Episodes
Published 03/01/24
In this Fast Track Friday episode of the Learn Jazz Standards podcast, Brent reflects on the week's discussions, focusing on the theme of turning theory into practical musical expression through improvisation. He introduces composition as a powerful tool for jazz musicians to internalize musical language and develop their improvisational skills. By likening composition to slowed-down improvisation, Brent underscores its role in facilitating the creative process and fostering musical growth....
Published 03/01/24
In this episode, Brent addresses a question from Jeff, a tenor saxophonist seeking advice on improvisation. Jeff describes himself as a "grinder" who takes time to develop musical ideas for jazz standards, often playing them similarly each time. Brent explains how improvisation is similar to a natural conversation, where familiar phrases and expressions are woven into spontaneous dialogue.  He emphasizes the importance of preparation in becoming a proficient improviser, highlighting...
Published 02/29/24
In this episode, Brent tackles a question from an inner circle member named Paul about determining the correct melody when faced with various interpretations of jazz standards.  He emphasizes the importance of learning melodies by ear rather than solely relying on sheet music, as it enhances ear training and allows for a deeper understanding of musical expression. He provides valuable insights into identifying the true melody of a jazz standard, suggesting that for Great American Songbook...
Published 02/28/24
In this episode, Brent addresses a question from Chris Hercules about improvising with triads. He begins by explaining the concept of harmonizing triads within a diatonic context. Brent breaks down how different triads can be derived from the scale, providing insights into understanding and utilizing triads effectively.  He then introduces the concept of triad pairs, which involves using two triads generated from a diatonic scale to improvise. He demonstrates how triad pairs can be...
Published 02/27/24
In this week's episode, Brent answers an intriguing question posed by a podcast listener about using diminished arpeggios over dominant seventh chords. He breaks down the theory behind this concept, explaining how diminished arpeggios can enhance improvisation and add tension and resolution to playing. He demonstrates how to apply this knowledge practically to create exciting new sounds. By exploring the relationship between diminished arpeggios and dominant seventh chords, Brent provides...
Published 02/26/24
In today's Fast Track Friday episode, Brent unveils the Bad Jazz Solo method, an innovative approach designed to revolutionize your practice routine. The Bad Jazz Solo, represented by the acronym B-A-D, is a strategic tool for self-improvement. Brent walks you through the process, emphasizing the importance of bravery in leaving your ego at the door, taking risks, and embracing mistakes as opportunities for growth. By going into the process, you'll gain invaluable insights into your...
Published 02/23/24
In this episode, Brent celebrates his birthday by making a simple request. A question from Rob about how to learn improvisation without extensive music theory knowledge is discussed. Brent offers a comprehensive approach to improvisation, beginning with a simple yet effective tool. He underscores the importance of experimentation and gradual improvement, encouraging embracing the process of improvisation. Moreover, he introduces the concept of learning jazz language by dissecting small...
Published 02/22/24
 This podcast episode discusses about the common struggle of feeling stuck in your musical journey and offers actionable advice to reignite your progress. Join Brent as he addresses a question from Inner Circle member Eric about overcoming the feeling of stagnation in your jazz playing. You'll gain valuable insights about recognizing and overcoming obstacles that may be hindering your improvement. Discover the importance of taking breaks, analyzing your practice routine, and identifying areas...
Published 02/21/24
Dive into the rhythm and speed of jazz with Brent on this latest podcast!  In this episode, Brent tackles a question from Peter Bowen about developing an impeccable time feel and playing faster without losing your groove. With Brent's expert guidance, you'll uncover the secrets to mastering both the technical and rhythmic aspects of playing at lightning speeds. Discover how to cultivate a solid time feel by practicing with subdivisions and varying tempos, and learn practical exercises to...
Published 02/20/24
In this podcast episode, Brent is back to tackle another round of jazz music questions. Bernard from Germany asks a crucial question: how can he make his solos sound more like bebop without diving deep into learning all the different bebop scales? Brent dives into the essence of bebop, highlighting its significance as the foundational dialect of jazz. While acknowledging the relevance of bebop scales, he suggests alternative approaches to infusing bebop style into your solos, emphasizing...
Published 02/19/24
Throughout the week, Brent has been uncovering the secrets of a game-changing concept: mastering jazz without touching your instrument. And now, on this Fast Track Friday episode, he's ready to share his ultimate strategy! Get ready for a sonic adventure as Brent reveals how to dissect jazz recordings like a seasoned pro. Discover the hidden intricacies of your favorite jazz standards by marking their forms and uncovering the rhythmic and harmonic tapestry that lies within. But that's just...
Published 02/16/24
In this podcast episode, Brent dives into the realm of jazz guitar albums, offering listeners a curated selection of classics and modern masterpieces. From the pioneering work of Django Reinhardt to the innovative compositions of Kurt Rosenwinkel. Brent provides a diverse range of albums that capture the essence of jazz guitar. He also explores the unique collaboration between Sonny Rollins and guitarist Jim Hall, highlighting its significance in showcasing the guitar's comping...
Published 02/15/24
In this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards podcast, Brent tackles a common concern voiced by inner circle member Keith about preparing for gigs or recording sessions when away from one's instrument. Offering practical advice and insights, he discusses the importance of staying connected with music even when not physically practicing.  Brent emphasizes the importance of staying connected with music through active listening as a form of practice, offering practical tips to internalize...
Published 02/14/24
In this episode of the podcast, Brent delves into the intriguing world of altered dominant seventh chords. From understanding their basic structure to exploring their role in jazz harmony and improvisation, he provides invaluable insights and practical tips to help master this essential aspect of jazz music. This episode promises to demystify altered dominant seventh chords and elevate your understanding of jazz theory and improvisation.  In addition to unraveling the mysteries of altered...
Published 02/13/24
Join Brent on another engaging episode of the podcast, where he dives into the captivating world of reharmonization. From basic concepts like tritone substitution to more advanced techniques like re-composition, Brent provides a crash course in reharmonization strategies that will take your jazz playing to the next level. Whether you're a seasoned musician or just starting out, this episode promises valuable insights and practical tips to help you feel more confident improvising and have...
Published 02/12/24
Brent is wrapping up the week on the podcast with a Fast Track Friday episode, reflecting on the fascinating discussions from the week. Topics ranged from bebop scales to the role of music theory in the journey of jazz greats. However, he identifies a potential pitfall: the "patternistic" and linear approach often associated with theory and scales. In response, Brent introduces a powerful exercise aimed at enhancing your melodic prowess. The focus shifts to allowing your ear and intuition to...
Published 02/09/24
In this Learn Jazz Standards podcast episode, Brent addresses a question from Tim Sly about whether jazz greats from the early days thought about music theory. He emphasizes how early jazz evolved spontaneously and wasn't necessarily written down. Discover how jazz evolved without heavy reliance on theory, and why embracing both theory and ear training is crucial for a well-rounded musical journey. Brent shares insights into the balance between learning by ear and understanding theory,...
Published 02/08/24
In this episode, Brent answers a question from Kevin, an Inner Circle member. This time, the spotlight is on a dilemma many players face: how much should you practice, and when does the time come to ease up? Brent shares insights into the effectiveness of consistent, strategic, and enjoyable practice, emphasizing quality over quantity. Is it about practicing for hours on end, or can efficient and focused sessions get you where you want to be? Discover the keys to mastering the art of...
Published 02/07/24
In this podcast episode, Brent answers a question from Ed from St. Louis on how to construct killer solos when the breaks are short and snappy. Whether facing a 12-bar blues or navigating complex jazz standards, Brent discusses his principles that hold the key to unlocking improvisational prowess. Listen as he provides examples and encourages experimentation. Learn about his perspective on the practical application of bebop scales in improvisation.  Important Links: Free Guide to...
Published 02/06/24
In this podcast episode, Brent breaks down the application of bebop scales in major, dominant, and minor chords, revealing the magic of chromatic passing tones. He emphasizes viewing the bebop scale as a tool to grasp chromaticism in jazz language rather than as rigid improvisational rules. Discover the art of improvisation and learn how bebop scales can elevate your jazz playing. Uncover practical insights and gain a fresh perspective on utilizing scales in your musical expression. The...
Published 02/05/24
In this Fast Track Friday episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast, Brent discusses strategies for developing one's own sound in jazz improvisation. He emphasizes the importance of taking influence from a wide variety of jazz musicians, exploring other instruments, and diversifying musical influences outside of jazz. Brent suggests that learning solos from musicians who don't play the same instrument can provide fresh perspectives and ideas. Additionally, he encourages the practice of...
Published 02/02/24
In this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast, Brent addresses Gary Cavallar's question on shifting focus from playing notes to creating more organic saxophone solos. Brent explores ways to enhance creativity and improvisation. He suggests analyzing habits and incorporating new tools to break repetitive patterns. Learning more jazz language, including licks and solos from musicians, is crucial for expanding musical ideas. Brent emphasizes the importance of composition, either...
Published 02/01/24
In this episode of the Learn Jazz Standards Podcast, Brent addresses the age-old question of proper etiquette when two chording instruments, such as guitar and piano, play together in a jam session. He emphasizes the importance of serving the music and avoiding a chaotic clash of chords. Brent suggests various scenarios, such as taking turns comping or having one instrument play a more subtle role. Personal preference may lead to being the primary or secondary comper, but the key is always...
Published 01/31/24
In this podcast episode, Brent addresses a question from Roxanna, a classically trained pianist struggling with jazz rhythm and phrasing. Brent explains the essence of the swing feel in jazz, emphasizing the triplet-based rhythm.  He advises starting with simple exercises, such as playing major scales with a swing feel. The discussion extends to jazz phrasing, highlighting the importance of learning by ear from great jazz musicians.  Brent encourages musicians, especially those from...
Published 01/30/24