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ear training

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kragen, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. kragen


    Jul 4, 2005
    short of learning to play fretless, how do you go about training your ears to tell when a note is in tune - I have massive problems tuning without a tuner, ok so I havnt been playing that long, i'm not expecting mirracles, but just something I can try out maybe every time I tune up - just so i feel like im working towards the point where I dont need to mess about plugging into my tuner whenever I want to tune my guitar. (getting a new tuner is just cheating btw :p)
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    A note a little out of tune should sound bad, even to the untrained ear.
    (when compared to a note in tune)
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Get keyboard or a piano and start working on hearing, identifying and singing intervals in the first octave, in teh second octave. eventually you move through closed position triads in all inversions, open position triads in all inversions, 4 part chords OpenClosedAllInversions, 4 part chords with one tension OCAI, 4 parts with 2 tensions OCAI.

    Stop using your eyes (looking for fret lines, where you are on the neck etc.) and start using your ears. If you hear a note, you should have an EXPECTATION of what the next note you are going to play sounds like. And you get your fingers to match what your (internal)"ear" EXPECTS to hear next. The notes you play have meaning, they sound a certain way in relation to each other AND in relation to the notes the other musicians are playing. Listen, listen, listen, listen...
  5. Open, closed, all inversions.
  6. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    The best things you can do is bite the bullet and sing. Doesn't matter if it's awful just do it. Learn to sing a major scale and intervals with and then without your instrument. Hum or scat along with your bass as you play. If you just want to tune your bass, the easiest way is use harmonics. For example hit the harmonic on the D string at the 5th fret and the harmonic on the G at the 7th. If the strings are out of tune with each other you will hear them beat against each other (a rhythmic pulse). As you tune tune one of the strings the beat will get slower as it approaches the pitch of the other string, faster as it gets further away. You still need a way to get the first string you start with in tune tho...
  7. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    In terms of just tuning the bass one of the best things that happened to me was I lost my electric tuner and I was forced to tune using other things around me.

    So I used a harmonica that I had lying around and tuned the rest of the strings using harmonics or holding the fifth fret and playing the next string open.

    Another thing I used was the opening note of "around the world" on californication by the chili peppers. (An open E)

    When the notes are out of tune you will hear a wobble just keep tuning until its gone. The more you do this the better you will become and will be able to tell if a note is sharp or flat relative to where it should be.

    I use a Boss Tu2 tuner pedal live for the sake of handiness plus the audience doesn't have to hear me tune and I can tune when im not playing in the middle of songs(it mutes output signals) but sometimes the battery runs flat and I need to be able to tune by ear (as well as when Im at practice and cant be arsed taking out the pedals)

    So my advice to you is throw away your tuner for a while and keep practicing tuning by ear its a fundamental skill.
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I used to tune to a pitch fork tuned to A (440Hz). It got to the point that I could sing an A and get it right.

    I have since bought a Boss TU-2 and have lost the knack :scowl:
  9. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Lol, about 20-23 years ago, I used to always tune to the E at the beginning of Tom Sawyer by Rush, as I never owned a tuner at the time. Never felt a need for it, as long as I had a copy of Moving Pictures around. lol :eyebrow:
  10. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    somethings never change eh pruitt?

    Although nostalgia isn't what it used to be:smug:
  11. kragen


    Jul 4, 2005
    thanks for the tips guys - gonna leave the tuner alone to gather dust if I can - and pinch my sisters keyboard :D
  12. here's a site that will help if you cant get access to a keyboard
  13. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    That's crazy because I've been doing the same thing lately. For the most part my ears are pretty good, but theres those times when my ears are just being stupid, and I bust out tom sawyer. I usually use the awesome synth line though.