How To Download Music To My Phone To Listen Offline Play Guitar by Ear – 3 Fatal Ear Training Mistakes and What to Do Instead

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Play Guitar by Ear – 3 Fatal Ear Training Mistakes and What to Do Instead

One of the most often overlooked aspects of guitar study programs is ear training, sure you can learn a few tunes, play a couple of basic scales and chords but it’s only monkey-see-monkey-do type stuff the player themselves does not really develop his/her musical ear to the point when they can work out tunes by ear for themselves.

Once a musician learns the fundamentals of ear training they are free to play any song and most importantly they can check if the information they are studying is correct (many harmonic and melodic errors exist in both online and offline study programs).

Here’s the 3 fatal ear training mistakes and how to avoid them!

Fatal mistake 1: Not practicing ear training on the guitar – Unfortunately, when it comes to ear training the guitar seems to get a raw deal, almost all examples whether they are presented on an audio CD or at a music exam are played on a piano, which means it’s very difficult for the guitarist to relate to the sounds being played let alone find them on the fingerboard.

Important: The guitar sounds one octave lower than the piano.

What to do instead: Practice intervals on your guitar everyday, start with the pitch of middle ‘C’ on the guitar.

(a) middle ‘C’ = third string, fifth fret

(b) progress through the basic intervals i.e., major 3rd, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, perfect 4th etc.

Fatal mistake 2: Audio overload – recently whilst trying to help a student identify intervals by relating each interval to the first two notes played in familiar songs (songs that everyone has heard hundreds of times, unless of course you have just arrived from another planet), I noticed that he was really struggling to recall any of the songs I mentioned, in fact he gave me the impression he had not heard any of them as if he was suffering from some kind of musical amnesia.

Unfortunately, this condition is becoming more common with young students and the main reason for this situation is caused by information overload or in this case audio overload; thereby the listener is bombarded by an overwhelming amount of audio information far too much of the untrained listened to cope with.

To prove my point I asked the student “how many songs could he store on his iPod?” “Thousands”, he replied; and there is the problem right there; hours and hours of music to listen to and absorb and if the iPod is set on random it’s quite likely the listener won’t hear the same song for at least a couple of weeks, maybe months, possibly never!.

What to do instead: Practice focusing on one song at a time – really get to know all the nooks and crannies of that song and as you gather information about the first song use that information to help you learn your next song more quickly, that’s true accelerated learning it’s do by connected learning, whereby you relate unfamiliar material to material already learned.

Fatal mistake 3: Practicing too fast – because we are always presented with the ‘finished’ audio product it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the artist we are listening to achieved their finished audio product by first practicing everything in tiny little sections and that they practiced these little musical

cells very s-l-o-w-l-y.

What to do instead: Make a point of writing a giant note to yourself…

‘SLOW DOWN – speed is a by-product of accuracy’

put this note in your guitar case or stick it on the wall of your practice room, there’s no point in playing fast and messy, absolutely anyone can do that, in fact it doesn’t take any practice at all.

The most important thing to remember about ear training is to slow down and listen to the ‘space’ between each note and make a conscious effort to remember how they sound and feel it will help you identify these same notes in the next song you play on your guitar.

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