Ear Training is one of the most important aspects of music education for all instruments and singers. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most overlooked! Ear Training requires some theoretical knowledge and can be intimidating. In this article, we break down the basics of ear training for beginners! Read on to learn how to get started training your most important musical tool, your ears!
What Is Ear Training?
Ear training is the practice of learning to recognize the sound of the distance between notes. By developing this skill, singers and musicians are able to improve upon learning music by ear, staying in tune, performing harmony, improvising, and general musicality.
A musician is only as good as their ears! Though few are born with perfect pitch (the ability to recognize any note without reference) all can develop their relative pitch with ear training.
What Is The Point Ear Training?
The point of ear training is to develop and improve our listening skills. By improving our listening skills, our pitch accuracy and confidence as performers grows. As such, we are able to better connect with our songs and wow our audiences!
What Are Intervals?
In music, an interval is the distance between 2 notes. There are 12 notes in music, so there are 12 basic intervals. They are labeled as:
What Are Chords?
Chords are a combination of 3 or more notes played at the same time. In ear training we learn to identify the different types of chords, which helps us play and sing over them.
Where Should I Start With Ear Training?
The future is here! There are tons of great apps dedicated to ear training that you can download to your phone or tablet. Here are a few of our favorites!
EarMaster is an app that can be used on your computer, tablet or phone. It is set up like a game with levels. Each level you pass, the challenge becomes greater! You can access EarMaster through a subscription or by purchasing a lifetime pass.
Tone Gym is set up like a gym for your ears! It is fun and has fantastic animations. In Tone Gym you can also check your standings against other users, kind of like an old school arcade game! Tone Gym is available with a monthly subscription or a lifetime pass.
Complete Ear Trainer
Complete Ear Trainer is an app for mobile phones. It has an interface that is more traditional than the above two options. It is simpler in its aestetic but covers all the same things the other apps do at a much cheaper price; a one time purchase of 7 dollars!
How Should I Progress With Ear Training?
Ear training is a skill that develops over time. To progress, it is more beneficial to practice in short bursts with consistency rather than longer sessions with less frequency. For example, if you can commit 10 minutes every day or two to your ear training, you will progress faster than if you practice ear training once a week for an hour straight.
As well, just like other skills in music, it is best to start simple and slowly increase the difficulty. Thankfully, the apps we suggested all allow you to increase the amount of challenge at your own pace!
In music, there is so much we can do to learn and practice ourselves, and that is amazing! However, we will still learn deeper and quicker with a dedicated teacher, especially with ear training for beginners. To start your studies with one of Toronto’s best, contact us today!