December 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm #18118
Greetings from Indonesia everyone! :D
First of all, I would like to thanks everyone that made this site available, I found this awesome site in my journey for the better ears.
So currently I am still trying to find my way in ear training path, my goal right now is to be able to play by ear using acoustic guitar: listen to a song, find in what key it’s played, and figure out the chord progression of the whole song, ahh that sounds really fun :D
But to be honest I am quite overwhelmed by the awesome amount of information you have made available in the site. I will really appreciate it if anyone willing to give me some kind of learning path recommendation.
Thanks a lot in advance!December 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm #18120
Welcome! And thanks for sharing a bit about your ear training motivations.
Playing a song by ear on guitar is a great goal to aim for, but to plan your training you will want to break it down into sub goals. You can learn more about this process here.
For you I would suggest focusing on playing chords by ear. You can find the key of a song by experimentation for now, and worry about melodies and solos later, but from what you have said I think you’ll find it most rewarding to focus on chords and chord progressions.
Here are three articles to help you plan this:
- Overview of chord ear training
- How to practise for Chord Types
- How to practise for Chord Progressions
Those should give you a good idea of the “roadmap” for developing these skills and planning your training step by step, as well as suggesting further resources here on the site which can be used to train with.
Does that help?December 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm #18154
Thanks a bunch Christopher, and yes this helps a lot! And spot on! that’s it, playing chords by ear is what I aiming for, this is necessary to play along with people :)
I will go trough the 3 articles you gave, and get back here hopefully with a concrete training plan. Thanks again!December 5, 2013 at 10:36 am #18169
Excellent! I’m glad that helped.
If you need a hand constructing your training plan do shout, and otherwise please keep us posted on your progress :)April 2, 2014 at 12:20 am #18832
I’m an aspiring musician and mix engineer, I have found your website of great aid and I definitely intend on using it on my journey, however I am having difficulty constructing a training plan for myself.
My aim is to be able to listen to a song and be able to pick out the key of a song and replicate the chord progression if necessary on the piano, having the ability to tell if a vocal line is sharp, flat or completely out of key, and also i would like to be able to identify frequencies.
In the past my efforts have failed because I was attempting to do too much at once so a guide into how i should juggle the two aspirations would be a great help!
Thanks in advance
Ramone WhittleApril 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm #18837
Taking on too much is a common problem with ear training. There are so many different topics to explore it can be hard to narrow your focus!
It’s good that you’re starting with a clear idea of your goals. Here’s what I would suggest to help you reach them: divide your practice into two sections.
1. Relative Pitch
To work out the key and chord progression of a song, you’ll want to develop your relative pitch skills.
Begin with Intervals which is the simplest way to start improving your ability to judge pitch differences – everything else depends on this. Aim for quite reliable recognition of unison, semitone, tone, thirds, fourths, fifths and the octave before moving on. You can return later to fill in sixths and sevenths. Having a good sense of the pitch distance of each interval type will help you quickly work out the key of a song by playing a few quick notes on the piano.
Then start practising recognising Chord types. For your goals, you probably just need to get solid with major and minor triads, and their inversions. Again, you can return later to cover the other material like augmented, diminished and seventh chords.
Once you have covered these core parts of intervals and chords, you’ll be in a good position to work on chord progressions. Your interval skills will help you listen for the transitions between chords, and your chord skills will let you tell major from minor. Studying Chord Progressions specifically will help you recognise the progressions you’ll hear used most often.
On each of those pages (intervals, chords, progressions) you’ll find a “How-To” guide which walks you through planning your training.
2. Frequency Ear Training
Although all parts of ear training do help one another, I would separate out your frequency practice from your relative pitch practice. Listening for frequencies is quite a different mindset to listening for note pitches, so it’s best to start out by training them separately.
I would recommend following our Frequency Fundamentals series which works through learning the core frequency skills you’ll need to record and produce music. You’ll find extra resources on our Frequencies page too.
I suggest you look at the resources above and write down two plans for the next few months: one for relative pitch and one for frequencies. Aim to spend at least 10 minutes per day on each of these two, following your planned syllabus.
Does that help?
In the past my efforts have failed because I was attempting to do too much at once so a guide into how i should juggle the two aspirations would be a great help!July 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm #19783
When I started taking guitar lessons I was initially taught to use chords to play songs I wanted to learn instead of playing all of the individual notes. I can hear the different chords in songs that I listen to and can tell the difference between major and minor chords but I really need to learn and practice the relative pitch so that I can learn to replicate the chords I am hearing. I think that this site has some great tips! It is a great resource to learn more, further my musical training, and enhance my ability to play by ear.July 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm #19790
Thanks for the kind words, @kristin_r! It’s great to hear you’ve been finding the tips on the site useful.
Keep up the good work on your relative pitch practice!
When I started taking guitar lessons I was initially taught to use chords to play songs I wanted to learn instead of playing all of the individual notes. I can hear the different chords in songs that I listen to and can tell the difference between major and minor chords but I really need to learn and practice the relative pitch so that I can learn to replicate the chords I am hearing. I think that this site has some great tips! It is a great resource to learn more, further my musical training, and enhance my ability to play by ear.