#1
Hi and Happy New Year.

I was hoping to get some opinions from people about to what degree a good ear is "innate talent" or something that develops and something that must be specifically trained.

Personally, I feel very frustrated because I've never really trained my ear until recently but I can easily tab out single melodic lines. So I can usually, figure out what a singer sings or a single melody very quickly.

However, when it comes to harmony I totally suck. And Ive been playing for a long while, more than 10 years. I think I should have develop "something" yet I cant figure out chords and chord progressions.
#2
Yes it can be developed!!! Some people are just more naturally capable to begin with but anyone can get there. When I first picked up a guitar it took me a week to play "Twinkle twinkle little star" by ear. I just learned the solo to Metallica's "The Unforgiven" in literally 5-10 minutes. Also now I don't even need to know what key Im playing in to improvise over random chord progressions.
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#3
Quote by zguitarmaster
Hi and Happy New Year.

I was hoping to get some opinions from people about to what degree a good ear is "innate talent" or something that develops and something that must be specifically trained.

Personally, I feel very frustrated because I've never really trained my ear until recently but I can easily tab out single melodic lines. So I can usually, figure out what a singer sings or a single melody very quickly.

However, when it comes to harmony I totally suck. And Ive been playing for a long while, more than 10 years. I think I should have develop "something" yet I cant figure out chords and chord progressions.


Absolutely, that which you practice consistently you will progress in...I don't believe in perfection, but certainly a high degree of progression. Harmony requires the ability to isolate notes that are played at the same time, not an easy feat, and a lot of trial and error at times. I still have trouble with it. Lee Ritenour's solo on Strawberry Letter 23, for example, I think he ...switches harmonies to the second guitar or something, but that harmony is hard in spots for me to pick out...its chameleon like...uts a funn thing to try, but that solo and harmonization just keeps throwing the ear at certain places, and Ive heard a lot of people try it, and fall on their faces in replicating both lines...its crazy and humbling, but again, its a trial and error thing...sometimes the ear gets tricked.
#4
yes it definitely can be developed. im actually the opposite of you. im better with chords and progressions and have a harder time learning solos by ear. work with the progressions and eventually it will come naturally to you
#5
Definately, but I reckon people develop some aspects better than others. For example, some people are awesome at perfect pitch, but not relative pitch, and vice versa.
#6
Yep.

In fact, I'm not sure anyone is born with perfect absolute pitch (in other words perfect pitch), or even perfect relative pitch. To the best of my knowledge, absolute pitch is developed (rarely, but only) at a young age and only if the person is trained in music. I've never heard of a non-musician having perfect pitch.

I could be wrong though.

And I think relative pitch can be developed by anyone with standard aural skills (in other words, not deaf ).
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#7
In high school I knew a guy who could really sing well. He said he had perfect pitch, maybe he did, but he used his voice like a strobe tuner. He had to develop that. When he tuned a guitar, he would hum an E. When it felt right, he would set the tuning on the string, then finish it. We checked him, and he was incredibly accurate. I'm just saying, he had to work at it.
#8
Quote by food1010
Yep.

In fact, I'm not sure anyone is born with perfect absolute pitch (in other words perfect pitch), or even perfect relative pitch. To the best of my knowledge, absolute pitch is developed (rarely, but only) at a young age and only if the person is trained in music. I've never heard of a non-musician having perfect pitch.

I could be wrong though.

And I think relative pitch can be developed by anyone with standard aural skills (in other words, not deaf ).


I definitely agree with this. It doesn't make for someone to have perfect pitch if they'd never been exposed to 12TET. What if we used 13TET (don't worry about how horrible it would be for actually making music), then people who were born with 12TET perfect pitch would be screwed. The obviously have to develop it at a young age.
#9
Perfect pitch can be a bit of a curse can't it? I heard that they struggle to play transposing instruments
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#10
Some people do have perfect pitch but they are a select few. And yes, I'm living example a good ear can be developed. I do have talent in music, but my pitch is learned, and most of my musical training has been in the last two years. Even like a year ago, tuning a guitar by ear was tough. Now? I can strum and find out the bad strings. But to go to a certain note, I need an example. I can't just thing E and hum it. I gotta thing of a song with the E note, mentally listen to it, and then hum it.
#11
Quote by Mekchrious
Some people do have perfect pitch but they are a select few. And yes, I'm living example a good ear can be developed. I do have talent in music, but my pitch is learned, and most of my musical training has been in the last two years. Even like a year ago, tuning a guitar by ear was tough. Now? I can strum and find out the bad strings. But to go to a certain note, I need an example. I can't just thing E and hum it. I gotta thing of a song with the E note, mentally listen to it, and then hum it.


Interestingly enough, if I ever need a pitch on the fly my pitch reference in E standard is to tune the 11th fret 4th string Db to the opening note of Sweet Child Of Mine's riff...It just blazes so clearly in my head. I guess that's showing my age and playing about and living in Hollywierd for all those years during the 80's and part of the 90s
#13
Of course it can, in the same way you can learn to recognise things visually - like when you drive enough you start to recognise cars simply by their headlights.

You're already part of the way there anyway, after all you can recognise a song can't you? Those songs are all made up of individual notes, you just need to decrease the size of the chunks you can identify.
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