Introduction And Baby Steps to “Opening” Your Ears

explore the music worldTo get a basic foundation for ear training for guitarists, the first step is to be able to hear a pitch and sing back the pitch.

Since this is the first lesson in helping you develop relative pitch and perfect pitch aural skills, let’s start with something simple. I want you to play a note on the guitar anywhere on the fret board.

Now be honest with yourself, can you sing out a note to match the same pitch as that of the played note? If you can’t, this means you need some serious work on training your ears. If you can, the following exercises will be relatively easy for you.

For the most comprehensive and effective method towards an effective ear, I recommend that you check out the Relative Pitch Supercourse by David Lucas Burge.

Ear Training Exercise 1

Play any open string on the guitar. Close your eyes and listen to the note deeply. After you are sure of how the note sounds, sing it out and see if you got the pitch correct. Now, I know you will probably have this question in mind. “How do you know whether you had sung the correct pitch?”

As a guide, you can play the note again and let it ring. If you had sung the same pitch, you will feel a natural resonance in your body (feels like your body is vibrating in the same frequency with that of the played note).

For people who still have difficulties in verifying the correct pitch, all you need to do is to invest in a digital chromatic tuner (a decent one would cost about $20). This is a great tool for ear training practices because any note you sing will be accurately depicted by the tuner. You can then use it to check your pitching.

Ear Training Exercise 2

Once you can play an open string note and sing along at the correct pitch, let’s make things a little more challenging. Now, I want you to play the notes of the C major scale in ascending order and listen to it.

Then, sing out the scale using do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti-do. Check your pitch and make sure you have got all the intervals correct.

C Major Scale Table

Ear Training Exercise 3

Play the guitar scale in descending order and sing out the scale using do-ti-la-so-fa-me-re-do. Once again, always check your pitching to make sure you get it correct.

By putting in 15 minutes of your time to do these exercises every day, you will see a MASSIVE difference in your music awareness. For people who find these exercises tough, take your time to listen as the ear needs time to condition itself and open up.

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