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Ear Learning

This group is for those interested in learning to play what they hear. All levels welcome - hope the advanced can help the beginners. TAB'ers are welcome too, whether looking to change their ways or simply interested in the discussions.

Members: 25
Latest Activity: May 23, 2017

Discussion Forum

So how do you memorise/internalise a pitch? 2 Replies

Subtly different from hearing a phrase and then finding it on the guitar - what about hearing a single note and 'knowing' what it is?That 'knowing' could either be being able to name the note…Continue

Started by Derek. Last reply by Ryan Kimm Sep 12, 2013.

Might as well forget it.... 17 Replies

No, not a verdict on this ear learning programme - but the title of Del's Ear Learning Phrase # 4. It's from a Bob Wills' CD and the song is "We Might As Well Forget It Anyway". When I heard the…Continue

Started by Derek. Last reply by ganon Jul 19, 2011.

Science and Ear Learning II 17 Replies

For a while I've wondered if the "ear learning" we are discussing is just another path to memorizing. But ganon's and Kathy's and Derek's posts kept me open to the possibility that it is an all…Continue

Started by Jim Wing. Last reply by Derek May 18, 2011.

Granger's Fiddle Tunes for Guitar 12 Replies

As promised, here are the 2-phrase tunes that I found. Thought short ones might lead to getting 'a few under the belt' quickly, but by no means feel limited to these. And, short does not necessarily…Continue

Started by ganon. Last reply by Derek Apr 27, 2011.

Comment Wall

Comment by Lee Duffield on April 2, 2011 at 1:59pm
Hey Ganon great idea (Granger's fiddle tunes for guitar) it will surely help out BIG TIME ! I'm going to give it a go tonight. Lots of great info and feedback in this group so far...it will be interesting to see and hear how we all progress with this.
Comment by ganon on April 2, 2011 at 2:45pm

Lee, if there is any particular one that you would like, we still have 5 free slots. Although I expect the 'No Title Reel' is right in line with the Celtic group and the things you are playing.


Comment by ganon on April 11, 2011 at 2:56pm

If you are interested in a comprehensive course on ear training, have a look at:


6 cd's worth of material (currently at 1/2 price = $30)

Matt Glaser has been chairman of the String Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for 18 years, and is a renowned fiddler/violin player in a number of genres.


Comment by ganon on April 12, 2011 at 11:14am

ps ~ on Matt Glaser's " Ear Training for Instrumentalists" - no short cuts, just hard work. Probably requires a large commitment, but also is directed to the Grail Goals of 'Hear it and play it back' and 'real-time improvisation' (Also has nothing to do with guitar - it should be good for almost any non-winded instrument, but you will use your instrument of choice in conjunction with your voice and ears). To help you decide if it is interest to you, here is a listing of the audio tracks:


Almost no written material except for supporting charts and tables.


Comment by Derek on April 12, 2011 at 12:36pm
Cheers G. Interesting looking package - one for a little way into the future methinks!
Comment by ganon on April 12, 2011 at 2:36pm

Derek, for now I'm just trying to get the solfege C-maj scale so that I can hit the notes between the home position C's (I wanna be Julie Andrews ;-), not just singing an arbitary la-la-la-de-dah sort of thing. If that happens, I'll start on the course seriously, but probably won't go past the second CD.

Best, -G

Comment by Derek on May 9, 2011 at 2:26pm
Apologies - work (and mowing the dog, cutting back the hedges, walking the lawn, etc ) seems to have taken over much of my time recently. Still been keeping one ear on this ear-learning subject though. Been playing a particular Django album over and over recently and it suddenly struck me that for many of the numbers I now know what's coming next... so I figured this will be prime material for ear learning from memory. Had a go at a few melodies (not Django's marvelous improvisations) and I can generally get close - maybe 75% - but still a long way from perfect. But that's not bad - and the usual thing, having got that close the final bit of transcription using Transcribe! tends to be much easier. Hopefully get back into the swing of this over the next few weeks.
Comment by Kenny on July 15, 2011 at 10:08am

I was recently at a workshop hosted by Dan Miller and one of the things he touched on was learning to play by ear.

I'm basically a beginner but I started playing the guitar in the 70s nothing more than strumming learning songs by ear. I stopped because I thought I was doing it wrong based on comments by others. Turns out I wasn’t really wrong I just needed some direction. Now I’m learning to go beyond what I thought I could do.

Comment by ganon on July 15, 2011 at 1:00pm

Good things in three's: welcome aboard David, Kenny, and Jon. (David good to 'see' you again). I'd start by looking at the video Jim Wing posted:


It's been a major influence on what I've been doing over the last two months: Even if you don't learn by ear, you may well want to develop your aural memory for 'playback' - motor (muscle) memory doesn't seem to be enough, at least not for me.

Comment by David Cornelius on July 16, 2011 at 3:24am

I thought I left a comment yesterday when I joined this group but it seems to have disappeared into the ether! Here it is again:

Learning and playing by ear is where I started with music and after an interesting but eventualy dispiriting journey into 'Playing By Numbers' (I couldn't hear or feel the music for counting the beats off a page - too mechanical and mathematical for me) I have already made the break back to Volume 2 of Flatpicking Essentials and learning the direct correlation between the music you hear in your head and how to play it on an instrument. Looking forward to following the insights of others.

The video is brilliant and Galper is talking exactly about where I am trying to go with both my music and my painting.


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