Ear Training

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Ear-training for guitar players

What is Ear Training?
Ear training refers to the process of being able to break down musical elements into their simpler forms and connecting these elements with the way you physically hear sounds. Ear training for guitarists (and musicians in general) includes skills such as identifying keys, pitch, intervals, chord qualities (Major, Minor, 7th, Major 7th), chord progressions, time signatures, tempos and much more.

Click for Ear Training Practice Exercises

Why Ear Training Is Important
How well you play guitar or any musical instrument really comes down to how well you hear. In fact it’s the most important component in becoming an increasingly better musician. Boosting your aural skills promises huge benefits you will notice right off the bat. Ear training gives you the confidence to trust your own ears and play more by ear. You will not only become a better and more confident musician, you’ll enjoy playing music a whole lot more and at a much higher level.

Ear Training Exercises
Ear Training Exercises help you to sharpen your aural skills for music and better develop your musical ear. The internet is replete with apps and other digital tools designed to help you improve your listening skills. Among the most important and effective things you can do is regularly remind yourself to be a more “active” listener.

How to Work Out a Melody (Notes) By Ear

Understanding Intervals

Identify Everyday Sounds
Ask yourself what sounds can hear right now? Perhaps you hear music in the background, a washing machine, or a clock ticking as examples. Through a window you may hear a siren, cars going by, birds tweeting, a baby crying, an airplane, or blowing wind. Then ask yourself if these sounds are low in pitch (bass) or high in pitch (treble)? Also how fast or slow is siren’s rhythm is? Hear that bird tweeting in a tree? See if you can sing or whistle those same notes (melody)?

Another basic exercise is to identify what instruments you can hear when listening to music. Remember “voice” is considered an musical instrument, both lead as well as background vocals.

Identify Major, Minor & Seventh Chords
Each of our 12 Major chords (A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#) has a relative Minor & Seventh. The recordings below will help you recognize the differences between Major, Minor & 7th chords. You will hear each chord strummed three (3) times.

A vs Am
Notice the A sounds happy and the A minor sounds sad.

D vs Dm
Notice the D sounds happy and the D minor sounds sad.

G vs Gm
Notice the G sounds happy and the G minor sounds sad.

A vs A7
Notice the A sounds happy and the A7 sounds unresolved and hanging as if begging for another chord to follow.

C vs C7
Notice the C sounds happy and the C7 sounds unresolved and hanging as if begging for another chord to follow.

G vs G7
Notice the G sounds happy and the G7 sounds unresolved and hanging as if begging for another chord to follow.

Am vs A7