HomeLJS PodcastLJS 59: 5 Tips for Playing Jazz Ballads Like an Expert

LJS 59: 5 Tips for Playing Jazz Ballads Like an Expert

Welcome to episode 59 of the LJS Podcast where today we are dishing out 5 tips for playing jazz ballads like an expert. Jazz ballads can be tricky, largely because slow tempos can open up a number of challenges. Treat these tips like a checklist the next time you play a ballad. Listen in!

Listen to episode 59

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In this episode

  1. Listen to how the pros do it. Check out different artists and how they approach ballads.
  2. Realize it’s all about the melody. The melody is especially important in jazz ballads. Know the melody and use it in your solo. Try the exercise mentioned in the show.
  3. Don’t just play your regular stuff. Focus on creating melodies, not summoning up your usual licks and lines.
  4. Embrace the space. Don’t be afraid of laying out if that’s what the music calls for. Don’t let a slow tempo scare you into playing more.
  5. Practice subdividing. Help yourself lock in the time by practicing different rhythmic divisions over the form. Try the exercise mentioned in the show.
  6. 10 jazz ballads Brent likes to play.

Important Links:
LJS Inner Circle Membership

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

Listen to episode 58: How to Use Triads to Improve Your Jazz Improvisation

Mentioned in the show

Zero to Improv eBook

Our flagship eBook, Zero to Improv, is a book that teaches you how to become a great jazz improviser from the ground up. No stone is left un-turned. This isn’t your ordinary music book. Zero to Improv calls you to action! Packed full of improv and jazz theory lessons, you’ll start from the beginning and build up all of the skills and knowledge you need. Audio examples are included for all music notation.

Versions are available for C, Bb, Eb and Bass Clef instruments. Designed for all skill levels.

231x288xCover book 1.png.pagespeed.ic.wzYTJttnZsHave anything to add to today’s show? Leave us a comment below.

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstrahttp://www.brentvaartstra.com
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for learnjazzstandards.com 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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