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Favorite Jazz Lick of All Time

Learning some micro language over jazz standards a.k.a. licks can be really helpful to get some musical ideas to guide you along so that you can further create your own musical ideas over chords in chord progressions.

So in today’s video, I’m going to share with you my favorite lick that I’ve ever learned and why.

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

Click here to check out my new book “Jazz Improvisation Made Simple”

Further Reading:

25 Easy Jazz Licks

LJS 213: How to Comp Over Jazz Standards Like a Pro

Welcome to episode 213 of the LJS Podcast where today we talk about all thing comping. This isn’t just an episode for the guitarists and pianists – everyone can get benefit out of the concepts discussed in this episode. You learn 3 things to keep in mind while you are comping so that you are serving the musicians you are playing with as best as possible.

Listen to episode 213

In my personal opinion, one of the hardest things to teach in jazz is comping. 

Now, if you are a guitar player or a piano player or a vibes player, you understand that comping is hard to put a method to,  hard to put inside of a box. There are so many different things that are involved in comping.

And if you are a saxophone player or a trumpet player, or any horn player, I don’t want you to tune this episode out, because indeed, it is also important for you to understand the art of comping.

However, I, today, on the podcast, will give you 3 important things that you need to keep in mind as a comper when you are accompanying other musicians on the bandstand over jazz standards.

In this episode:

1. Be a rhythmic time keeper

2. Offer supportive harmony

3. Use logical voiceleading in your voicings

Important Links

LJS 50: How to Become and Expert Comper (feat. Keelan Dimick)

4 Steps for Learning Jazz Improvisation

So you want to learn jazz improvisation but you may not know exactly where to start. It”s pretty overwhelming if you think about it especially when you are coming into jazz from the outside.

So, In today’s video, I’m going to break things down, make things simple and give you four steps to learn jazz improvisation.

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

Check out my new book “Jazz Improvisation Made Simple” for deep dives on these 4 steps by clicking here.

Videos Mentioned:

Only Jazz Theory You Need to Know

10 Master Jazz Standards You Need to Know

Jazz Blues Mastery Practice Program

LJS 212: Harnessing Pure Musical Expression (Improv Session with Brent)

Welcome to episode 212 of the LJS Podcast where today I get behind my guitar and have an improv session. During trying times, it can be helpful to use music as an outlet to express things that you may not be able to in words or thoughts. In this episode, I perform an improvisation for you that I hope not only you will enjoy, but feel inspired to do the same.

Listen to episode 212

During times of uncertainty, music has the potential to be a healing force and to help us express our emotions, to get things out unto the table that maybe we just wouldn’t be able to do otherwise through the written word or through language. 

There’s something about music and the expression through music that reaches some part of our soul that as musicians, we are very lucky and fortunate to be able to tap into.

But sometimes music and studying jazz, all the things we talked about in this podcast, can be a little stressful, too. Like you are actually diving deep into concepts and putting pressure on yourself to get better and better.

But today I want to live by example here and I just want to create freely for you and hopefully, you will do the same at the end of this episode as well. 

In this episode:

1. How music can be a powerful outlet during trying times

2. I perform an improvisation session

Important Links

Join the LJS Newsletter

Sign up for a course

ONLY Jazz Standard I Would Play for the REST OF MY LIFE

So let’s imagine for a second that for some odd reason, you are stuck on an island for the rest of your life, and unfortunately, the rules of the island are that you can only play one jazz standard and that’s it. You can’t play more than one. There’s no supply of other jazz standards.

So, which one will you pick? Which jazz standard will you forever play for the rest of your life?

Well, I certainly know which one I would pick, so I am excited to share that with you in this video and talk about why this jazz standard is such a great one.

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

If you want to dive deeper into understanding this jazz standard, click here to check out my eBook and course “The Jazz Standards Playbook.”

Watch:

How to Improvise Over All The Things You Are Tutorial

Bonus Episode: Special Message from Brent About COVID-19

Today’s episode is a special message from me to the Learn Jazz Standards family about how we can get through these trying times together, and come out the other side stronger and more motivated than ever before.

Listen to this bonus episode

Hey, what’s up, Learn Jazz Standards family! I wanted to record this bonus episode today just to say, hey listen, we are all in this together

I know that we are going through a hard time here in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic. For a lot of us, life has changed quite dramatically. From my listeners in Japan, from my listeners in the UK, from my listeners in the United States, in Canada and all over the world.

It’s something that affected all of us and I know it is a time where we are feeling a lot of anxiety, some pain, some hurt, and a lot of fear about what the future holds.

And what I want to do and use this platform today is not necessarily to talk about music and all that stuff that I always talk about on this show. But rather to say, in solidarity, I am here for you. 

In this episode:

1. Default to Gratitude

2. Default to Generosity

3. Default to Community

4. Default to Goal Setting

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren’t already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

I look forward to having you join me in the next episode!

LJS 211: Making Jazz Standards Your Own and Developing Your Musical Voice (feat. Mike Casey)

Welcome to episode 211 of the LJS Podcast where today we have special guest Mike Casey on the show to talk to us about arranging jazz standards so you can make them your own unique expression. Mike lays down the value with lots of practical tips for improving your jazz improv, gives us insight to his musical growth, and gives us examples of how to arrange jazz standards.

Listen to episode 211

Once you’ve learned the jazz standard and feel comfortable with it, you may think to yourself, well, I know how to play the melody, I know how to play the changes. I can go to a jam session or even a gig and play it with other musicians.

But then, what do I with it after that? How do I make it my own? How do I give it my own voice and how can I develop that voice through these jazz standards so it sounds like me playing it so that there is something special I’m bringing to the table. 

Well on today’s episode, I have special guest saxophonist, Mike Casey, who is going to lay down a lot of really value-packed tips today. Full of stuff on how to become a better jazz improviser and a great musician in general.

But he also talks a lot about taking jazz standards, arranging them to be that your own and to have your own original voice. You are going to really love this episode. I know you are going to learn tons from it today. 

In this episode:

1. How Mike got started playing music

2. How Mike learned every Charlie Parker head

3. A solo that Mike learned and got a lot out of

4. How to arrange jazz standards to make them your own

Mike Casey’s “Unforgettable” Arrangement

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren’t already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

I look forward to having you join me in the next episode!

Important Links

Mike’s website

Enter to win a free lesson with Mike

Make Chords Sound Like Jazz (4 Levels)

So, how do we make chords in chord progressions sound like jazz? Or for lack of better terms, jazzy?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to be covering in today’s video: four levels of making chords sound like jazz.

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

If you want to dive deeper into jazz chords and chord progressions, check out my eBook and course “The Jazz Standards Playbook” by clicking here.

Further Reading:

Crash Course On Which Scales to Play Over 7th Chords

LJS 210: 1-6-2-5 Licks Over Rhythm Changes (Learning From Dexter Gordon)

Welcome to episode 210 of the LJS Podcast where today I take out my guitar and do a little bit of practicing with you. We explore some incredible jazz language over 1-6-2-5 chord progressions while listening to a Dexter Gordon recording of a rhythm changes. I learn and pick apart licks from scratch to help you understand what makes them so effective and great.

Listen to episode 210

We are going to have some fun on the podcast today. 

I have not been able to pick up my guitar in a little while. I’ve been traveling. I’ve been doing a lot of work for a new membership that we have coming up here later on in the year for Learn Jazz Standards. 

And so, I’m going to be practicing with you today. We are going to learn some 1-6-2-5 material with the help of our good friend Dexter Gordon, to show us the light, to show us the way on some killer jazz language to play over 1-6-2-5 chord progressions. 

This is going to be fun. I’m excited to learn and I hope that you are excited to learn along with me. 

In this episode:

1. How Dexter Gordon uses minimalism to play powerful melody over fast-moving chord changes.

2. How Dexter Gordon plays great bebop lines over 1-6-2-5’s.

3. How Dexter Gordon makes the major pentatonic scale musical over a 1-6-2-5.

4. The power of resolving to the 3rds of different chords in the progression.

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren’t already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts

I look forward to having you join me in the next episode!

Important Links

How to Improvise on Rhythm Changes Like a Pro

Jazz Improvisation Made Simple (book)

LJS 209: 4 Secrets for Jazz Improv Success

Welcome to episode 209 of the LJS Podcast where today I talk about 4 secrets for jazz improv success. I find that jazz is often over complicated, so in this episode I do my best to simplify with these 4 secrets so that you can have a great path forward and a good idea of what to work on to make the most progress in the shortest amount of time.

Listen to episode 209

One of the things that drive me nuts about traditional jazz education is just how complicated it is made up to be.

And for people trying to come into the jazz world to learn how to improvise, it can be very intimidating and it can be very confusing. There is just too much music theory, there’s too much everything.

So, what I’ve really tried to do on this podcast and everything with Learn Jazz Standards, is try to make jazz a little bit simpler. I just came out with a new book Jazz Improvisation Made Simple, which is just completely all about this.

In the spirit of that new book and to celebrate its launch, I want to go over four secrets for jazz improv, like how to really accelerate your jazz growth and get started down the right path, and the things you really should be doing and you can strip everything else away.

You don’t have to get confused. You don’t have to get overwhelmed. I’m here to help.

In this episode:

1. Understand Jazz as a Language

2. Know the basics of jazz theory

3. Understand and practice the “3 Pillars of Jazz Improvisation”

4. Have a practice plan that gets real results

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren’t already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

I look forward to having you join me in the next episode!

Important Links

1. LJS 145: How to Listen to a Jazz Recording and Learn from It

2. LJS 194: Understanding the Jazz Eras (Jazz History Made Simple)

3. LJS 193: Jazz Theory Made Simple

4. LJS 124: The Only Big 3 Things You Need to Be Practicing as a Jazz Improviser

5. LIST Process for Learning Jazz Standards the Smart Way

6. LJS 195: Stair-step Practice Plan

7. LJS 196: Recycling Jazz Practice Plan