So, you want to play by ear? Here are our top tools for practising and improving your play-by-ear skills!
Just joining us? Read this series on learning to play by ear from the start to find out:
- what playing by ear means
- how to learn to play by ear
- what you can already play by ear and
- what you want to improve on
IWasDoingAllRight.com’s Online Ear Trainer
This online ear training app will automatically create and play short melodies for you. It’s full of configuration options so you might need to do a bit of experimenting to find the best settings for your ability.
But spend a bit of time playing call-and-response games with this app and your melody playing-by-ear skills are sure to improve.
See also our full profile of IWasDoingAllRight.com, previously.
Step and a Half iOS app
We designed our “Step and a Half” app for iOS (iPhone and iPod) to help you move from recognising single intervals to figuring out whole melodies by ear. You can also use it as a complete beginner though, learning each interval as you go.
It’s a fun race-against-the-clock game of choosing blocks to recreate the melody you heard. When you’re out and about or want to develop your skills but can’t play your instrument, the Step and a Half game can help you progress.
Online chord games from Theta Music Trainer
|If you’ve enjoyed this game, we recommend the full Theta Music Trainer.|
Chordelia apps for iOS
If you’re just beginning to understand the different types of chord (major, minor, augmented, diminished, seventh chords, etc.) then Chordelia: Triad Tutor is a great tool for training with your iPhone. It teaches and tests the core types of ‘triad’ chord you’ll want to start out with. Once you’ve mastered your triads you’ll be ready for a serious challenge from Chordelia: Seventh Heaven.
YouTube Genre Practice
One of the best tools for practising rhythm skills is one we mentioned last time: Music videos of different genres on YouTube.
Here’s a suggested approach:
- Start from this big genre list (or if you’re feeling extra brave try