Improving Ear Training with Daily Practice
Improving Ear Training with Daily Practice
Q: Hello. I first bought Single String Studies for Guitar Volume One from the truefire.com site. I then went on to buy Ear Training One Note Complete and because I’m really bad at this (after many years of playing guit.) I thought it might be a good idea to get Contextual Ear Training. Is this a good beginning point? I read the infos on your website and to my understanding this are your recommended starting points. But as I read the book of Contextual Ear Training. it says if your having trouble first work with Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing …… and if your having trouble with key retention get that book— I need a starting point I can go from – I’m a working family man(stage manager for a classical Orchestra) and my time (and money is limited so I can’t work from 20 books at the same time. Although I probably won`t change music history in this life time , music is an important part in my life which I’m devoted to grow on also as a human who wants to be able to communicate and understand.
So my question is… after many years of learning how to play the guitar…also picking up things from CD’s (usually fingerpicking solo pieces) – also writing them down… I find myself having trouble with improvising and making music with other people in general.
I think I know where my general problems are…Where as I know how and what to practice to overcome most problems the one thing I need some guidance is ear training.
I never had any trouble understanding theory and although it helps it also sometimes enables to play things the ear is just not up to yet. Your one note course showed me that I’m light years away from being a musician. Is the Ear Training One Note course and the Contextual Ear Training the right way to start and are results guaranteed with daily practice…because things are sometimes getting a bit frustrating.
Thanks for your time and help.
A: Thanks for contact me. Yes I think using Ear Training One Note Complete and Contextual Ear Training is a good starting point for ear training. Single String Studies for Guitar Volume One will be a good for getting you starting learning all the notes on the guitar and developing the relationship of where the notes are on the music staff and where to find them on the guitar fretboard. Contextual Ear Training contains the first exercise in the Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing so that is the first book I’d recommend. Some people work with both the Contextual Ear Training and Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing because they want to be improving their sight reading with notes. This often happens when a student is singing in a choir or other situation where reading notes on a staff is important. You may need some work with key retention in the future and at that time we will work with Key Retention Builder but for now you want to stick with Ear Training One Note Complete and Contextual Ear Training. Once you are getting 50% correct answers on either of these ear training courses you should add in some Direct Application work each day. I usually recommend taking one or two of your 5 to 10 minute listening periods and using
Any or all of these would be good:
For guitar playing and improvisation I would first recommend you get Guitar Physiology from Truefire.com to make sure you are playing the instrument correctly. I would prefer you get this DVD and then send me a video of you playing a scale to make sure you are physically playing the instrument correctly before going off and learning things for years and then find out you were playing the instrument incorrectly and that is why you are not improving. As far as which book to work with to begin your journey into improvisation I would either recommend the Total Modal course from Truefire.com or New York Guitar Method Volume One. Some people work from both because they do compliment each other but either will do if money is tight. For the video clip to check your playing I just need a “C” scale played 3 notes on every string starting from a low “F” on the low “E” string up to a “B” on the high “E” string. You will find the fingering at the end of the first chapter of New York Guitar Method Volume One the fingering chart for C major is also included in the Total Modal Course. You can upload it to youtube or if small enough email it to me. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy just use a cell phone to record it.
There are a few things that I would recommend with learning scales and starting improvisation. First is to use some jam tracks so you can apply each scale you learn. For this I would recommend Jam Tracks Volume One. I would also recommend MetroDrone so that you are improving your ear when you are practicing scales and developing a sense of “Long Line Rhythm” so that your ability to play smooth and fast is improved over time.
I would also recommend staying in touch with me and letting me know your progress or the problems you are running into as you develop.
PS: Muse-eek.com is offer 20% discount on all books and CDs until January 23rd if you use the promo code
when you check out.
You could also check out our kickstarter campaign for some good deals on muse-eek.com products http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1199563164/save-the-music-1
It is also recommended that you read Bruce Arnold’s Blog at his artist site. It contains more discussion of the musical topics found in these FAQs as well as other subjects of interest. You will also find the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located here which shows you the historic significance of the music education products found on the Muse Eek Publishing Company Website.