The Simplest Ear Training Exercise For Guitarists

You have heard already that ear training is important for a musician. And they told you to study your intervals. So why you still can't transcribe everything you ear?

Yes, there are already many video and websites explaining you how to train your ear... some will focus on interval recognition, and some on singing, and some will give you apps to practice with.

That said, if you are like the vast majority of guitar players, you have started watching some of these videos but you did not stick with them. Why? Because of one of these two problems:

1. They are too difficult and not gradual. They ask you to recognize or sing intervals without explaining you how to do it. They show people with great aural skills, but they don't show you a step-by-step approach on how to get there.

2. They are not directly applicable to your day-to-day guitaristic struggles. Hey everything you want is to be able to play the music you imagine... and they tell you to recognize intervals. Then you spend a lot of time to get those right... and you still can't play the music in your head! (Yes, you are not the only one here)

Just a moment of reflection will tell you that the two points above explain why you do not have an amazing ear: by yourself you do not know how to train it, and most of the exercises out there seem complex or inapplicable.

Is it really a mystery why most guitar players would rather play their guitar (and hope for the best) than training their ears? Isn't it time that we find an easier, more gradual way to train our ears?

In the video below I take a student who asks for some "baby steps" to start in ear training, and I take her to the point where she... well, I'm not spoiling the surprise :) Watch the video if you want to find out:

As you can see, all this happens in just a few minutes. This really is the best way for guitar players to get started on ear training, and it's directly applicable to your real-life playing.

So, would you like to invest 10 minutes or your time to get to do what I do in the video?

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio