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LJS 65: How to Create Killer Jazz Solos By Thinking Like a Composer (Feat. Jeff Schneider)

Welcome to episode 65 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to create killer jazz solos by thinking like a composer. Joining us to talk about this today is Downbeat award winner and three-time recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award, Jeff Schneider. Learn how to think like a composer and start building jazz solos that really stick out. Listen in!

Listen to episode 65

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In this episode

  1. Jeff talks about how melody is the most important part of building a solid composition.

  2. Improvising melodies: “If you can’t improvise a folk melody, you’ll have a hard time improvising a bebop solo.”

  3. How to build simple melodies that make an impact.

  4. How to build a solo by considering its development. Use motivic development as a tool.

  5. Some of Jeff’s inspirations for compositional soloing.

Listen to episode 64: 5 Tips for Never Losing Your Place in a Jazz Standard

About today’s guest:

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Schneider is a DownBeat Magazine award winner and three-time recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. His music is featured in films and advertisements by CNN, NASA, Visa, Intel, Citigroup, Benjamin Moore, Estée Lauder, Donna Karan, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ferrari and many more.

Visit Jeff’s website:

Visit Jeff’s YouTube Channel: Jeff Schneider YouTube

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.

Have anything to add to today’s show? 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."



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