Ear Training

author: UG Team date: 07/31/2003 category: for beginners
rating: 9.1 / votes: 95 
If you want to be a great musician, you can't just be good at guitar or bass. Believe me, there are a lot of people who are very good at guitar or bass. You can be a good musician without any other skills than playing guitar, but you can't be a great musician. Having good musical ears will greatly improve your playing skills, they will make you a better singer, and they will make it easier for you to hear chords, intervals and notes. Some Ear Training Exercises: Before you start, let me tell you, this will take a long time for you to master. Once of the most respected skills of a musician is called "perfect pitch" Perfect pitch is the ability to hear a note and know what it is. It takes many years to develop perfect pitch. But, you have to start somewhere. Remember in music class when you sang the do, re, mi, fa, sol, etc? Never think you'd ever use it again? Well, first you should take some time to familiarize your self with the syllable system. Since it is based on a 8-note major scale, it would be easiest to make the root note (do) a C. So if you wrote it out, it would look like:
do  re  me  fa  sol  la  si  do

C   D   E   F   G    A   B   C
If you have a piano, this is easier, but a guitar will work also. Practice singing the syllables as you play the notes on a guitar or piano. For those of you who play guitar and can't read notes, learn to read notes! But in the meantime:
e|---------------
b|---------------
g|------------4-5
d|------3-5-7----
a|3-5-7----------
e|---------------

c d e f g a b c
d r m f S l s d
Practice singing/playing up and down the scale a few times, then try skipping notes and finically try it all over again without playing. just singing. Try: do-re-do-mi-do-fa-do-sol-do-la-do-si-do-do(octave) try these 1st with instrumental accompaniment, then without. do-fa-da-la-do-si-do-sol-do-re-do-me-do If you can, record yourself doing these, then listen to them to see if you were right. Once you have done those exercises, and a few of your own a few times, you are ready to move on to the next thing. A Song. It is good to start out with something simple that you know the tune to. Something good would be a common tune with a simple rhythm. row-row-row your boat (I know, I know) is a good place to start. I have tabbed it out below, but you you've got a piano, the notes are:
C-C-C-D-E-E-D-E-F-G-C-C-C-G-G-G-E-E-E-C-C-C-G-F-E-D-C

e|-------------------------------------------------------
b|-------------------------------------------------------
g|--------------------5-5-5------------------------------
d|----------------3-5-------5-5-5-------------5-3--------
a|3-3-3-5-7-7-5-7-----------------7-7-7-3-3-3-----7-5-3--
e|-------------------------------------------------------
d d d r m m r d f S d d d S S S m m m d d d S f m r d
As boring as this is, do it a few times correctly, and you will start to improve. Make sure your doing it right, because if not, you're only hurting yourself. Another useful song is "My Favorite Things" (ie raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, etc).
this song has f#, so all fa's are #'d

e|-------------------------------------------------------
b|-------------------------------------------------------
g|--4-4---------------------4-4--------------------------
d|2-----4-2-2---2-2-4-2---2-----4-2-2---2-2-4-2----------
a|------------2-----------------------2------------------
e|-------------------------------------------------------
m s s f m m s m m f m   m s s f m m s m m f m

e|-------------------------------------------------------
b|-------------------------------------------------------
g|--4-2---------2-0---------------0-2-4-2----------------
d|2-----2-4-0-0-------------0-2-4---------1--------------
a|------------------3---2-3------------------------------
e|-------------------------------------------------------
m s l m f r r l S d   s d r m f S l s l r#

*S=sol
s=si
Get that down well. Well, that's all I've written for now, if noone's gonna read/use this, then I won't bother making more, but if you mastered all that, and want more, email me at gbuchak@excite.com and I will finish it for you. - Greg Buchak (gbuchak@excite.com)
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