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LJS 81: How to Translate What You Hear to Your Instrument

Welcome to episode 81 of the LJS Podcast where today we are concluding Ear Training Month with a very important topic: how to translate what you hear to your instrument. We’ve been talking about the fundamentals of ear training, and this is the last step to connect the dots. Listen in!

Listen to episode 81

[vc_cta h2=”Enjoy listening to this podcast?” h4=”If you get value from the LJS Podcast, help us out by leaving a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. Thanks for your help!” shape=”square” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Rate and Review on iTunes” btn_style=”outline” btn_shape=”square” btn_color=”primary” btn_size=”lg” btn_link=”|||” el_class=”podcast_call”][/vc_cta]We’ve been doing Ear Training Month during the month of September on the LJS Podcast, and during this month we’ve been diving deep into the fundamentals of ear training.

The fundamentals of ear training are crucial for becoming a better jazz improviser and a better musician in general. So far we’ve covered:

  1. Hearing Intervals
  2. Hearing Chords
  3. Hearing Chord Progressions

But there is one final piece of the puzzle that we need to address, and that is translating what we hear to our instruments. 

For many beginner musicians, the instrument and the ear are separate entities. But when you listen to some of the best musicians in the world, it seems as if the instrument is simply an extension of them. There are no barriers between them and the instrument. The instrument is simply a vessel used to express the music they want to express.

That’s the level we all want to get to, myself included. Like anything, we need to train ourselves and strengthen that relationship between our ear and our instrument. That’s what this episode is all about.

In this episode

  1. The importance of developing the ear to instrument relationship.

  2. 2 general practices to consider.

  3. Melodic Dictation and how it will boost your ear to instrument connection quickly.

By the way, if you want to get notified when our new ear training course “How to Play What You Hear” is released on October 5th, 2017, sign up for our list.

This course covers in more depth the stuff we are working on during Ear Training Month, and guides you through a step-wise process.

Have anything to add to today’s show? Leave a comment below.

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. hey Brent great site and really appreciate it, but is something going with on the online site LGS? all the content isn't loading any longer . Thanks


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