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Playing the Changes Using Target Notes

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"The Jazz Standards Playbook Vol. 2"

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When I was a beginner jazz improviser, the thing that I wanted more than anything else was to be able to play the changes.

In my mind, that was the thing that distinguished me from my jazz heroes. They were playing amazing jazz solos and spelling out the changes flawlessly.

So, in today’s video, I want to talk about a technique called the target notes — how you can use them to start creating jazz lines and some exercises to get you started.

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

This lesson comes out of my brand new eBook and Companion Course “The Jazz Standards Playbook Vol. 2.” Check it out here.

Further Reading:

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

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. For me it's trying to find natural voice leading into the next change. I don't always manage it, but it's my goal. If I can do it while incorporating a pattern…!


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