Ear Training With Your Guitar!

Exercises for developing your ear and developing a greater connection with your instrument!

Ultimate Guitar
As a musician one of the most important things we can do to make ourselves better is to train our ears. Ear training takes a lot of effort and consistent practice, but the end results can be the difference between being an average musician and being a great musician. Memorization of songs and solos becomes easier as well as learning new material and techniques. Having said that, here are some great exercises that you can do with your guitar to get your ears in shape and develop a greater connection with your instrument!

1. The first exercise is fairly simple. Sing the major scale while playing each note on your guitar. You can also hum each note, or even whistle each note. If you are singing it is good to either sing the scale degree number, or sing the solfege degrees (Doh, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Doh). You will want to make sure that you match your voice to each note perfectly. These exercises are not about speed, but about being consistent and accurate. Singing these exercises is absolutely essential. You should also be visualizing in your mind what you are singing and playing on guitar as well.

2. Play the root of the scale, but then sing each note without playing the note on the guitar until after you have sung the given note. This will help you internalize the sound of each note you are singing.

3. Do the above exercises in various keys.

4. This fourth exercise begins to get more challenging. Play a major triad and sing the root note.

5. Next sing the 3rd (or Mi) after playing the major triad.

6. Then sing the 5th (or Sol) after playing the major triad.

7. Play the major triad and sing the root, 3rd and 5th (Doh, Mi, Sol).

8. Play the major triad in many different keys and sing root, 3rd and 5th.

9. Do 4 through 8, but playing a minor triad and singing the root, flat 3rd, and 5th.

10. This next exercise is pretty challenging, but will really help your ears internalize the major triad. You will sing the root note of the triad while playing the triad in root position, 1st inversion and second inversion. You will sing the root note and hold it out while playing through the inversions. Try to hear exactly where the root note is in each inversion, whether it is in the bass, the middle of the chord, or if it is the melody note.

11. Do the above but while singing and holding out the 3rd of the major triad.

12. Do number 10 while singing the 5th of the major triad.

13. Do 10 through 12, but playing a minor triad and its inversions instead.

During all of the above exercises you should be trying to hear each thing you are singing and playing in your minds ear. The next step, and most challenging, is attempting to do the above without your instrument. Internalizing these major and minor triads is very important and will help you become a better musician. Remember, it is absolutely essential to sing and visualize these exercises on your instrument. These are just a handful of exercises to get you started, but they will get you very far. Make sure you practice these daily, and give them the time they deserve. You can develop a great musical ear if that is something you struggle with, it just takes consistent daily practice!

About the Author:
By Seth Holobaughsethholobaughmusic@gmail.com www.guitarlessonsflowermound.com

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