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LJS 123: 5 Powerful Results That Come From Focused, Goal-Oriented Jazz Practicing

Welcome to episode 123 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 5 powerful results that come from focused, goal-oriented practice sessions. If you want to improve as a jazz musician you need this kind of practice. That’s why the next handful of episodes are geared towards this and how to accelerate your jazz skills. Listen in!

Listen to episode 123

You know, when I first started playing jazz I felt like I was behind the 8 ball. Everyone in my jazz circle of friends had been doing it longer than me and had some serious jazz skills. I always felt like I was trying to keep my head above the water.

I started getting serious about playing jazz during my senior year in high school, and during that time I became dedicated to pursuing this music in some fashion. But even though I made it into the jazz college programs I applied for, they offered me no scholarship money.

What they were really saying was, “Brent, we’ll take your money. But you’re just not talented enough for us to invest in you.”

Ouch. I didn’t have the funds, so I was out of luck. But my teacher had me stay behind for a year and study with him under a rigorous practice program, and guess what? The next year colleges threw money at me and the happy ending is I now have a bachelor degree and work as a full-time musician and educator.

The most valuable thing I learned that year was how to set up focused, goal-oriented practicing. Not only that but practicing the things that actually move the needle. 

Today’s episode is all about 5 powerful results that come from this kind of practice, and I want to share them with you.

Here’s some of what I talk about:

1. My story and how I learned to practice the right way.

2. The 5 powerful results you will get from this kind of practice.

3. Setting Master Goals and why you should.

This kind of practice is worth investing in, and I will be talking a lot more about this leading up to the relaunch of my jazz practicing course, 30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing.

Let’s start setting up our jazz playing for success and accelerate our jazz skills together!

Important Links

“30 Steps to Better Jazz Playing” waiting list and free “Accelerate Your Jazz Skills” course.

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. I studied jazz at Berklee way back in the 80’s and am a regular listener of LJS. There’s not an episode when I don’t learn something (or several things). While many teachers point you to a destination Brent humbly and skillfully invites you on a JOURNEY with him–which fills even a long time student of jazz with hope and improvement.


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