Guitarists Guide To Ear Training

When you learn about scales, try to learn about them from a musical perspective. This means becoming familiar with the sound and character of each scale. The personality of the scale. This also means being able to play some sort of music with that scale. A familiar little tune, like Happy Birthday, right off the top of your head.

It?s also great fun and very educational to figure out your favorite melodies without using printed music of any kind. When you study melodies and scales, and then learn to sing and play these scales and tunes based on the scales, it?s called Ear Training. Ear Training is one of those things that makes you an excellent guitarist. Make Ear Training a hobby.


Start out with common knowledge melodies such as Christmas Songs, Childrens? Songs, Nursery Rhymes, Folk Songs, Patriotic Songs, Jingles, T.V. Theme Songs and very simple Pop melodies. In other words songs you know by heart. Learning these types of songs is getting in touch with our musical heritage and awakening the spirit of a musician, a true listener to the music inside of him.


Always look at melodic material as being based on a scale. The best scale to start out with is the Major scale because we know the way it sounds. To hear the sound oF the Major Scale Click on the scale below:

Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do

The personality of that scale is tuneful, bright , melodic and sunny. It has an almost happy sound. I?ll bet you?ve just figured out that any melody using the only the notes of a Major Scale will also sound tuneful, bright , melodic, happy and sunny.

Very often a melody is nothing more than a mixed up scale, or one whose notes are being gently shuffled. Sometimes melodies skip and jump around the steps of the scale.


As you play through the notes of a C chord one at a tome (called an arpeggio) compare it’s bouncy sound t o the smooth sound as playing the C Major scale. These are called melodic devices.

Step Wise Motion
Playing the notes of the scale in order, or by step is a powerful and probably the most widely used compositional device. Melodies basically exhibit step wise motion.

Skipping some notes of the scale, like in the case of a C Arpeggio, is called movement by leaps. Leaps sound bouncy, angular and like there is a distance between the two notes.

Repeated Notes Or Static Motion
Melodies often repeat a note over and over (e.g. Jingle Bells) or else they keep coming to a note like the root or fifth. Believe it or not, repeated notes are often tricky when doing Ear Training.

Shape of a Melody
Now, play some music using only notes from the scale. A simple melody like TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR should do nicely. As you play the tune imagine the notes of the song arranged in a shape as I have done below. With enough listening to the music inside of you and scale practicing playing these tunes will seem natural.


A study of ear training will help you to play at a higher level.theBegin with scales and their unique qualities, their personalities. The most important scale is the Major Scale with it?s happy, melodious qualities. Learn how to play common knowledge and best loved melodies by ear. When figuring out a melody first imagine its shape and then fine tune the shape by experimenting with leaps or steps. Think of ear training as your new fun hobby!


This lesson has been in Diatonic Ear Training. Diatonic simply means Major scale and we know what ear training is. Don’t under estimate the power and effectiveness of this simple little lesson. Follow these guidelines as you learn as many of the ear training melodies as you can and you’ll feel more and more musical ability come over your and be your friend.
After your comfortable paying melodies in C, F, G, E, D and Major progress on to the 4 other essential guitar scales (minor, minor pentatonic, blues and Major pentatonic) and begin ear training with these scales. takes the guesswork out of building your players library!

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As two essential parts of a reference library reccommends Guitar Chord Guru and Guitar Scale Guru both published by Hal Leonard and written by Karl Aranjo,the author of the lesson you’re taking. These books contain the most in depth and easy to use study and exploraton of the 5 basic chord shapes we’ve seen. Including scale applications and conversion of the 5 basic shapes to minor and dominant in all the natural keys!

Both books contain reference charts, highly educational graphics and are a valuable resource for the beginner and pro alike. Available via safe, secure transfer by clicking here.


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