 5. Amazing Slow Downer 6. Transcribe 7. iPhone or recorder 8. Spotify Important Links 1. iReal Pro 2. Chord Bot 3. Tonaly 4. Band-in-a-Box 5. Amazing Slow Downer 6. Transcribe 7. iPhone or recorder 8. Spotify
Apr 20, 2020
LJS 214: 16 Scales to Know for Jazz
33:03
Welcome to episode 214 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over 16 scales that can be useful when it comes to conceptualizing jazz improv. Scales are never to be used exclusively to improvise, but the 16 I cover in this episode can be helpful to map out note choices over many different chords you will come across in jazz standards. Listen to episode 214 When it comes to jazz improvisation, scales can be really great ways to organize pitches or note choices over top of chords in chord progressions. Now, I don't think scales should be used exclusively by any means to improvise. If we do that, they often become crutches and not tools, and it sounds more like you are playing scales than actual musical melodic lines.  But that doesn't mean we should throw out scales altogether. Not at all. We need to know them in order to know our instruments better, to explore them, to navigate them, and they can also be super helpful for helping us identify those note choices.  So, in today's episode, I'm going to be going over the 16 most important scales that I think you should know for jazz.  In this episode: 1. Ionian or Major 2. Dorian 3. Phrygian 4. Lydian 5. Mixolydian 6. Aeolian 7. Locrian and Locrian #2 8. Half Whole Diminished 9. Whole Half Diminished 10. Altered scale 11. Whole Tone Scale 12. Minor Pentatonic and Blues Scale 13. Lydian Dominant 14. Major Bebop Scale 15. Minor Bebop Scale 16. Mixolydian Bebop Scale Important Links Blog Post: 16 Most Important Scales in Jazz LJS 67: How to Use Pentatonics Over Any Chord
Apr 13, 2020
LJS 213: How to Comp Over Jazz Standards Like a Pro
25:10
Welcome to episode 213 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk about all thing comping. This isn't just an episode for the guitarists and pianists - everyone can get benefit out of the concepts discussed in this episode. You learn 3 things to keep in mind while you are comping so that you are serving the musicians you are playing with as best as possible. Listen to episode 213 In my personal opinion, one of the hardest things to teach in jazz is comping.  Now, if you are a guitar player or a piano player or a vibes player, you understand that comping is hard to put a method to,  hard to put inside of a box. There are so many different things that are involved in comping. And if you are a saxophone player or a trumpet player, or any horn player, I don't want you to tune this episode out, because indeed, it is also important for you to understand the art of comping. However, I, today, on the podcast, will give you 3 important things that you need to keep in mind as a comper when you are accompanying other musicians on the bandstand over jazz standards. In this episode: 1. Be a rhythmic time keeper 2. Offer supportive harmony 3. Use logical voiceleading in your voicings Important Links LJS 50: How to Become and Expert Comper (feat. Keelan Dimick)
Apr 06, 2020
LJS 212: Harnessing Pure Musical Expression (Improv Session with Brent)
33:50
Welcome to episode 212 of the LJS Podcast where today I get behind my guitar and have an improv session. During trying times, it can be helpful to use music as an outlet to express things that you may not be able to in words or thoughts. In this episode, I perform an improvisation for you that I hope not only you will enjoy, but feel inspired to do the same. Listen to episode 212 During times of uncertainty, music has the potential to be a healing force and to help us express our emotions, to get things out unto the table that maybe we just wouldn't be able to do otherwise through the written word or through language.  There's something about music and the expression through music that reaches some part of our soul that as musicians, we are very lucky and fortunate to be able to tap into. But sometimes music and studying jazz, all the things we talked about in this podcast, can be a little stressful, too. Like you are actually diving deep into concepts and putting pressure on yourself to get better and better. But today I want to live by example here and I just want to create freely for you and hopefully, you will do the same at the end of this episode as well.  In this episode: 1. How music can be a powerful outlet during trying times 2. I perform an improvisation session Important Links Join the LJS Newsletter Sign up for a course
Mar 30, 2020
Bonus Episode: Special Message from Brent About COVID-19
18:52
Today's episode is a special message from me to the Learn Jazz Standards family about how we can get through these trying times together, and come out the other side stronger and more motivated than ever before. Listen to this bonus episode Hey, what's up, Learn Jazz Standards family! I wanted to record this bonus episode today just to say, hey listen, we are all in this together.  I know that we are going through a hard time here in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. For a lot of us, life has changed quite dramatically. From my listeners in Japan, from my listeners in the UK, from my listeners in the United States, in Canada and all over the world. It's something that affected all of us and I know it is a time where we are feeling a lot of anxiety, some pain, some hurt, and a lot of fear about what the future holds. And what I want to do and use this platform today is not necessarily to talk about music and all that stuff that I always talk about on this show. But rather to say, in solidarity, I am here for you.  In this episode: 1. Default to Gratitude 2. Default to Generosity 3. Default to Community 4. Default to Goal Setting Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren't already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I look forward to having you join me in the next episode!
Mar 24, 2020
LJS 211: Making Jazz Standards Your Own and Developing Your Musical Voice (feat. Mike Casey)
34:25
Welcome to episode 211 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Mike Casey on the show to talk to us about arranging jazz standards so you can make them your own unique expression. Mike lays down the value with lots of practical tips for improving your jazz improv, gives us insight to his musical growth, and gives us examples of how to arrange jazz standards. Listen to episode 211 Once you've learned the jazz standard and feel comfortable with it, you may think to yourself, well, I know how to play the melody, I know how to play the changes. I can go to a jam session or even a gig and play it with other musicians. But then, what do I with it after that? How do I make it my own? How do I give it my own voice and how can I develop that voice through these jazz standards so it sounds like me playing it so that there is something special I'm bringing to the table.  Well on today's episode, I have special guest saxophonist, Mike Casey, who is going to lay down a lot of really value-packed tips today. Full of stuff on how to become a better jazz improviser and a great musician in general. But he also talks a lot about taking jazz standards, arranging them to be that your own and to have your own original voice. You are going to really love this episode. I know you are going to learn tons from it today.  In this episode: 1. How Mike got started playing music 2. How Mike learned every Charlie Parker head 3. A solo that Mike learned and got a lot out of 4. How to arrange jazz standards to make them your own Mike Casey's "Unforgettable" Arrangement https://youtu.be/JFg3jYZcs_w Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren't already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I look forward to having you join me in the next episode! Important Links Mike's website Enter to win a free lesson with Mike
Mar 23, 2020
LJS 210: 1-6-2-5 Licks Over Rhythm Changes (Learning From Dexter Gordon)
45:32
Welcome to episode 210 of the LJS Podcast where today I take out my guitar and do a little bit of practicing with you. We explore some incredible jazz language over 1-6-2-5 chord progressions while listening to a Dexter Gordon recording of a rhythm changes. I learn and pick apart licks from scratch to help you understand what makes them so effective and great. Listen to episode 210 We are going to have some fun on the podcast today.  I have not been able to pick up my guitar in a little while. I've been traveling. I've been doing a lot of work for a new membership that we have coming up here later on in the year for Learn Jazz Standards.  And so, I'm going to be practicing with you today. We are going to learn some 1-6-2-5 material with the help of our good friend Dexter Gordon, to show us the light, to show us the way on some killer jazz language to play over 1-6-2-5 chord progressions.  This is going to be fun. I'm excited to learn and I hope that you are excited to learn along with me.  In this episode: 1. How Dexter Gordon uses minimalism to play powerful melody over fast-moving chord changes. 2. How Dexter Gordon plays great bebop lines over 1-6-2-5's. 3. How Dexter Gordon makes the major pentatonic scale musical over a 1-6-2-5. 4. The power of resolving to the 3rds of different chords in the progression. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren't already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts I look forward to having you join me in the next episode! Important Links How to Improvise on Rhythm Changes Like a Pro Jazz Improvisation Made Simple (book)
Mar 16, 2020
LJS 209: 4 Secrets for Jazz Improv Success
35:41
Welcome to episode 209 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about 4 secrets for jazz improv success. I find that jazz is often overcomplicated, so in this episode, I do my best to simplify with these 4 secrets so that you can have a great path forward and a good idea of what to work on to make the most progress in the shortest amount of time. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode209 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Mar 09, 2020
LJS 209: 4 Secrets for Jazz Improv Success
35:41
Welcome to episode 209 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about 4 secrets for jazz improv success. I find that jazz is often overcomplicated, so in this episode, I do my best to simplify with these 4 secrets so that you can have a great path forward and a good idea of what to work on to make the most progress in the shortest amount of time. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode209 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Mar 09, 2020
LJS 208: Making Good Musical Decisions Through Effective Practice (feat. Dani Rabin of Marbin)
1:20:56
Welcome to episode 208 of the LJS Podcast where today I have on special guest Dani Rabin from the prog jazz-rock band Marbin. Dani is not only a phenominal musician, but a great musical mind and educator. We discuss his philosophy on learning jazz improvisation, and effective strategies to practice towards making great musical decisions when improvising. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode208 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Mar 02, 2020
LJS 208: Making Good Musical Decisions Through Effective Practice (feat. Dani Rabin of Marbin)
1:20:56
Welcome to episode 208 of the LJS Podcast where today I have on special guest Dani Rabin from the prog jazz-rock band Marbin. Dani is not only a phenominal musician, but a great musical mind and educator. We discuss his philosophy on learning jazz improvisation, and effective strategies to practice towards making great musical decisions when improvising. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode208 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Mar 02, 2020
LJS 207: 3 Strategies for Melodic Improv on Jazz Standards
20:04
Welcome to episode 207 of the LJS Podcast where today I demonstrate three strategies you can practice to help you develop more melodic jazz solos. Often, we are tempted to jump straight to bebop lines and complex theory applications when improvising. But simple melodies are often skipped, and therefore missing an important aspect of making meaningful solos. Learn how to start practicing this. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode207 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 24, 2020
LJS 207: 3 Strategies for Melodic Improv on Jazz Standards
20:04
Welcome to episode 207 of the LJS Podcast where today I demonstrate three strategies you can practice to help you develop more melodic jazz solos. Often, we are tempted to jump straight to bebop lines and complex theory applications when improvising. But simple melodies are often skipped, and therefore missing an important aspect of making meaningful solos. Learn how to start practicing this. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode207 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 24, 2020
LJS 206: Jazz Improvisation Made Simple (A Preview Reading of My New Book)
31:31
Welcome to episode 206 of the LJS Podcast where today I have a special podcast episode planned. My new book, "Jazz Improvisation Made Simple" is launching on Amazon on March 8, 2020. The Kindle eBook version is now available for pre-order and to celebrate, I do a reading of the Introduction and first chapter of the book. I know you'll enjoy this. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode206 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 17, 2020
LJS 206: Jazz Improvisation Made Simple (A Preview Reading of My New Book)
31:31
Welcome to episode 206 of the LJS Podcast where today I have a special podcast episode planned. My new book, "Jazz Improvisation Made Simple" is launching on Amazon on March 8, 2020. The Kindle eBook version is now available for pre-order and to celebrate, I do a reading of the Introduction and first chapter of the book. I know you'll enjoy this. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode206 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 17, 2020
LJS 205: Learning from the Greats and Embracing the Joy of Musical Growth (feat. Shirley Jansen)
38:27
Welcome to episode 205 of the LJS Podcast where today I have special guest and 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing alumni, Shirley Jansen on the show. Shirley is a tenor saxophone player who exudes the joy of musical growth. She shares what has been working for her in her jazz playing, the power of learning solos from the jazz greats, and how community is helping her grow. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode205 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 10, 2020
LJS 205: Learning from the Greats and Embracing the Joy of Musical Growth (feat. Shirley Jansen)
38:27
Welcome to episode 205 of the LJS Podcast where today I have special guest and 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing alumni, Shirley Jansen on the show. Shirley is a tenor saxophone player who exudes the joy of musical growth. She shares what has been working for her in her jazz playing, the power of learning solos from the jazz greats, and how community is helping her grow. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode205 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 10, 2020
LJS 204: How to Prepare for Jam Sessions and Group Playing (feat. Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer)
50:46
Welcome to episode 204 of the LJS Podcast where today I have professional jazz musicians Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer on the show to talk all about preparing to play live with other people. One of the top musical goals I hear among the LJS Community is to be able to play with other musicians, whether that be at the local jazz jam or with some friends. In this episode we discuss what you need to do to prepare, and how to know when you are ready. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode204 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 03, 2020
LJS 204: How to Prepare for Jam Sessions and Group Playing (feat. Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer)
50:46
Welcome to episode 204 of the LJS Podcast where today I have professional jazz musicians Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer on the show to talk all about preparing to play live with other people. One of the top musical goals I hear among the LJS Community is to be able to play with other musicians, whether that be at the local jazz jam or with some friends. In this episode we discuss what you need to do to prepare, and how to know when you are ready. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode204 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 03, 2020
LJS 203: Practicing with a Plan and Crushing Musical Weaknesses (feat Bob Petix)
36:28
Welcome to episode 203 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk with special guest and LJS community member, Bob Petix about his journey as a jazz bassist. He talks about getting started playing bass in his late 40's and how he has developed in his musicianship since then. We talk what's working for him in the practice room and some of the key things that has stimulated his musical improvement. Listen to episode 203 Enjoy listening to this podcast?If you get value from the LJS Podcast, help us out by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. Thanks for your help! Rate and Review on iTunes One of the biggest themes for Learn Jazz Standards this year 2020 is community. This is really the year of community where we are building community and we are learning from each other as a community because I do believe that this is the best way that we can truly learn — it's from each other. And so one thing that I will be doing a lot more often on this podcast is have guests that are listeners of the podcast, who are members of my online jazz courses so that we can listen and find out what's working well for them in their practice room, what's working well, the things that are making the highest impact in their jazz playing at the moment. And in general, getting to know them and their stories because I do believe that we can learn in so much from each other's stories, so much from each other's experiences as jazz musicians, and this will help us all learn and grow together. So, I have Bob Petix on the show today, who is an attorney, who is a bass player from Jackson, Wyoming, who is going to share with us today and we are going to learn a lot from him. In this episode: 1. How Bob got started playing bass and jazz 2. Why Bob plays jazz and what keeps him motivated 3. What Bob is working on in the practice room and what is working best 4. I help Bob with an exercise he can work on for developing better time feel and longer lines Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren't already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I look forward to having you join me in the next episode! Important Links Jazz Blues Accelerator (course mentioned in episode)
Jan 27, 2020
LJS 203: Practicing with a Plan and Crushing Musical Weaknesses (feat Bob Petix)
36:28
Welcome to episode 203 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk with special guest and LJS community member, Bob Petix about his journey as a jazz bassist. He talks about getting started playing bass in his late 40's and how he has developed in his musicianship since then. We talk what's working for him in the practice room and some of the key things that has stimulated his musical improvement. Listen to episode 203 One of the biggest themes for Learn Jazz Standards this year 2020 is community. This is really the year of community where we are building community and we are learning from each other as a community because I do believe that this is the best way that we can truly learn — it's from each other. And so one thing that I will be doing a lot more often on this podcast is have guests that are listeners of the podcast, who are members of my online jazz courses so that we can listen and find out what's working well for them in their practice room, what's working well, the things that are making the highest impact in their jazz playing at the moment. And in general, getting to know them and their stories because I do believe that we can learn in so much from each other's stories, so much from each other's experiences as jazz musicians, and this will help us all learn and grow together. So, I have Bob Petix on the show today, who is an attorney, who is a bass player from Jackson, Wyoming, who is going to share with us today and we are going to learn a lot from him. In this episode: 1. How Bob got started playing bass and jazz 2. Why Bob plays jazz and what keeps him motivated 3. What Bob is working on in the practice room and what is working best 4. I help Bob with an exercise he can work on for developing better time feel and longer lines Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren't already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I look forward to having you join me in the next episode! Important Links Jazz Blues Accelerator (course mentioned in episode)
Jan 27, 2020
LJS 202: How to Overcome Negative Self-Criticism and Start Loving Your Playing
37:28
Welcome to episode 202 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about improving your mental health as a jazz musician. All of us have felt those bad feelings of self-consciousness, insecurity, and self-loathing of our playing. We struggle with comparing ourselves to others and are constantly unsatisfied with our music. In this episode, I go over 6 tips for overcoming these negative mindsets so we can grow as jazz musicians and have fun at the same time. Listen to episode 202 Enjoy listening to this podcast?If you get value from the LJS Podcast, help us out by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. Thanks for your help! Rate and Review on iTunes It's the beginning of the year and if there's one thing that I know is going to hold us back from improving our jazz skills this year, it's a negative mindset. That self-loathing, self-criticizing, self-conscious behavior that we experience when we go up to play in a jam or a gig or even listen back to ourselves on a recording and feel absolutely disgusted with what we are hearing. We feel embarrassed for the way we play, we compare ourselves to other musicians and we leave feeling absolutely horrible. Now, it goes without saying, this is a complete waste of our time. This is not really going to help us move forward. It's only helping us stay right where we are right now. We need to move past that. So in today's episode, I will be going over 6 things that we can do to start overcoming this negative mindset, start succeeding, start getting into a better place with our mental game and start enjoying music more. In this episode: 1. Establish your "why" 2. Develop a growth mindset 3. Listen back and give positive affirmation 4. Practice positive self talk 5. Practice things that help you reach a "flow state" 6. Accept your current skill level Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren't already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. I look forward to having you join me in the next episode! Important Links LJS 98: How to Beat the Brain Game for Musical Freedom (feat. Matt Vaartstra) LJS 178: Becoming Your Own Jazz Teacher by Recording Yourself (feat. Jens Larsen) LJS 131: The Neuroscience Behind Radical Musical Improvement (feat. Marc Gelfo)
Jan 20, 2020
LJS 201: 3 Ways to Start Improvising Organically
26:55
Welcome to episode 201 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about 3 ways to start improvising organically when you play jazz solos. A common problem I hear from subscribers is the struggle to let go of pre-meditating or thinking about what they need to play. It can be tough to let go, "forget" what you've been practicing, and just improvise freely. I share some simple ways you can start training yourself to do this better. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode201 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jan 13, 2020
LJS 200: Podcast Listeners Share Their 2020 Jazz Goals (Celebration Episode)
33:22
Welcome to episode 200 of the LJS Podcast where today we celebrate the big 200 episode mile marker! To do that, I have a lot of special guests today, you, the podcast listeners, to share your 2020 jazz and music goals. We go through each goal and I give some feedback. Get inspired and get ready to take action! View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode200 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Dec 30, 2019
LJS 199: Top 5 Learn Jazz Standards Podcast Episodes (2019 Year End Review)
30:30
Welcome to episode 199 of the LJS Podcast where today we take a look back on 2019. A lot of really great stuff happened with Learn Jazz Standards in 2019 and I go over some of the big mile markers, as well as the top 5 downloaded episodes of the year. I also share my favorite episodes, and a sneak peak into what's coming next year. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode199 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Dec 23, 2019
LJS 198: 3 Steps for Hearing Chords (Ear Training Masterclass)
17:43
Welcome to episode 198 of the LJS Podcast where I go over my 3 step process for learning to hear chords. Being able to hear different chord qualities is important for being able to hear chord progressions, which of course is important for learning jazz standards. It's also important for our improvisation as well, so I show you a great method for training your ears to hear any chord. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode198 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Dec 16, 2019
LJS 197: A Jazz Geek Hang with Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer
1:10:49
Welcome to episode 197 of the LJS Podcast where I have my good buddies drummer Diego Maldonado and bassist Wallace Stelzer over to the studio to hang out and geek out on jazz. This is a fun episode full of jazz nerdery, music philosophy, a little bit of alcohol, NYC's best cookies, and some shenanigans. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode197 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Dec 09, 2019
LJS 196: Recycling Jazz Practice Plan (Jazz Practice Plan #2)
27:17
Welcome to episode 196 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over jazz practice plan #2, the last in a series of 2 episodes. This practice plan is called the Recycling Jazz Practice Plan which is having a powerful effect on my Jazz Blues Accelerator course students, which is based on this framework. Learn how this practice plan works and how to start taking action. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode196 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Dec 02, 2019
LJS 195: Stair Step Practice Plan (Jazz Practice Plan #1)
41:11
Welcome to episode 195 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over a jazz practice plan in a series of two episodes we'll be going through. This practice plan is called the Stair Step Practice Plan, and this has been highly effective for students in my 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing course, which uses this exact framework. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode195 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Nov 25, 2019
LJS 194: Understanding the Jazz Eras (Jazz History Made Simple)
49:51
Welcome to episode 194 of the LJS Podcast where today we take a look back in time at jazz history. We look into the different eras of jazz, the important musicians to listen to from them, and how the music evolved over time. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode194 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Nov 18, 2019
LJS 193: Jazz Theory Made Simple (Only Theory You Need to Know)
49:39
Welcome to episode 193 of the LJS Podcast where today I take the often overwhelming and confusing world of jazz theory and make it simple. Jazz theory is often overcomplicated with way too much information and concepts that are unnecessary. I boil things down to the basics and help make things more understandable. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode193 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Nov 11, 2019
LJS 192: I Compose a Jazz Tune on the Spot
38:51
Welcome to episode 192 of the LJS Podcast where today I put my self on the spot and compose a jazz tune on the podcast. I had no pre-conceived ideas before recording, I just start going in real time. See how I did and the tune I came up with in the end. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode192 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Nov 04, 2019
LJS 191: Understanding All the Things You Are
27:10
Welcome to episode 191 of the LJS Podcast where today I walk you through a chords analysis of the popular jazz standard All the Things You Are. This tune is packed full of valuable lessons that will help you understand other jazz standards better and ultimately improve your improvisation skills. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode191 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Oct 28, 2019
LJS 190: 3 Ways to Get Jazz Gigs
23:06
Welcome to episode 190 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about how to get jazz gigs. One of the big goals for most musicians is to get out there and play. That's where the real fun and learning can happen. But how do you acquire those gigs? I go over three ways with different strategies for each to help you get out there and start performing. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode190 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Oct 21, 2019
LJS 189: Finding More Time to Practice and Skyrocketing Your Jazz Potential (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)
45:03
Welcome to episode 189 of the LJS Podcast where today I have on special guest pianist and educator Brett Pontecorvo to talk about making time to practice and setting up a masterplan to achieve your musical goals. Not having time to practice is a common complaint, but this episode crushes that limiting belief and shows you a path to achieve more in your musical life. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode189 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Oct 14, 2019
LJS 188: Inside Look on a Pro Jazz Musicians Development
51:01
Welcome to episode 188 of the LJS Podcast where today I have on special guest jazz pianist Keelan Dimick to discuss the transformational moments in his musical development. Keelan is a jazz piano phenom and he opens up and shares his journey as a musician and the key points in his development. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode188 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Oct 07, 2019
LJS 187: [Strategy #3] The Secret Sauce for Mastering a Jazz Blues
27:23
Welcome to episode 187 of the LJS Podcast where we conclude "Jazz Blues Month!" In this episode, I cover my philosophy on mastering musical material, and it especially applies to a jazz blues. No, it's not a bunch of fancy licks, short cuts, and hacks. It's real process. I dig into that and how you can start taking action. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode187 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Sep 30, 2019
LJS 186: [Strategy #2] 3 Pillars of Jazz Blues Language
35:11
Welcome to episode 186 of the LJS Podcast where we continue onto week 3 of "Jazz Blues Month!" In this episode, I cover the 2nd strategy of this series which is understanding the 3 pillars of jazz blues language. Not only do we discuss what they are, I tell you what to practice and a few tools that can help for each. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode186 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Sep 23, 2019
LJS 185: [Strategy #1] Mapping out a Jazz Blues for Improv Success
34:40
Welcome to episode 185 of the LJS Podcast where we continue "Jazz Blues Month!" In this episode, I cover the first of 3 strategies I'll be covering on crushing it on a jazz blues. Strategy #1 is "Mapping", and I go over 3 phases of mapping over a jazz blues. After mapping, the mystery of what notes to play will be completely solved. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode185 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Sep 16, 2019
LJS 184: 3 Reasons You NEED to Master the Jazz Blues
26:29
Welcome to episode 184 of the LJS Podcast where today we kick off "Jazz Blues Month!" In this episode, I discuss 3 reasons why you need to master the jazz blues. If you go deep into understanding and navigating a jazz blues it will unlock countless secrets for becoming a great jazz improviser. Here's why! View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode184 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Sep 09, 2019
LJS 183: Analyzing a Good and Bad Jazz Solo (What Makes a Good Solo)
29:58
Welcome to episode 183 of the LJS Podcast where today we listen to two solos I've recorded in the past. We'll listen to one that I'm proud of and checks off the boxes of a good jazz solo, and we'll also listen to one I'm not so proud of. I analyze what made the good one good, and the bad one bad. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode183 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Sep 02, 2019
LJS 182: Understanding Diminished 7th Chords and How to Improvise Over Them (feat. Adam Levy)
54:24
Welcome to episode 182 of the LJS Podcast where today I have special guest Adam Levy on the show to talk about diminished harmony and how to start improvising over diminished 7th chords. If you've ever felt confused by diminished chords and how to approach them, consider this a must-listen episode. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode182 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Aug 26, 2019
LJS 181: I’m Taking a Break from Jazz
8:08
Welcome to episode 181 of the LJS Podcast where today I announce that I'm taking a break from jazz...for two weeks. But the fact that I'm taking a break does have some significance, and I want to explain the benefit of taking breaks for you and your musicianship. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode181 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Aug 19, 2019
LJS 180: I Answer Your Jazz Questions (Ask Me Anything)
37:01
Welcome to episode 180 of the LJS Podcast where today I answer questions from the Learn Jazz Standards Community Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Lots of great jazz questions are answered over a wide range of topics. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode180 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Aug 12, 2019
LJS 179: Intros to Play on Jazz Standards (7 Options)
13:22
Welcome to episode 179 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over 7 different options for playing an intro on a jazz standard. While you can just count off a tune and start playing the head on beat one, it can be nice to set up a song with an intro. I walk you through some options and give you a call to action at the end. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode179 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Aug 05, 2019
LJS 178: Becoming Your Own Jazz Teacher by Recording Yourself (feat. Jens Larsen)
36:54
Welcome to episode 178 of the LJS Podcast where today I have on special guest jazz guitarist and Youtuber, Jens Larsen to talk about recording yourself. I frequently get comments from my course students that the power of recording themselves has become a game-changer. Jens goes into detail about overcoming fears, and what to look out for when you listen back to yourself. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode178 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jul 29, 2019
LJS 177: Composing a Jazz Solo Over a Minor Blues
15:15
Welcome to episode 177 of the LJS Podcast where today I demonstrate a solo I composed over a minor blues. Composing jazz solos is one of the best ways to solidify the jazz language you already know and get it to come out in your playing. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode177 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jul 22, 2019
LJS 176: Leveling Up Your Jazz Improvisation by Thinking Slow (feat. Nick Mainella)
39:45
Welcome to episode 176 of the LJS Podcast where today our special guest Nick Mainella from the 10 Minute Jazz Lesson Podcast discusses how we can improve our jazz improv by thinking slow. To be a great jazz improviser you need to think fast and effectively, and in order to do that you need to start by doing the opposite. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode176 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jul 15, 2019
LJS 175: Using Pitch Collections to Create Jazz Lines Over Static Chords
17:04
Welcome to episode 175 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about using pitch collections to create jazz lines over static chords. I personally don't enjoy thinking about playing scales over chords. I think a better way to think about scales is as "pitch collections" which can be especially helpful when learning to improvise over different qualities of chords. I go over the concept and demonstrate some licks. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode175 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jul 08, 2019
LJS 174: How to Learn Chord Progressions By Ear (Step-by-Step)
37:46
Welcome to episode 174 of the LJS Podcast where today I walk you through a step-by-step process for learning chord progressions by ear. Learning chord progressions by ear is usually the more challenging aspect of learning jazz standards by ear, and the benefits of learning by ear are numerous. I show you how the power of ear training, a tiny bit of harmony knowledge, and some practice will have you unlocking chord progressions. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode174 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jul 01, 2019
LJS 173: Taking the Blues Through All 12 Keys (How and Why to Do It)
17:35
Welcome to episode 173 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about the importance of blues, and why you should take it into all 12 keys. Jazz is a music that emerged from the blues and therefore jazz language is steeped in it. If you can play the blues in any key your jazz improv skills will be miles ahead. In this episode, I demonstrate myself taking the blues through all 12 keys and how you can too! View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode173 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jun 24, 2019
LJS 172: 5 Things I Did to Jump-Start My Jazz Playing
38:01
Welcome to episode 172 of the LJS Podcast where today I share my personal story of how I jump-started my jazz skills. When I first became interested in jazz I felt like I was way behind compared to my peers. I wanted to become a great jazz improviser and so I invested my time and energy into it. I go over 5 things that had a big impact on my jazz playing and will have a big impact on yours as well. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode172 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jun 17, 2019
LJS 171: 10 Jazz Standards That Will Expand Your Understanding of Jazz Harmony
30:14
Welcome to episode 171 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk about 10 jazz standards that will expand your knowledge of jazz harmony. My philosophy is that if we learn jazz repertoire all of the lessons we need to learn about improvising will fall into place. These particular 10 jazz standards start exploring jazz harmony past a basic level of understanding, and will help you know hundreds more. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode171 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jun 10, 2019
LJS 170: Limiting Beliefs are Crushing Your Jazz Potential
15:12
Welcome to episode 170 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk about limiting beliefs and how they can dictate the success or failure of our jazz improvement. Often times musicians are their own worse enemy. We choose to diminish our true capabilities, and believe that our potential is limited. This episode is about taking a look in the mirror and breaking free from the shackles of our musical limiting beliefs. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode170 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Jun 03, 2019
LJS 169: Composing Jazz Solos Using Target Notes (Over There Will Never Be Another You)
30:43
Welcome to episode 169 of the LJS Podcast where we conclude "Jazz Standards Month." This lesson goes over composing target notes over the jazz standard There Will Never Be Another You and then using those target notes to create a jazz solo. This is a great way to start developing improv skills by slowing things down and intentionally composing jazz lines under the parameter of target notes. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode169 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
May 27, 2019
LJS 168: Making Rhythms the Foundation of Your Jazz Solos (Someday My Prince Will Come Study)
21:53
Welcome to episode 168 of the LJS Podcast where we continue "Jazz Standards Month." Oftentimes in jazz education, we place an emphasis on harmonic and melodic elements. We typically don't place enough emphasis on rhythm. However, rhythm is important for understanding jazz music and becoming a better jazz improviser. In this episode, we learn how to apply rhythmic motivic development to the jazz standard Someday My Prince Will Come. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode168 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
May 20, 2019
LJS 167: Making Pentatonic Scales Musical Over Just Friends (Analysis and Improv Lesson)
31:28
Welcome to episode 167 of the LJS Podcast where we continue "Jazz Standards Month." My subscribers often wonder what scales to play over jazz standards to help them improvise. However, scales are rarely the answer to creating great melodic solos. With that being said, they should not be discarded and in the right hands can be used to create great music. In this episode, we take the pentatonic scale and apply it over the jazz standard Just Friends. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode167 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
May 13, 2019
LJS 166: Simplifying Jazz Standards to Make Them Easy (Tune Up Analysis)
30:00
Welcome to episode 166 of the LJS Podcast where we kick off "Jazz Standards Month." This month we are exploring jazz standards and digging into different concepts to see how we can learn, understand, and improvise over them better. In this episode, I go over the jazz standard Tune Up by Miles Davis, and demonstrate how to simplify these chord changes to make them easier to understand. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode166 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
May 06, 2019
LJS 165: Improvising Over the LJS Podcast Theme Song (feat. Listener Improvisations)
20:16
Welcome to episode 165 of the LJS Podcast where today we have a fun show where we discuss how to improvise over the LJS Podcast theme song. It's an episode mixed with a bit of education, and just plain having fun. Best yet, we listen to several recordings of LJS community members improvising over the theme. Listen in! View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode165 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Apr 29, 2019
LJS 164: Warming Up the Body and Mind for Killer Musical Performances (feat. Michael Lake)
34:48
Welcome to episode 164 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest trombonist, author, and educator Michael Lake to talk about warming up the body and mind for musical performance. Warming up is important for avoiding injury, and physically being able to play to your best ability, but it's also good for your mental game as well. We get inside Michael's head and learn his best practices and tips. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode164 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/ Michael Lake's website: https://www.altobone.com/
Apr 22, 2019
LJS 163: 5 Things to Do When You Feel Un-Motivated to Practice
25:05
Welcome to episode 163 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk about what to do when you feel un-motivated to practice. Sometimes we are burnt out, sometimes we just don't want to and don't have a good reason. It can be confusing especially since deep inside we know we want to become better jazz musicians. Don't panic, here are 5 things you can do. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode163 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Apr 15, 2019
LJS 162: Developing an Engaging Story Line for Your Jazz Solos (feat. Aimee Nolte)
36:06
Welcome to episode 162 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Aimee Nolte on the show to share with us how to develop an engaging solo that tells a story. Aimee thinks the biggest mistake she sees jazz improvisers make is coming out of the gate playing a slew of notes and run-on lines. She shows us how she develops a great jazz solo and let's loose and some amazing tips. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode162 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/ Aimee's website: https://www.aimeenolte.com/
Apr 08, 2019
LJS 161: Understanding the Jazz Standard There Will Never Be Another You (Chords Analysis)
30:58
Welcome to episode 161 of the LJS Podcast where today I go over an in-depth analysis of the jazz standard "There Will Never Be Another You." This is a fantastic tune that has a lot to teach us about traditional diatonic jazz harmony, with a few fun surprises along the way. Learn how to start approaching this great jazz standard. View Show Notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode161 Sign up for the Newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Apr 01, 2019
LJS 160: 1 Month Practice Plan For Learning 1-2 Jazz Solos by Ear
37:26
Welcome to episode 160 of the LJS Podcast where today I walk you through how to learn a jazz solo (or possibly two) by ear in 1 month. This practice plan breaks things down and makes things easy, even if you've never learned a jazz solo by ear before. Having a plan is important, and this one will set you up for success. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode160 Learn more about my 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing Course: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/30-steps-to-better-jazz-playing/
Mar 25, 2019
LJS 159: Brain Hacking for Speeding Up Your Jazz Improv Success (feat. Rodney Brim)
43:29
Welcome to episode 159 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Rodney Brim on the show to talk about how to properly "hack" your brain for bigger, faster improvement in the practice room. Rodney is a psychologist and professional musician and knows the inner workings of the brain and how it works. He walks us through 4 huge tips for brain hacking in the practice room. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode159 Sign up for the newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/join
Mar 18, 2019
1,000,000+ Downloads of the LJS Podcast!
4:59
Special announcement! The Learn Jazz Standards Podcast has passed 1,000,000 total downloads over the past 3 years with 4 new episodes a month. It's a big mile marker, so here's a short episode to share some gratitude to the most important people who make this show a success: my listeners. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/onemillion Subscribe to the newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/join
Mar 13, 2019
LJS 158: Using Chromaticism to Develop Your Jazz Lines
14:35
Welcome to episode 158 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to add chromaticism into your jazz lines. Chromaticism is one of the characteristics of a classic "jazz sound" and so we take a close look at how to implement it. We go over 5 different licks and gradually introduce chromaticism into them. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode158 Sign up for the newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter
Mar 11, 2019
LJS 157: 4 Scales to Play Over a Half-Diminished Chord
21:51
Welcome to episode 157 of the LJS Podcast where today we discuss four different scale options for approaching half-diminished chords. Sometimes it can be helpful to take chords out of the context of chord progressions and look at them individually. These scales will help you map out note choices for this mysterious chord. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode157 Sign up for the newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter
Mar 04, 2019
LJS 156: How to Memorize Chord Changes and Not Get Lost
22:43
Welcome to episode 156 of the LJS Podcast where today we feature a listener question all about how to memorize chord changes so you don't start confusing them with others. If you've ever gotten lost playing a jazz standard because you accidentally switched into playing a similar one, you're going to find this episode helpful. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode156 Related free handout "Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way": https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/learn-jazz-standards-the-smart-way/
Feb 25, 2019
LJS 155: Using “Musical Playgrounds” For Better Improvisation (feat. Christopher Sutton)
39:53
Welcome to episode 155 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Christopher Sutton back on the show to talk to us about improvisation. What I love about this interview is Christopher is not a jazz musician, and he offers some unique perspectives on improvisation that are really refreshing. Learn about musical playgrounds and how thinking this way will enlighten your improv. View the show notes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode155 Christopher Sutton's website: https://www.musical-u.com/ Sign up for the newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter
Feb 18, 2019
LJS 154: How to Avoid Meandering Jazz Solos (feat. Jeff Schneider)
37:59
Welcome to episode 154 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Jeff Schneider back on the show to talk to us about avoiding meandering jazz solos. Jeff talks about how to create jazz lines that sound more like a conversation than just a stream of notes. This one is packed full of jazz truth nuggets. Listen in! View the shownotes: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode154 Jeff Schneider's website: https://www.jeffschneidermusic.com/ Sign up for the newsletter: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/newsletter/
Feb 11, 2019
LJS 153: 28 Jazz Skills to Practice (by Category)
27:09
Welcome to episode 153 of the LJS Podcast where today we are covering 28 different jazz skills that you can start practicing today. No more excuses of not knowing what to practice! I break them down by category and list a lot of resources we have on Learn Jazz Standards to help you accomplish them. List of all resources mentioned in this episode: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/episode153
Feb 04, 2019
LJS 152: Music Theory Checklist for Understanding Jazz Improvisation
32:45
Welcome to episode 152 of the LJS Podcast where today we are covering my music theory checklist for understanding jazz improvisation. If you are wondering what step-by-step building blocks you need in place for understanding jazz harmony and improv, this is a solid list. Take notes on which ones you need to work on. Listen in! This list is based off of my eBook and companion course "Zero to Improv": https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/zerotoimprov/
Jan 28, 2019
LJS 151: Applying Patterns to Scales for Jazz Improv Flexibility
20:52
Welcome to episode 151 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how you can apply different pattern exercises over scales. Patterns are great technical exercises that can help us become more flexible on our instrument. I give several different examples that you can put to use. Listen in! This lesson comes out of my jazz theory and improv eBook and companion course "Zero to Improv": https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/zerotoimprov/
Jan 21, 2019
LJS 150: Using Enclosure to Create Bebop Lines Over a Jazz Blues
24:26
Welcome to episode 150 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about a technique called "enclosure." Enclosure is a way to conceptualize bebop language, and how jazz musicians approach important chord tones. We learn the basics of enclosure and then apply it over a jazz blues. Listen in!
Jan 14, 2019
LJS 149: Setting Up a Game-Changing Practice Plan for Your Jazz Playing
28:08
Welcome to episode 149 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to set up a game-changing practice play for your jazz playing. If you're tired of meandering and practicing aimlessly, you need a practice plan that works. Learn how Project, Short-term, and Micro Goals work together with the Stair-Step Practice Plan to help you reach your desired musical transformations. Listen in! I go over more stuff like this in my free mini-course "Accelerate Your Jazz Skills": https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/accelerate-your-jazz-skills/
Jan 07, 2019
LJS 148: Top 5 Learn Jazz Standards Podcast Episodes (2018 Year Review)
28:35
Welcome to episode 148 of the LJS Podcast where today we are taking a look back at the year 2018 and everything that has happened in the Learn Jazz Standards community. It's been an eventful year, and lot's of great content, courses, and eBooks have come out. We talk about the top 5 downloaded episodes as well as my top 2 favorites!
Dec 31, 2018
LJS 147: Writing Tunes With Non-Functional Jazz Harmony (My Composition Analysis)
32:01
Welcome to episode 147 of the LJS Podcast where today we are taking a look at one of my compositions and exploring how some of the non-functional jazz harmony works within it. Often on this podcast, we cover functional harmony in jazz standards, but this time we discover how you can take that knowledge and start to break the rules. Listen in!
Dec 24, 2018
LJS 146: 3 Strategies for Improvising Over a Jazz Blues
31:08
Welcome to episode 146 of the LJS Podcast where today we are covering 3 awesome strategies for improvising over a jazz blues. The blues is an important song form in jazz that every aspiring jazz musician needs to be proficient at. These strategies will help set a strong foundation for improvising freely over the blues. Listen in! Sign up for my free mini-course "Accelerate Your Jazz Skills": https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/accelerate-your-jazz-skills/
Dec 17, 2018
LJS 145: How to Listen to a Jazz Recording (And Learn From It)
32:05
Welcome to episode 145 of the LJS Podcast where today we are listening to some jazz together and doing some critical listening. We take Miles Davis' rendition of "Someday My Prince Will Come" and pick a section of it apart by honing in on each instrument individually. Lot's to learn from this recording. Listen in!
Dec 10, 2018
Bonus Episode! My New Podcast On Making Money Teaching Music Online
8:45
This is a short bonus episode where I announce a new podcast I've recently come out with that could be helpful for LJS Podcast listeners who teach music. If you're someone who makes money off of music at all, whether it be gigging or teaching, you may wonder how I make a living teaching music online. The Passive Income Musician Podcast is where I'm sharing the deets! You can check out the Passive Income Musician Podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/passive-income-musician/id1445082195
Dec 05, 2018
LJS 144: How to Know When to Move On From Something You Are Practicing (feat. Brent Arnold)
50:03
Welcome to episode 144 of the LJS Podcast where today we are closing up a series of coaching calls with one of my 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing students, Brent Arnold. Brent asks a lot of really great questions, including how to know when to move on to something new. We talk through them one by one. Listen in! Sign up for my jazz practicing course 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/30-steps-to-better-jazz-playing/
Dec 03, 2018
LJS 143: Learning Jazz by Ear and Putting Away Fakebooks (feat. Ina Dennekamp)
28:28
Welcome to episode 143 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking to 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing student, Ina Dennekamp, about her journey in learning jazz. Ina is an inspirational character and someone who loves learning more about music. She shares her tips and what's working for her. Listen in! If you're interested, you can sign up for 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing here: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/30-steps-to-better-jazz-playing/
Nov 26, 2018
LJS 142: Creating Melodic Jazz Solos and the Art of Not Thinking (Coaching Call with Dan Sich)
39:23
Welcome to episode 142 of the LJS Podcast where today we are sitting in on a coaching call with 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing student, Dan Sich. Dan asks how he can better outline chord tones, guide tones and other techniques without losing focus and getting off track. Brent gives out some exercises that take things in a slightly different direction. Listen in! If you're interested in joining 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing, go here: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/30-steps-to-better-jazz-playing/
Nov 19, 2018
LJS 141: What I Think About When I Take a Jazz Solo
28:05
Welcome to episode 141 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about what I am thinking when I take a jazz solo. This is a question I get a lot so we talk about what the end goal should be and I record a solo and analyze it. Listen in!
Nov 12, 2018
LJS 140: 3 Hip 1-6-2-5 Licks to Practice
11:45
Welcome to episode 140 of the LJS Podcast where today we have a short but sweet episode demonstrating 3 hip I-VI-ii-V licks. This is an important chord progression found in jazz and it's important to learn some jazz language over it. Listen in! Sign up for our free eCourse "Accelerate Your Jazz Skills": https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/accelerate-your-jazz-skills/
Nov 05, 2018
LJS 139: Learning Jazz by Ear or Sheet Music (Which One is Better?)
23:47
Welcome to episode 139 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about learning jazz by ear and with sheet music. Which one is better and what are the benefits of each? Listen in!
Oct 29, 2018
LJS 138: How Alexander Technique Can Help You as a Musician (feat. Christian Steineder)
34:21
Welcome to episode 138 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking with Alexander Technique teacher and guitarist Christian Steineder. He talks all about Alexander Technique, what it is, and how it can help you as a musician. Listen in!
Oct 22, 2018
LJS 137: Chord Progression Hacks to Make Playing Jazz Simple (feat. Steve Nixon)
54:22
Welcome to episode 137 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Steve Nixon to talk about the three categories of chord progressions you need to know. Steve has a great way of making music seem simple and we talk about a lot of other fun stuff too. Listen in!
Oct 15, 2018
LJS 136: I Critique My Jazz Playing From 7 Years Ago
28:55
Welcome to episode 136 of the LJS Podcast where today I listen back to a recording of myself from 2011 and give myself some honest feedback and critique. It's a great practice to record yourself and listening to old recordings can help you gain insight into where you were, where you are now, and how you can improve. Listen in!
Oct 08, 2018
LJS 135: How to Learn Difficult Jazz Standards
35:30
Welcome to episode 135 of the LJS Podcast where today we are exploring how to learn, understand, and memorize complex jazz standards. We take a look at Wayne Shorter's "Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum" and extract lessons we can apply to others. Listen in! Start understanding standards with The Jazz Standards Playbook: https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/the-jazz-standards-playbook/
Oct 01, 2018
LJS 134: 10 Myths About Playing Jazz You Need to Stop Believing
31:14
Welcome to episode 134 of the LJS Podcast where today we are debunking 10 common myths about playing jazz. These myths are limiting beliefs that are holding us back from our full potential and improving as jazz musicians. You may resonate with some of these. Listen in!
Sep 24, 2018
LJS 133: The Sad Truth About Ear Training Fundamentals (Why You Should Practice Them)
22:54
Welcome to episode 133 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about ear training fundamentals and why you should be working on them as a jazz musician. The sad truth is they are being ignored by so many. But I want you to recognize their importance and allow them to level-up your skills. Listen in!
Sep 17, 2018
LJS 132: Avoiding “Avoid Notes” and When Not to Avoid Them
27:56
Welcome to episode 132 of the LJS Podcast where today we are answering a question from a podcast listener who asked about avoid notes. Avoid notes are used in music academia to help identify which notes to not play over given chords or chords in the context of chord progression. But should you really "avoid" avoid notes? Listen in!
Sep 10, 2018
LJS 131: The Neuroscience Behind Radical Musical Improvement (Feat. Marc Gelfo)
45:25
Welcome to episode 131 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Marc Gelfo to talk about neuroscience and the music learning process. Marc calls himself a neuro-symphonic french hornist, and he's the CEO of the Modacity practice platform. He talks all about the power of neuroscience and music. Listen in!
Sep 03, 2018
LJS 130: Ask Me Anything- Listener Jazz Questions Answered
42:16
Welcome to episode 130 of the LJS Podcast where today we are having a special show where Brent answers questions from podcast listeners. Some are musical questions and some are more personal. It's a fun episode and lots of great tips for all. Listen in!
Aug 27, 2018
LJS 129: Using Musical Parameters for Next Level Jazz Practice (feat. Josiah Boornazian)
43:49
Welcome to episode 129 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking with saxophonist, composer, and educator Josiah Boornazian. Josiah is a brilliant musician, and he lays down some of his best tips. He hones in on the concept of setting parameters in your practice sessions and lays down three great options. Listen in!
Aug 20, 2018
LJS 128: 3 Hip 2-5-1 Licks for You to Practice
13:29
Welcome to episode 128 of the LJS Podcast where today we are exploring 3 hip 2-5-1 licks. Learning licks is always a good practice for learning jazz language, and 2-5-1 chord progressions are arguably the most common in jazz harmony. This is a great episode to help you take action and practice. Listen in!
Aug 13, 2018
LJS 127: How to Maintenance Practice to Keep Up Your Jazz Skills
24:57
Welcome to episode 127 of the LJS Podcast where today I spend some time maintenance practicing. Maintenance practicing is a great way to keep up your skills even when you have very little time to spend practicing. I play through my quick routine and let you know how I keep my fingers fresh. Listen in!
Aug 06, 2018
LJS 126: Practicing Away from the Instrument Effectively and Using Jazz as Therapy (feat. Joyce Kettering)
33:40
Welcome to episode 126 of the LJS Podcast where today we are doing a coaching call with current 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing student, Joyce Kettering. Joyce has an inspiring reason why she started learning jazz. We spend some time talking about that, and how she can effectively practice even when she doesn't have access to her instrument. Listen in!
Jul 30, 2018
LJS 125: The Power of Structured Jazz Practice (Coaching Call with Francis Belanger)
36:39
Welcome to episode 125 of the LJS Podcast where today we sit in on a coaching call with 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing course alumni Francis Belanger. Francis took our jazz practicing course last year and Brent checks up on post-course life. Listen in!
Jul 23, 2018
LJS 124: The Only Big 3 Things You Need to Be Practicing as a Jazz Musician
28:44
Welcome to episode 124 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about the Big 3 things you need to be practicing in order to improve as a jazz musician. This episode piggy-backs off of last week's episode where we talked about focused, goal-oriented practicing. Learn what to practice so you don't get overwhelmed and how to do it. Listen in!
Jul 16, 2018
LJS 123: 5 Powerful Results That Come From Focused, Goal-Oriented Jazz Practicing
28:52
Welcome to episode 123 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 powerful results that come from focused, goal-oriented practice sessions. If you want to improve as a jazz musician you need this kind of practice. That's why the next handful of episodes are geared towards this and how to accelerate your jazz skills. Listen in!
Jul 09, 2018
LJS 122: How to Use Target Notes to Create Melodic Jazz Lines (Feat. Jens Larsen)
36:48
Welcome to episode 122 of the LJS Podcast where today we are joined by special guest Jens Larsen to talk about using target notes to create melodic jazz lines. Jens is a pro jazz guitarist, teacher, and he lays down his tips on how to bring out the chord tones in your jazz solos and use them to make real melodies. Listen in!
Jul 02, 2018
LJS 121: Understanding Secondary and Backdoor Dominant 7 Chords
28:21
Welcome to episode 121 of the LJS Podcast where today we are digging into some jazz theory and talking about secondary and backdoor dominant 7 chords. These are two concepts that are used to resolve to a tonic I chord. If you understand these concepts they can help give context to a chord progression you are improvising over. Listen in!
Jun 25, 2018
LJS 120: How to Practice Towards Fail-Proof Musical Performances (Feat. Diego Maldonado)
37:54
Welcome to episode 120 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Diego Maldonado to talk about how to practice towards fail-proof musical performances. If you've ever practiced a piece of music only for it to go completely wrong during a performance (like all of us), this episode will help you avoid this from happening. Listen in!
Jun 18, 2018
LJS 119: How to Get Unstuck From a Musical Slump and Start Improving
33:42
Welcome to episode 119 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about a common problem that plagues all musicians from time to time: musical slumps. We all go through periods where we feel like we aren't improving or even motivated to play. Sometimes it's hard to break free from those plateaus but this episode goes over some great antidotes. Listen in!
Jun 11, 2018
LJS 118: Top 13 Jazz Lessons From Our Podcast Guests
45:33
Welcome to episode 118 of the LJS Podcast where today we are featuring some of the greatest hits of our guest episodes so far. Over the last few years, we've developed a big catalog of episodes with special guests sharing their best jazz tips and advice. We listen to important clips from those episodes and some additional commentary. Listen in!
Jun 04, 2018
LJS 117: How to Practice Licks in all 12 Keys
28:15
Welcome to episode 117 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about learning licks in all 12 keys and how to do it. Learning small pieces of jazz language is a great way to start developing vocabulary over chords and progressions. Taking them through all 12 keys adds even more value to that material and your musicianship. Listen in!
May 28, 2018
LJS 116: Dominating a Learning Mindset and Transcending Musical Limits (Feat. Kobie Watkins)
45:23
Welcome to episode 116 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on a very special guest, drummer, composer and teacher, Kobie Watkins. Kobie has played with the who's who on the jazz scene, and in this show, he shares his story and talks about his mindset of continuous growth and learning. Listen in!
May 21, 2018
LJS 115: How to Balance Music Theory and Playing by Ear
27:30
Welcome to episode 115 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about the balancing act of music theory and playing by ear. In the jazz world sometimes one or the other can be overemphasized and as a result, can cause a player to miss out on a balanced jazz education. Learn the importance of working on both and how to balance them in your practicing. Listen in!
May 14, 2018
LJS 114: Minor Tonality and How to Build Minor Chord Progressions (feat. Dan Carillo)
49:04
Welcome to episode 114 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Dan Carillo to talk about understanding minor tonality and building minor chord progressions. Minor tonality can be complicated because there are three minor scales at play. Dan gives a thorough explanation and unlocks this confusing topic. Listen in!
May 07, 2018
LJS 113: How Play-Alongs Could Be Hurting Your Jazz Playing
25:31
Welcome to episode 113 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking all about jazz play-alongs and how they could be hurting your jazz playing. Backing tracks can be great tools, but if used in the wrong way they could instill some bad habits. Learn when and how to use them, and when to leave them be. Listen in!
Apr 30, 2018
LJS 112: Mastering the Art of Transcribing (feat. Greg Fishman)
34:44
Welcome to episode 112 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest renowned saxophonist and educator Greg Fishman. Greg shares his story of how he has developed such a successful career in jazz and talks about one of his secret weapons: transcribing. Can you guess how many solos Greg has transcribed? Listen in!
Apr 23, 2018
LJS 111: Learning Songs on the Bandstand and Other Lessons From My Gig
24:22
Welcome to episode 111 of the LJS Podcast where today Brent changes up the format for today's show to talk about some lessons from a recent gig. He shares the good, the bad, and the ugly. Find out what he learned and how he used certain tools he has built up for himself. Listen in!
Apr 16, 2018
LJS 110: How to Start Crushing It On the Blues (Feat. Nick Mainella)
50:55
Welcome to episode 110 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking with Nick Mainella from The 10 Minute Jazz Lesson Podcast all about the Blues and how to start playing it with confidence. Blues is a foundational element of jazz music and Nick teaches you the ins and outs and everything you need to know to get started. Listen in!
Apr 09, 2018
LJS 109: Pro Tips on Proper Music Notation, Formatting and Phrasing (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)
51:44
Welcome to episode 109 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking to professional music notation editor and engraver, Brett Pontecorvo. Brett lays down his best tips and tricks on how to properly notate music, as well as layout great, readable charts. These are valuable skills every musician needs to know how to do. Listen in!
Apr 02, 2018
LJS 108: Using Motivic Development to Create Musical Themes
23:19
Welcome to episode 108 of the LJS Podcast where today we are concluding "Jazz Standards Month" with the topic of motivic development and how we can utilize it to develop musical themes, and structure into our jazz solos. Brent tells you what motivic development is and gives some examples. Listen in!
Mar 26, 2018
LJS 107: Composing Contrafacts to Develop Melodic Ideas
28:10
Welcome to episode 107 of the LJS Podcast where today we are continuing "Jazz Standards Month" talking about composing contrafacts to develop melodic ideas. Composition and melody are huge aspects of great improvisation. Learn why, and the great benefits composing contrafacts can have. Listen in!
Mar 19, 2018
LJS 106: Mapping Out a Jazz Standard for Improv Success
27:16
Welcome to episode 106 of the LJS Podcast where today we are moving forward in Jazz Standards Month to talk about mapping out a tune you are learning. We'll explore mapping out the guide tones and chord tones to build a strong foundation for our improvisation. Listen in!
Mar 12, 2018
LJS 105: Analyzing Jazz Standards With Roman Numerals for Max Results
39:56
Welcome to episode105 of the LJS Podcast where today we are jumping head first into "Jazz Standards Month." This month on the podcast we will be focusing on learning jazz standards and extracting everything we can out of them. To kick it off, we talk about analyzing jazz standards with Roman Numerals for max results. Listen in!
Mar 05, 2018
LJS 104: 11 Listeners Give Their Jazz Tips and Advice
45:10
Welcome to episode 104 of the LJS Podcast where today we are celebrating our 2 year podcast birthday! To do that we are having on 11 different special guests on the show. They are special because they are listeners just like you! They all give excellent jazz tips and advice and have great stories to share. Listen in!
Feb 26, 2018
LJS 103: Playing Along vs. Knowing a Jazz Tune
18:56
Welcome to episode 103 of the LJS Podcast where today we are having podcast listener Gabriel from Fishers, Indiana on the show to share his jazz tips and advice. Gabriel talks about a moment of musical failure, how he learned from it and has been crushing it in the practice room ever since. Specifically, he hones in on the difference between play along and actually knowing tunes. Listen in!
Feb 22, 2018
LJS 102: Blazing Your Own Trail Towards Musical Success
19:43
Welcome to episode 102 of the LJS Podcast where today we feature the story and advice of a podcast listener, Stacy from North Carolina. In this episode, Stacy shares some breakthroughs she had in her jazz playing when she learned how to utilize the tools that worked for her and shifted her mindset. Listen in!
Feb 19, 2018
LJS 101: Learn How to Play “My Shining Hour”
26:58
Welcome to episode 101 of the LJS Podcast where today Brent will teach you how to play one of his favorite jazz standards, "My Shining Hour" by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. Learn the melody, chords, and how the harmony works. Brent improvises a chorus at the end to tie it all together. Listen in!
Feb 12, 2018
LJS 100: My Jazz Mentor Gives You His Best Tips and Advice (feat. Justin Nielsen)
55:08
Welcome to episode 100 of the LJS Podcast where today we are celebrating 100 episodes! To do that, Brent has a very special guest on the show, his jazz mentor Justin Nielsen who got him into the music and set him on a path to success. Justin talks about what he teaches his students and some of his best tips for musical improvement. Listen in!
Feb 05, 2018
LJS 99: Which Scales You Can Play Over Different Kinds of 7th Chords
30:15
Welcome to episode 99 of the LJS Podcast where today we are going over scales you can play over different kinds of 7th chords. While scales aren't musical by themselves, they can be helpful for mapping out tones you can choose from in chords and chord progressions. This episode covers the essential basic chord qualities and alterations. Listen in!
Jan 29, 2018
LJS 98: How to Beat the Brain Game for Musical Freedom (feat. Matt Vaartstra)
47:24
Welcome to episode 98 of the LJS Podcast where today we are joined by sports and performance psychologist Matt Vaartstra to talk about how to channel your mindset towards musical freedom. At the end of the day, music is a brain game. There are so many negative voices that hinder our progress, and Matt teaches us how to train your brain for optimal performance. Listen in!
Jan 22, 2018
LJS 97: Using the 80/20 Rule for Productive 30 Minute Practice
30:13
Welcome to episode 97 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how we can use the 80/20 Rule to get big results out of 30 minute practice sessions. Life can be busy and sometimes it's tough to find time to practice. But if we are practicing the right things and stay focused, 30 minutes may be all we need. Listen in!
Jan 15, 2018
LJS 96: Important Jazz Chord Substitutions You Need to Know
29:52
Welcome to episode 96 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about important jazz chord substitutions you should know about. Jazz musicians love to add and substitute chords and progressions within jazz harmony, and these are some common ones that you should explore. Listen in!
Jan 08, 2018
LJS 95: 10 Tips for Successful Jazz Gigs and Jam Sessions
26:38
Welcome to episode 95 of the LJS Podcast where today we are walking through 10 important tips for playing successful jazz gigs and jam sessions. At the end of the day, the end goal for our practicing and honing our craft is to get out there and play. These tips will help set up you and the other musicians you are playing with for success.  Listen in!
Jan 01, 2018
LJS 94: How I’m Planning for Musical Success in 2018
21:55
Welcome to episode 94 of the LJS Podcast where today we are reflecting on this past year and everything that has been accomplished. Brent shares his non-musical and musical accomplishments during 2017, and reveals a confession. He shares his successes and failures, what he's learned, and how you can learn from them too. Listen in!
Dec 25, 2017
LJS 93: How to Unlock Bebop Language (feat. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown)
46:49
Welcome to episode 93 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest jazz saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown to talk about developing bebop language. Chad talks about his musical journey and the lessons he's learned along the way to becoming a renowned jazz musician and recording artists. Specifically, he hones in on Bebop, and gives us some great exercises to work on. Listen in!
Dec 18, 2017
LJS 92: How to Use Tritone Substitution In Your Jazz Improv
28:43
Welcome to episode 92 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about tritone substitution and how we can use it in our jazz improvisation. Tritone substitution is a cool harmonic tool jazz musicians use to add movement and color. This episode goes over several ways we can use it along with some lick examples. Listen in!
Dec 11, 2017
LJS 91: Understanding African Music and the Origins of Jazz (feat. Joe Agu)
34:05
Welcome to episode 91 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking with Afro percussion maker and musicologist Joe Agu all about African music and the origins of jazz. Jazz is African American music, but it didn't just start in New Orleans. It's roots go way back into African music and culture. It's important to understand where this music comes from. Listen in!
Dec 04, 2017
LJS 90: How to Get the Very Most Out of Your Jazz Solo Transcriptions
23:11
Welcome to episode 90 of the LJS Podcast where today we are answering a question from a listener who wants to know how to analyze solo transcriptions to get the most out of them. This episode discusses what you should look for, and how you can break the solo down to identify the most important parts. Listen in!
Nov 27, 2017
LJS 89: How to Develop Time Feel and Up Your Rhythm Game
42:02
Welcome to episode 89 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest drummer and composer Dorota Piotrowska on the show to talk about time feel and rhythm. These are some of the most important aspects to focus on to improve your jazz playing, and Dorota has some killer tips to share. Listen in!
Nov 20, 2017
LJS 88: Using the LIST Method to Learn Jazz Solos by Ear
28:52
Welcome to episode 88 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking all about a great 4 step process for learning jazz solos by ear. This is a practice that has a ton of benefits for your jazz musicianship and every aspiring jazz player should be doing this. Learn the LIST method and how it can help. Listen in!
Nov 13, 2017
LJS 87: Inside the Development of a Jazz Musician (feat. Chris Davis)
41:10
Welcome to episode 87 of the LJS Podcast where today we are joined by special guest jazz trumpeter Chris Davis to talk all about his development into the jazz musician he is today. Chris talks about the stuff he practiced during his formidable years and some excellent lessons we can learn from his story. Listen in!
Nov 06, 2017
LJS 86: 7 Chords You Can Play the Melodic Minor Scale Over
27:11
Welcome to episode 86 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about the modes of the melodic minor scale and how you can use them to improvise over 7 different chords. The melodic minor scale can be a great tool to conceptualize some of these sounds. Listen in!
Oct 30, 2017
LJS 85: How to Practice Smart and Improve Quickly (feat. Steve Nixon)
36:46
Welcome to episode 85 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Steve Nixon from freejazzlessons.com on the show to talk all about how to practice smart and improve quickly. When it comes to becoming a better jazz musician it's all about practicing, and Steve knows more than a thing or two about this. Listen in!
Oct 23, 2017
LJS 84: Important Jazz Standards You Need to Learn
32:18
Welcome to episode 84 of the LJS Podcast where today we are answering a question from a caller who asked which jazz standards are important to be listening to and learning. Brent breaks down a list of 40 standards into important categories that you can work from. Listen in!
Oct 16, 2017
LJS 83: How to Improve Speed and Accuracy in Your Jazz Solos
28:55
Welcome to episode 83 of the LJS Podcast where today we are answering a question from a caller who asked how to improve speed and accuracy in his jazz solos. Brent goes over a great exercise that you can start working on today to develop your time and rhythm feel, as well as technique. Listen in!
Oct 09, 2017
LJS 82: How to Set Game-Changing Goals for Your Musicianship
41:30
Welcome to episode 82 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Christopher Sutton, the founder of Musical-U, to talk to us about how to set game-changing goals for our musicianship. Christopher shares with us his MAGIC process for setting up result-oriented goals, and then go out and actually accomplish them. Listen in!
Oct 02, 2017
LJS 81: How to Translate What You Hear to Your Instrument
27:46
Welcome to episode 81 of the LJS Podcast where today we are concluding Ear Training Month with a very important topic: how to translate what you hear to your instrument. We've been talking about the fundamentals of ear training, and this is the last step to connect the dots. Listen in!
Sep 25, 2017
LJS 80: Chord Progressions and How to Identify Them By Ear
30:08
Welcome to episode 80 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about hearing chord progressions by ear. We are in the middle of Ear Training Month where we are delving deep into training our ears to hear on a deeper level. Chord progressions are an important next step. Listen in!
Sep 18, 2017
LJS 79: The Power of Training Your Ear to Hear Chords
31:22
Welcome to episode 79 of the LJS Podcast where today we are delving deeper into Ear Training Month which we are doing for the month of September. This lesson is all about hearing chords and how to do it. This is a deeper level of ear training that will have a huge impact on your playing. Listen in!
Sep 11, 2017
LJS 78: How to Master Hearing Intervals and Level-Up Your Ears
29:39
Welcome to episode 78 of the LJS Podcast where today we are starting a new series in September called Ear Training Month. Ear training is extremely important for all musicians to work on. Our first lesson is on intervals and how to master them. Listen in!
Sep 04, 2017
LJS 77: How to Navigate Major 1-6-2-5 Chord Progressions
30:46
Welcome to episode 77 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about an important chord progression, the Major 1-6-2-5. This is a chord progression that shows up all of the time in jazz repertoire and you will want to learn how to navigate it. You'll learn a helpful exercise and a few licks. Listen in!
Aug 28, 2017
LJS 76: 5 Huge Benefits of Playing With Musicians Better Than You
24:48
Welcome to episode 76 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about the huge benefits of playing with musicians who are better than you. If you want to improve and improve quickly, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to play with musicians with more experience and ability than you. Listen in!
Aug 21, 2017
LJS 75: How to Internalize Jazz Language
16:33
Welcome to episode 75 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to internalize jazz language. At the end of the day, we don't want to just learn new musical information. We want to keep it forever and we want it to make a lasting impact on our playing. Today's show breaks down 4 important processes for internalization. Listen in!
Aug 14, 2017
LJS 74: How to Improvise Over Sus Chords
27:48
Welcome to episode 74 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to improvise over suspended chords. Specifically, we are covering the Dominant 7 Sus 4 chord, which shows up a lot in jazz music. These chords can sometimes stump an improviser when they come up and this lesson digs into some different ways to approach them. Listen in!
Aug 07, 2017
LJS 73: 4 Strategies For Improvising Over Major 2-5-1’s
28:49
Welcome to episode 73 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about the major 2-5-1 chord progression and 4 strategies for how to improvise over it. The 2-5-1 (ii-V-I) is one of the most common chord progression in jazz and other styles of music. You will see it come up all of the time in jazz standards so it's important you have a good handle on it. Listen in!
Jul 31, 2017
LJS 72: How to Beat Performance Anxiety and Quiet Your Inner Critic
37:13
Welcome to episode 72 of the LJS Podcast where today our special guest, performance psychologist Noa Kageyama, talks to us about how to beat performance anxiety and quiet the inner critic in our heads. Noa is the face behind the website bulletproofmusician.com and teaches at the Julliard School in New York City. Listen in!
Jul 24, 2017
LJS 71: Why The “Vibing” Culture In Jazz Has to Go
19:39
Welcome to episode 71 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about why the "vibing" culture in jazz has to go. Vibing is best defined as a mean-spirited attitude towards another musician and the way they play the music. It's a toxic environment that sometimes exists at jam sessions, gigs, and in jazz communities. It's time for it to go. Listen in!
Jul 17, 2017
LJS 70: Bossa Nova Basics with Livio Almeida
31:09
Welcome to episode 70 of the LJS Podcast where today we have a very special guest on the show, Brazilian saxophonist, and composer, Livio Almeida. In today's episode, Livio gives us a great lesson on Bossa Nova, important artists, songs, and rhythms that we need to know. If you are new or want to know more about Bossa Nova and Brazilian music, this episode is for you!
Jul 10, 2017
LJS 69: 4 Awesome Tools For Jazz Musicians
19:31
Welcome to episode 69 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 4 awesome jazz tools for jazz musicians. These are tools and resources that we personally use that help us in our jazz studies and practice sessions. Listen in!
Jul 03, 2017
LJS 68: How to Compose a Jazz Solo From Scratch
25:22
Welcome to episode 68 of the LJS Podcast where today we are asking talking about how to compose a jazz solo from scratch. Podcast host Brent Vaartstra composes a jazz solo live on the show and walks you through his process of building a jazz solo he would love to improvise. Listen in!
Jun 26, 2017
LJS 67: How to Use Pentatonic Scales Over Any Chord
20:13
Welcome to episode 67 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about pentatonic scales and how you can use them to improvise over any kind of chord. Penatonic scales are familiar to many but are often not utilized to their full potential. Let's learn how to take major and minor pentatonics to the next level. Listen in!
Jun 19, 2017
LJS 66: 5 Most Important Jazz Musicians You Need to Listen To
27:53
Welcome to episode 66 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 of the most important jazz musicians that you need to listen to. There are many important jazz musicians to talk about, but these five had an innovative impact on jazz and how it has evolved. If you want to be an educated jazz musician you need to check these musicians out. Listen in!
Jun 12, 2017
LJS 65: How to Create Killer Jazz Solos By Thinking Like a Composer (Feat. Jeff Schneider)
34:08
Welcome to episode 65 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to create killer jazz solos by thinking like a composer. Joining us to talk about this today is Downbeat award winner and three-time recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award, Jeff Schneider. Learn how to think like a composer and start building jazz solos that really stick out. Listen in!
Jun 05, 2017
LJS 64: 5 Tips for Never Losing Your Place In a Jazz Standard
23:16
Welcome to episode 64 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 tips for never losing your place in a jazz standard. Getting lost while playing jazz standards is a frustration many listeners and readers have expressed to us and we are here to help. Listen in!
May 29, 2017
LJS 63: How to Become an Expert Sight Reader (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)
33:49
Welcome to episode 63 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to become an expert sight-reader. Sight reading is a skill that is important for all musicians to work on, and special guest Brett Pontecorvo unloads his expertise on this topic. Listen in!
May 22, 2017
LJS 62: 4 Steps for Playing What You Hear In Your Jazz Improv
24:43
Welcome to episode 62 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 4 steps for playing what you hear in your jazz improvisation. This is a question that we get a lot. "How do I play what I am hearing in my head?" There is no easy answer, but these 4 steps will get you headed in the right direction. Listen in!
May 15, 2017
LJS 61: How to Use Scales In Your Jazz Solos the Right Way
26:22
Welcome to episode 61 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to use scales in your jazz solos the right way. You'll learn what scales are good and bad for, how to think about scales as pitch collections, and examples of how to convert them into actual melodies. Listen in!
May 08, 2017
LJS 60: How to Develop Relative Pitch (Feat. Aimee Nolte)
27:17
Welcome to episode 60 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest jazz pianist and vocalist Aimee Nolte on the show to talk about developing relative pitch. Wouldn't it be awesome to hear a note being played and know exactly what it is, even if you don't have perfect pitch? Aimee teaches us how. Listen in!
May 01, 2017
LJS 59: 5 Tips for Playing Jazz Ballads Like an Expert
21:44
Welcome to episode 59 of the LJS Podcast where today we are dishing out 5 tips for playing jazz ballads like an expert. Jazz ballads can be tricky, largely because slow tempos can open up a number of challenges. Treat these tips like a checklist the next time you play a ballad. Listen in!
Apr 24, 2017
LJS 58: How to Use Triads to Improve Your Jazz Improvisation
22:58
Welcome to episode 58 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how you can use triads to improve your jazz improvisation. Today's lesson comes straight out of our brand new eBook "Zero to Improv". Exercises are given out for this lesson. Listen in!
Apr 17, 2017
LJS 57: Why I Stopped Hating My Playing
24:24
Welcome to episode 57 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to turn around our mentalities about our music. Podcast host, Brent Vaartstra, tells us his story about how he stopped hating his jazz playing and started having fun again. If you find yourself constantly upset with your playing, this is for you. Listen in!
Apr 10, 2017
LJS 56: 8 Reasons Why Jazz Musicians Should Shed Classical
28:54
Welcome to episode 56 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 8 reasons why jazz musicians should shed classical. That's right, classical music. How can classical music help you become a better jazz musician? Special guest Josiah Boornazian gives us the pitch. Listen in!
Apr 03, 2017
LJS 55: 4 Important Jazz Chord Progressions You Need to Master
Welcome to episode 55 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 4 important jazz chord progressions you need to master. You will come across these progressions often in jazz standards. Lick examples are demonstrated for each. Listen in!
Mar 29, 2017
LJS 54: How to Organize Balanced Jazz Practice Sessions
22:28
Welcome to episode 54 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to organize balanced jazz practice sessions. At the same time, we are answering the question of what jazz musicians should be practicing in the first place. Balanced practice routines are one of the keys to musical success. Listen in!
Mar 20, 2017
LJS 53: How to Improve Your Jazz Solos By Using Guide Tones
26:21
Welcome to episode 53 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how you can improve your jazz solos by using guide tones. One of the big questions students have is how do I navigate chord changes in my improvisation? Guide tones are a great springboard into identifying the important chord tones to focus on. Listen in!
Mar 13, 2017
LJS 52: Birthday Episode feat. 8 Special Guests with Musical Failures
44:54
Happy 1 year Birthday LJS Podcast! On today's episode we celebrate one year of successful podcast episodes. On the show we have a record setting 8 guests joining us to talk about their musical failures, how they overcame them, and what they learned from them. This is a value packed episode, so listen in!
Mar 06, 2017
LJS 51: Everything You Need to Know About Jazz Jam Sessions
31:33
Welcome to episode 51 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about everything you need to know about jazz jam sessions. Learn why they are important, how to be prepared, and how to network. Listen in!
Feb 27, 2017
LJS 50: How to Become an Expert Jazz Comper
31:43
Welcome to episode 50 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about being a jazz accompanist and how to comp like a pro. No matter what instrument you play, this is an important topic. Special guest, jazz pianist Keelan Dimick, gives us some of his best tips and advice. Listen in!
Feb 20, 2017
LJS 49: 3 Ways Practicing in all 12 Keys Will Make You a Better Musician
23:50
Welcome to episode 49 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 3 ways practicing in all 12 keys will make you a better jazz musician. This is a practice that can have profound effects on your playing. Be sure to take the challenge at the end of the episode! Listen in!
Feb 13, 2017
LJS 48: Why You Should Stop Practicing
20:16
Welcome to episode 48 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about why you should stop practicing. Stop practicing!? Indeed, there are certain scenarios where taking a little bit of time off can be incredibly helpful for your jazz playing. Listen in!
Feb 06, 2017
LJS 47: 3 Ways to Develop an Original Sound On Your Instrument
24:51
Welcome to episode 47 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 3 ways to develop an original sound on your instrument. As jazz musicians, we spend a lot of time studying the great jazz musicians that came before us. This is important! But we also want to be developing a sound that is original to us. Find out how. Listen in!
Jan 30, 2017
LJS 46: How to Make Extra Money From a Jazz Side Hustle
22:07
Welcome to episode 46 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to make extra money from a jazz side hustle. A side hustle is any small business you do on the side from your full-time job that helps you make additional income. If you love jazz and have a passion for it, why not convert some of that to some pocket cash! Find out how. Listen in!
Jan 23, 2017
LJS 45: Should I Go to College For Jazz?
35:06
Welcome to episode 45 of the LJS Podcast where today we are asking the question: Should I go to college for jazz? You may be a student in college or considering going to school for jazz. Or you may be a hobbyist interested in becoming a part-time student and furthering your jazz education. Regardless, this is an important topic to cover. Listen in!
Jan 17, 2017
LJS 44: How to 2X The Results of Your Practice Sessions
26:56
Welcome to episode 44 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to 2X the results of your practice sessions. Quality practice is important for jazz improvement. We all know this, but we need to identify how to get the most out of the precious practice time we have. Listen in!
Jan 09, 2017
LJS 43: Why We Play Jazz
25:52
Welcome to episode 43 of the LJS Podcast where today we are asking the question: why do we play jazz? It's the start of the year 2017, and it's always good to center ourselves and remind ourselves why we play the music we do. Podcast host Brent Vaartstra tells the story of his jazz journey. Listen in!
Jan 03, 2017
LJS 42: How to Keep Your Jazz New Years Resolutions
23:52
Welcome to episode 42 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to keep your jazz new years resolutions. 2017 is upon us, and like many others, we realize that we can treat it as a new chapter for our jazz playing. It's easy to make a resolution, but much harder to keep it. Find out how. Listen in!
Dec 26, 2016
LJS 41: How to Become a Better Jazz Musician Just By Listening
25:38
Welcome to episode 41 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to become a better jazz musician just by listening to jazz. Listening is one of the most important things you can do, but not just any kind of listening. Find out what you should be focusing on when listening to jazz. Listen in!
Dec 19, 2016
LJS 40: An Important Jazz Improv Technique and How to Use It
22:39
Welcome to episode 40 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about an important jazz improvisation technique called enclosure, and how to use it. This a great technique to help you conceptualize jazz language. Listen in!
Dec 12, 2016
LJS 39: A Jazz Master You’ve Probably Never Heard of Before
27:07
Welcome to episode 39 of the LJS Podcast where today we sit down to talk to a jazz master you've probably never heard of before. Meet Don Hahn, a trumpeter, and flugelhornist who has played with the likes of Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, and many others. Don talks about his life and the way he thinks about music. Listen in!
Dec 05, 2016
LJS 38: 5 Questions I Ask Myself During My Jazz Gigs
17:43
Welcome to episode 38 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 questions to ask yourself during your jazz gigs. These are questions to ask before and during your gigs that will help set you up for success. Listen in!
Nov 30, 2016
LJS 37: How to Tell Stories With Your Jazz Solos
19:59
Welcome to episode 37 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to tell stories with your jazz solos. If you think about it, some of the best solos out there tell captivating stories. Each phrase has a trajectory, and we want to learn how to do this. Listen in!
Nov 21, 2016
LJS 36: 14 Jazz Practicing Ideas
22:48
Welcome to episode 36 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 14 practicing ideas for jazz musicians. If you need some help with what you should be practicing as a jazz musician, or just need something new, this is a good episode for you. Listen in!
Nov 15, 2016
LJS 35: How Mastering Tempo and Rhythm Can Transform Your Jazz Playing
29:20
Welcome to episode 35 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how mastering tempo and rhythm can transform your jazz playing. Often times, non-percussion instrumentalists don't pay enough attention to these things, and it shows. Today's special guest, professional drummer Diego Maldonado, walks us through how to do this. Listen in!
Nov 10, 2016
LJS 34: How Playing Gigs For Free is Destroying the Music Economy
17:13
Welcome to episode 34 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how playing gigs for free is destroying the music economy. It may seem harmless. It may be that musicians who play for free just want to get some playing time. But consider the consequences. Listen in!
Nov 01, 2016
LJS 33: How Charlie Parker and John Coltrane Became Great
26:40
Welcome to episode 33 of the LJS Podcast where today we are taking a look at two jazz icons, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, and asking the question: What made them great. Was it talent? Was it a lot of practicing? Or is there something more to it? Listen in.
Oct 25, 2016
LJS 32: Music Advice I Wish Someone Had Told Me
20:38
Welcome to episode 32 of the LJS Podcast where today podcast host Brent Vaartstra talks about music advice he wishes someone had told him from the beginning. This advice is ultimately about being the best musician you have the potential to be. Listen in!
Oct 17, 2016
LJS 31: Ear Training For Jazz Musicians
22:45
Welcome to episode 31 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about ear training for jazz musicians. Having a solid, well-rounded ear is one of the most important things a jazz musician can have. Great ears is essential for improvisation, and so ear training needs to be at the forefront of a jazz musicians studies. Listen in!
Oct 11, 2016
LJS 30: 5 Jazz Solos You Should Learn and Why
21:57
Welcome to episode 30 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 jazz solos you should learn and why. Learning jazz solos by ear is a practice that all jazz musicians should be doing and is incredibly important for becoming a better jazz musician. If you are having trouble finding good solos to learn, these are definitely some to consider. Listen in!
Oct 04, 2016
LJS 29: Jazz Challenge #4 Learn a New Jazz Lick
13:41
Welcome to episode 29 of the LJS Podcast where today we are introducing Jazz Challenge #4 of our 4 part series of jazz challenges. These challenges will be leading up to the release of our first eCourse 30 Days to Better Jazz Playing in October 2016. Today’s challenge is to learn a new jazz lick. Listen in!
Sep 26, 2016
LJS 28: Jazz Challenge #3 Write Your Own Jazz Solo
17:29
Welcome to episode 28 of the LJS Podcast where today we are introducing Jazz Challenge #3 of a 4 part series of jazz challenges. These challenges will be leading up to the release of our first eCourse 30 Days to Better Jazz Playing in October 2016. Today’s challenge is to write your own jazz solo. Listen in!
Sep 19, 2016
LJS 27: Jazz Challenge #2 Practice the Blues in all 12 Keys
19:17
Welcome to episode 27 of the LJS Podcast where today we are introducing Jazz Challenge #2 of a 4 part series of jazz challenges. These challenges will be leading up to the release of our first eCourse 30 Days to Better Jazz Playing in October 2016. Today's challenge is to practice the blues in all 12 keys. Listen in!
Sep 12, 2016
LJS 26: Jazz Challenge #1 Write Your Own Contrafact
17:29
Welcome to episode 26 of the LJS Podcast where today we are introducing Jazz Challenge #1 of a 4 part series of jazz challenges. These challenges will be leading up to the release of our first eCourse 30 Days to Better Jazz Playing in October 2016. Today's challenge is to write your own contrafact. Listen in!
Sep 06, 2016
LJS 25: 4 Fears That Jazz Musicians Face (And How to Overcome Them)
25:27
Welcome to episode 25 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 4 fears that jazz musicians face and how to overcome them. Jazz musicians (and musicians in general) tend to be especially hard on themselves. They are constantly upset with their playing and worried about what others think about them. It's time to overcome these fears. Listen in!
Aug 30, 2016
LJS 24: Why Jazz is Unpopular and What We Can Do About It
27:28
Welcome to episode 24 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about why jazz is unpopular and what we can do about it. According to Nielsen's 2014 Year End Report, jazz is one of the most unpopular genres of music in the United States. In this episode we take a closer look at these details, try to figure out why, ask some questions, and reflect on what we can do about it. Listen in!
Aug 23, 2016
LJS 23: Gig Etiquette 101 for Musicians
20:37
Welcome to episode 23 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about some gig etiquette 101. These are some really helpful tips for acting professional, keeping your gig, and setting it up for success. We point out some classic mistakes musicians make on the gig and more. Listen in!
Aug 15, 2016
LJS 22: How to Play at Fast Tempos and Not Get Burned
25:59
Welcome to episode 22 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to play at fast tempos and not get burned. Up tempos tunes are something that all jazz musicians must confront, and we've all been burned by them before! In this episode we go over some tips for playing fast tempos and how we can start getting better control over them. Listen in!
Aug 08, 2016
LJS 21: 4 Steps to Finding More Time to Practice
21:01
Welcome to episode 21 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 4 steps to finding more time to practice. We get a lot of emails about this, and since practicing is such an important thing for musicians (especially in jazz), it is important we talk about it. Find out how you can squeeze practice into your regular schedule. Listen in!
Aug 01, 2016
LJS 20: How Studying Jazz Can Make You a Better Musician
36:00
Welcome to episode 20 of the LJS Podcast where today we are joined by special guest Nathaniel Schroeder to talk about how studying jazz can help you play other styles of music better, and vice versa. Nathaniel is primarily an upright and electric bassist, but also a multi-instrumentalist and has his feet in multiple genres. Listen in!
Jul 25, 2016
LJS 19: Jazz Talk With Larry Koonse (Part 2)
36:26
Welcome to episode 19 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk with internationally renowned jazz guitarist Larry Koonse. LJS guest blogger Peter Rubie conducts Part 2 of this interview, and they talk about Larry’s career, jazz, music and host of other stuff. Listen to Part 1 if you haven't yet, otherwise onward!
Jul 18, 2016
LJS 18: Jazz Talk With Larry Koonse (Part 1)
31:16
Welcome to episode 18 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk with internationally renowned jazz guitarist Larry Koonse. LJS guest blogger Peter Rubie conducts Part 1 of this interview, and they talk about Larry's musical beginnings and much more. Listen in!
Jul 11, 2016
LJS 17: 8 Jazz Records You Need To Listen To
18:22
Welcome to episode 17 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 8 jazz records you need to listen to. Our host of the LJS Podcast, Brent Vaartstra, talks about his favorite jazz albums that have stood the test of time, and invites you to chime in with yours. Listen in!
Jul 06, 2016
LJS 16: Practicing With a Metronome
15:41
Welcome to episode 16 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about practicing with a metronome. Practicing with a metronome can help us attain improvisational freedom and rhythmic confidence. Having a great time feel and a strong inner clock is a big factor that sets apart the greatest musicians. Working with a metronome can help you reach that level. Listen in!
Jun 27, 2016
LJS 15: 5 Steps to Learning Jazz Language By Ear
18:34
Welcome to episode 15 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 steps to learning jazz language by ear. In this episode we talk about why it's important to learn jazz language by ear rather than from sheet music, and 5 practical steps to do it. Learning music by ear is certainly the road less traveled, but the rewards are well worth it! Listen in.
Jun 20, 2016
LJS 14: 10 Important Jazz Standards You Need To Know and Why
22:44
Welcome to episode 14 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 10 important jazz standards you need to know and why. These 10 jazz standards are not only commonly called at jam sessions and gigs, they each have something specific to teach us about jazz and other songs in the repertoire. If you know these 10, you are well on your way to understanding many of the harmonic concepts traditionally found in jazz. Listen in!
Jun 13, 2016
LJS 13: The Art of Playing Duo
42:28
Welcome to episode 13 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about the art of playing duo. Bassist Wallace Stelzer joins us as a guest on the show again to discuss why jazz musicians should play duo, different kinds of duos, tips for playing duo, and important jazz duo recordings. Listen in!
Jun 07, 2016
LJS 12: Social Music, Bus Drivers and Jazz Musicians with Peter Bernstein
33:57
Welcome to episode 12 of the LJS Podcast where today we are joined by a very special guest, jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein. We caught Peter in between touring to sit down and talk about jazz! Pete talks about the New School, jazz as social music, Jim Hall, the jazz career and much more. Listen in!
Jun 01, 2016
LJS 11: 4 Ingredients to Becoming a Better Jazz Musician
28:36
Welcome to episode 11 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 4 ingredients to becoming a better jazz musician. These "ingredients" aren't things you should practice or what licks or solos you should learn. These are some really important things to be and do outside of the practice room, if you are serious about becoming a better jazz musician. Listen in!
May 23, 2016
LJS 10: Interview With Bruce Forman
44:18
Welcome to episode 10 of the LJS Podcast where today we call up internationally renowned jazz guitarist Bruce Forman in Los Angeles, California to talk jazz! Bruce talks about his musical beginnings, the state of jazz today, what tunes every jazz musician should know, and much more. Listen in!
May 16, 2016
LJS 09: The How and Why of Jazz Composing
32:13
Welcome to episode 9 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking all about composing music as a jazz musician. Our special guest, saxophonist and composer Josiah Boornazian talks about how he composes music, why all musicians should compose, and several different approaches to composition. Listen in!
May 09, 2016
LJS 08: 2 Exercises For Hearing Chord Changes In Your Solos
17:33
Welcome to episode 8 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 2 exercises for hearing chord changes in your solos. As jazz musicians, we want to be able to clearly hear the harmony of the tune we are playing in our solos. This is a skill that can really take your solos from sounding amateur and bland to professional and full of life. Listen in!
May 03, 2016
LJS 07: How Playing Free Can Make You a Better Improviser
32:37
Welcome to episode 7 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how playing free can make you a better improviser. Our special guest saxophonist and composer Josiah Boornazian walks us through some enlightening ways to bring free improvisation into the practice room, rehearsals, and even gigs. Listen in!
Apr 27, 2016
LJS 06: Why Jazz Is Important to Society
26:26
Welcome to episode 6 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about Why Jazz Is Important to Society. If you never listen to another one of our podcast episodes again, at least listen to this one! Brent discusses the importance of music and jazz in society and why it needs to be valued. Listen in!
Apr 18, 2016
LJS 05: How to Play Well With Others, Gig Etiquette and More
50:27
Welcome to episode 5 of the LJS Podcast where today we are joined by two very special guests, drummer Diego Maldonado and bassist Wallace Stelzer. In this episode the guys talk about an assortment of important issues such as playing together as a band, pet peeves on the band stand, the does and don'ts of gig etiquette, and practice tips. Also a special treat awaits at the end of the episode!
Apr 12, 2016
LJS 04: 3 Things Every Jazz Musician Should Practice
22:55
Welcome to episode 4 of the LJS Podcast where today we will be talking about 3 Things Every Jazz Musician Should Be Practicing. In this episode we go over three things to practice that are proven to be very effective in improving jazz soloing and jazz playing in general. If these are not a part of your practice routine now, you are going to want to pencil them in!
Apr 04, 2016
LJS 03: How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem as a Musician
16:25
Welcome to episode 3 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to overcome low self-esteem as a musician. In this episode we talk about how musicians (especially jazz musicians) can suffer from low self-esteem by being hard on themselves and unhappy with their playing. We walk through 4 different things to consider to help overcome low self-esteem as a musician. Listen in!
Mar 29, 2016
LJS 02: How to Properly Learn a Jazz Standard
27:22
Welcome to episode 2 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to properly learn a jazz standard. In this episode we talk about why learning jazz standards is so important and 5 great steps to learning a jazz standard so you can really own it. Find out how!
Mar 22, 2016
LJS 01: 4 Habits For Better Practicing
22:54
Welcome to our very first episode of the LJS Podcast, where today we are talking about 4 Habits For Better Practicing. As jazz musicians, practicing is one of the most important things we can talk about. Listen in as NYC based jazz guitarist and LJS blogger Brent Vaartstra walks us through these important practicing habits.
Mar 18, 2016