Ear training teaches intervals by osmosis eventually teaching you how to sing more accurately and generally improving your pitch when bending strings and using vibrato on electric guitar. Believe me, you will see I’m no great singer ion the example but I can actually sing back up harmonies with ease when it was very difficult a few scant months before applying this technique to my practice schedule. I think Steve Vai put it best when he said “One of the easiest ways to begin working on ear training is to sing what you play.” Sing what you play, it’s simple, it’s total joy and it’s all you need to jump off into ear training which will shower musical blessings on any player. Think of Jimmy Hendrix’s cross town traffic, how he sings along with the solo intro, that’s Jimmy ear training and Eddie Kramer (Producer/ engineer / Grammy award winner and Genius extraordinaire ) thinking it sounded cool enough to leave on Electric Lady-land. Was he right? I think he was :)
What ear training has done for myself and what I believe it can do for anyone:
Ear training will help you take “what you hear in your head” and bring it to reality on your instrument and/or your voice.
Ear training will help you in the process of learning and or transcribing songs from your favorite artists CD’s, records etc. in record time once you start working it into a practice routine. It didn’t take me more than a few days to recognize the benefits.
Ear training IMO is the most overlooked portion of music education that, when I realized it for myself morphed me into a better player as well as backup singer. I feel it’s far overlooked and under emphasized by far to many professional instructors. The best guitar teacher I know on the planet, at least as far as I’m concerned is Marc Seal. Ask him about ear training on his website and see what he responds. Years ago I purchased his teaching CD’s and never looked back, his simple no-nonsense approach aided me tremendously. He’s no stranger to teaching his students the value of ear training.
I’ve seen many ways on the interwebz to go about ear training, search YouTube if you dare. In that search you may find what I did, techniques that are either far to complicated for many or claim to be introductions but are several videos over 8 minutes each. Why people need to make this simple concept in its infancy so difficult, keep it simple! Bluntly and honestly, this isn’t a complicated concept, making it complicated on UTUBZ is not teaching anyone anything. sorry F- and FAIL! I know that’s harsh but it is what it is. Beginning ear training videos don’t need to be 2 videos of 10 minutes each or even 10 of videos of 10 minutes each (which one series is 0.o). In under a minute you can teach yourself wonderful whimsical things about music that quickly when you place them in your practicing routine for even a short time.
That in mind I created a YouTube video to go with this article. After searching for a few days I couldn’t find a good example that’s not outlandishly long, pedantic and silly by sheer length and boorish mundane details. Just sing what you play! I ear train like Jimmy Hendrix did using the methods Steve Vai taught in Guitar World that’s given results fabulously! I don’t need a tuner to tune a guitar, I know where the notes pitches are in my consciousness, that’s golden believe me! I also ear train on a guitar as opposed to the piano which most people who play a little ivory here and there don’t try. The traditional methods I’ve found on the web are like nails on a chalkboard 0.o
Here you can effortlessly ear train without complication that’s a unneeded for such a simple and joyous gift. You will need the following before you start: a glass of water, a guitar, a chair and a quiet place where no one will hear you sing :)) Seriously, when I started ear training I was so self-consciousness someone would hear me I would blush. By the time I had done this for 3 days I could sing everything close enough to pitch and didn’t care what someone thought. Just sing what you play when you practice, that’s all it takes. Here’s the example: