LJS 41: How to Become a Better Jazz Musician Just By Listening


Welcome to episode 41 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about how to become a better jazz musician just by listening to jazz. Listening is one of the most important things you can do, but not just any kind of listening. Find out what you should be focusing on when listening to jazz. Listen in!

Listen to episode 41

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In this episode

  1. The difference between passive listening and active listening.

  2. Plan on the albums you are going to listen to and get out of your comfort zone.

  3. Hone in on one album at a time and get as much out of it as you can.

  4. Questions to ask yourself while listening:

    1. What song are you listening to?

    2. Who are the musicians in the band?

    3. How is the song structured?

    4. Can you identify the chord progressions?

    5. What is each individual musician playing throughout the piece?

    6. Is there anything in the song that stands out to you?

    7. How does the music make you feel?

Listen to episode 40: An Important Jazz Improv Technique and How to Use It

Further reading

How to Listen to Music With Intention

Mentioned in the show

30 Days to Better Jazz Playing eCourse

A 30-day audio eCourse that walks you through focused, goal-oriented practicing, where you will be working on things that actually improve your jazz playing.


What do you focus on when listening to jazz? Leave us a comment below.

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Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for learnjazzstandards.com which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publications "500 Jazz Licks" and "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." To learn more, visit www.brentvaartstra.com.

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