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HomeLJS PodcastLearn Jazz Standards7 Steps for Not Getting Lost During Your Jazz Solos

7 Steps for Not Getting Lost During Your Jazz Solos

Welcome to episode 259 where today we’re addressing a really common problem improvisers face, which is getting lost in the form while you are soloing. Getting lost is something that happens to everyone, but the key is reducing this occurrence and being able to get back on quickly. Here are 7 steps to consider.

Listen to episode 259

So you’re in the middle of your solo, and you are playing all the notes. You think you are playing the changes. You’re getting swept away.

Then all of a sudden you realize, I don’t know where I am in the song. 

This horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach comes up, and you feel embarrassed. You don’t even know what you’re doing. You just started playing random notes. You’re getting disflustered.

All these things are coming about, you just don’t know where you are in the song anymore. Somehow, you got lost. 

And so the big question is, how can we avoid this from happening? How can we avoid getting lost when we are playing jazz standards, when we are improvising our solos? And how do we set ourselves up for success so that this does not happen to you ever again?

That’s exactly what we are going to talk about in today’s episode. And we’re going to go over 7 questions to ask yourself if you are doing these things or not, to help you avoid this mistake.

In this episode:

1. How are you learning the tune? By ear or by sheet music?

2. Can you recognize the sounds of basic chord progressions?

3. Do you practice singing along with the form?

4. Do you practice with a metronome?

5. Do you have a good concept of playing subdivisions?

6. Do you practice keeping track of the form while listening to recordings?

7. Do you practice improvising off of the melody?

Important Links

1. 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."


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