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LJS 04: 3 Things Every Jazz Musician Should Practice

Welcome to episode 4 of the LJS Podcast where today we will be talking about 3 Things Every Jazz Musician Should Be Practicing. In this episode we go over three things to practice that are proven to be very effective in improving jazz soloing and jazz playing in general. If these are not a part of your practice routine now, you are going to want to pencil them in!

Listen to episode 4

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In this episode

  1. Learn jazz solos by ear

    • importance of learning jazz language

    • how to do it

    • the challenges of doing it

  2. Practice in all 12 keys

    • Why learn in all 12 keys?

    • Building your ear

  3. Work on your time with a metronome

    • How it helped me and how it can help you

    • How to practice with a metronome

Listen to episode 3: How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem as a Musician

Show Music

“Introspective” by Camden Hughes

Suggested Reading

How to Practice With a Metronome and Get Results

Why You Should Practice In All 12 Keys

What do you think is important for jazz musicians to practice? Leave a comment below.

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. First,I admit that I don't practice in all 12 keys hehe.But I do practice a lot with the metronome and that kind of builds my timing "muscles" and acts as a reminder of where things should be. As a bass player, I transcribe bass lines,which of course are a kind of solo, so that is important for my playing. But there is one thing that I think is missing in a lot of players playing and that thing is the feel,or "swing". It's debatable but how can you be playing jazz if you don't swing it? That's an essential part of the music's history. A lot of people including myself are turned off by the "thousand notes per second", look at what I can do approach, Some have even suggested it has helped diminish the music. So practice the swing feeling I say. Practice playing a blues feeling, it's not just a pattern you know, no matter what the books and teachers say. I really don't know why players don't do this, maybe it's too difficult for them, I don't know. I do know I learned how to do it by listening deeply to the classic recordings and players like BB King,Ray Brown,Paul Chambers,et al.
    Just sayin…


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