Music by ear
Having a musical ear can be a boon if you wish to become an accomplished musician. After all, music is all about hearing it and absorbing the fine nuances associated with playing an instrument. In other words, in order to get a total insight into any kind of music you need to have a musical ear. While all of us may not be gifted with a musical ear, we can always train our faculties to aid us in becoming better musicians in the long run. The famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven wrote some of the finest symphonies with the help of his musical ear despite the fact that he was completely deaf. He could not just hear music in his head, but transcribe and reproduce it effortlessly. Such is the power of a musical ear!
Why ear training?
As said earlier, listening plays an important role in learning any kind of music. In fact, many a renowned musicians have spent a lot of time listening to music before actually playing the notes. Ear training thus has acquired a lot of importance over the years. Ear training is what that transforms a good musician into a really good musician. All music schools have made ear training compulsory for students to help them improve their aural skills. With proper ear training, you would be doing yourself a big favor since it will simplify every fine aspect of music learning.
Benefits of learning music by ear
With proper ear training, you would be able to name tones and chords by ear and transcribe a tune the moment you hear it. You will also get be able to grasp rhythm patterns and learn and recall any kind of music. This will help you replay tunes on your instrument with ease since the tunes will linger in your mind for a long time.
You can hear sheet music in your head and also compose melodies in your mind so that they are almost ready to be played the next time you pick your instrument. Musicians who have practiced ear training have witnessed dramatic improvement and developed better self-confidence. If you need to acquire greater musicality, there is no better way to do it than learn music with your ears.
So if you are planning to study music or are already a skilled musician and wants to become a good solo artist, you must consider ear training.
How to master ear training?
Ear training can be achieved by using one of the many ear training software available in the market. Such software enables musicians to perfect their skills by giving them instant feedback on everything they do. Ear training software is designed taking into account various aspects of music that include scales, intervals, chords, rhythms, and melodies so as to refine all areas of your musical ear.
Features of ear training software
Intervals - For transcribing or composing songs or even tuning your guitar, you need to understand what intervals is all about. Getting the hang of intervals is critical to sing in tune and compose flawless music. By helping you understand the art of figuring out the melody of a song on the basis of intervals, the software will enable you to produce the right notes. For this purpose, it may play a tone and ask you immediately play an interval just below or above this tone so that you get the perfect fourth followed by a minor third with appalling ease.
Scales - Understanding scales is yet another important aspect of music without which you simply cannot play the right notes. Ear training software will ask you recognize a particular scale so that you can later insert the tones on the instrument you are playing. Such exercises are very useful and give you better insight into the music.
Chords - You need to recognized chords well so as to interact with other musicians efficiently during a performance. In addition, chord recognition is also crucial for transcribing songs and composing tunes. For this purpose, you need to understand the structures and functions of chords and learn to feel the quality of chords. To facilitate this task, most ear training software offer exercises that are based on chord progression identification and chord-inversion identification.
Rhythms - Rhythm is the soul of music and should therefore be mastered effectively. This would mean you must develop a good sense of rhythmic variations. As such, you need to feel a tempo to improve your rhythmic understanding. You should be able to recognize a series of rhythmic patterns to be able to understand rhythm. Rhythm dictation, rhythm reading, rhythm imitation, and lastly rhythm correction are some of the exercises that are offered by popular ear training software. The rationale behind such exercises is to help you understand, identify, and produce the exact rhythmic patterns and later play the same rhythm but with certain modifications.
Melody - Last but not the least, proper understanding of melody will help you attain the perfect pitch and even allow you to start signing the first line of a song without a cue from the guitar player or pianist. With every exercise on melodies, you will take a step further towards attaining that perfect pitch and ultimate musicality.
A huge advantage of learning music by ear is that you wouldn’t be lost like most musicians who panic if there is nothing written in front of them. Learning music by the ear need not depend necessarily depend on costly software and expensive ear training programs. Just get into the habit of listening to music closely and pay attention to changing sequences, rhythmic patterns, and orders.
Many people have managed to play song on an instrument of their choice - a song that was once playing only in their heads! This is because they had it recorded in their heads and could replay it as many times as required before they could finally translate it into sound on their instrument.
So, make sure that you use your ear power to its full potential to master the instrument of your choice.