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Home LJS Podcast Play better jazz solos LJS 169: Composing Jazz Solos Using Target Notes (Over There Will Never...

LJS 169: Composing Jazz Solos Using Target Notes (Over There Will Never Be Another You)

Welcome to episode 169 of the LJS Podcast where we conclude “Jazz Standards Month.” This lesson goes over composing target notes over the jazz standard There Will Never Be Another You and then using those target notes to create a jazz solo. This is a great way to start developing improv skills by slowing things down and intentionally composing jazz lines under the parameter of target notes.

Listen to episode 169

I personally like the idea of improvisation being composing sped up. And the inverse of that- composing being improvisation slowed down.

And if we want to become a great improviser, sometimes it seems magical. You hear some of your favorite jazz musicians just playing this stuff and wonder how do they come up with those ideas?

I think that a great way to get to that point is by slowing that process down and becoming a great composer.

Figuring out how to compose your own jazz lines, your own jazz solos, your own concepts, so that the more you do that, the more naturally it will come out when you speed it up in an improvisation setting.

So, in today’s episode, we’re going to take a little tool called target notes and we’re going to compose some lines using target notes over the jazz standard There Will Never Be Another You.

In this episode:

1. Announcement: The Jazz Standards Playbook Vol. 2 is launched!

2. Target notes and what they are

3. How to create a target note map over There Will Never Be Another You

4. “Connecting the dots” and creating a solo from a target note map

Target Note Map

Target Note Solo

Thanks for listening to this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast. If you aren’t already, make sure you are subscribed on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

I look forward to having you join me in the next episode!

Important Links

The Jazz Standards Playbook Vol. 2 

LJS 122: How to Use Target Notes to Create Melodic Jazz Lines (feat. Jens Larsen)

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 concept Brent, target notes! Have you addressed what kind of approach notes could be used in a solo?

  2. Brent – I love your podcasts and am interested in buying the Playbook Vol. 2.

    I listened to this podcast while driving and then came here to get the links and tabs. However, since I don't read sheet music efficiently yet, is there a tab available in the Playbooks (either/both Volumes) for these types of exercises? Thank you.


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