Every musician has spent time in the practice room working on etudes…
Diligently running through exercises that cover various techniques like articulation, the altissimo range, or diminished arpeggios.
This is a good start for most players, but where does the jazz musician turn to develop the techniques that are essential for improvisation? After all jazz is a music that you learn by ear, not from a dusty book of exercises…
Well the answer can be found in an unlikely place: the repertoire of jazz standards that we’re all expected to learn.
By using jazz standards as your etudes, you’ll kill two birds with one stone: learning tunes and developing the techniques necessary for jazz improvisation.
Below we’ll show you how to turn 8 jazz standards into the daily practice etudes that will transform your skills as an improviser.
Before you get started, listen to the YouTube clip of each tune. You can either learn the melody from the recording (a great way to work on ear training!) or find the sheet music. For each tune we’ll:
- Give you an excerpt of the first 8 measures
- Show you what you’ll learn and what to focus on as you practice
- And highlight unique practice ideas specific to each melody
Ready to go? Awesome, time to meet the 8 jazz standards that are your new practice etudes…