A validation study of the distinct lattice spring model (DLSM) for wave propagation problems is performed. DLSM is a microstructure-based numerical model, which is meshless and has advantages in modelling dynamic problems where stress wave propagation is important. To verify the applicability of DLSM to modelling wave propagation through a discontinuous medium, the virtual wave source (VWS) method is used to obtain analytical solutions for wave propagation across a jointed rock mass. Numerical modelling results of the commercial code UDEC are selected as the reference. The effects of particle size and lattice rotation angle on wave propagation are first studied. Then, the results of wave transmission across a single joint with a different joint stiffness and across multiple parallel joints with different joint spacings are derived with DLSM, UDEC and VWS. These results are in good agreement with each other. Therefore, the capability of DLSM to model P-wave propagation across jointed rock mass is verified, which provides confidence for the further application of DLSM to modelling more complex problems. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.