Learning to play bass is fun. Many bassists simply hop right in and start playing songs. One thing many beginner bass guitarists overlook is the value of proper ear training.
Imagine being able to play any song you’d like within minutes.
No, that isn’t a sales pitch to try and get you to buy any DVD’s or memberships. It’s what proper ear training can do for you, free of charge.
Ear training helps you to recognize notes. This may sound like the most basic of skills, and that is because it is the most basic of skills; music is made up of notes. Why would you not want to recognize them?
The ability to recognize notes allows you to learn your favorite songs. Chances are you have heard a great solo that makes you so jealous and full of envy that you feel as if you will burst. If you had proper ear training, you would be able to follow that solo simply be discerning the scale or scales in which it was played. This means that you would be halfway to learning it simply by opening up your ears.
This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. Recognizing notes removes the boundaries from your learning abilities.
While you won’t be able to just hop in and start playing (you’ll need to practice the licks before you can get them down –ear training isn’t a magical cure all for bass guitar) you will be able to decipher every important section bit by bit.
Without ear training, trying to decipher the same piece would take far longer, as it would be a massive trial and error experience of guessing notes and placement on the fret board. Being able to recognize a note, you will also be able to recognize different qualities of a note of the same frequency.
Believe it or not, octaves, while the same exact note, sound completely different when played separate.
This is because thicker strings have lower pitches while thinner strings have higher pitches. Even playing the octave of E with the open E and your D string fretted on the second fret, there is a discernible difference between the two notes.
They are, for all purposes sake, the same exact note in the same exact frequency. However, they aren’t of the same quality. Training your ear will allow you to discern those qualities within a piece. This will allow you to find the proper hand positioning far more quickly, and in turn make learning the piece a lot easier.
As great as ear training sounds, it does have a drawback; laziness.
If you are a lazy musician, you will do more harm than good trying to train your ear. This is because training your ear improperly teaches you –you’ve guessed it– improper notes and placements. This means that you will think you are playing correctly when you aren’t.
In the end, if you want to become a great musician, put in the time and practice. If not, you are simply wasting both.
#1 – Basic Ear Training Exercises for Bassists
Want to improve by leaps and bounds in your playing? Then, you better pay attention to improving your ear. While it might not be as easy as it sounds, you can get started with some basic ear training exercises you can perform right away.
#2 – Learn How to Tune Your Bass Guitar By Ear
While the guitar tuners are a great help to beginner musicians, it becomes a danger when people become too reliant on them. Learning how to tune your bass is a useful skill to pick up for players of all skill levels.
#3 – Identifying Intervals And Applying It In Your Music Playing
Intervals are the basic foundations for music theory. Learning to identify intervals enables you to dive into a piece of music and is a very crucial skill for any musicians to have in their arsenal.
#4 – Intermediate Ear Training Exercises to Take Your Aural Skills to a Higher Level
After getting a head start to beginner exercises, it’s time to take things a bit further with some intermediate drills that will help you develop your musical senses to a higher level.
#5 – Advanced Ear Training Exercises to Challenge Your Aural Skills
These ear training exercises will be the toughest yet. To take your music perception to a higher level, you need to push yourself further a little more. This lesson is a tad more difficult but nonetheless rewarding if you stick it out.
#6 – Insights And Tips to Improve Your Relative Pitch Skills as a Bassist
Did you know that the thing that separates a beginner bassist with a professional musician really lies in the ears? If you get frustrated with some of the tutorials, you might want to check out this article for some tips to improve your relative pitching skills.
#7 – Is Sight Reading Really Necessary for Bassists?
Sight reading is an ability in which you can read sheet music and reproduce the music on your instrument. Obviously, this is not an easy skill to pick up as it requires lots of practice as well as muscle and musical memory.
Aural Skills For Essential For Bassists – Don’t Neglect Them!
JamPlay gives you the best of both worlds by offering highly structured curricula and a variety of teachers each covering various musical styles for you to learn from. Their video lesson quality is phenomenal and showcases more than 5 different camera angles!
With lessons taught by renowned players like Billy Sheehan, you can now see the exact finger placements and mimic techniques used by the legends themselves.