Intermediate Ear Training Exercises to Challenge Yourself

intermediate ear training for bassistsBeginner exercises are great, but what if you want to push yourself. The same old exercises will only take you so far, and after that, you simply wind up running in circles, chasing your tail with absolutely no sense of direction.

Luckily, that’s where we can help. In this article, we will give you a few intermediate level ear training exercises that will allow you to further develop your musical ear.

If you want to take your ear training to the next level, you have to be ready for a few things. First off, you need to be ready to dedicate nearly twice as much time to your ear training.

Yes, it’s sad but true. The harder the lessons get, the more time you will need to dedicate to implementing them into your playing routine. The good thing about them, however, is that most of these exercises can be done with your bass. This means that you can take a breather and allow your separation anxiety to die down.

Exercise 1: Note Recognition Level 2

For beginners, note recognition is all about learning your basic notes.

If you have done your share of the work load already, you already know how to recognize the notes you play. It’s important that you learn your full chromatic notes (flats and sharps) as they will come into play quite often in songs.

Once you know all of your notes, it’s time to take it to the next level; note recognition within music.

Start off by listening to a basic guitar song, such as Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple. Try to decipher what key the song is in. What notes are at play?

This leads us into our second exercise as well.

Exercise 2: Interval Recognition Level 2

fretting the notesSince there are power chords at play, try to break apart the chords and figure out which notes are in each power chord (we’ll give you a hint; there are only two notes in a power chord).

Once you feel comfortable, try moving on to some basic blues. Blues music makes heavy use of triads. At first, deciphering the notes of a triad may seem impossible. Take your time to pick apart the chord one note at a time.

Chances are you will be able to recognize the root note of the triad by the overall sound. After that it is simply down to recognizing the intervals between each note that creates the basic chord.

Start off simple; there is no need to rush. It takes a lot of time to be able to recognize more than two notes at once. If you rush, you’ll learn the wrong way. Be patient, and allow yourself to pick out each note. When you can, check your work online. If you made mistakes, try and try again.

Exercise 3: Practice

Same as before; practice is the key to success.

Without consistent practice, you won’t come any closer to your goal. Set aside a block of time each day and focus on each exercise. Don’t give up when you make a mistake; roll with the punches. When learning to train you ear, there will be plenty.

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