Ear training is something that musicians tend to either:
Because e.g. their music course or instrument exams require it.
Thinking it’s completely separate from instrument learning,
associated with music theory,
or for expert musicians only.
But ear training is something which should be core to every musician’s development from the very beginning—and not just “because some teacher said so!”
There is one big reason to do ear training:
becauseyou will be a better musician.
All those soft intangible things which distinguish an average musician from a fantastic and inspiring one – they’re all in the ear!
Don’t just take our word for it though.
Here are 10 powerful reasons to make ear training part of your music learning:
#1: Hear More
Do ear training and you’ll discover you become more and more aware of the rich detail in music.
Discover new dimensions in the music you know and love, as your ears become more musically sensitive.
As your ears become more sensitive to detail, it will make you a far more accurate player.
After all, you can only play precisely if you can hear whether your playing is precise or not!
You’ll rediscover music you thought you knew, hearing it afresh with your newly-enhanced ears. You’ll also find yourself enjoying a much broader range of music styles because you can appreciate new aspects of music.
If you love music, there are few things better in life than finding ways to enjoy music even more—ear training provides this over and over again!
Learning to truly understand what you’re hearing in music is enormously empowering.
You’ll wonder how you went so long without this musical intelligence!
Your broader appreciation and increased musical sensitivity will help you build up your musical vocabulary.
Understanding what you hear lets you choose which rules to obey and which to ignore.
Together these give you far greater musical creativity in improvisation, song-writing and composing.
#6: Playing By Ear
One of the most fun things you can do in music: play by ear!
With no written aids or reliance on anything but you and your instrument you can express yourself directly in music.
Ear training builds your appreciation of different musical elements—from chords, to instruments, to genres, and more—and your ability to instinctively mimic and utilise them on your instrument.
This makes you a more well-rounded and versatile musician, welcome in any group, and capable of playing in any situation.
One of the greatest benefits for many musicians who pursue ear training: finally escaping that nervousness about musical performance.
When you’ve built up your aural understanding with ear training, you don’t need to fear anything in music. You know you can always trust your ears and perform with confidence.
A large part of ear training is associating sounds with their corresponding names.
Learning this shared terminology for musical elements lets you talk about music more easily and intelligently with other musicians.
It also lets you have conversations in music by closing the gap between musical ideas in your head and expressing them in the real world through your instrument.
This is the big one.
If we had to sum up the benefits of ear training in one word, it would be: freedom.
“Musical freedom” means:
This is the true sign of a “natural musician”, and it’s something which you too can obtain—through dedicated ear training practice.
What’s your #1 reason to train your ear for music?