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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, whose 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. Join thousands of listeners getting free jazz education every week!

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

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    • 5.0 • 9 betyg

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, whose 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. Join thousands of listeners getting free jazz education every week!

    LJS 259: 7 Steps for Not Getting Lost During Your Jazz Solos

    LJS 259: 7 Steps for Not Getting Lost During Your Jazz Solos

    Welcome to episode 259 where today we're addressing a really common problem improvisers face, which is getting lost in the form while you are soloing. Getting lost is something that happens to everyone, but the key is reducing this occurrence and being able to get back on quickly. Here are 7 steps to consider.







    Listen to episode 259















    So you're in the middle of your solo, and you are playing all the notes. You think you are playing the changes. You're getting swept away.







    Then all of a sudden you realize, I don't know where I am in the song. 







    This horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach comes up, and you feel embarrassed. You don't even know what you're doing. You just started playing random notes. You're getting disflustered.







    All these things are coming about, you just don't know where you are in the song anymore. Somehow, you got lost. 







    And so the big question is, how can we avoid this from happening? How can we avoid getting lost when we are playing jazz standards, when we are improvising our solos? And how do we set ourselves up for success so that this does not happen to you ever again?







    That's exactly what we are going to talk about in today's episode. And we're going to go over 7 questions to ask yourself if you are doing these things or not, to help you avoid this mistake.







    In this episode:







    1. How are you learning the tune? By ear or by sheet music?







    2. Can you recognize the sounds of basic chord progressions?







    3. Do you practice singing along with the form?







    4. Do you practice with a metronome?







    5. Do you have a good concept of playing subdivisions?







    6. Do you practice keeping track of the form while listening to recordings?







    7. Do you practice improvising off of the melody?







    Important Links







    1. LJS Inner Circle Membership

    • 26 min
    LJS 258: Experimenting with Your Improvisation (Practice Session)

    LJS 258: Experimenting with Your Improvisation (Practice Session)

    Welcome to episode 258 where today I'm having you sit in on a practice session where I explore a I-VI-ii-V chord progression, experimenting with whatever ideas come up in the moment. A lot of times we get wrapped up on playing the "right notes" that we forget that we have to experiment creatively to find the music that we really want to play. Developing a mindset of experimentation can help with that.







    Listen to episode 258















    You know a lot of us can get stuck in our jazz improv when we get over-analytical.  







    We think a lot about exercises. We think a lot about certain concepts we may have learned that we want to apply over a jazz standard or a chord progression, and we forget that we're actually just trying to make music. 







    And for me, and something that I like to instill in all my students, implement into my courses and my programs, is the act of creation, of experimenting, finding the notes you like, finding the notes you don't like, trying different things to see what works and what doesn't work. 







    So, in today's episode, I'm going to do a little bit of a practice session just for myself over a popular chord progression.







    I'm just going to try as many things as possible, and just work through the chord progression, try to see what ideas come up spontaneously, see what I like and see what I don't like.







    And I think this will help you understand how you can structure a practice session around this concept of experimentation and creation.







    In this episode:







    1. Why experimentation is important for better jazz improv







    2. I practice a I-VI-ii-V progression, experimenting as much as possible







    Important Links







    1. Learn Jazz Live 2021 Virtual Summit







    2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

    • 24 min
    LJS 257: 10 Life Skills I’ve Learned from Studying Jazz

    LJS 257: 10 Life Skills I’ve Learned from Studying Jazz

    Welcome to episode 257 where today I discuss 10 life skills I've learned from studying jazz. In the process of studying this music, I've found that a lot of the mindsets and skills I've learned have translated to a multitude of different areas in my life. Knowing this is extremely helpful, and I share some of the insights I've gained that you can share in as well.







    Listen to episode 257















    This episode is a little bit of a different one from what I normally would talk about on this show, going away from some of the jazz improv tips, tricks, practice strategies, and diving into a little bit more of life lessons that I've learned as a result of studying jazz.







    I don't know about you, obviously learning music, becoming a great jazz improviser, there's a lot of fulfillment within just that action. Music is its own reward. 







    However, I like to think that everything I do has benefits that spread across other aspects of my life.







    And certainly, when I look back on my jazz education and how it has affected me now, I see a ton of benefits that have really made a huge impact and helped me grow in areas of my life I never thought I would develop so quickly or so strongly.







    So, in today's episode, I'm going to go over ten life lessons that I've learned from studying jazz, breakdown what they are, and I'm sure that you'll find some inspiration and help in understanding these as well.







    In this episode:







    1. Developing long term thinking







    2. Building acceptance of myself







    3. Developing a growth mindset







    4. Developing perseverance







    5. Developing a deeper appreciation for professionalism







    6. Learning how to maximize my productivity







    7. Developing project managing skills







    8. Learning how to "start ugly"







    9. Learning how to teach better







    10. Developing critical listening skills







    Important Links







    1. Learn Jazz Live 2021 Virtual Summit







    2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

    • 45 min
    LJS 256: How to Develop a Jazz Solo (First Steps)

    LJS 256: How to Develop a Jazz Solo (First Steps)

    Welcome to episode 256 where today I walk you through some different steps for beginning to develop a great jazz solo. A common mistake I hear is beginning a jazz solos with lots of notes and a myriad of ideas, rather than using call and response and a thematic building ideas. I show you actionable steps you can take to start bringing your solos to life.







    Listen to episode 256















    Okay, what was wrong with that solo?







    There is something horribly wrong with that solo and what was wrong with it was, right as soon as it was my turn to solo, I came out of the gate just playing as many notes as possible, just trying to fill up as much space as possible. 







    And guess what, it probably sounded boring. It probably didn't spell the chord changes as well as I could have. It just didn't sound that musical. It was just a lot of notes regardless of whether they are the right notes or not. 







    So, the big question is, how do we develop really awesome jazz solos?







    Well, that's exactly what we're going to do today. We're not going to do what I just did. We are going to make really awesome jazz solos that sound great. 







    In this episode:







    1. Start with simple rhythms using only one note per chord







    2. Slowly add more rhythmic complexity and additional notes to your idea







    3. Create rhythmic and melodic phrases and practice "carbon copying" them over different chords as an exercise







    4. Use direction of your lines to help manipulate your motific ideas 5. Manipulate your rhythms to create more space







    Important Links







    1. Learn Jazz Live 2021 Virtual Summit







    2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

    • 30 min
    LJS 255: Why is Analyzing Jazz Standards Helpful for Improvisation?

    LJS 255: Why is Analyzing Jazz Standards Helpful for Improvisation?

    Welcome to episode 255 where today I'm sharing a short excerpt from a recent live Q&A call I had with my LJS Inner Circle members that answers the question: why is analyzing jazz standards helpful for improvisation? I discuss two aspects that make analysis helpful for the learning process and why it's worth spending some time doing.







    Listen to episode 255















    There are many ways to go about learning jazz standards and memorizing them and also improvising over them. 







    And one way that people like to start learning jazz standards and figuring out improvising over them better is through analysis. 







    Analyzing the chord changes to a jazz standard, putting certain theoretical labels on things such as relative minor, parallel minor. All these things that maybe you've heard in the jazz theory world before.







    But why would you do it? Why is it important to do? Is it even helpful? 







    Well, this was a question I was asked in my monthly jazz mastermind, which is a Q&A call that we do in my Inner Circle membership and I thought this was a great question so we are going to answer that in today's episode.







    In this episode:







    1. Analyzing can help you learn and memorize tunes better







    2. Analyzing can help you understand the contexts of chords and chord progressions, which will influence your improv decisions







    Important Links







    1. Learn Jazz Live 2021 Virtual Summit







    2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

    • 9 min
    LJS 254: How to Develop Great Time Feel 101

    LJS 254: How to Develop Great Time Feel 101

    Welcome to episode 254 where today we talk about how to develop a good time feel and a basic sense of rhythm. You can play all of the "right" notes, and the hippest licks, but if your time feel is off and your execution poor, you'll end up sounding amateur. In this episode, you'll learn two exercises that will get you headed in the right direction.







    Listen to episode 254















    One of the more common issues I hear in the playing of beginner to intermediate jazz improvisers is a poor time feel. 







    Just not really being able to land their phrases in the time, maybe it's rushing, maybe it's dragging, maybe it's just the phrases are sounding a little bit off for lack of sense of rhythm in where the time is. 







    And this is really an important thing to hone in on because we could play all the right notes and have really great lines and licks but if we're not playing them with good time feel, it can really just sound completely immature.







    So, in today's episode, I'm going to go over just the very basics of developing a good time feels, that we could start getting headed in the right track, and start playing better jazz solos in better time.







    In this episode:







    1. Working on basic subdivisions with a metronome







    2. Reducing the clicks while working on subdivisions







    3. Practice feeling space with the metronome







    Important Links







    1. Learn Jazz Live 2021 Virtual Summit







    2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

    • 22 min

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Mellqurius ,

Great jazz resource!

Lots of great jazz wisdom for free!

Rud(e)man ,

Informative and motivating

I love listen to this podcast when going to work or taking a walk and then bring some of the content to the practice room. I also keep coming back to some of the episodes and think these will be with me for a long time. Finally, I appreciate this media.

SweDB1 ,

Great

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