In the big picture, ear training solves the problem of your ear not being sensitive or intelligent when it comes to music. Here at we often say that ear training is about:

  1. Hearing more detail in music
  2. Understanding what you hear in music

Thinking about it in these terms, the problems that ear training solves are that:

1. You don’t hear much detail in music

To put it another way: music sounds like a bit of a blur, or a mess, to you. You may not even be aware this is the case until you do a bit of ear training and experience the alternative!

Just like a child who is short-sighted may not realise that they could see more clearly until a parent or teacher notices they’re having trouble, a musician may not realise how much musical detail they are missing out on until they hear somebody else commenting on something they simply can’t hear, or haven’t noticed in music.

If you feel like other musicians are aware of aspects of music you just don’t notice, or you’re in awe of how much one of your friends can easily hear when they listen to a song, you are probably experiencing this “blurry hearing” without even knowing it.

Just like getting a first pair of glasses is like a small miracle to a young child with vision problems, a little bit of ear training can sharpen up a musician’s ears in a way which feels incredible and brings a great joy in music.

2. You don’t understand what you hear

Aside from “blurry hearing”, there is simply the challenge that you may not understand what you hear. Perhaps you are conscious of every note in detail – but still utterly unable to find those notes directly on your instrument. Or perhaps you can vividly remember the sound of a pop song’s chord progression – but have no idea what the chords in that progression are