Learn Jazz Standards Podcast

Learn Jazz Standards Podcast

www.learnjazzstandards.com/blog
Weekly jazz tips, interviews, and advice for becoming a better jazz musician


206: Jazz Improvisation Made Simple (A Preview Reading of My New Book)
Feb 17 • 31 min
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…
205: Learning from the Greats and Embracing the Joy of Musical Growth (feat. Shirley Jansen)
Feb 10 • 38 min
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…
204: How to Prepare for Jam Sessions and Group Playing (feat. Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer)
Feb 3 • 50 min
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…
203: Practicing with a Plan and Crushing Musical Weaknesses (feat Bob Petix)
Jan 27 • 36 min
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…
202: How to Overcome Negative Self-Criticism and Start Loving Your Playing
Jan 20 • 37 min
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…
201: 3 Ways to Start Improvising Organically
Jan 13 • 26 min
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…
200: Podcast Listeners Share Their 2020 Jazz Goals (Celebration Episode)
Dec 30, 2019 • 33 min
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…
199: Top 5 Learn Jazz Standards Podcast Episodes (2019 Year End Review)
Dec 23, 2019 • 30 min
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…
198: 3 Steps for Hearing Chords (Ear Training Masterclass)
Dec 16, 2019 • 17 min
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…
197: A Jazz Geek Hang with Diego Maldonado and Wallace Stelzer
Dec 9, 2019 • 70 min
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…
196: Recycling Jazz Practice Plan (Jazz Practice Plan #2)
Dec 2, 2019 • 27 min
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…
195: Stair Step Practice Plan (Jazz Practice Plan #1)
Nov 25, 2019 • 41 min
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…
194: Understanding the Jazz Eras (Jazz History Made Simple)
Nov 18, 2019 • 49 min
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. Listen to episode 194 Enjoy…
193: Jazz Theory Made Simple (Only Theory You Need to Know)
Nov 11, 2019 • 49 min
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…
192: I Compose a Jazz Tune on the Spot
Nov 4, 2019 • 38 min
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.…
191: Understanding All the Things You Are
Oct 28, 2019 • 27 min
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…
190: 3 Ways to Get Jazz Gigs
Oct 21, 2019 • 23 min
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…
189: Finding More Time to Practice and Skyrocketing Your Jazz Potential (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)
Oct 14, 2019 • 45 min
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…
188: Inside Look on a Pro Jazz Musicians Development
Oct 7, 2019 • 51 min
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…
187: [Strategy #3] The Secret Sauce for Mastering a Jazz Blues
Sep 30, 2019 • 27 min
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.…
186: [Strategy #2] 3 Pillars of Jazz Blues Language
Sep 23, 2019 • 35 min
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…
185: [Strategy #1] Mapping out a Jazz Blues for Improv Success
Sep 16, 2019 • 34 min
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…
184: 3 Reasons You NEED to Master the Jazz Blues
Sep 9, 2019 • 26 min
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…
183: Analyzing a Good and Bad Jazz Solo (What Makes a Good Solo)
Sep 2, 2019 • 29 min
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…
182: Understanding Diminished 7th Chords and How to Improvise Over Them (feat. Adam Levy)
Aug 26, 2019 • 54 min
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…
181: I’m Taking a Break from Jazz
Aug 19, 2019 • 8 min
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…
180: I Answer Your Jazz Questions (Ask Me Anything)
Aug 12, 2019 • 37 min
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. Listen to episode 180 We’ve got a…
179: Intros to Play on Jazz Standards (7 Options)
Aug 5, 2019 • 13 min
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…
178: Becoming Your Own Jazz Teacher by Recording Yourself (feat. Jens Larsen)
Jul 29, 2019 • 36 min
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…
177: Composing a Jazz Solo Over a Minor Blues
Jul 22, 2019 • 15 min
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. Listen to episode…
176: Leveling Up Your Jazz Improvisation by Thinking Slow (feat. Nick Mainella)
Jul 15, 2019 • 39 min
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…
175: Using Pitch Collections to Create Jazz Lines Over Static Chords
Jul 8, 2019 • 17 min
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…
174: How to Learn Chord Progressions By Ear (Step-by-Step)
Jul 1, 2019 • 37 min
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…
173: Taking the Blues Through All 12 Keys (How and Why to Do It)
Jun 24, 2019 • 17 min
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…
172: 5 Things I Did to Jump-Start My Jazz Playing
Jun 17, 2019 • 38 min
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…
171: 10 Jazz Standards That Will Expand Your Understanding of Jazz Harmony
Jun 10, 2019 • 30 min
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…
170: Limiting Beliefs are Crushing Your Jazz Potential
Jun 3, 2019 • 15 min
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…
169: Composing Jazz Solos Using Target Notes (Over There Will Never Be Another You)
May 27, 2019 • 30 min
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…
168: Making Rhythms the Foundation of Your Jazz Solos (Someday My Prince Will Come Study)
May 20, 2019 • 21 min
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…
167: Making Pentatonic Scales Musical Over Just Friends (Analysis and Improv Lesson)
May 13, 2019 • 31 min
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…
166: Simplifying Jazz Standards to Make Them Easy (Tune Up Analysis)
May 6, 2019 • 30 min
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…
165: Improvising Over the LJS Podcast Theme Song (feat. Listener Improvisations)
Apr 29, 2019 • 20 min
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…
164: Warming Up the Body and Mind for Killer Musical Performances (feat. Michael Lake)
Apr 22, 2019 • 34 min
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…
163: 5 Things to Do When You Feel Un-Motivated to Practice
Apr 15, 2019 • 25 min
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…
162: Developing an Engaging Story Line for Your Jazz Solos (feat. Aimee Nolte)
Apr 8, 2019 • 36 min
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…
161: Understanding the Jazz Standard There Will Never Be Another You (Chords Analysis)
Apr 1, 2019 • 30 min
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…
160: 1 Month Practice Plan For Learning 1-2 Jazz Solos by Ear
Mar 25, 2019 • 37 min
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.…
159: Brain Hacking for Speeding Up Your Jazz Improv Success (feat. Rodney Brim)
Mar 18, 2019 • 43 min
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…
1,000,000+ Downloads of the LJS Podcast!
Mar 13, 2019 • 4 min
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…
158: Using Chromaticism to Develop Your Jazz Lines
Mar 11, 2019 • 14 min
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…
157: 4 Scales to Play Over a Half-Diminished Chord
Mar 4, 2019 • 21 min
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…
156: How to Memorize Chord Changes and Not Get Lost
Feb 25, 2019 • 22 min
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…
155: Using “Musical Playgrounds” For Better Improvisation (feat. Christopher Sutton)
Feb 18, 2019 • 39 min
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…
154: How to Avoid Meandering Jazz Solos (feat. Jeff Schneider)
Feb 11, 2019 • 37 min
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…
153: 28 Jazz Skills to Practice (by Category)
Feb 4, 2019 • 27 min
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…
152: Music Theory Checklist for Understanding Jazz Improvisation
Jan 28, 2019 • 32 min
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…
151: Applying Patterns to Scales for Jazz Improv Flexibility
Jan 21, 2019 • 20 min
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…
150: Using Enclosure to Create Bebop Lines Over a Jazz Blues
Jan 14, 2019 • 24 min
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…
149: Setting Up a Game-Changing Practice Plan for Your Jazz Playing
Jan 7, 2019 • 28 min
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,…
148: Top 5 Learn Jazz Standards Podcast Episodes (2018 Year Review)
Dec 31, 2018 • 28 min
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 lots of great content, courses, and eBooks have come…
147: Writing Tunes With Non-Functional Jazz Harmony (My Composition Analysis)
Dec 24, 2018 • 32 min
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…
146: 3 Strategies for Improvising Over a Jazz Blues
Dec 17, 2018 • 31 min
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…
145: How to Listen to a Jazz Recording (And Learn From It)
Dec 10, 2018 • 32 min
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…
Bonus Episode! My New Podcast On Making Money Teaching Music Online
Dec 5, 2018 • 8 min
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…
144: How to Know When to Move On From Something You Are Practicing (feat. Brent Arnold)
Dec 3, 2018 • 50 min
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…
143: Learning Jazz by Ear and Putting Away Fakebooks (feat. Ina Dennekamp)
Nov 26, 2018 • 28 min
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…
142: Creating Melodic Jazz Solos and the Art of Not Thinking (Coaching Call with Dan Sich)
Nov 19, 2018 • 39 min
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…
141: What I Think About When I Take a Jazz Solo
Nov 12, 2018 • 28 min
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! Listen to…
140: 3 Hip 1-6-2-5 Licks to Practice
Nov 5, 2018 • 11 min
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! Listen to…
139: Learning Jazz by Ear or Sheet Music (Which One is Better?)
Oct 29, 2018 • 23 min
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! Listen to episode 139 In today’s episode, I talk about learning jazz by…
138: How Alexander Technique Can Help You as a Musician (feat. Christian Steineder)
Oct 22, 2018 • 34 min
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! Listen to…
137: Chord Progression Hacks to Make Playing Jazz Simple (feat. Steve Nixon)
Oct 15, 2018 • 54 min
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…
136: I Critique My Jazz Playing From 7 Years Ago
Oct 8, 2018 • 28 min
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…
135: How to Learn Difficult Jazz Standards
Oct 1, 2018 • 35 min
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! Listen to…
134: 10 Myths About Playing Jazz You Need to Stop Believing
Sep 24, 2018 • 31 min
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…
133: The Sad Truth About Ear Training Fundamentals (Why You Should Practice Them)
Sep 17, 2018 • 22 min
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…
132: Avoiding “Avoid Notes” and When Not to Avoid Them
Sep 10, 2018 • 27 min
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…
131: The Neuroscience Behind Radical Musical Improvement (Feat. Marc Gelfo)
Sep 3, 2018 • 45 min
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.…
130: Ask Me Anything- Listener Jazz Questions Answered
Aug 27, 2018 • 42 min
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!…
129: Using Musical Parameters for Next Level Jazz Practice (feat. Josiah Boornazian)
Aug 20, 2018 • 43 min
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…
128: 3 Hip 2-5-1 Licks for You to Practice
Aug 13, 2018 • 13 min
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…
127: How to Maintenance Practice to Keep Up Your Jazz Skills
Aug 6, 2018 • 24 min
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…
126: Practicing Away from the Instrument Effectively and Using Jazz as Therapy (feat. Joyce Kettering)
Jul 30, 2018 • 33 min
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,…
125: The Power of Structured Jazz Practice (Coaching Call with Francis Belanger)
Jul 23, 2018 • 36 min
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!…
124: The Only Big 3 Things You Need to Be Practicing as a Jazz Musician
Jul 16, 2018 • 28 min
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…
123: 5 Powerful Results That Come From Focused, Goal-Oriented Jazz Practicing
Jul 9, 2018 • 28 min
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…
122: How to Use Target Notes to Create Melodic Jazz Lines (Feat. Jens Larsen)
Jul 2, 2018 • 36 min
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…
121: Understanding Secondary and Backdoor Dominant 7 Chords
Jun 25, 2018 • 28 min
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…
120: How to Practice Towards Fail-Proof Musical Performances (Feat. Diego Maldonado)
Jun 18, 2018 • 37 min
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…
119: How to Get Unstuck From a Musical Slump and Start Improving
Jun 11, 2018 • 33 min
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…
118: Top 13 Jazz Lessons From Our Podcast Guests
Jun 4, 2018 • 45 min
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.…
117: How to Practice Licks in all 12 Keys
May 28, 2018 • 28 min
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…
116: Dominating a Learning Mindset and Transcending Musical Limits (Feat. Kobie Watkins)
May 21, 2018 • 45 min
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…
115: How to Balance Music Theory and Playing by Ear
May 14, 2018 • 27 min
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…
114: Minor Tonality and How to Build Minor Chord Progressions (feat. Dan Carillo)
May 7, 2018 • 49 min
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.…
113: How Play-Alongs Could Be Hurting Your Jazz Playing
Apr 30, 2018 • 25 min
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…
112: Mastering the Art of Transcribing (feat. Greg Fishman)
Apr 23, 2018 • 34 min
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:…
111: Learning Songs on the Bandstand and Other Lessons From My Gig
Apr 16, 2018 • 24 min
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…
110: How to Start Crushing It On the Blues (Feat. Nick Mainella)
Apr 9, 2018 • 50 min
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…
109: Pro Tips on Proper Music Notation, Formatting and Phrasing (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)
Apr 2, 2018 • 51 min
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.…
108: Using Motivic Development to Create Musical Themes
Mar 26, 2018 • 23 min
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…
107: Composing Contrafacts to Develop Melodic Ideas
Mar 19, 2018 • 28 min
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…
106: Mapping Out a Jazz Standard for Improv Success
Mar 12, 2018 • 27 min
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 your…
105: Analyzing Jazz Standards With Roman Numerals for Max Results
Mar 5, 2018 • 39 min
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…
104: 11 Listeners Give Their Jazz Tips and Advice
Feb 26, 2018 • 45 min
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…
103: Playing Along vs. Knowing a Jazz Tune
Feb 22, 2018 • 18 min
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…
102: Blazing Your Own Trail Towards Musical Success
Feb 19, 2018 • 19 min
Welcome to episode 102 of the LJS Podcast where today we feature the story and advice of a podcast listener, Staci from North Carolina. In this episode, Staci shares some breakthroughs she had in her jazz playing when she learned how to utilize the tools…
101: Learn How to Play “My Shining Hour”
Feb 12, 2018 • 26 min
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…
100: My Jazz Mentor Gives You His Best Tips and Advice (feat. Justin Nielsen)
Feb 5, 2018 • 55 min
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…
99: Which Scales You Can Play Over Different Kinds of 7th Chords
Jan 29, 2018 • 30 min
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…
98: How to Beat the Brain Game for Musical Freedom (feat. Matt Vaartstra)
Jan 22, 2018 • 47 min
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…
97: Using the 80/20 Rule for Productive 30 Minute Practice
Jan 15, 2018 • 30 min
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…
96: Important Jazz Chord Substitutions You Need to Know
Jan 8, 2018 • 29 min
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…
95: 10 Tips for Successful Jazz Gigs and Jam Sessions
Jan 1, 2018 • 26 min
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.…
94: How I’m Planning for Musical Success in 2018
Dec 25, 2017 • 21 min
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…
93: How to Unlock Bebop Language (feat. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown)
Dec 18, 2017 • 46 min
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…
92: How to Use Tritone Substitution In Your Jazz Improv
Dec 11, 2017 • 28 min
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…
91: Understanding African Music and the Origins of Jazz (feat. Joe Agu)
Dec 4, 2017 • 34 min
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…
90: How to Get the Very Most Out of Your Jazz Solo Transcriptions
Nov 27, 2017 • 23 min
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…
89: How to Develop Time Feel and Up Your Rhythm Game
Nov 20, 2017 • 42 min
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…
88: Using the LIST Method to Learn Jazz Solos by Ear
Nov 13, 2017 • 28 min
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…
87: Inside the Development of a Jazz Musician (feat. Chris Davis)
Nov 6, 2017 • 41 min
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…
86: 7 Chords You Can Play the Melodic Minor Scale Over
Oct 30, 2017 • 27 min
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…
85: How to Practice Smart and Improve Quickly (feat. Steve Nixon)
Oct 23, 2017 • 36 min
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…
84: Important Jazz Standards You Need to Learn
Oct 16, 2017 • 32 min
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…
83: How to Improve Speed and Accuracy in Your Jazz Solos
Oct 9, 2017 • 28 min
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…
82: How to Set Game-Changing Goals for Your Musicianship
Oct 2, 2017 • 41 min
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…
81: How to Translate What You Hear to Your Instrument
Sep 25, 2017 • 27 min
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…
80: Chord Progressions and How to Identify Them By Ear
Sep 18, 2017 • 30 min
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…
79: The Power of Training Your Ear to Hear Chords
Sep 11, 2017 • 31 min
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…
78: How to Master Hearing Intervals and Level-Up Your Ears
Sep 4, 2017 • 29 min
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!…
77: How to Navigate Major 1-6-2-5 Chord Progressions
Aug 28, 2017 • 30 min
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…
76: 5 Huge Benefits of Playing With Musicians Better Than You
Aug 21, 2017 • 24 min
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…
75: How to Internalize Jazz Language
Aug 14, 2017 • 16 min
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…
74: How to Improvise Over Sus Chords
Aug 7, 2017 • 27 min
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…
73: 4 Strategies For Improvising Over Major 2-5-1’s
Jul 31, 2017 • 28 min
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.…
72: How to Beat Performance Anxiety and Quiet Your Inner Critic
Jul 24, 2017 • 37 min
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…
71: Why The “Vibing” Culture In Jazz Has to Go
Jul 17, 2017 • 19 min
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…
70: Bossa Nova Basics with Livio Almeida
Jul 10, 2017 • 31 min
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…
69: 4 Awesome Tools For Jazz Musicians
Jul 3, 2017 • 19 min
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! Listen to episode 69…
68: How to Compose a Jazz Solo From Scratch
Jun 26, 2017 • 25 min
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…
67: How to Use Pentatonic Scales Over Any Chord
Jun 19, 2017 • 20 min
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…
66: 5 Most Important Jazz Musicians You Need to Listen To
Jun 12, 2017 • 27 min
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…
65: How to Create Killer Jazz Solos By Thinking Like a Composer (Feat. Jeff Schneider)
Jun 5, 2017 • 34 min
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…
64: 5 Tips for Never Losing Your Place In a Jazz Standard
May 29, 2017 • 23 min
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…
63: How to Become an Expert Sight Reader (feat. Brett Pontecorvo)
May 22, 2017 • 33 min
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…
62: 4 Steps for Playing What You Hear In Your Jazz Improv
May 15, 2017 • 24 min
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…
61: How to Use Scales In Your Jazz Solos the Right Way
May 8, 2017 • 26 min
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…
60: How to Develop Relative Pitch (Feat. Aimee Nolte)
May 1, 2017 • 27 min
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…
59: 5 Tips for Playing Jazz Ballads Like an Expert
Apr 24, 2017 • 21 min
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…
58: How to Use Triads to Improve Your Jazz Improvisation
Apr 17, 2017 • 22 min
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…
57: Why I Stopped Hating My Playing
Apr 10, 2017 • 24 min
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…
56: 8 Reasons Why Jazz Musicians Should Shed Classical
Apr 3, 2017 • 28 min
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…
55: 4 Important Jazz Chord Progressions You Need to Master
Mar 29, 2017
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! Listen…
54: How to Organize Balanced Jazz Practice Sessions
Mar 20, 2017 • 22 min
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…
53: How to Improve Your Jazz Solos By Using Guide Tones
Mar 13, 2017 • 26 min
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…
52: Birthday Episode feat. 8 Special Guests with Musical Failures
Mar 6, 2017 • 44 min
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…
51: Everything You Need to Know About Jazz Jam Sessions
Feb 27, 2017 • 31 min
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! Listen to episode 51 Enjoy listening to this…
50: How to Become an Expert Jazz Comper
Feb 20, 2017 • 31 min
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…
49: 3 Ways Practicing in all 12 Keys Will Make You a Better Musician
Feb 13, 2017 • 23 min
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…
48: Why You Should Stop Practicing
Feb 6, 2017 • 20 min
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…
47: 3 Ways to Develop an Original Sound On Your Instrument
Jan 30, 2017 • 24 min
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…
46: How to Make Extra Money From a Jazz Side Hustle
Jan 23, 2017 • 22 min
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…
45: Should I Go to College For Jazz?
Jan 17, 2017 • 35 min
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…
44: How to 2X The Results of Your Practice Sessions
Jan 9, 2017 • 26 min
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…
43: Why We Play Jazz
Jan 3, 2017 • 25 min
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…
42: How to Keep Your Jazz New Years Resolutions
Dec 26, 2016 • 23 min
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…
41: How to Become a Better Jazz Musician Just By Listening
Dec 19, 2016 • 25 min
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…
40: An Important Jazz Improv Technique and How to Use It
Dec 12, 2016 • 22 min
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! Listen to episode 40 Enjoy…
39: A Jazz Master You’ve Probably Never Heard of Before
Dec 5, 2016 • 27 min
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.…
38: 5 Questions I Ask Myself During My Jazz Gigs
Nov 30, 2016 • 17 min
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! Listen to episode 38…
37: How to Tell Stories With Your Jazz Solos
Nov 21, 2016 • 19 min
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…
36: 14 Jazz Practicing Ideas
Nov 15, 2016 • 22 min
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.…
35: How Mastering Tempo and Rhythm Can Transform Your Jazz Playing
Nov 10, 2016 • 29 min
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…
34: How Playing Gigs For Free is Destroying the Music Economy
Nov 1, 2016 • 17 min
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…
33: How Charlie Parker and John Coltrane Became Great
Oct 25, 2016 • 26 min
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?…
32: Music Advice I Wish Someone Had Told Me
Oct 17, 2016 • 20 min
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!…
31: Ear Training For Jazz Musicians
Oct 11, 2016 • 22 min
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…
30: 5 Jazz Solos You Should Learn and Why
Oct 4, 2016 • 21 min
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…
29: Jazz Challenge #4 Learn a New Jazz Lick
Sep 26, 2016 • 13 min
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.…
28: Jazz Challenge #3 Write Your Own Jazz Solo
Sep 19, 2016 • 17 min
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.…
27: Jazz Challenge #2 Practice the Blues in all 12 Keys
Sep 12, 2016 • 19 min
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.…
26: Jazz Challenge #1 Write Your Own Contrafact
Sep 6, 2016 • 17 min
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.…
25: 4 Fears That Jazz Musicians Face (And How to Overcome Them)
Aug 30, 2016 • 25 min
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…
24: Why Jazz is Unpopular and What We Can Do About It
Aug 23, 2016 • 27 min
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…
23: Gig Etiquette 101 for Musicians
Aug 15, 2016 • 20 min
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…
22: How to Play at Fast Tempos and Not Get Burned
Aug 8, 2016 • 25 min
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…
21: 4 Steps to Finding More Time to Practice
Aug 1, 2016 • 21 min
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…
20: How Studying Jazz Can Make You a Better Musician
Jul 25, 2016 • 36 min
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,…
19: Jazz Talk With Larry Koonse (Part 2)
Jul 18, 2016 • 36 min
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…
18: Jazz Talk With Larry Koonse (Part 1)
Jul 11, 2016 • 31 min
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…
17: 8 Jazz Records You Need To Listen To
Jul 6, 2016 • 18 min
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…
16: Practicing With a Metronome
Jun 27, 2016 • 15 min
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…
15: 5 Steps to Learning Jazz Language By Ear
Jun 20, 2016 • 18 min
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…
14: 10 Important Jazz Standards You Need To Know and Why
Jun 13, 2016 • 22 min
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…
13: The Art of Playing Duo
Jun 7, 2016 • 42 min
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,…
12: Social Music, Bus Drivers and Jazz Musicians with Peter Bernstein
May 31, 2016 • 33 min
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…
11: 4 Ingredients to Becoming a Better Jazz Musician
May 23, 2016 • 28 min
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…
10: Interview With Bruce Forman
May 16, 2016 • 44 min
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…
09: The How and Why of Jazz Composing
May 9, 2016 • 32 min
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…
08: 2 Exercises For Hearing Chord Changes In Your Solos
May 3, 2016 • 17 min
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…
07: How Playing Free Can Make You a Better Improviser
Apr 27, 2016 • 32 min
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…
06: Why Jazz Is Important to Society
Apr 18, 2016 • 26 min
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…
05: How to Play Well With Others, Gig Etiquette and More
Apr 12, 2016 • 50 min
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,…
04: 3 Things Every Jazz Musician Should Practice
Apr 4, 2016 • 22 min
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…
03: How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem as a Musician
Mar 29, 2016 • 16 min
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…
02: How to Properly Learn a Jazz Standard
Mar 22, 2016 • 27 min
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…
01: 4 Habits For Better Practicing
Mar 18, 2016 • 22 min
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…