Ear training is made easier by modern devices and ear training apps, and it’s good to connect your listening skills with your instrument. However, there are times when neither is available and you still want to practice your ear training.

There is one very effective strategy you can use: ear training with your voice.

If you are working on relative pitch (intervals, scales, chords, chord progressions) then singing through drills is a great way to improve your ears. You can do this out loud by singing or humming, or in your head using audiation.

This is particularly effective if you are using solfège for relative pitch practice, as you can practice singing up and down scales and jumping between notes, improvising melodies. In this way you internalise the “framework” of the solfège and get to know the placement of each note in the scale as well as the relationships between them.

You will need to have the fundamentals well covered, because without an instrument or gadget you can’t easily check you’re singing the right notes.

But for practising exercises you are already managing well, and reinforcing your existing relative pitch skills, singing and audiation can’t be beat!

Similar questions answered on this page:

  • How can I ear train without a musical instrument?
  • What if I don’t have a smartphone – can I still do ear training?
  • How do singing and audiation help you practise ear training?