Good ear training songs

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by hoodrow, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. hoodrow


    Mar 7, 2009
    I looked around for a while and couldn't find a thread like this one. If I missed it please let me know and I'll close this one.

    Basically what I'm looking to do is make a repository for ear training song suggestions. This is obviously geared at new/intermediate players, but feel free to name more challenging songs since working towards a big goal is a good way to keep yourself motivated. Here are a few of my favorites with reasons why -

    1.) Evil - Interpol: Catchy, easy-to-remember groove. Fun to play in both standard and drop D tunings. A fun challenge for the beginning player.

    2.) Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison: Everyone knows it so getting the line down in your head before playing isn't a challenge. Quite a bit of movement up and down the fretboard.

    3.) Our House - Madness: Really fun to play despite its simplicity. Outside of the occasional hard fill relatively easy to pick up on, too.

    4.) Gigantic - Pixies: The Pixies in general are a good group to start ear training on because Kim Deal's lines are both simple and interesting to the ear (and thus easy to figure out). This is also a good song to practice playing and singing at the same time.

    5.) Reptilia - The Strokes: It's super simple but great practice for people wanting to tighten up their 16th notes.

    What do you all suggest? I've been in kind of a funk and can't seem to find anything that isn't incredibly frustrating and/or out of my skill level as of late. Thanks in advance for contributing :)
  2. A couple of songs that come to mind:

    New Year's Day, by U2 - simple, yet catchy
    Pulling Mussels from the Shell, by Squeeze - a little more challenging but fun to play
    Wild Night, by John Cougar featuring MeShell Ndegeocello
  3. hoodrow


    Mar 7, 2009
    any other suggestions? The viewcount tells me lots of people are looking for new songs to learn.
  4. JukeBoxHero


    May 21, 2009
    Lush-Sweetness & Light

    It's essentially the same groove over and over again once it starts up. I recommend this to people starting to do ear training and like shoegaze, actually pretty fun.

    Jane's Addiction-Mountain Song, Jane Says

    Simple and easy to figure out unless you can't pick out the chords. It's good for keeping a constant groove, and the chord triplet at the end of each chorus should keep people wary.

    Jane Says is another easy song from Jane's Addictions,easy root groove in the verse, and a cool simple descending part in the chorus. The end might be a little hard to pick out, but all of the outro part consist of mostly octaves
  5. hoodrow


    Mar 7, 2009
    Wow, Sweetness and Light is really good. I've always kind of avoided songs that have me playing the same short riff over and over but this is a good leaping off point
  6. chjohnst


    Nov 24, 2008
    The verse in Soul to Squeeze, was the first song I attempted to figure out without actually using a tab. Catch riff in the key of F.

  7. I'd go backwards....

    Anything off Willie Nelson "Tougher than Leather" or "Red Headed Stranger" will help ground you in 4/4 time... 3/4 time.. and a 1-4-5 chart.

    Then I'd go non traditional.. find KLOVE or some other contemporary christian station... this will add a predictable minor 3 minor 6 and resolve 7 to your arsenol..

    I often suggest my students avoid blues as it really doesn't teach the bassiest on how to glue rhythem, meoldy and the chart together (I know I'll get flamed for this) compared to a good ol Contemporary Christian Chart (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, MW Smith, etc) Doesn't mean you have to join the church.. just good predictable (non traditional) guitar and key based charts tied to a drum line.

  8. JukeBoxHero


    May 21, 2009
    Yeah, I've found that a lot of bands in the alternative scene makes somewhat simple lines that are easy for someone starting to train their ear since I've started doing this a few months back. You got exceptions to the rule for bands that don't always keep the same line going(Jane's Addiction Idiots Rule or Belly's Untitled and Unsung are examples of this).
  9. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    For just straight up pitch recognition, I'd go with nursery rhymes, children's songs and christmas carols.

    These are cemented in our minds from early childhood, so we know how the pitches go. figuring them out on the fingerboard is fun and you will know pretty easily when you've nailed "Happy birthday to you" or "Mary had a little Lamb"
  10. My caution on some of the alternative and indie genres is they're often "riff songs" vs "chart songs"

    I like the nursery rhyme and carol suggestion... I"m stealin it.