374 episodes

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!

Learn Jazz Standards Podcast Brent Vaartstra: Jazz Musician, Author, and Entrepreneur

    • Music
    • 4.7 • 75 Ratings

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!

    What Prevents You From Achieving Your Jazz Goals?

    What Prevents You From Achieving Your Jazz Goals?

    "What prevents you from achieving your jazz goals?". This was a question we recently polled our community over on YouTube about, and we got a lot of really interesting answers and responses to our poll.

    So, in today's episode what I wanna do is I wanna go over those results; what people are saying and talk about each result and help you understand how really, they're not actually truly holding you from your jazz goals if you channel them in the different direction.

    In this episode:
    1. Addressing "No Time To Practice"
    2. Addressing "Not Enough Technique"
    3. Addressing "Not Understanding Jazz Theory"
    4. Addressing "Not Enough Motivation"

    Important Links:
    LJS Inner Circle Membership
    Free Guide to learn standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way
    50% off Offer 

    • 43 min
    Quick Win: How to Learn Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise (Jazz Tutorial)

    Quick Win: How to Learn Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise (Jazz Tutorial)

    Today, we're talking about the classic minor jazz standard, "Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise". We'll take a look at the chords to figure out the most efficient way to learn it as well as some harmonic secrets within the tune that will help us improvise over it.

    in this episode:

    1. Short demo
    2. The best way to learn the melody
    3. Identifying the key - The first A section
    4. Things you can do with a minor ii-V-I progression
    5. A tritone substitution
    6. Chord substitution options
    7. Associating the melody of the song with the chords
    8. The second A section
    9. The relative major key
    10. Diminished substitution
    11. Passing diminished chord
    12. The best way to improvise on a dim7 chords
    13. The bridge

    Important Links:
    Free Guide to learning standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way
    LJS Inner Circle Membership
    Listen to the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast
    Get our Amazon Best Selling book
    50% off Offer 

    • 15 min
    The One Musical Skill I Would Master (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)

    The One Musical Skill I Would Master (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)

    Today on the podcast I have a member of my team, Brett Pontecorvo, to the show with me to discuss 2 questions.

     And those questions are:
    - What is one musical skill you are/were lacking that caused you some trouble in your career?
       and
    - If you could start over, what would be the one musical skill you would master?

    A lot of gold within these hills.

    In this episode:
    1. What is one musical skill you are/were lacking that caused you some trouble in your career?
    2. If you could start over, what would be the one musical skill you would master?

    Important Links:
    LJS Inner Circle Membership
    Free Guide to learn standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way


    50% off Offer 

    • 20 min
    Quick Win: How to Learn Misty (Jazz Tutorial)

    Quick Win: How to Learn Misty (Jazz Tutorial)

    Today, we're talking about the classic ballad, "Misty" by Errol Garner.
    We'll take a look at the chords so we can figure out how to most efficiently learn it and find out what harmonic secrets we can discover in the process.

    In this episode:
    1. Intro
    2. Misty - short demo
    3. The best way to learn the melody
    4. Identifying the key
    5. Relating key centers
    6. Relating the melody to the chord changes
    7. Identifying backdoor dominants
    8. Identifying secondary dominants
    9. Understanding the form
    10. Learning the B section
    11. The hardest part to memorize in Misty
    12. The last part of the A section 

    Important Links:
    Free Guide to learning standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way
    LJS Inner Circle Membership
    Listen to the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast
    Get our Amazon Best Selling book

    See you in the next video!



    50% off Offer 

    • 16 min
    Why You Need to Learn Giant Steps

    Why You Need to Learn Giant Steps

    Giant Steps by John Coltrane is often known as a right of passage for jazz musicians because it is notoriously one of the most difficult jazz standards to learn and improvise over. Truly it is a complicated song.

    So, in today's episode, I'm actually gonna talk about why actually going into the trouble of working on and practicing and learning Giant Steps is actually gonna help you play all other jazz standards a lot better.

    In this episode:
    1. Reasons why you need to study Giant Steps
    2. Learn the Coltrane changes
    3. Understand the underlying modulations within the tune     
    4. How to navigate V-I chord progressions in different keys
    5. How to use altered licks for V-I ideas                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    Important Links:
    LJS Inner Circle Membership
    Free Guide to learn standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way




    50% off Offer 

    • 27 min
    What to Do If You Are No Longer Passionate About Jazz

    What to Do If You Are No Longer Passionate About Jazz

    Welcome to episode 369

    In this episode:
    1. Why my friend is no longer passionate about jazz
    2. Why there is nothing for you to do if you are no longer excited about jazz
    3. A few caveats to consider
    4. How jazz transformed my friend's playing forever

    Important Links:
    Free Guide to learning standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way
    LJS Inner Circle Membership
    50% off Offer 

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

Kymaton ,

LJS

Absolutely phenomenal. Step by step approach to understanding the building blocks of the genre of jazz and how to improvise. And this works. Within a very short time I was getting it. But most importantly this is a practical podcast which not only talks you through it but demonstrates with good real life jazz standards examples. In 2 words ‘thank you’.

The Shiba ,

A very good resource

Having been predominantly a classical musician, as a late-comer to learning to play Jazz and even understanding the medium, I find this podcast a very good resource for the learning I have to undertake. Thanks.

cantfindanicknamegoddamnit! ,

Great podcast

This is an excellent podcast. Wonder if we could hear a little bit on the modes of the melodic minor as I’m shedding that at the moment.

Loving all the content though

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