Maybe you’ve heard that expression before when a musician plays by ear?
What does that mean exactly? It means that a musician will play a note or phrase
or riff, after only hearing the note, phrase or riff.
Have you ever seen or known someone who can do that? I saw my guitar teacher do that when I was just beginning guitar and I set about doing just that. I had often wished there was something to help me along. More on that in a moments a very important skill to have as a musician. Training your ear to? hear the notes.
Many guitar players, famous and non famous spend their entire playing lives playing by ear. They may never read from a piece of written music ever!
While this is the path of many I also recommend learning some form of written music, even if you learn only the basics. What ever you learn as a player can be good for you and can help you move forward.
Now this article is about Playing by ear so I want to give you some tips to get started
1.TUNE YOUR GUITAR BY EAR
The very first thing you can do to train your ear is to tune your guitar by ear.
If you have an electric tuner then only tune the 6th string and then use the 5th fret method to continue on the other strings (if you don’t know this method then email me and I send you a lesson on it)
2.SING THE NOTES
When you tune your strings, sing the notes as you go and get into the habit of hearing the notes of the open strings.
3.LISTEN FOR THE NOTES Pick a favorite song. This song should have guitar as prominent as possible. and chose something simple to begin with.
Then pick up you guitar and see if you can pick out one or two notes from the song it , don’t expect to instantly work out the whole tune if you haven’t done much ear training before. It takes time to tune your ears to hear the different notes and chords.
Set yourself a weekly task to work out a few more notes from those songs and work on it bit by bit.
Listen to Music a lot. All styles of music.
5.SING THE NOTES YOU HEAR
Sing the notes you hear and then match those notes on the guitar.
At first this may be a trial and error process, so don’t be discouraged you will get if you stick at it.
Many people say they can never get it or they are tone deaf. That’s garbage. If you stick at it you will train you ear.
Anyway back to the story.. When I was younger and I was attempting to train my ear and work out songs on the radio I would get very frustrated and I would wish there was a way I could somehow take a song or guitar riff or lick and slow down music so I could play along and work out the notes.
Well now there is such a thing. Its called RiffMaster Pro. This wonderful software can take a music file on your computer play it at normal or varying slower speeds and still retain the pitch of the song. Its helped me to learn songs super quickly when I dont know the tunes. I can play a blisteringly fast solo of any guitar player and slow it down to learn it and then I can speed it up as I get better.
Why am I promoting this? Because I built it. I believe, that this next version 3 to be released very soon is the best, Ive listened to hundreds of users and what they wanted and the best features for musicians are included, have a look and decide for yourself.