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Beginner’s Guide to Ear Training: How to Play the Music In Your Head

As a beginner, playing music in your head may sound confusing but don’t fret, you have done it before. Remember that time you heard Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and you just couldn’t get it out of your head? Whether you were at work, in the bathroom, or at a store, you just kept hearing “I’ve found a love” playing in your head.

That’s the easiest explanation of playing music in your head but in this context (the context of a professional), it is much deeper than that. While all you were listening to was the lyrics, some people were listening to the chords and notes in the song. Some even used the chord progression and tone for their own music. How were they able to do this?

It’s simple, they had professional music ears. After all, music can only be heard and the ears are the only hearing organ of the body. Some professionals once passed through the ear training for beginners stage that included music ear training. It’s not like they just became professional overnight.

Guide to Ear Training

Some may have even been talented from birth but they still had to go through training to fully understand and develop their talent. That’s what differentiates them from the crowd. If you check the statistics today, there are millions of upcoming/aspiring musicians in the world.

It’s a tough and wide market but you can stand out if you are well-equipped. We’ll cover some important points in this article to guide you through ear and music training as a whole.

Why bother practicing ear training?

Simply put, if you can’t hear well, you can’t sing well. Gone are the days when singing involved just your sonorous voice. Over the years, technology has greatly increased and with it has come thousands of sophisticated musical instruments.

These instruments are used in the songs we listen to on a daily basis. They have been curated to give beautiful sounds based on the keys you strike on them. Unless your music genre is Acapella, you can’t push out these instruments. Even at that, you can’t just sing pure Acapella because of your target audience.

If you want to be a professional, these instruments must be heard in your song. To sing in synchronization with these instruments, your ears must be sharp or you’d just be burning time and money. However, if you practice ear training, you wouldn’t have to worry about that.

There are so many songs for ear training that can aid you like “Stella by starlight”, “Willow weep for me” and “My Bonnie Lies over the ocean”. They are classics even professionals still refer to.

Establishing a mental connection with your instrument

Prior to now, you may have thought that all you need is your physical skill to play musical instruments. While your physical skill is very important, establishing a mental connection with your instrument is much more important. You must have noticed singers or instrumentalists that can play perfectly without opening their eyes.

In order to achieve that feat, they had to connect with their instruments beyond their physical abilities. That’s why even when they are not looking at the key on the instrument, their mind tells them they are playing the particular key they want to play.

Pitch ear training is one of the best exercises to build and strengthen your mental connection with your organ. After all, even the physical abilities you manifest on the instrument originated from your mind.

Three beginner ear exercises that help you link the music in your head to your instrument

Ear training frequency is simply training your ears to identify the audio frequencies in music and it’s a perfect exercise. This is because audio is not just that smooth sound you can hear on the outside, it involves every other sound underneath the song.

If you train your ears to go deeper, linking music to your instrument would be far easier. You can easily filter the sound in your head and apply it to your instrument. Ear training intervals songs are simply using songs to learn music intervals. Intervals are the difference between one tone and another.

Learning the difference will help you synchronize your music to your instrument. You won’t be able to play your instrument faster or slower than how you sing. It would be perfect. The chord progression is another effective training as you’d be able to tell the difference between the musical chords.

If you can tell this difference on an instrument, then singing along with it would be easier but it takes a lot of practice. A good suggestion would be to use popular songs or songs you’re familiar with.

Beginner’s Guide to Ear Training

What does Audition mean?

This is the end goal for a lot of musicians and yet the beginning of an era for them. It’s the end goal in the sense that a lot of singers are training to showcase their talent at auditions. It’s also the beginning of an era for them because if they are selected, they become world stars.

That’s how a lot of your favorite musicians became popular. An audition is simply a musical interview where you showcase your musical prowess to some judges and an audience.

These judges decide if you’re good enough and select you to proceed to the next stage. It goes on like that till the final stage. Some great examples of music audition show you can check out include The Voice and America’s got talent.

Wrapping up

Being a beginner should not overwhelm you if you know what you’re doing. You don’t start out by comparing yourself to people already long in the game. You start by training your ears and voice diligently. Your music career will benefit as you do this more often.

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About the author

Sophia Britt

My name is Sophia and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I offer real world experience to readers on how to save and smartly spend their money. Plus offer advice on organization, career, business, travel, health, home, education and life.