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How to Master a Jazz Standard

If you want to get my step-by-step process for learning jazz standards so that you are set up for success, check out my free guide

"Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way"

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So you’re learning in jazz standard and you want to be able to crush it. You want to be able to go up on the bandstand and take awesome solos. You don’t ever want to forget it later on. You don’t want to get lost in the form.

Well, in today’s video, I’m going to give you 4 simple steps to learn how to master a jazz standard, so you can completely crush it every single time.

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

Make sure you get my free guide “Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way” by clicking here.

Further Reading:

Jazz Improvisation Made Simple: A Step-By-Step Guide

Brent Vaartstra
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 four step process indeed. Thank you.
    Apart from suggesting to transcribe a favourite solo (good for seeing and internalising what is going on) I think there is sometimes a #5 which could be as follows.

    Have a go at writing a solo (or part) of your own creation down on paper. Rule is – it has to be based on motifs from your imagination. Example – the bridge of ‘GF Ipanema’, is unusual beause the chords are not your everyday expectation. However, once having completed your (LJS) first four steps our heads should have some good ideas. Sadly for me, it is not always so easy to accurately execute (spit out) longer phrases without a bit of trial and error. Therefore (I find) in these situations, by singing something from within, I then transcribe it slowly, and thus ‘compose’ my own 16 bar variation as it were, taking a few iterations to get there. Once learned I thus have something that is ‘me’, stored in my necktop library to call on and play around with / morph in real time.


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