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HomeLJS PodcastLearn Jazz Standards3 Week Jazz Tune by Ear Challenge (Week 1)

3 Week Jazz Tune by Ear Challenge (Week 1)

Welcome to episode 274 where we start a series of 3 episodes where we are going through a challenge of learning a jazz tune by ear in 3 weeks. And in addition to learning it, by the end of these 3 weeks, you’ll be able to play a solo over it that you have created yourself. In Week 1, we learn the melody of the jazz tune. Are you up for the challenge?

Listen to episode 274

Today’s episode marks the first in a 3-part challenge that I’m going to be walking you through. 

We’re going to be learning a jazz tune by ear and also by the end of this 3-week challenge, I want you to be able to improvise a solo or play a solo over top of this jazz tune. 

I’m going to hold your hand through the process, make it easy, show you how to do it. It’s going to be like we are going to be practicing in some of these episodes, we are going to be learning some methodologies in these episodes. 

But overall, I think at the end of these 3 weeks, you will without a doubt be able to say that you know a new jazz tune which you can improvise over and you will learn tons of lessons along the way. 

In this episode:

1. How the challenge works and what you’ll learn

2. Introducing the jazz tune you’ll be learning, “Ready or Not”

3. An overview of the L.I.S.T Process for learning by ear

4. Brent teaches you the melody note by note

Important Links

1. “Ready or Not” mp3

2. LJS Inner Circle Membership

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. Great talk about learning a tune by ear. I remember when I was younger, I would know and hum the complete solos of Santana (samba pa ti, oye como va…), not to mention the final solo of Stairway to heaven and others. Although I didn’t apply to playing it so much in my case.

    This is do-able if we ‘internalise’ by listening multiple times. I will try to apply your guidance towards doing this.

    Thanks for a clear demonstration.


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