Improve Your Music with Ear Training

Ear training can make the difference between being a good musician and being an exceptional musician. It is a skill that can aid you in making the song in your head a reality. Honing this ability will likely enhance your creativity and improvisation, creating efficient recording sessions and rehearsals. So what exactly is ear training?

Very basically, ear training involves teaching a musician to recognize notes and chords by hearing them. Also known as aural skills, musicians who have had ear training are able to identify the various elements of music, including pitch, intervals, chords, melody and rhythms, simply by hearing them. Musicians who have mastered this skill are able to connect music theory with sounds, fully understanding what they are playing. Included in ear training is the ability to tune your musical instrument.

The majority of musicians are only able to recognize relative pitch, as few people possess the natural talent of perfect pitch (also known as absolute pitch). With relative pitch, the important factor is how the notes are related to each other and the tonic of the key. By developing this skill musicians are able to listen to chord progressions and then figure them out, possibly playing them in their preferred key. Music arrangers and song writers can write out a piece of music from their heads, without having to first play it on an instrument. Ear training is a vital tool for those who wish to study musicology and music theory.

An essential ear training skill to acquire is tuning your musical instrument. If you are just starting out, find a skilled musician to teach you how to tune your instrument correctly. Whilst playing with other musicians listen carefully and be prepared to retune as you go along. Be sure to practice so that you can become proficient in tuning accurately and quickly.

Even if you are not planning on getting further music education, it is well worth the time and effort to obtain some ear training. There are a number of individuals and websites offering ear training, so be sure to look around. You are certain to see a difference in your musical ability and capability to understand notation and music theory as you progress in ear training.