If you are a serious musician, chances are that you have been or are involved in a form of ear training program. It could be you are learning relative pitch or perfect pitch or even both at once. If this is you and you are lacking in motivation to continue your training routine, then take heart! You are not alone.
Almost every musician, regardless of the instrument he or she plays, will have to be involved with some type of ear training. Many find it boring and uninteresting. So if you’re in this group, how can you get past this?
The following tips will help:
1. Focus on your musical ambitions and goals and see how your training routine will help you reach them.
2. Make sure you pace yourself and do not do more than 30 – 45 minutes of ear training a day!
3. Mix up your routine and do not focus on the same interval, chord, scale, or progression for more than 2 days in a row. Preferably train with a different one each day!
4. Track your progress! It’s exciting to see what you’ve accomplished over the past weeks, months, years. So review this from time to time and it will help you to keep going.
5. Apply your training to as many pieces of music you can. You do this by listening for the notes, intervals, chords, scales, and progressions you have been training with and hearing them in everyday music you listen to. This will help you to see the practical value of any ear training course and see how the skills you are learning can help you in listening to and playing the music you love.
6. Compose music based on the ear training you are involved with. If you have learned by ear a new interval, chord, scale, or progression, try and write a piece of music using it. Even if it is not a perfect masterpiece you will have fun doing it and it will help you to be more creative in the process.
7. Improvise music based on what you learn. Take the training you have done so far and use it to improve your improvisational skills. This will be a lot of fun too and it will reinforce the concepts you are learning.
8. Challenge yourself. Try and use the skills you have to learn a piece of music totally by ear and play it without studying any musical notation. When you can do this your confidence as a musician will soar!
By applying the above tips you will find ear training routine to be exciting and productive and you will look forward to it more and more each day you do it!