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How to Play What You Hear

A Step-By-Step Ear Training Course That Will Level-Up Your Musicianship!

How to Play What You Hear is an ear training course that walks you through 4 important steps for improving your ears so you can play the music you hear in your head more easily.

It’s a quiz-based course that truly trains your ears one concept at a time. Even if you’ve never had ear training experience before, this course sets you up for success. Let’s get started!

Lifetime access to all quizzes, handouts, and audio practice tracks.

Hours of video and audio lectures with step-by-step instruction.

Learn the stuff you would learn in a college course or private lessons for a fraction of the price.

Have you ever wished you could hear a song and know what the chords were right away? Maybe you simply want to become a better improviser and play the ideas that you hear in your head. Or maybe you just wish you didn’t feel stuck in your music. All of this may seem out of reach, but trust me, it’s not…

Why I Created This Course

Hey, my name is Brent Vaartstra. I’m a musician, author, entrepreneur, and the guy behind the internationally followed jazz education website,

Over the years, I’ve received tons of email from my audience and have seen questions like this:

How do I become a better improviser?

How can I play the things I’m hearing in my head?

How do I learn jazz standards and solos by ear?

All of these questions can be summed up as: How do I play what I hear?

So I began looking back to the years of my formal training. The things my teachers had taught me. The ear training courses I had taken. And I began reaching out to my colleagues, asking them how they got to this point in their musicianship. In the process, I became convinced that the fundamentals of ear training are essential for playing what you hear.

My goal is to help you build the kind of ears you deserve.

So Why Is Ear Training Important?

When I asked Facebook subscribers to rate the importance of ear training on a scale of 1-10, here are some of the answers I received:


Here’s another one just for fun! I conducted a poll asking a sample group of around 60 musicians if they had the choice to have only one of the following musical skills, which one would they pick. Here are the results:


It looks like the importance of ear training is unanimous. 

Ear training is important because it builds the ear to instrument connection so you can play the music that you hear, and this is the ultimate goal for all musicians.

What you will learn:

This course is organized into modules which I call the “4 Steps for How to Play What You Hear.”

Step 1: Master Intervals. You will learn to recognize and sing every ascending and descending interval.

Step 2: Recognize Chords. You will be able to recognize and sing any triad or 7th chord.

Step 3: Chord Progressions. You will be able to recognize basic pop and jazz chord progressions.

Step 4: Translate to your instrument. You will accomplish 4 sessions of melodic dictation.

Here’s what’s inside each module

Here’s what some of our students have to say:


“This course came at the right moment for me. I really wanted to go step by step, for which the program is perfect in its structure! Brent, thanks a lot for all the hard work you’ve put into this course. Besides my teacher, you are the center of my learning journey!”

-Jonathan from Brussels, bass clarinet


“As a jazz vocalist, I wanted to have a better understanding of the chords being played by the instrumentalists and I knew this was a key element in improvisation. I was very excited when I saw that Brent was coming out with this course. The course is laid out in a very logical fashion and there are lots of opportunities to practice with immediate feedback on how you’re doing. I can’t wait to delve further into the modules. I highly recommend this course!”

-Cindy from Washington D.C, vocalist

Cindy Moses 4


“Thanks Brent! This is a great tool for improving my ear training. I can’t seem to put it down. Finally, an interesting, effective method for improving my ear!”

-Paige from California, bass


“Everybody can benefit from going through the modules provided by Brent and the team at Learn Jazz Standards. I practiced with the material for one hour per day and always reviewed the quizzes of the last lesson. After having finished the course and after having revisited some lessons, I really feel great improvement of my ears and listening respectively.”

-Max from Austria, saxophone

It’s time to get started!

Your journey to playing what you hear is right around the corner.

Lifetime access to all quizzes, handouts, and audio practice tracks.

Hours of video and audio lectures with step-by-step instruction.

Learn the stuff you would learn in a college course or private lessons for a fraction of the price.


I’m so confident you’re going to love How to Play What You Hear, that I’m willing to make a 30-Day, 100% Money-Back Guarantee.

If you don’t feel like this is a quality course, email me and I’ll refund all of your money (I’ll even eat the credit-card processing fees). Me and the team here at LJS believe in this course and we’ll take responsibility for it.

Still have questions? Here are some answers: 

This course is for all instruments, including vocalists. Drummers and percussionists will need to play a secondary melodic instrument to complete Module 4.

Anyone who is serious about improving their ear. Ear Training is incredibly important for becoming a great musician and will improve all aspects of your musicianship.

I would never want anybody to invest in this course if it wasn’t right for them. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself and consider. If the answer to all of them is “YES”, don’t take this course. If the answer is generally “NO”, this course is perfect for you because these are all the elements you will learn.

  1. Can you recognize and sing all intervals ascending and descending?
  2. Can you recognize and sing arpeggios to all basic triads and 7th chords?
  3. If you heard a chord and were asked to sing the #9 could you do it?
  4. If you heard a I-vi-ii-V or I-IV-vi-V progression would you recognize it?
  5. Can you quickly replicate a melody on your instrument once you have heard it only a few times?

Absolutely not. This course starts from ground zero and builds from there towards an advanced level of ear training. Anyone can start from scratch and come out of this course with great ears as long as they put in the work.

The greatest benefit of courses, in general, is the hand holding. In this course, I walk you through each step is small increments, making sure you succeed. Many people buy or use free ear training apps and get absolutely nowhere because there is no one to lead them and teach them how to work through the important material.

Another aspect that most apps and courses ignore is the singing aspect. Singing (or humming or whistling if that is more comfortable) takes the ear training to an entirely different level. You’ll see what I mean. Not all courses have a great quizzing platform as well, but How to Play What You Hear has quizzes for everything.

This is an ear training course and theory is covered minimally and only when necessary. You do not need extensive theory knowledge. Theory is always helpful but the ultimate goal of this course is to strengthen your ears to recognize sounds and be able to emulate them.

Absolutely! If you don’t consider yourself a great singer, whistling or humming can be substituted, and a lot of students do these instead. As long as you can reproduce the sound yourself, it doesn’t matter how you make the sound. This is not a singing course, it’s an ear training course, so don’t be intimidated.

This course is definitely right for you! This course is actually designed for all musicians of all genres. Sure, it’s hosted by, but the material is important for all musicians to work on. Whether you are a rock, pop, hip-hop, folk musician or other, ear training is something you need.

The great thing is you can take this course at your own pace. However, to keep making progress and get results I suggest trying to practice 30-60 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The good thing is you can practice a lot of material in the lessons away from the computer with audio resources I give you throughout the course.

Nope! I give you everything you need to be successful in this course. You will just need internet access to take quizzes and listen/watch lectures.