Blog

If you’re looking for jazz tips, advice, lessons and general information about jazz, this is the right place! We post new content in our blog 3-4 times a week, and it’s all free for you to use. Get started by checking out our latest posts or choose a category.

Using Rests and Odd Groupings to Spice Up Your Rhythms

If you have been following my lessons here on Learn Jazz Standards, you're probably familiar with my rants on how important it is for a musician to master rhythms. It's just as important as...

LJS 101: Learn How to Play “My Shining Hour”

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 at the end to tie it all together. Listen in!

4 Ways to Make Scales Sound More Musical

Scales are some of the most fundamental building blocks of Western styles of music, including jazz. As musicians, we’re often told how important it is to practice scales and how useful they are for...

LJS 100: My Jazz Mentor Gives You His Best Tips and Advice (feat. Justin...

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 what he teaches his students and some of his best tips for musical improvement. Listen in!

6 Common Endings All Jazz Musicians Should Know

How do you end a jazz standard? As jazz musicians, we spend so much time and energy working on learning jazz standards and developing the craft of improvisation that we sometimes forget to address very...

LJS 99: Which Scales You Can Play Over Different Kinds of 7th Chords

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 progressions. This episode covers the essential basic chord qualities and alterations. Listen in!

3 Mistakes Jazz Musicians Make When Developing an Original Sound

I've encountered all kinds of students in the many years I've been teaching music. I often get the ones who are concerned about sounding original and finding their unique voice, which I think is...

LJS 98: How to Beat the Brain Game for Musical Freedom (feat. Matt Vaartstra)

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 negative voices that hinder our progress, and Matt teaches us how to train your brain for optimal performance. Listen in!

5 Exercises to Improve Your Rhythmic Precision and Feel

When we are new to learning a musical instrument, we want to learn the cool stuff; the stuff that has a bunch of notes in it. We want to show off to our peers...

LJS 97: Using the 80/20 Rule for Productive 30 Minute Practice

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 right things and stay focused, 30 minutes may be all we need. Listen in!

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