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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Introduction to Ear Training

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Introduction to Ear Training, Part 1.
We're gonna talk about a very important
part of every musician's anatomy.
Right here.
Ears.
Listening, as you know, is is the vital
element when you're playing
with other musicians.
And when you're playing
on your own as well.
And being able to recognize and
react to different sounds when,
when you're playing.
In a band and being able to
recognize what's in your head and
trying to effect that as a solo,
or a, a cord, or
whatever you're doing on the guitar
is a very important part of playing.
It's a, it's a essentially obviously.
So what I'd like to do is talk
a little bit about training our ears
being able to recognize certain sounds.
And I have a few tricks in in helping
to recognize them and give them names.
Or refer to the names that we've studied
and say, oh that's such and such interval.
That's such and such kind of cord.
And be able to hear it, recognize it, and
then ultimately to be able to react,
react to it and play on that.
Improvise over that sound.
Or use that sound as part of an improp,
improvisation.
So ear training, I mean,
it sounds a little bit like we're
going to, a conservatory and studying.
It does come from there but, but for me
it's all about the learning process and,
and getting more and more familiar
with the tools we need to improvise.
Let's start very, very basically.
I think it's important to think a little
bit about color the, the color of a chord.
I'm gonna start with chords because
I know that when I was first learning
the guitar,.
A lot of my learning was from
listening to, to recor, you know,
at that time it was records.
You know, vinyl records.
And I've ruined a lot of records because
I would like play the first chord
sequence and then drag the needle
back across to the same spot and
do it again, and do it again,
and do it again.
But it was an essential part of.
Learning for me, and it developed my ear.
And I think to this day, my ear has
a pretty accurate recognition process
thanks to that, self ear training
that I did as a, as a young student.
So let's just talk about the, the very,
very basics of recognizing tonal color.
The, the main thing, and
we've talked a little bit about this,
every time we hit the major third,
minor third example,
either at intervals, or chords and scales.
And this is hearing the difference
between major and minor.
It's a very simple thing.
So let's take the A chord
[MUSIC]
that we all learned when we first picked
up the guitar.
The A with the open string
down on the bottom.
And that's A major, right.
I'm gonna search out
the third in that chord.
There it is, right there on the B string.
Okay, that's C-sharp.
The third in the key of A.
[MUSIC]
Now you remember our number system?
[MUSIC]
One, two, three.
One, two three.
And in this position.
[MUSIC]
One, two, three.
So A-major has a certain sound.
Let's just listen to it.
[MUSIC]
It's very resolved.
It's very.
Nice and warm sounding.
And I'm going to take that third, and I'm
gonna lower it and make it a minor chord.
[MUSIC]
And the character changes completely.
The tonal color, as I call it,
changes completely.
He cliched way to think of it, and
I encourage you to use cliched ideas.
In your training because
that's what helps you
remember things would be happy,
[MUSIC]
sad,
[MUSIC]
you just hear that shift from
a brighter tone to a darker tone.
[MUSIC]
Okay, so that's an exam-, the basic
example of tonal color recognition
that I would encourage you to do.
Okay.
You can practice this yourself,
this very simple method.
And this way of practice will
continue through the entire.
Ear training process that
I'm gonna recommend to you.
There's two,
there's two ways you can do it.
If you are in the habit of getting
together with another guitarist
to practice and go through songs,
you can test each other.
Just either turn away from your friend,
or close your eyes and
say okay, play me a few different chords.
And let me listen and I'll tell you what
the chord change is and test each other.
And the other way to do it, if you don't
have a partner to do it with would be
simply to record enough examples that you
won't remember exactly what they were on,
on your iPhone or
on on your computer or a tape recorder.
Let's say do ten of them.
In different keys.
And play it back.
You know, make a note when you do it
of what they are, play it back, and
test yourself.
You can even play it back in, in random
order so you can see if you're doing well.
So those are two ways that you can do it.
Actually I'll throw in a third way.
The other, the other way you can do it is.
Find a song that has those
chords that change in that way.
For example, we're from,
talking about from major to minor.
In jazz, there's a song called
Green Dolphin Street, and
the first two chords are
[MUSIC]
C, major seven.
[MUSIC]
The second chord is C minor seven.
[SOUND] So if you find a recording
of that, you can listen to that and
hear that tonal color difference.
[MUSIC]
Introduction to Ear Training Part 2.
Okay, so, let's listen one more time.
[SOUND] Major.
[SOUND] Minor.
And now, as an exercise,
I'm just gonna play a bunch of these.
I need you to go like this.
Cover your eyes, [LAUGH] And,
just try to hear, in different keys, what,
what I'm doing first?
Is it major or minor?
I'm gonna move to the key of E flat.
[MUSIC]
Okay,
you can open your eyes now.
Which one did I do first?
Was it major or minor?
All right, let's go to the key of G now.
Close your eyes.
[MUSIC]
Same question.
Key of E.
[MUSIC]
Which came first,
major or minor?
So, that's an example of, how you can
set up a little ear training test, for
yourself.
Now, let's, move, to, a,
a different area of single note,
recognition.
Recog, recognizing, intervals.
Okay?
I have,
a little method of remembering these,
that has really been helpful for me.
Which as you can relate some
intervals to certain songs, or
certain melodies, and when you hear it,
it kind of reminds you of that song.
One more example of, or
a couple more examples of,
chord tonal color, for
you to check out, and try.
I did a triad,
just a major triad to a minor triad.
I want you to also do this,
with the four, 7th chords,
that we've gone over in such great detail.
It's very important to
try to recognize those,
because those are gonna be the more
used chords in our Jazz approach,
so, let's go to the, to again, in A
[MUSIC]
major 7th.
And, let's just listen carefully,
to the difference between major 7th.
[MUSIC]
Dominant 7th.
[MUSIC]
Minor 7th.
[MUSIC]
And minor 7th flat 5.
[MUSIC]
Very strong differences,
in how they sound, and
the color of each chord.
So, what I'd like you to do is, do the
same thing, that I did in the other one.
And, don't do it in order obviously.
Have, have a friend,
play different chords for you,
change from one to the other,
because it's kind of a relative thing.
And, then, if you're alone,
make little tapes of yourself for,
for, you know, doing this,
and then, play it back.
Try to play it back, in random order,
so, that you can try it, and
not know exactly, what you did.
So, in the key of C, for example,
I'm gonna play, start off with a major 7.
[MUSIC]
And change it to A minor 7, flat 5.
[MUSIC]
Quite a big difference, right?
And I'll do, just a few examples, and
ask you do the little testing, and
cover your eyes, and
listen in the key of D, to this example.
[MUSIC]
It's a little
bit tricky.
And in the key of B,
let's listen to this one.
[MUSIC]
Now, obviously, once you've uncovered your
eyes, you can look at what I'm playing,
you can decide, for
you to see, if you were right.
[MUSIC]