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HomeLJS PodcastLearn Jazz TheoryLJS 08: 2 Exercises For Hearing Chord Changes In Your Solos

LJS 08: 2 Exercises For Hearing Chord Changes In Your Solos

Welcome to episode 8 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about 2 exercises for hearing chord changes in your solos. As jazz musicians, we want to be able to clearly hear the harmony of the tune we are playing in our solos. This is a skill that can really take your solos from sounding amateur and bland to professional and full of life. Listen in!

Listen to episode 8

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In this episode

1. Ascending and Descending Chord Tones Exercise.

Treble Clef Instruments (adjust to range of your instrument)

Ascending and Decending Chord Tones Exercise

Bass Clef Instruments (adjust to range of your instrument)

Ascending and Decending Chord Tones Exercise (Bass Clef)

2. 3rds and 7ths Exercise

Treble Clef Instruments

3rds and 7ths Exercise

Bass Clef Instruments

3rds and 7ths Exercise (Bass Clef)

Important Links:
LJS Inner Circle Membership

Free Guide to learn standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way

Show music

Yvonnick Prene “Blues Comes Down The Seine”


How do you practice hearing chord changes in your solos? Leave us a comment below.

Brent Vaartstra
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. Brent,
    In the future, any chance you can attach a PDF when you show music, so we can download those exercise. Again, I am way behind, and often times, I listen on iTunes, and not necessarily through the web site, but it would sure come in handy when you mentioned an exercise on the podcast, if the exercise could be downloaded.

  2. Great stuff, as usual. Love the exercise. And the explanations in terms of music theory. A bit behind, clearly, in my listening, but catching up on all those golden nuggets you left in the ether.

  3. Brent, what I very much treasure is the CLARITY with which you address the subject. Each topic, this included, does what you intend it to. Others have said the same…you've said it best.
    Don't ever quit and don't ever die.

  4. Another outstanding podcast/lesson! I've been hoping for something like this: I'm a fairly seasoned soloist and use voice leading, of course, but I do it more intuitively than anything else and have been looking for a way to develop a more methodical approach to this crucial facet of good improvisation. This lesson is just what I needed. Thank you so much for your hard work and generosity – it's very much appreciated! Keep up the great work!

  5. Brent, this was a great class/lesson. I have worked on chord tones a lot recently, but had not reflected, neither read te voice leading aspect you so clearly explained. Thanks a lot!

    • Hey Carlos, really glad you found it helpful! Also thanks for your kind donation. We really appreciate your support to this podcast and this website!


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