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Scale Mapping Jazz Standards to Create Solos (Stella by Starlight)

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Using scales can be a really great way to start mapping out the note choices you have available to you over jazz standards so that you can start taking great solos.

So, in today’s video, I’m going to be going over a scale map over the jazz standard Stella by Starlight and then I’m going to show you an exercise for how to start making that all musical.

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This lesson is included in my eBook and course “The Jazz Standards Playbook.” You can check that out here.

Watch More:

7 Intros to Play Over Jazz Standards

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. Hi Brent. What musical choices dictate whether to use a Mixolydian scale or Altered scale over a Dominant Seventh (or any choice of scales over a single chord)?

    • Hey Mark, thanks for the question! Often if the dominant 7th is playing some kind of V to I relationship, you can make it altered if you'd like, and therefore imply an altered scale. If a dominant 7 is isolated by itself, like the I and IV chords in the blues, Mixolydian would be a better choice.


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