Have you always wanted to play guitar by ear? Or felt overwhelmed or confused by the Circle of Fifths? You are in luck, we have new tutorials on both these subjects this week. We also look at minor chord progressions, reflect on musicians burnout, actively listen to some dubstep and explore which non-music activities can help us improve our musical skills.

Before we get started, here’s my favourite musical news from this week:

Play Guitar by Ear

Play guitar by ear 101Have you always admired the guitarists that just show up and jam? They don’t need sheet music or chord charts, they just seem to know what chords to play even if they haven’t heard the song before. They aren’t magically talented—they have just been training their ears as well as their fingers and you can too! Take the first steps of learning to play guitar by ear in our latest tutorial, and become one of those guitarists you have always admired.

If you’re like most guitarists, you gave playing by ear a shot but quickly gave up… Don’t be so quick to quit! Here are eight ways you can start playing guitar by ear today from Global Guitar Network.

Another way is with this video tutorial from Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio on how to play guitar by ear, including a helpful study guide:

How to Prevent Musical Burnout

How to prevent musical burnoutLiving, breathing and eating music can easily lead you to getting musically burned out. Whether you are a professional musician or music is your lifetime hobby, spending all hours focused on it can do more harm than good. This week on the Musical U blog. Community Conductor Stewart, discusses why burnout happens and how you can prevent it. Don’t wait until it happens! Start putting plans in place to prevent and recover from musical burnout today.

Feeling flat and want to just drop it all? You’re not alone. Here’s sax player Bob Reynolds addressing the difficult issue of musician burnout:

For more on the causes of musical burnout read Indie Connect’s list of ten causes why you might be feeling burned out and Cari Cole’s five warning signs that you are experiencing musician burnout.

Non-Music Activities That Improve Your Musical Ability

3-Non-Music-Activities-That-Improve-Your-Musical-AbilityMusical burnout tends to happen when we’re pushing ourselves too hard. But reaching your full musical potential doesn’t have to mean practising with your instrument all hours of the day! There are actually other exercises that you can do which, even though they don’t seem related to music, can help you develop your musicality. Over on the Musical U blog you can find out what 3 simple non-music activities can help you take your musical ability to the next level.

Another example: Maths. Drummer Clayton Cameron explains the different styles of drumming by using what he calls A-Rhythm-Etic. in this video from Making Music Magazine. Who knew maths could be beneficial when it came to music?

Or have you ever thought about taking up yoga? It can actually help make you a better musician, according to International Musician. Nice!

Meet the Circle of Fifths

meet-the-circle-of-fifthsIs the Circle of Fifths in your musical toolkit? Some musicians miss out on its usefulness because they associate it with classical theory, but in fact it extends way beyond the hallowed halls of the conservatory, to all genres of music.

It can help you understand how major and minor keys are related, predict chord progressions and make you aware of why certain sequences of notes and chords sound “more musical”. Sounds like a tool worth having, right? Find out how to learn it and the benefits it can bring to your musical life in Meet the Circle of Fifths.

Did you know the Circle of Fifths is so useful that there is an entire website dedicated to it? Check out the comprehensive tutorial on circleoffifths.com.

The Rhythm of Dubstep

The rhythm of dubstep-how it works-800Whether you love it or hate it, dubstep undoubtedly provoked a lot of opinions when it exploded onto the scene 2008. Now in 2016 we’re seeing a complete rebirth of this fascinating genre: a mix of reggae, 2-step, dub and garage. Learn about the irresistible rhythms of dubstep with these six popular dubstep tracks.

For more on the rebirth of dubstep read the The Electric Current’s Who Said Dubstep’s Dead or Top Ten Zen’s list of the top dubstep artists this year.

It’s not just for electronic music production either… In June 2011, pioneering dubstep/drum and bass producers Nero teamed up with the world-famous BBC Philharmonic for this Dubstep Symphony!

Minor Chord Progressions

Discovering minor chord progressions-minor chords1Including minor chord progressions into compositions adds a musical depth that distinguishes a song from its major key counterparts. If you’re looking to add another dimension to your composing or improvisation you can learn more about minor chord progressions in this tutorial.

Still struggling with building individual chords? Good news! A Passion for Jazz makes it easy to build jazz chords & scales with this virtual piano keyboard.

Want to learn how to crate minor key chord progressions on guitar? Guitar Lessons 365 shows you how:

I hope we have inspired some new musical (and non-musical!) activities for you to take your musicianship to the next level this coming week. To keep up to date on all of our new free resources and for the latest music news don’t forget to like the Easy Ear Training and Musical U Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter: Easy Ear Training and Musical U.