The Problem With The Way You Learned To Play Music

Does playing music bring you some of the greatest joy and satisfaction in your life? When you pick up your instrument to create something unique, beautiful and full of life. And does it also cause you some of the greatest frustration as well? When your fingers just won’t do what you want them to or…

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The Primary Triads: The Things You Ought to Know

The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. And we call them the primary colors because every other color can be created by combining those three colors in different combinations. Like the primary colors there are three primary triads. But the reason they’re called the primary triads is a little different to primary colors. You…

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How to Work Out the Tonic in a Piece of Written Music

When I’m talking about ear training I spend a lot of time harping on about the tonic and about how important it is to an effective ear training approach. Once you understand this you’re on the path to training your ears and becoming a more confident and creative musician. The next step is to get…

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The Dominant Chord: The Things You Ought to Know

The dominant chord (as it’s name suggests) is an important chord in all music. Movement between the tonic chord and the dominant chord is the most fundamental harmonic movement that exists, and it’s essential to understand how it works. So read on to find out the things you ought to know about the dominant chord.…

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How to find the tonic in a piece of music

As all of Ear Training HQ’s students know, the first step in developing relative pitch is learning to recognise the tonic. I had a student contact me recently asking how to put that together with real music. She mentioned how the tonic is clearly established in all of our exercises, but that’s not always the…

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The Tonic Chord: The Things You Ought to Know

In the declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote “all men are created equal”. Well in music, the same isn’t true for notes or chords. If we’re talking notes the tonic is the boss, so it’s no surprise that the tonic chord is the king of chords. If you’re unfamiliar with the tonic chord read on…

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Ear Taming: The Restless Tones, 4 and 7

One need not look far to find marvels and wonders in the field of music. One of the greatest of all is the humble seven-tone Western scale, with its magical perfection of geometry that enables it to combine and recombine like threads of DNA in a kaleidoscopic infinity of harmonic and melodic forms, without ever once straying from…

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Triads: The Things You Ought to Know

Triads are everywhere in music. You’ve definitely heard them thousands of times before. And chances are you already know exactly what they are, you just might know them by a different name. But it’s useful to know them as triads as it’s a more specific name than the more commonly used one, so read on…

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How do Musicians Play by Ear?

Learning to play by ear is a lot of musicians’ ultimate dream. If you’ve found Ear Training HQ you’re already on the path to achieving that dream, as everything we teach aims to help you get there. And in this article I’d like to outline what a musician who has achieved that dream is doing…

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The Tonic: The Things You Ought to Know

A lot of people think of tonic as a drink you mix with gin. But for us musicians there’s a different tonic. We call it the tonic. The tonic is a fairly simple concept and there’s not a whole lot you ought to know. But it is essential to understand that small amount, so read…

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