An Ear For Jazz, with Brent Vaarstra: The Musicality Podcast

New musicality video:

On the show today we’re talking to Brent Vaartstra from, one of the leading websites for people to learn to play jazz.

Now if you’re not into jazz you might already be thinking about skipping this episode – don’t!

This conversation tackles exactly that question of whether jazz has anything to offer musicians who aren’t necessarily dedicated to jazz. And also the core skills you can learn to help you find musical freedom in jazz – or any other genre.

Brent has been running Learn Jazz Standards since 2011, publishing new articles and podcast episodes every week. He also performs and teaches around New York and is the author of jazz books for Hal Leonard including “500 Jazz Licks” and “Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar”.

On today’s podcast, we pick Brent’s brains about what does (or doesn’t) make jazz unique as a genre, and ask him a few questions that frequently come up among Musical U followers and members on the topic of jazz.

We talk about:

– If jazz is an “advanced” genre or one you can start with right away.
– Whether being a good jazz musician requires mastery of complex music theory or having an incredible ear.
– How to start training your musical ear, for jazz or any other genre, and Brent shares his four-step system.

We also talk about the new ear training course from Learn Jazz Standards and the two things that really set it apart. Brent has kindly set up a terrific freebie for our listeners that can help you get started with musical ear training – stay tuned to the end of the conversation to learn more about the freebie, and how you can get your hands on it!

Listen to the episode:


Learn Jazz Standards:

Learn Jazz Standards Podcast:

The Ultimate Ear Training Blueprint:

The Jazz Ear Startup Guide: Five Master Tools:

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An Ear For Jazz, with Brent Vaarstra: The Musicality Podcast