Yes, ear training can greatly accelerate the process of learning a new instrument.

Part of learning an instrument is physical: teaching your fingers where to go when, and refining your timing and precision as you manipulate the instrument.

However, the other big aspect to learning an instrument is mental, and most of that mental aspect is common across instruments. This is the “listening skills” and “musical understanding” which lie beneath instrumental skill, and once you have developed it for one instrument, you will find it transfers easily to other instruments.

That may seem vague and abstract, so let’s consider some practical examples.

Knowing which notes to play

Developing your sense of relative pitch through ear training gives you an instinctive understanding of which notes “belong” in a given musical cont