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Home LJS Podcast Jazz Tips and Advice LJS 37: How to Tell Stories With Your Jazz Solos

LJS 37: How to Tell Stories With Your Jazz Solos

Welcome to episode 37 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to tell stories with your jazz solos. If you think about it, some of the best solos out there tell captivating stories. Each phrase has a trajectory, and we want to learn how to do this. Listen in!

Listen to episode 37

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In this episode

  1. Phrasing. Are you playing in complete thoughts? Are your phrases fragmented? Do they run on?

  2. Space. We need to use space in order to allow our phrases to have an impact.

  3. Development. Do your ideas connect together? Does your solo have a trajectory? Is there a clear start, climax, and ending?

  4. A simple exercise to help you work on development.

Listen to episode 36: 14 Jazz Practicing Ideas

Mentioned in the show

30 Days to Better Jazz Playing eCourse

A 30 day audio eCourse that walks you through focused, goal-oriented practicing, where you will be working on things that actually improve your jazz playing.


 What do you think? Leave us 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. Great Episode! But I am not sure how to do the exercise mentioned at the end of the show.. with a playalong or without playing over any chord progression. It is much harder if you have to focuse on the chords as well .

  2. Thanks for another great podcast, great food for thought, great seed for discussion. This gives me something to listen to when I hear others as well as to pay attention to when I play. You mention a problem for newbies to improvisation, in delivering "flat" solos, flat in regards to the overall trajectory of their solos.

    I have a similar problem in that I have trouble gracefully bringing things to a close.

    All that you mention with spacing, trajectory, etc seems like it should apply to this. I'll see what I can apply there.


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