My first lesson for Ultimate Guitar was Ear Training 101: Tonality Based Ear Training
. In it I shared some basic information about ear training: the best approach to use and some basic exercises to get started.
I've devoted a lot of time to ear training and as far as my playing goes it's probably been the best decision I've ever made. So in this second lesson I'd like to take it back a step and explain what ear training can do for you, in the hope that it will encourage you to give some of the ideas I suggested last time a shot!
So here are 3 reasons you'll be stoked if you do some ear training:
1. It builds confidence
Have you ever been travelling in a country where you don't speak the language before? It can be a nerve wracking experience.
It can be stressful every time you need to talk to someone, go to the store or even take a train because you can't communicate easily with the local people.
Playing music without ear training is a little like that. You learn to read the notes and play your instrument but you're never really sure of yourself. You're never quite sure if what you're playing sounds great or average, you can't work out what others are doing and you can't stray at all from the notes written in front of you without risking an obvious mistake.
Training your ears solves this problem completely.
It leads to a newfound sense of confidence whenever you pick up your instrument. You'll know whether you sound good or not. You'll understand what others are playing. You'll be relaxed, safe in the knowledge that your ears will understand what they hear and guide your fingers. You'll experience a level of enjoyment with music that you simply can't achieve without it.
2. It creates freedom
The end goal of ear training is the ability to play by ear: to recognise the notes in music when you hear them and play them straight back on your guitar. It takes some time to achieve this but the rewards are worth it (and then some).
When you develop this skill you'll experience a level of freedom when you play that you can't get without it. You'll be able to play whatever you like, however you would like to. It's an amazing feeling and if you really love playing it's well and truly worth every minute you put into ear training to achieve it!
3. It's not as hard as you think
A lot of musicians leave ear training alone because the word on the street is that it's hard and it doesn't work for most of us. As I mentioned in my last lesson, I think this belief continues because a lot of musicians go about it in the wrong way so they don't see much success. If you follow the instructions from that lesson you'll make solid progress and you'll soon see that success is attainable. It will take some time and work (just like improving in any area of music) but you can get there!
So those are my 3 big reasons to spend some time on ear training.
About the Author:
By Scott Edwards. If I've inspired you to add it to your practice routine, swing by EarTrainingHQ.com for more detailed lessons.