Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ear Training and Guitar Finger Exercises

"What do you think about ear training? Been doing some exercises on a site called good-ear and seem to be improving. Is this a skill that can be developed? How important is it to advance as a musician?"

Any time you listen to music or play guitar your ear benefits. As for exercises that specifically try to train the ear, I'm not sure what I think about them. I've never used them and I think the same is true for all the famous guitar players we know and love.

I think in order to develop as a player you need to spend time... PLAYING! I’ve seen finger exercise devices that are marketed to guitarists and intended to help develop finger strength and dexterity. They certainly do stimulate your finger muscles, but they won't help develop guitar playing because that's something that can only be accomplished with a guitar in hand.

If other types of finger activities could make you a better guitarist, then people who sit down and type for 8 hours a day ought to be able to pick up a guitar and play circles around us. Or the same with people who play Guitar Hero all the time. But we all know that these activities don't replaced actual guitar playing. I think the same is probably true for ear training.

With this said, ear training can be fun and there's no reason to deny yourself the enjoyment. It may help improve you in some ways. And as long as you're getting enough guitar practice time in, spending some time on ear training can't hurt.

Someone recommended the website to me. Try it out and let me know what you think. I'd like feedback.

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Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna



cajunman said...

Having a good ear can't hurt. When I was younger, I was struggling with the guitar, and a friend of mine, who played drums, asked if he could borrow my guitar one night. The next day, when I went to his house he was playing part of a guitar solo that he had on a van halen tape (yeah, tape, long time ago). He had no training whatsoever. I was amazed (and jealous). He ended up taking guitar lessons and became really proficient at the instrument. I believe it was his ear that was his greatest asset.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to endorse a product by saying try this but there are ear training programs that recommend doing your ear training with your instrument of choice. A guitar player would use guitar to train his ear and actually learning on the guitar and being able to train the ear and recognize intervals on your instrument is invaluable.

Music Theory Online said...

We should practice more to find new tunings.Because now a days many younger want to spare some time with guitar to refresh their mind. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This post was very short sighted. Ear training is crucial for helping to develop your listening and recognition skills for not just guitar music, but MUSIC as a whole. MANY great guitarists have used ear training.
If it's applied, it will make you a better musician: having a good ear is the difference between being a good musician and just a good player.