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LJS 133: The Sad Truth About Ear Training Fundamentals (Why You Should Practice Them)

Welcome to episode 133 of the LJS Podcast where today we are talking about ear training fundamentals and why you should be working on them as a jazz musician. The sad truth is they are being ignored by so many. But I want you to recognize their importance and allow them to level-up your skills. Listen in!

Listen to episode 133

In today’s episode, I talk about something that I believe is important for all musicians to be working on.

If we want to become better jazz improvisers, we need to be developing great ears. At the end of the day, your ears will be your strongest asset when it comes to improvising freely and creatively.

Unfortunately, too many musicians ignore the fundamentals of ear training which are:

  1. Hearing intervals.
  2. Hearing chords.
  3. Hearing chord progressions.

Some students and even educators argue that they “aren’t musical so why practice them?”

But this misses the point of what fundamentals are all about. We practice fundamentals because they are those foundational elements running in the background that make everything else much easier.

In this episode, I make my argument for working on them. Here’s a bit of what I talk about:

1. Why the fundamentals are important.

2. The benefits of recognizing intervals.

3. The benefits of recognizing chords.

4. The benefits of recognizing chord progressions.

5. Examples of how they work together.

I hope that after listening to this episode you’ll both understand the importance of working on ear training fundamentals and feel inspired to start working on them.

What do you think about ear training fundamentals? Are they important? Leave a comment below.

Important Links

The Ultimate Ear Training Blueprint free handout

How to Play What You Hear ear training course

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."



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