Learning to hear better

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by nickg1823, Nov 21, 2012.


  1. nickg1823

    nickg1823

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago/Carbondale
    I was wondering if anybody had any good techniques or methods to boosting ear strength. When trying to learn a tune I sometimes find myself playing the correct rhythms but the wrong notes. To me they sound right but after either A) Seeing someone else play or B) after giving myself some space from the song hearing that what I was doing was not correct. I just want to improve in this because what kind of musician am I if I don't have a developed ear? Don't answer that. Thanks.
  2. Kmonk

    Kmonk

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    It takes time and practice. Just try to keep concentrating on what the bass player is doing. I'm at the point where I can pretty much tune out everything except the bass. This can also be annoying because when I'm listening to music for enjoyment, I still find myself analyzing the bass playing.
  3. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    An Idiots Guide to Music Theory has a good ear training cd included. You want a piano/keyboard handy. It trains you to hear not only individual notes but also intervals. Get it at Borders or Barnes and Noble if your zone still has one.
  4. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    that does get kinda annoying when you are trying to listen to music and you are humming the bass.....it sometimes seems like thats all you can hear!
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  6. MarkMgibson

    MarkMgibson

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    I know friends who've bought "Relative Pitch" ear training courses, and have found them very useful. I'll see if I can find out the names of them.
  7. Sni77

    Sni77

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
  8. Bainbridge

    Bainbridge

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Free interval training and such: www.musictheory.net

    There are a few ear training programs out there. I've used MacGamut for school and hated it (it's a very clunky program), but you might look into that.
  9. mambo4

    mambo4

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    Interval recognition is a justifiable standard Music 101 skill.
    But for ear training , as far as "hear a song and quickly play along"
    I think a very overlooked skill is learning to recognize the sound of common chord progressions.
    Being able to quickly recognize a I-IV-V, ii-V-I, or a I-vi-VI-V etc is far more useful in this regard.
  10. Anonymatt

    Anonymatt

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think interval training is helpful. I've done some of it.

    Mambo is right. This is what I've been told. When you learn songs, try to analyze them in these terms. Then when you see those patterns again, they're just those old patterns again. Having the discipline to do this all the time is another thing.

    What also helps is your scales and chords. Learning how all the different chord tones (the third, the fifth) sound against the root is key. They help you realize what, harmonically, is a non-distracting bassline. As your sense to distinguish between the chord tones grows finer, you will have more definite understanding of what you hear and of what you play.

    I would say that, for most of us, having a great ear is a symptom of having a bunch of other stuff together.

    I am only at the point where it is starting to come together for me when I am playing the bass. If I am just listening around and trying to figure something out, I can get confused easily.
  11. Groove Doctor

    Groove Doctor

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I found learning to sing helped A LOT. Interval training, basic chord theory is helpful too. Basic piano skills will help you physically see how the notes all fit together.

    Advanced exercises: listening to classical music while looking at the Score and playing along with every part on bass really stretches your ear/reading/playing.

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