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HomeLJS PodcastGet help with practicing jazzHow to Develop Great Time Feel 101

How to Develop Great Time Feel 101

Welcome to episode 254 where today we talk about how to develop a good time feel and a basic sense of rhythm. You can play all of the “right” notes, and the hippest licks, but if your time feel is off and your execution poor, you’ll end up sounding amateur. In this episode, you’ll learn two exercises that will get you headed in the right direction.

Listen to episode 254

One of the more common issues I hear in the playing of beginner to intermediate jazz improvisers is a poor time feel. 

Just not really being able to land their phrases in the time, maybe it’s rushing, maybe it’s dragging, maybe it’s just the phrases are sounding a little bit off for lack of sense of rhythm in where the time is. 

And this is really an important thing to hone in on because we could play all the right notes and have really great lines and licks but if we’re not playing them with good time feel, it can really just sound completely immature.

So, in today’s episode, I’m going to go over just the very basics of developing a good time feels, that we could start getting headed in the right track, and start playing better jazz solos in better time.

In this episode:

1. Working on basic subdivisions with a metronome

2. Reducing the clicks while working on subdivisions

3. Practice feeling space with the metronome

Important Links

1. Learn Jazz Live 2021 Virtual Summit

2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

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. Yes, good podcast, thanks.

    One question : is it important NOT to tap the feet while doing these exercices with the metronome only on 1 for instance ?

  2. I ALWAYS start my practice session with chromatic scale. 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, triplets, &16ths. Start at 88 bpm and increase to 120bpm except for 16ths. At /about a 100 max. For now. I then mix up and vary with rests.
    This is my daily routine for 5-10 minutes to begin. Warms my fingers up and hopefully helps with my time feel? I think it has?
    Good podcast!!! Great subject!!! Everyone needs!!!


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