LJS 160: 1 Month Practice Plan For Learning 1-2 Jazz Solos by Ear

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. Having a plan is important, and this one will set you up for success.

Listen to episode 160

One arm of my 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing course is learning jazz solos by ear. This is a great practice for learning jazz language and internalizing musical information from great jazz improvisers.

A common thing I hear from students who are starting that course is: “I’ve never learned a solo by ear before, I don’t know if I can do it.”

But what I love is when students tell me after 7 sessions of the course, that they can’t believe they were able to learn 32 bars of a solo by ear. They’re amazed by the progress they’ve made.

That’s what I call a transformation!

The reason they had success is two-fold:

  1. They took action and were held accountable.
  2. They had a practice plan that broke things down into manageable chunks.

So in today’s episode, I want to let you in on my process for learning jazz solos by ear. For our purposes, I’ll be showing you a 1-month program that you can put to use.

Follow this process, and no matter how much experience you have, I can guarantee you will have success.

In this episode:

1. Why you should learn jazz solos by ear.

2. The limiting beliefs of those who believe they can’t learn solos by ear (and why they aren’t true).

3. Tools to help you learn solos.

4. Suggested jazz solos to learn.

5. Things you need to do before you start your practice program.

6. The 1-month Stair-Step Practice Program for learning a jazz solo(s) by ear.

1-Month Practice Plan:

Short Term Goal 1

Day 1: Learn first 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 2: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 3: Review Day 1 and Day 2

Day 4: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 5: Review Day 1-4

Day 6: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or enough to reach 32 bars)

Day 7: Review Day 1-7 (all 32 bars)

Short Term Goal 2

Day 8: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 9: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 10: Review Day 8 and Day 9

Day 11: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 12: Review Day 8-11

Day 13: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or enough to reach 32 bars)

Day 14: Review Day 8-13 (all 32 bars) and then review Short Term Goal 1

Short Term Goal 3

Day 15: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 16: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 17: Review Day 15 and Day 16

Day 18: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 19: Review Day 15-18

Day 20: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or enough to reach 32 bars)

Day 21: Review Day 15-20 (all 32 bars) and then review Short Term Goal 1-2

Short Term Goal 4

Day 22: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 23: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 24: Review Day 22 and Day 24

Day 25: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or phrase)

Day 26: Review Day 22-25

Day 27: Learn next 4-8 bars of your solo (or enough to reach 32 bars)

Day 28: Review Day 22-27 (all 32 bars)

Day 29: Review Short Term Goals 1-2

Day 30: Review Short Term Goals 2-4, and then review all Short Term Goals at once.

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

30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing (practicing program)

Episode 88: LIST Process for Learning Jazz Standard by Ear

30 Stepsto Better Jazz Playing

4 COMMENTS

  1. This was a good refresher from the 30-day course.You gotta’ like the Pizza usage, you are a New Yawrker! There is another guy from NYC that has on-line jazz improv you tube videos; he uses slice-of-piz-za to demonstrate swing quarter notes.

    BTW, this process does work.

  2. Brent… great podcast! Ive heard various people say that once youve actually learned a solo you should play it over and over. The thinking is that you really assimilate the language of the solo both aurally and physically. Whats your take on this? In the podcast you seem to suggest moving from one learned solo to another.

    • The thing is from every solo learnt there must or should be stuff to take in…repeating it will definitely help to retain whatever techniques, groove or phrase that is been learnt.

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