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HomeLJS PodcastLearn Jazz StandardsBy the End of This Episode You'll Know a New Jazz Standard

By the End of This Episode You’ll Know a New Jazz Standard

Welcome to episode 224 of the LJS Podcast where today I learn a new jazz standard in real-time on the show. If you’ll join with me you’ll know a new jazz standard by the end as well. You’ll see how I approach learning a jazz standard by ear, no filters, no edits.

Listen to episode 224

You know, I love a lot of things about jazz music, like I love the improv, I love the creativity, I love the challenge it provides to us as individual musicians. Just a lot of things are great about it that I enjoy playing and listening to it.

But what a lot of people don’t know is, my favorite part about jazz is the ballads. I just love ballads! I love playing the ballads. I think it’s just some of the most beautiful music. It’s all tunes! Oh man, it’s so great! 

And so, I’ve been thinking to myself for a while, there’s this particular ballad that I’ve really been wanting to learn and still don’t know it.

So in today’s episode, I am going to learn that jazz standard for the very first time. And I think in the process, you might learn it as well just by going along this with me and maybe at least get inside of my head of what I think about when I learn a jazz standard by ear. 

In this episode:

1. I walk through a Brad Meldau recording of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and learn it by ear

Important Links

1. LJS 212: Improv Hacking Jazz Standards (3 Step Process)

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. Missed something. I’m not clear an what the chord, the left hand, is bound to: the key it’s written in or the melody note…or something else?

  2. Problem is you have to have a device to do this, to take to the piano, which I expect is how you are doing this virtually. I have ye olde Mac desktop and a cell phone for emergencies when I’m out. So, how did people do this before technology changed everything?
    My great problem is knowing the right chords to play with the melody…other than those with the melody note in it and those I’ve learned by default. I do catch on to the right hand fairly easily.
    Appreciate what you do, free for the taking, of what you have spent a lifetime learning. Many thanks.


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