29 January 2009

Ear Training for Guitar - Ear Guitar

Ear training, I'm sure you've been told, is an important thing to do as you learn guitar. A good musical ear helps you to enjoy and play music more easily and makes you a better player in the long run.

A good ear is especially useful if you plan to play with other musicians, in a band, or just joining in your local jam session for fun. In those situations it's essential that you can listen to the other musicians, understand what they play and know how to join in.

I have never really dedicated a lot of time to ear training myself though. I've tried a few times but it always seemed far too hard for me to achieve.

As I had only limited time to spend on guitar I decided to forget about ear training and just play from sheet music, chord charts or tab. Of course, this limits my playing and enjoyment in some circumstances, but I just accepted that.

But a recent experience with a simple video that showing how to learn guitar songs by ear gave me the idea I might be able to learn after all.

I realised that something was missing from my guitar playing, something that spoilt my enjoyment. I can learn to play quite a lot of fun things, but in group situations I always feel uneasy because of my poor musical ear.

The ability to play be ear would open up a whole new perspective for me. I decided that this year I would make ear training one of my major guitar goals.

I was so determined to break the ear training barrier that I set myself a challenge and created a blog to document my experience. Ear Guitar is my new blog focused on ear training and applying it to the guitar.

If you're interested in ear training for guitar, please visit Ear Guitar where you can learn about my experience and cheer me on if you want. Oh, and you're free to "boo" if I don't stick to my schedule as well.

Below is the challenge I've set myself, follow my progress at Ear Guitar (you'll find a link to it in the sidebar on the left) if you'd like to learn more.

1. Learn to recognize melodies and chords within two to three months.

2. Be able to recognize the key and chord progression of blues and rock songs within six months.

3. Be able to transcribe guitar parts of songs - chord positions, riffs, licks, solos - within one year.

I look forward to seeing you there soon...

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