Technique, Reading & Theory

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Introduction to ear training

Ear training is one of the best ways to develop your musicianship. Simply listening to music is an excellent way to train your ears. Another way to begin training your ears is to practice interval recognition. Like with any skill, start slowly and patiently progress to more advanced ear training skills such as harmonic intervals, chords, chord progressions, and note recognition.

A common way to recognize intervals is to compare them to the first few notes of a familiar song. Aim to eventually recognize intervals without these songs. This is a starting point. Choose a song that you know for each interval in the list.

When learning to hear both ascending and descending intervals, start slow. Choose a few common intervals (M2, M3, P4, P5, Octave) to start, then add new intervals one at a time. Progress may come slowly at first, but stick with it and practice ear training daily. You will be surprised how quickly your ears grow. Listen for intervals in daily life: songs you hear, door bells, ring tones, etc.

Ascending intervals

Descending intervals

Back: Intervals Next: Building triads