Learn Jazz Standards Podcast

By Brent Vaartstra: Jazz Musician, Author, and Entrepreneur

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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 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