ear training in the everyday life

Ear Training Basics and Choosing The Right Instrument

By Theo Young
In November 2, 2017

I remember my first guitar – the sheer excitement of just wanting to hit the strings and play a song and feel how it adjusts to my hand. Having your own instrument is truly is a unique experience. Where nowadays most might prefer an iPad or a fancy cell phone, a musical instrument is different as well as hard work and some might argue but it’s definitely way more worth it in terms of what you can attain or achieve with it. Anyways, a little off topic – I’m not going to be talking about mobile devices and musical instruments but more about the development of the ear (ear training) while in the early stages of musical growth.

The environment

Our surroundings influence our everyday lives in more ways than we realise and therefore should be recognised and analysed from a musical point of view. In the past few months if there’s one thing I have learned. it’s that many of us naturally get caught up in the everyday life of work, traffic, stress etc. and don’t always have time to break away for a few minutes to listen to a cool song or melody.  The truth is listening to music every day or as much as one can, regardless of the genre or instrument, listening especially to the music you enjoy is as vital as practice. Sure, not everybody wants to become a full-time musician or takes it so seriously but listening to music should be one of the easiest and relaxing chores or form of practice that there is. Just through some of my student encounters I have seen how quickly one can develop by internalising music by listening, which evolves and becomes a feeling and develops to the actual physical part of playing. Nevermind the perfect pitch studies and all that. Just listening and enjoying it is at least 50- 70 percent of the work.


Choosing what to play

Now, if you’ve got no idea how most musical instruments work or sounds, yet you have found yourself wanting to learn to play something musical, I know what you’re thinking and it’s a no-brainer. Yet, people often find themselves after a long period of time, dedicating hundreds of hours of practice and dedication to an instrument, only to realise that they had started with the wrong instrument. Now, a few tips and suggestions may clear things up and make it easier to choose your instrument of sound.

Firstly, genre – this will all sound too familiar but to know what sort of music attacks you can sometimes only come later. Many genres bring out different qualities of different instruments such as saxophone in Jazz, piano in Classical music, cello in Orchestral music, and guitar in Blues Rock.

Also, understanding that every instrument has pros and cons, some may take more work than others to play, but understanding these questions and being honest with yourself is a good start. Many people start cause of peer pressure or are obligated by a parent etc. so not always will the most popular or sold sound be the way for you.


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* Can make a guitar sound like a violin * Can also teach basic keyboards and music history in addition to theory * Prefers playing Fender to guitar hero * Has over 5000 hours teaching experience

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