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HomeLJS PodcastJazz Tips and AdviceHow to Listen to Jazz Mindfully

How to Listen to Jazz Mindfully

Welcome to episode 237 of the LJS Podcast where today I share a masterclass I am taking out of the vault about listening to jazz. The way we listen to jazz can dictate how much we actually get out of it when we listen. As jazz musicians, listening can be one of our best forms of practice if we approach it mindfully.

Listen to episode 237

When you listen to jazz, what are you hearing? What are you listening for? 

What kind of things are going through your head as you hear the different instruments play? As you hear the melody played? As you hear the comping being played? The drumming being played?

What are you listening for? 

Well, listening to jazz is one of the most important things you can do if you want to become a better jazz musician. 

But I find that if we really do some mindful listening, some critical listening, and understand what we’re listening for, it can be incredibly helpful for not only appreciating jazz more but for getting as much out of it as possible that we can start implementing into our playing. 

So, in today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing with you part of a masterclass I did once for mindful jazz listening and we’re going to listen to a couple of tracks, dig deep into them, and see what we can find out.

In this episode:

1. A listen through “Blues Up and Down”

2. A listen through “Someday My Prince Will Come”

Important Links:
LJS Inner Circle Membership
Free Guide to learn standards by ear: Learn Jazz Standards the Smart Way

Brent Vaartstra
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."


  1. Brent you said that they keep trading whole choruses before Gene Ammons takes a longer solo but before Ammons’ solo they actually switch to trading fours from each playing the whole form. Small point but if it’s a podcast about listening mindfully is that not important to distinguish?


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