Welcome to the first post in our series: 5 things every musician should know about ear training. This first post isn’t specifically about ear training at all, but it starts to explain the reason why it’s so important so it’s worth starting here. We’ll get into ear training in more detail in the next post when I answer the question: what is ear training.

When we first learn to play we learn to read some notes (or tab) on a page, and we learn to find those notes on our instrument. This is great. It gets us started and playing music quickly and easily.

As we improve though, there’s a problem with this.

The magic of music doesn’t happen on a piece of paper. The dots, numbers and letters on pieces of paper are just symbols that tell us where to put our fingers.

It also doesn’t happen in our fingers. Our fingers are just pressing keys and plucking strings to create the sound.

The magic of music happens in our ears. Music is sound, and it’s when those sounds hit our ears that that magical thing happens and we get all sorts of feelings and sensations that make us sing, get up and dance, cry and generally feel a little different inside.

If you just practice reading notes off a page and playing your instrument, you’re missing out on the magic! You’re learning how to make the sounds in music without spending any time learning to really hear them and understand them.

This is why I’ve devoted my career to teaching ear training. To spread the word that if you want to be a great musician you need to think about how the music you play sounds, and to do that you need to train your ears!

Ear training is without a doubt one of the most powerful additions you can make to your practice routine.

Before I started with ear training I would often practice for weeks and see very little improvement. But after I trained my ears I found that every area of my playing was improving at a rate that I’d never seen before.

The reason for this is because your aural skills will become the lynchpin for everything you do with music. This makes sense considering we experience music with our ears. You’ll see the benefits in every aspect of your playing.

But before I tell you about how ear training will transform your playing let me answer the most basic ear training question there is…

CONTINUE TO: What is ear training?

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