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
- Listen to how the pros do it. Check out different artists and how they approach ballads.
- 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.
- Don’t just play your regular stuff. Focus on creating melodies, not summoning up your usual licks and lines.
- 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.
- Practice subdividing. Help yourself lock in the time by practicing different rhythmic divisions over the form. Try the exercise mentioned in the show.
- 10 jazz ballads Brent likes to play.
Mentioned in the show
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.