It’s funny. When you hear a melody, you can instantly sing or hum it.
Somehow, you know exactly how to manipulate your vocal cords to recreate that melody with your voice.
But hand most guitarists their instrument and ask them to play that same melody by ear and it’s suddenly difficult.
Why is that?
The skills you need in both cases seem similar: listen to something, remember it, reproduce it. The big difference is the tool you're using for that last step.
Playing by ear is all about mastering your guitar in the same way you've mastered your voice, allowing you to instantly play a melody you hear.
Learning to play by ear like this is one of the most rewarding things you can learn as a musician.
So, how do you do that? What is the best way to practice ear training?
The pros all know it. Learning music by ear is where it's at. It gives you more insight into how music is constructed. It sharpens your ears, allowing you to perceive more and more detail. And most importantly: it helps you play guitar by ear.
So where do you start?
Some people will tell you to keep it simple by learning nursery rhymes and other children’s songs. Not the most inspiring stuff.
Instead, I'm convinced you should figure out simple melodies and riffs from ‘real’ music. You know, actual grown-up music. The stuff that gets you excited.
So that's what I've done with this course: I've collected 51 riffs and melodies from 43 different artists for you to figure out by ear.
The interactive tab makes it easier to learn these songs by ear. It tells you how many notes there are and on which strings you should find them. If you need a starting point, just hit the ‘show first note’ button.
Next, you can check your answer and see if you got everything right. If not, you can either try to correct the wrong notes or see what the right answer is.
This allows you to put in a lot of focused practice in a short amount of time, without having to look for good songs to transcribe and hunting down correct tabs to check your answer.
But above all, it's a lot of fun. Here's what some guitarists like you who tried a preview of the course said:
"I enjoyed it very much. Having the guide to which strings to play is helpful without giving too much away. I also like using the complete song to learn from, as opposed to a track with just the guitar part like I've seen elsewhere."
"I really enjoyed the course / game you have made. It made it a lot more fun to transcribe songs and I really like that you could check your tabs without getting the answer right away. I think that’s the problem when you do normal ear training: you have to check the tabs online, and after that you know the answers. But with your course you have a second chance."
Sound interesting? Try the first couple of songs for free to find out if you like it!
You can also enroll in the full course. If you don't like it for any reason (ugly font choice / you realise playing guitar sucks / because the sky is blue) you can always get a refund within 60 days.
Awesome Ears Starter Pack
I believe that even complete beginners can and should start figuring out songs by ear. That’s why I’ve expanded Make Your Ears Awesome with something new: the Awesome Ears Starter Pack.
These are ten riffs and melodies with note-by-note instructions on figuring them out by ear. Think of it like having a private instructor sitting across you who guides you through the entire process. You’ll get hints on what to listen for and instead of having to figure out which fret is the right one, you’ll get to choose between a few different options. Check out this screenshot:
Through the ten songs, things will becomes slightly more challenging. Where we start with two options, by the end you’ll have up to seven choices. Also, where the first song is just a single, lonely guitar, by the end you’ll be picking out the main melody from a full band sound. This starter pack is designed to get you ready to figure the songs in the main course, Make Your Ears Awesome. The first of these starter songs is included in the sample course, which you can get by clicking here! ->
This course is brand new, so I really have no idea what questions you might have. Feel free to email me at any time at just(at)stringkick.com
What artists are the songs by?
I've tried to make a mix of many different artists. Here's the list of all of them:
The Strokes, Queen, The White Stripes, Rolling Stones, NERD, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Kaiser Chiefs, Radiohead, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Butterfly, The Cure, Judas Priest, Violent Femmes, Smashing Pumpkins, Wild Cherry, Led Zeppelin, The Donnas, Blue Oyster Cult, Millionaire, Scorpions, Queens of the Stone Age, Roy Orbison, Ten Years After, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, John Barry, Gorillaz, Tom Petty, Black Keys, Rilo Kiley, Joy Division, Henry Mancini, Herbie Hancock, MGMT, Nino Rota, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Muse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sum 41, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand and Sleep.
Hopefully you'll discover some artists you didn't know you liked!
The Riff Hall of Fame features songs by Cream, Lenny Kravitz, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Shadows, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Muse.
What format is the course in?
The course consists of 51 song lessons. On each lesson, you can listen to the song and fill out what you think the right notes are in the tab. I made sure that you can keep track of where you are automatically, so you can jump in wherever you left off. There’s even a fancy percentage bar.
What if I don’t like the course?
Simple: if you decide Make Your Ears Awesome is not for you, you’ll get a full refund within 60 days. No matter the reason.
How do I learn a song by ear?
I've written a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to learn songs by ear. Check it out here!
I have another question.
Feel free to email me at just(at)stringkick.com if you have any questions!