Having a great ear is arguably one of the most important assets a jazz musician can have. While I have no problem with jazz students buying books to read solo’s out of or learning theoretical concepts, ultimately playing jazz comes down to hearing it.

Ear training should be at the forefront of every jazz musicians personal studies. The sharper the ear, the easier it is for us to hear musical ideas and translate them to our instrument. Jazz musicians can work on their ears in some practical ways like learning solos by ear, or learning tunes by ear. But it is also important to work on the fundamentals of ear training as well.

One of the fundamentals of ear training is knowing the sounds of intervals. Of course I’m talking about minor seconds and major seconds, perfect fifths, and major thirds. Being able to recognize all of the musical intervals will help sharpen your ear and give you some of the tools you need to learn solos and jazz standards by ear.

Since we are jazz musicians, a great way to learn them is to associate them with jazz standards that we know! You may have learned intervals before with nursery rhymes or other pop culture songs, but these can be particularly helpful for jazz musicians. Let’s get started!

(Click the links to listen)

Minor second (half step)

Up

How Insensitive: First two notes of the melody.

I Remember You: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Stella By Starlight: First two notes of the melody.

Solar: First two notes of the melody.

Major second (whole step)

Up

In a Sentimental Mood: First two notes of the melody.

Body and Soul: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Satin Doll: First two notes of the melody.

Star Eyes: First two notes of the melody.

Freddie Freeloader: First two notes of the melody.

Minor 3rd

Up

Georgia On My Mind: First two notes of the melody.

Cherokee: First two notes of the melody.

A Love Supreme Pt. 1 Acknowledgement: First two notes of bass line.

Down

The Girl From Ipanema: First two notes of the melody

What Is This Thing Called Love: First two notes of the melody

Misty: First two notes of the melody.

Major 3rd

Up

East of the Sun (West of the Moon): First two notes of the melody.

I Thought About You: First two notes of the melody.

Oh When The Saints Go Marching In: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Giant Steps: First two notes of the melody.

Summertime: First two notes of the melody.

Perfect 4th

Up

All The Things You Are: First two notes of the melody.

Darn That Dream: First two notes of the melody.

What’s New: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise: First two notes of the melody.

Yardbird Suite: First two notes of the melody.

Tritone

Up

Angel Eyes: 1st to 3rd note of the melody.

Down

Blue Seven: First two notes of the melody.

Perfect 5th

Up

Bag’s Groove: First two notes of the melody.

My Favorite Things: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Have You Met Miss Jones: First two notes of the melody.

The Way You Look Tonight: First two notes of the melody.

Minor 6th

Up

Black Orpheus (A Day In the Life of a Fool): First two notes of the melody.

Down

Misty: 1st to 3rd note of the melody.

Major 6th

Up

The Days of Wine and Roses: First two notes of the melody.

Take the A Train: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Weaver of Dreams: First two notes of the melody.

Mean to Me: First two notes of the melody.

Minor 7th

Up

When I Fall In Love: 1st to 3rd note of the melody.

Down

Watermelon Man: First two notes of the melody.

Major 7th

Up

Ceora: First two notes of the melody.

Serenity: 2nd and 3rd notes of the melody.

Down

I Love You: First two notes of the melody.

Octave

Up

Blue Bossa: First two notes of the melody.

If I Should Lose You: First two notes of the melody.

Down

Willow Weep For Me: First two notes of the melody.

What jazz tunes help you hear intervals? Leave a comment below.

30 Stepsto Better Jazz Playing

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