LJS 84: Important Jazz Standards You Need to Learn

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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 work from. Listen in!

Listen to episode 84

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In today’s episode, we are answering Collin from Nova Scotia’s question all about which jazz standards are important to learn. It’s a good question because there are hundreds of jazz standards out there to learn.

Learning jazz standards are an essential part of a jazz musicians education. Even if you like composing your own music, jazz standards are foundational for understanding harmony and being able to play with other musicians on jazz jams and gigs.

I break down a list of 40 standards that I believe are important to know. By breaking them down into categories it makes them more digestible for you to learn. No need to be overwhelmed! Simply use this list as a checklist.

Just a disclaimer here: every time a give out a list of standards, I always get “you forgot this one!” “why is this on the list!?” There are hundreds of jazz standards, this isn’t the ultimate list, and many are left out. It’s okay. Feel free to list others in the comments below if you feel so inclined.

Before going over the list, which of these standards should you learn first? You should learn the standards that:

  1. You already enjoy. If you like a particular jazz standard on this already, learn it. The ones that aren’t forced are the ones you will remember best.
  2. From categories you are lacking in. Don’t know enough Bossa Novas? Learn one from that category. Not enough Ballads? Learn one from there.

Here’s the list of standards discussed in today’s episode:

Start-up Standards

(Essential to learn, fewer chord changes, good for starting out)

Autumn Leaves

So What

Blue Bossa

Take the A Train

All of Me

Song for My Father

Advanced Essentials

(Important songs, more chord changes, more complex harmony)

All the Things You Are

Stella By Starlight

Alone Together

Have You Met Miss Jones

It Could Happen to You

Days of Wine and Roses

Ballads

Body and Soul

Misty

In a Sentimental Mood

My Funny Valentine

The Nearness of You

Bossa Nova’s

The Girl from Ipanema

Wave

Corcovado

How Insensitive

Triste

Recorda Me

Bebop Tunes

Scrapple From the Apple

Blues For Alice

Ornithology

Anthropology

Confirmation

Blues Tunes

Billie’s Bounce

All Blues

Sonny Moon For Two

Now’s The Time

Straight No Chaser

Sandu

Brent’s Current Top 5 Favorite

I’ll Be Seeing You

Secret Love

My Shining Hour

Freight Trane

Beatrice

Brent: [00:00:21] All right what’s up everybody my name is Brant. I am the jazz musician behind the website Learn Jazz Standards.com which is a blog and a podcast all geared towards helping you become a better jazz musician. Welcome to another episode of the LJS podcast. Glad you’re here. [15.8]

[00:00:37] Special welcome to those of you returning who are regular listeners. Thank you for being here and for those who are listening for the first time. I know you’re going to love today’s show. I know you’re getting a lot of value in today’s show. Thanks so much for being here. I’m here to serve you. My entire goal is to answer your questions about becoming a better jazz musician. That is exactly what we do here on Learn Jazz Standards on our blog on this podcast and that’s why on today’s episode 84 I’m actually taking another question from a caller. Last week in Episode 83 we had a question from a caller who called in to our podcast questions hotline. So this week we are doing the same thing I’m trying to catch up on some of these questions now. By the way if you ever do have a jazz question that you need answering you think it be a great question for the group for everybody in our community to check out, you can call the podcast questions hotline that’s 910-LJS-CAST. Leave a voicemail and it could be answered on a future LJS podcast episode. Okay, let’s listen to today’s caller question. [1:06.6]

Caller: [00:01:46] Hi this is Carl Burke from Halifax Nova Scotia Canada and I love listening to the podcast, very much appreciate what you guys are doing and I really enjoy the episodes where you guys are playing chords, you have backing tracks happening. And even if I’m on a drive I can try to sing along to the notes that are happening. The other question I wanted to ask was more so towards practicing jazz standards. I know that I need to practice more standards and if I want to learn jazz standards, I need to be listening to those standards, but I’m not 100 percent sure which standards I should be listening to and which ones are a hundred percent, well just going to be the ones that I need to have to build a foundation in jazz. Thank you very much. And I appreciate you listening to my call. [1:07.0]

Brent: [00:02:53] Hey Collin, calling in from Canada, I really appreciate you calling the hotline and you know I actually have family that lives in Nova Scotia so I guess we have that much in common. Now that is a really great question. I really appreciate you asking that and back in Episode 14, way back in Episode 14 I talked about 10 important jazz standards you need to know and why, and that was really a list of standards where if you learned them you could really learn a lot about jazz by diving into them. So I would suggest episode 14. However today’s episode is going to be much more in-depth. I’m going to be talking about around 40 jazz standards that you should learn. But I’m going to do something I’ve never done before which is I’m going to separate them out into categories and I think this is going to be incredibly helpful because when it comes down to it, you know, which jazz standards should we be learning? We should be learning not only the jazz standards that are going to teach us a lot about jazz and navigating chord progressions and all that stuff, we need to be learning the ones that are going to be called on jam sessions Or if you were to play a gig with other musicians, which I think is the goal for many of the listeners today is being able to play a gig with other musicians. You’re going to have to know these songs. And there’s different categories of songs that we’re going to cover that you should know. Now really quickly, why is it important to learn jazz standards? [1:15.4]

[00:04:08] You know obviously this Web site and the podcast started out, it’s called Learn Jazz Standards, and it started out simply as just a database of jazz standards. And now of course it’s so much more than that. But the reason that it started this way is because jazz standards are essential to learn for our jazz education. You know one of my teachers and one of my favorite musicians in the world Peter Bernstein, once said to me: let the jazz standards teach you how to play, let the tunes teach you how to play. And that’s because jazz standards are the vehicles in which jazz musicians use to improvise. And whether you go off and you start writing your own music and all that stuff that’s that’s great. But at the end of the day these standards are kind of the foundation or kind of the cornerstones of our jazz education and there is so much we can learn not only about jazz but about music by studying them. So you’re completely right to ask which are the ones that are important to learn; the ones that are really going to move the needle in your jazz playing and the ones that are going to help you play with other musicians. [1:05.0]

[00:05:14] So without further ado let’s jump in to that jump in today’s topic. All right today’s show whether you’re listening in the car or whether you’re listening in the gym or on a walk or on a run. [18.9]

[00:05:33] Whatever it happens to be, it might be useful to go back to the show notes today later when you have some time, that would be at learnjazzstandards.com/episode84. Just because I’m going to have all these jazz standards I’m talking about listed out so it might be helpful for you to, you know, take a look at the show notes maybe print it off, have those on a checklist of sorts so that you can circle the ones you know or cross out the ones you know or make a goal to learn a certain amount of them. I’ll talk a little bit about making goals to learn some of these songs at the end of the show. But I just wanted to say that that maybe the show notes could be helpful for you today. I’m going to go through a series of categories that I’m going to be categorizing these jazz standards in today and I’ve really made a point to try to only do five or six in each category. Now every time I’ve ever done lists like this on the blog or wherever I always get somebody who’s like “oh my gosh man you forgot that one and you forgot that one, and that one shouldn’t be there. This one should be there.” [1:04.5]

[00:06:38] I know that there’s thousands of songs out there guys, hundreds and hundreds of jazz standards so these standards, you know, I really just pick them as ones that if I were teaching a student telling them which ones to go about learning these are the ones that I would suggest and there is definitely some where I’m like oh that one should be there I’ll just take that one out because I think this one is also good too. I really wanted to keep it to five or six per category just to make things simple not to overwhelm you guys, I mean, 40 is already a lot but I think by building these categories it makes it a bit simple a little more digestible for you. So disclaimer there. I know there’s going to be standards that you think should be there but just bear with me and these will be great to learn no matter what your opinion is on this. [45.6]

[00:07:24] Okay let’s start with the first category and I’m calling this category the start up standards. Okay these are start up standards meaning that you know if you’re a complete beginner these are some good standards to start with. Okay. They have fewer chord changes. They’re really essential like they’re important. Like you need to know these They’re going to be called. I mean you can’t get around them. So they’re good for starting out. And regardless of whether you’re just starting out or not this would be a good a good checklist for you like do I know these. Or do I not know these and if you don’t you should probably know these. So I’m just going to start with six of these to keep it simple. Now the first one pretty obvious one it’s Autumn Leaves. Now this song it’s first written by Joseph Cozma and I’m not going to even attempt the French original name which essentially in English means “the dead leaves.” I called my wife. She can speak French and I was like say it for me. Then I was like, you know I’m going to butcher it on the podcast so I’m not going to do it. Autumn Leaves, it’s a really important classic tune. There are two keys you should probably consider learning it in. I’m going refer to them in their minor keys, the relative minor keys, you should learn in G minor and E minor. Those are the two keys you should learn that song in. [1:11.0]

[00:08:36] I’m not going to spend too much time on each one of these. It’s more just to give you a little background behind them and kind of make sure you have this list. The next one is So What. That’s Miles Davis from the kind of blue album. It’s a modal song so it’s only two chords. It’s really only two, so D-minor in E-flat minor, concert that is. So it’s a fairly simple song and can really help you learn to improvise over kind of modal harmony just one chord at a time. So that’s what I would suggest. The next one is Blue Bossa. It’s a Kenny Dorham song. Blue Bossa. It does have a little bit of a harmonic twist in it but it’s really simple and it’s just kind of a classic one to start people out on it just one that you really should know. Take the A-Train is the next one. It’s a Duke Ellington song very classic I would think almost everybody knows this song. And again there’s fewer chord changes in this. It’s kind of a good introduction to 2-5-1 chord progressions and things like this. So this is definitely an important and classic melody that you should know. Now the next one another classic is all of me by Gerald marks and Seymour Simon. All of Me is obviously a really popular song. A lot of people know this one, very simple melody and that’s really a good part about this song. And then the chord changes there are more chord changes in some of the other ones than I’ve mentioned so far but still not too much harmonic movement going on. [1:34.7]

[00:10:12] Last one I want to suggest for our startup standards category is a little bit more on the Latin side of things it’s Song For My Father by Horace Silver. Okay. Very classic song. Not very many chord changes in this one. And again a good introduction song especially when it comes to this blend of jazz in the Latin, right, because you know this is really a fusion of the two. It’s not truly one or the other but this is a good one to add to your list for that so really quickly: the startup standards you should know, write these down if you can. If not check out the show notes. Autumn leaves. So What. Blue Bossa. Take the A-Train. All of Me. Song For My Father. These are great ones to start up on. Make sure you have those ones down. A little bit simpler and fewer chord changes going on. [51.8]

[00:11:04] Okay now the next category I want to go over kind of builds off of this and I’m calling them advanced essentials. Okay, advanced essentials. And these are basically important songs to just jazz standards you need to know. They are going to be called on jam sessions, are going to be called on gigs. There’s no way to get around them but these ones have a little bit more harmonic movement than the startup standards, they’re a little bit more complex. The harmony is more complex. Sometimes the melody is more complex. And even though they are all of these things they’re still really commonly called, it doesn’t matter what city you live in. There’s different I would say common songs that are called in different areas of the world and different cities but these are definitely going to be on everybody’s list. So let’s start with the advanced essentials. The first one is All The Things You Are. I use this one as an example a lot. It’s a Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein song. This one is really a great study of cycling in fourths. That’s really what the whole song is doing. It also can navigates into several different key centers. This is a little bit of a complex song to improvise over in that sense, regardless, it’s really important to know. [1:13.5]

[00:12:18] And the next one is even more complex than All the Things You Are, but it’s arguably just as popular. And that’s Stella by Starlight by Victor Young. Stella by Starlight can be played as a ballad, it can be played as a medium. I don’t usually hear it as an uptempo but you can do anything with it of course. Definitely here there’s a lot more complex harmony going on. It’s a really beautiful melody and if you can learn how to navigate the changes on this one, I mean, it’s really going to set you up for success for a lot of other ones. You know I really do when I teach students, I really do suggest learning some of these really complex songs because if you can learn how to navigate some of these some of the other ones become easier to do. So I always think that having a challenging song and working down from that can be helpful. [45.3]

[00:13:04] Now the next song it’s a minor tune, also a little bit of complex harmony in there but really focuses on the minor keys here and this is Alone Together by Arthur Schwartz. Great tune. Definitely suggest this one. The next one is another classic. Have You Met Miss Jones by Richard Rodgers. This one also has some diatonic harmony in there so it’s it’s straightforward. There are some diminished passing chords in there but it does go into a couple of different keys. It starts in concert F and then it goes to the the the relative four chord and then it goes into G flat major and then goes to D major. So kind of moves around a little bit but it’s a really popular song. [49.2]

[00:13:54] Next one I would say is really essential. I wouldn’t say it is overly complex harmony, but the chords move by a little faster than the ones in the start up standards and that would be It Could Happen to You by Jimmy Van Heusen. Really classic song. Everybody calls this song. Make sure you know it. The next one is. Days of Wine and Roses by Henry Mancini. Again all these songs I’m mentioning I mean they’re just really popular. They’re always going to be called. Days of Wine and Roses is certainly no exception. So let me quickly go over the advanced essentials again. All The Things You Are, Stella by Starlight, Alone Together, Have You Met Miss Jones, It Could Happen to You, Days of Wine and Roses. [46.2]

[00:14:41] All right, let’s move on to the next category. Now this is getting a little bit more specific here. The first two were kind of like: these are a must know songs. These ones are easier and these ones are harder essentially is how I separated those out. But the next ones are going to be a little bit more specific category wise and so let’s start with ballads. [18.6]

[00:15:00] These ballads, they’re ones that I think are common ballads. There are so many ballads. It’s hard to say which ones are more important to learn than others. But I would say that the ones that I’m listing here are just, again, more likely than not to be called on a gig or a jam session. First one is Body and Soul. Another complex tune but incredibly popular. Body and Soul by Johnny Green. This one again is sort of like, I would kind of put it in the same level of difficulty as a song like Stella by starlight. It really has a lot of movement, passing chord movement, has a lot of going into different key centers. So that’s one that could use a little extra study. But really important to know. [53.0]

[00:15:53] The next one is Misty by Errol Garner. Very classic song. Everybody seems to know that one. Really interesting lyrics. But yeah that’s a good one to know. The next one is a Duke Ellington classic. It’s called In a Sentimental Mood. It starts in the minor, the relative minor to F which is D-minor. Next one is another classic. My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers. My Funny Valentine. And then the last ballad is one that it is commonly called but it’s one that I have a little bit of personal bias towards, so I’ll just open up with that. It’s the Nearness of You by Hoagy Carmichael. Really beautiful song. You can do a lot of really awesome things with that. I know on gigs I’ve got a lot of different directions with that song. So the Nearness of You. [1:03.7]

[00:16:57] So quickly a recap of the ballads category that you should know: Body and Soul, Misty, In a Sentimental Mood, My Funny Valentine, The Nearness of You. Of course, there are so many more but those are a good starting five that you should work on. [18.9]

[00:17:17] Okay now the next category is Bossa Nova. Bossa Nova’s are really important in jazz. There’s really was sort of this cross over in Bossa Nov. Now actually if you go back to Episode 70 we had a really special guest on, Brazilian saxophonist Livio Almeida, and he talked all about Bossa Nova basics, just the basics of playing Bossa Nova. And just go back to LJS episode 70 and listen back to that because he really unloaded a lot of great information for us on playing Bossa Nova. So here are some songs that you should know. Again these are songs that will be called if you’re playing a casual jazz gig. So the first one is the all time classic. The Girl from Ipanema. And even if one of your band mates doesn’t call it, I guarantee you somebody is going to come up to the band and request you to play this song. So whether you love it or hate it, The Girl from Ipanema is an important song you should know. The next one. Oh by the way, that’s by Antonio Carlos Jobim. A lot of these Bossa Nova songs are by Antonio Carlos Jobim. [1:21.5]

[00:18:39] So the second one is a Wave. Corcovado is another one. And then the classic ballad, so some of these are crossing over here right, a ballad, How Insensitive. Really beautiful song. Oh gosh. Mournful lyrics. Keep in mind all these ones I just mentioned so far, these are the English names for all of these. There’s obviously Portuguese names for these. So Triste is the next one. Now the last one I want to suggest is not a Jobim tune but it’s in the Bossa Nova style. The groove is there. It’s at least in that vein. And but it’s a really important song to know. So that’s why I want to mention it and that is Recorda Me by Joe Henderson. Recorda Me by Joe Henderson. This one is called a lot. So you want to know that one for sure. Okay. Quick recap on the Bossa Nova’s: [1:00.0]

[00:19:40] The Girl from Ipanema, Wave, Corcovado, How Insensitive, Triste and Recorda Me. Those are the ones I would suggest. [15.8]

[00:19:56] The next category here is bebop tunes. These are all by Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker is of course the one who really was the pioneer behind the bebop movement. Dizzy Gillespie was in there too but Charlie Parker really gets a lot of the credit for all this stuff. And so he wrote a lot of these bebop tunes. And bebop tunes, honestly, you know this if if you’re familiar with jazz in general, bebop tunes are the melodies are really like solos. Essentially what they are it’s basically like Charlie Parker took a solo but really kind of organized it a bit and made re-occurring parts in it. And there you go that’s a bebop head. These are often really complicated. I can’t tell you how many bebop heads I’ve forgotten after I’ve learned them just because they’re hard to latch onto. You almost need a little bit of a muscle memory for them unless you just have like this insanely great ear. [52.4]

[00:20:49] So bebop tunes, complex harmony often, and complex angular melodies. So lots of virtuosity involved. Let’s go over them. So the first one I want to suggest is Scrapple From the Apple and this one is actually a sort of a contrafact off of the tune Honeysuckle Rose. A little bit of variations in there but that’s kind of what Charlie Parker based them off of and in fact, a lot of songs that Charlie Parker wrote were contrafacts, meaning, he just took the chord changes from another song and wrote a melody over top of it or added some changes in there. We’ll go over some more of those. Scrapple From the Apple is the first one. [38.7]

[00:21:28] The second one is Blues for Alice. Now essentially Charlie Parker invented his own kind of harmonic chord progression to substitute for a blues chord progression and they call them Bird Blues. So one of his most common ones is called Blues for Alice and so this one is a good introduction to his chord changes for the blues. The next one is Ornithology. Now Ornithology is another contrafact. It’s a melody that he wrote over top of the jazz standard How High the Moon. So Ornithology is a good one to know. [43.1]

[00:22:11] Anthropology is a melody, a contrafact over a rhythm changes tune. I Got Rhythm. So he wrote a complex melody basically over Rhythm Changes, Rhythm Changes obviously, we all need to know how to play that chord progression. [15.2]

[00:22:27] Last one is definitely a complicated song, at least to play the melody and that’s Confirmation. But it’s definitely one of his more prominent tunes so you should definitely know that. So quickly, let’s review these bebop tunes: Scrapple from the Apple, Blues for Alice, Ornithology, Anthropology, Confirmation. [21.7]

[00:22:49] We’re coming down to the end of the line here. So if I’m exhausting you or you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed don’t be! I’m going to try to sum up a little bit of this at the end here. Now blues tunes. Blues is really important in jazz. You know really jazz in many ways came from the blues. And so jazzers, of course, have their own way of playing the blues and there’s certain standards blues standards in the jazz realm that are important to know. The first one is Billie’s Bounce. So this is definitely a bebop melody but I’m putting this under the blues category by Charlie Parker. So that one is important to know. I would say this one is always called so you should really know this one. The next one is All Blues. This is a song in three actually and this off the Kind of Blue Album. And it’s more of a simplified blues, but it’s one you should definitely know. So All Blues by Miles Davis. [52.1]

[00:23:42] And then a really simple blues melody is Sonny Moon for Two by Sonny Rollins. It’s a good one too know. Now now’s the time. It’s another Charlie Parker song. It’s a little bit bebop. But you know it’s a good blues head to know. The next one is Straight No Chaser by Monk. Definitely has a little bit of an angular feel to it kind of like Thelonious Monk’s tunes are. So Straight No Chaser is another one of those entry level jazz blues tunes. [35.1]

[00:24:18] And the last one is a little bit more of a personal favorite of mine as far as this category goes. And that is Sandu by Clifford Brown. I just like that tune. I love the way the melody feels. I also like that it’s in the key of E-flat. You know a lot of these blues songs they’re in concert F or in concert G, or sometimes they’re in C or B flat but this one is in E-flat, and I kind of like that just because there’s not as many blues that are in that key. So quickly, blues tunes you should know: Billy’s Bounce, All Blues, Sonny Moon For Two, Now’s the Time, Straight No Chaser and Sandu. [39.5]

[00:24:58] Now I do get this question from time to time. So the last category I’m going to do is my top five jazz standards. I like playing these. These jazz standards, I mean, I’m always changing which ones I’m enjoying the most at the time. So these are just going to really be the ones that I’m I’m liking right now. The ones I’m enjoying playing right now, some of them have stood the test of time more than others. But yeah these are Brent’s top five. [27.0]

[00:25:25] And by the way, none of these jazz standards actually happened to have been mentioned yet. But the first one is I’ll Be Seeing You by Sammy Fain. It’s such a beautiful song. I think the main thing I like about this is I just love the melody, and the chord changes are great too. It’s in E-flat. Just love the melody and the funny thing about this list that I wrote is I actually realized that three of these are in the key of E flat. And the other interesting thing is the next song that I’ve been enjoying playing lately is called Secret Love, and it’s also by Sammy Fain. [33.7]

[00:25:59] I didn’t know that I’ll Be Seeing You was by Sammy Fain and then I was looking it up and realized Secret Love is also Sammy Fain. Now, Secret Love, it’s normally played as an up tempo like an uptempo song. Like pretty quickly. I actually like playing this song as a ballad. Believe it or not I think I first heard Brad Mehldau do this song as a ballad and I thought it was really beautiful the way that the melody laid over the time. So I like playing this one as a ballad. That’s Secret Love by Sammy Fain. [34.4]

[00:26:33] Here’s one that stood the test of time for me. I just like this one because the harmonies is so classic in many ways and so predictable once you get to know jazz music. And it’s My Shining Hour by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. Just love this, tune love the melody. It’s kind of triumphant in a way and again I love the chord changes. [19.0]

[00:26:53] Now the next one I like to play is a Freight Trane. It’s a tune by Tommy Flanagan, the pianist Tommy Flanagan, and he wrote it for John Coltrane. So it’s Freight Trane but the train is TRANE. And this song, you can hear this on Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane. They have an album and I think Freight Trane is the first song and it’s actually a bird blues in A flat concert. But I just love the melody. I just get a lot of energy playing it. So that’s one that I’ve been enjoying playing. [35.3]

[00:27:29] Now the last one that I’ve been into lately is Beatrice it’s a really classic song actually, Beatrice by Sam Rivers. The harmony is nice. It’s predictable but not predictable you know. So it’s has some interesting harmonic things going on. I think the awesome thing about this song is that there’s a lot of potential for interesting things to happen with it if you have good musicians playing with you. So every time I play this on a gig it will go a completely different direction than I expected it to. And I think it’s something to do with a little bit of the vibe of the song like just the vibe that it produces. And it just opens up for a lot of different things to happen. So I think that Beatrice can be a great vehicle for creativity if you let it be. So again my top five right now are I’ll Be Seeing You, Secret Love, My Shining Hour, and Freight Train. [58.6]

[00:28:28] Okay. Now let me just kind of close up a bit talking about all these songs. I listed about 40 of them and that’s a lot of songs. But if you go to the show notes and you can actually see them with your eyes it might be helpful or if you wrote them down it could be helpful. And I wouldn’t be intimidated by the number of tunes that are listed. What I would do is if you know some already go ahead and cross those out so you can kind of see which ones you don’t know and then take a look in. [28.8]

[00:28:57] And if you don’t know some of them on the starter category that’s okay. You don’t have to learn all of those first before moving to another category. Basically, just look at them and see which ones you enjoy. Like which ones do you actually like listening to. And that might mean that you should, if you haven’t heard some of these, you should go listen to them. Go listen to lots of different recordings of these jazz standards see which ones you like and then go through these categories and just slowly check them off. Now if you’re looking at these categories and you’re like, hey you know I actually don’t know very many Bossa Nova tunes. Well that’s a sign that maybe you should learn some of those on the list before you learn others. Or maybe it’s: I don’t know enough bebop heads. I should know some of those because I need to have some of those in my repertoire. Learn a bebop head. Learn that kind of stuff. Or you know: I only play the same couple blues songs all the time. Learn another blues head instead. Right? So use this list as kind of a checklist of of what you need to work on right now. And I think if you do it that way you can slowly whittle down this list until there’s no more left. [1:12.7]

[00:30:10] And quite honestly, just looking at this list right now, if you learned all of these you would be set up pretty well. I mean you would know a lot of songs. That’s about 40 songs and if you knew all these and had a basic understanding of how to play them, I mean these will really be setting you up to play just about any jazz standard that’s out there. So I would just say make a goal of which songs to learn and learn them by simply asking which ones do I enjoy and which ones do I need to learn because I’m lacking in that department. Okay. I hope this helps today and I hope you start checking out some of these tunes, and Collin, I hope that answers your question. [40.8]

[00:30:59] All right that’s all for the show. I want to thank you so much for listening. Thanks for tuning in. Remember to check out the show notes if you want to see a list of all these jazz standards mentioned today. [12.1]

[00:31:11] If you have enjoyed today’s show, I always ask this every week but if you’ve enjoyed this show today and you appreciate it, consider going to iTunes, leave us a rating and review. That helps other people find the show. Next week I’m really excited because we have a very special guest coming on the show. Steve Nixon from free jazz lessons.com. I’ve been really excited to come out with this episode because we had such a great talk and it’s all about practicing smart and improving quickly. Really excited for that. So tune in next week for episode 85. We’ll see you back then. [59.8]

[31:49.5]

30 Days to Better Jazz Playing

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Brent —

    What?!?! No 26-2??

    Seriously, thanks for this post. Repertoire lists are really useful for us beginners, because the number of tunes is overwhelming, and we need a place to start. Sometimes people will produce lists of "The Top 300 Tunes You Have To Know!!", and while that's also a valuable resource, it's not very much help to guiding people as to where to start. It's also nice that you've broken out some tunes as suitable for beginners, because if someone is just starting out "Stella" might not be the first tune for them to work on. Anyway, this was very helpful.

    Incidentally, Aimee Nolte also has a nice list of 25 tunes. What's valuable about having a lot of these is that you can start to see the tunes that EVERYONE agrees on (e.g. "All The Things You Are"), and what tunes are perhaps a little more idiosyncratic to the particular person writing the list.

    Grammar police: there is no apostrophe in "Bossa Novas".

    Thanks,

    Hatch

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