Why you should devote some guitar practice to ear training

Picture 2I highly recommend to anyone pursuing music to invest a portion of their practice time into developing aural skills. This means your ability to listen to music and understand what you are hearing so as to replicate on your instrument.

Step 1

The first step I recommend for my guitar students is to learn the pentatonic minor scale and find the key that fits. This is a 5 note scale that suits several different keys. If for example the song was in C major the A pentatonic minor would be the perfect match but you could also get away with the pentatonic minor in E, C, G, B, F# and D although there a few notes that would sound bluesy. The fact is half the position using this scale would be an acceptable starting point.

What next?

From there you want to find the root note. Just use your ear to decide which note sounds the strongest. At first you may not be able to hear this easily but give it time. Start with easy songs. I started out as a teenager listening to and working out AC/DC songs and this was pre-Internet. These days its very easy to look up a YouTube video and compare what you have worked out with an online lesson. Gradually you will piece it all together but be patient. Give your ear time to hear and recognise the different notes, chords, rhythms and song structure.

Why bother with ear training when YouTube can teach you songs?

To play you favourite songs correctly having good aural skills will allow you to learn songs much faster and more accurately. Think of it like language. If I quote a phrase in a familiar language chances are you can quote me back word for word. Think of language. When you hear someone speak chances are you can repeat exactly what they said. You don’t need them to write it down and teach you letter by letter. Being familiar by ear with the English language makes this easy. Same applies to music.

Ear Training Course $99

If you are interest in ear training we offer an online video course for $99  which will set you up for the long term. For more information please email david@g4guitar.com.au

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