LJS 205: Learning from the Greats and Embracing the Joy of Musical Growth (feat. Shirley Jansen)

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 for her in her jazz playing, the power of learning solos from the jazz greats, and how community is helping her grow.

Listen to episode 205

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One thing that has become clear to me over the years getting to know the community here at Learn Jazz Standards is that a big reason that a lot of us play music and a lot of us play jazz is because of that infectious joy that it brings to our everyday lives.

There is just something about music that I would say, especially jazz, that just gives you this sense of freedom and this real sense of accomplishment as long as you view it as a journey and something to be constantly learning from.

And so I want to introduce to you today a really special guest. Someone who is an alumni of my 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing course and a podcast listener, Shirley Jansen, who is just someone that gives a lot of great energy, someone who really exudes the joy of music, exudes the joy of learning.

And we are going to get inside of her head how she learns best, what she’s doing in the practice room and what she is doing to continually improve as jazz musician.

In this episode:

1. How Shirley got into playing saxophone after a serious injury

2. Learning from the greats and how its helped her playing

3. How community playing has helped her grow

4. What she’s struggling with right now and some tips to overcome that

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

LJS 203: Practicing with a Plan and Crushing Musical Weaknesses (feat Bob Petix)

30 Stepsto Better Jazz Playing


  1. MAN Shirley is just phenomenal, what a breath of fresh air! All the action she took without having to be ''all the way there,''.. this is a true entrepreneur and that way it is supposed to be done with ANYTHING in life!! I also loved her attitude and her joy for life and music is really infectious!! Plus i learned so much by listening to the advice Brent gave. The three areas to practice, using an ''off'' note to go in a different direction and head back to the chord progression. i actually love music played like this or playing ''outside'' is how i refer to is when when i hear it. (That may not be the correct terminology) Anyway this was a great experience listening to this podcast; entertaining, informative and educational!

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