Introduction to Ear Training Pt. 2 | Guitargate

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Introduction to Ear Training Pt. 2

In this masterclass, Michael Palmisano dives deep into the world of ear training for musicians, focusing particularly on the crucial aspects of becoming an active listener and the ability to learn songs by ear. He begins by revisiting the concept of identifying chord progressions by ear, a topic touched upon in the previous session. Michael emphasizes the importance of recognizing chord qualities - major, minor, augmented, or diminished - and understanding their distinct sounds. This foundational knowledge serves as the basis for the practical application of ear training: learning to discern and replicate songs without relying on written music.

Throughout the class, Michael introduces exercises designed to sharpen the students' ability to isolate chord qualities and progressions in real music. He uses examples from blues music to illustrate the concept of listening for chord changes within a standard 12-bar blues progression. The focus then shifts to rhythm identification, where Michael explains the significance of being able to recognize and replicate rhythmic patterns through clapping or vocalization. He stresses the role of audiation - using one's voice to match pitches - as a critical skill in developing a strong inner musical ear. By engaging in these exercises, students learn to use their voices not just for singing but as a tool for identifying and understanding musical elements.

The masterclass concludes with Michael applying these ear training techniques to actual songs, demonstrating how to break down a piece of music into its component chords and rhythms. He encourages students to practice actively listening to music in their everyday lives, continually testing and refining their ability to identify chords and rhythms by ear. This hands-on approach, coupled with Michael's detailed explanations and practical examples, provides students with a comprehensive understanding of ear training and its applications. The session ends on an encouraging note, with Michael reminding everyone of the joy and fulfillment that comes with mastering the ability to learn and play music by ear.

Transcript Summary

  • Introduction and Ear Training Recap (00:00:02 - 00:02:02)
    • Michael starts by greeting participants and expressing hope that they're doing well.
    • He continues by recapping the previous week's lesson on ear training, emphasizing the importance of becoming an active listener and recognizing chord progressions in music.
    • Michael encourages practicing these skills in everyday scenarios, like listening to music in the car.
  • Key Components of Ear Training (00:02:02 - 00:04:00)
    • He outlines the three main pillars of ear training: chord quality, rhythm, and audiation.
    • Michael details the differences between major, minor, augmented, and diminished chords, and the significance of identifying them by ear.
    • He discusses the challenges in recognizing rhythm and introduces the concept of audiation, using one's voice to find and match pitches.
  • Practical Exercises on Chord Qualities (00:04:00 - 00:07:00)
    • Michael demonstrates exercises to distinguish between major and minor chords, using a keyboard for examples.
    • Participants are encouraged to guess chord qualities based on the sounds played.
    • He also introduces chord inversions and challenges viewers to identify them by ear.
  • Overcoming Challenges with Ear Training (00:07:00 - 00:10:00)
    • Michael acknowledges the difficulties in ear training and encourages persistence, emphasizing that it's not about perfect pitch but rather about practice and experience.
    • He suggests using apps and online resources for practice and stresses the importance of not relying on visual cues from instruments.
    • Michael shares personal anecdotes to illustrate common challenges and solutions in ear training.
  • Application of Ear Training in Song Learning (00:10:00 - 00:15:00)
    • Michael demonstrates how to apply ear training skills to learn songs by ear, starting with identifying the root note and chord quality.
    • He picks a song and goes through the process of identifying its chords and progression by ear, using audiation and rhythm recognition.
    • Michael emphasizes the importance of breaking down the song into smaller parts and practicing each section.
  • Interactive Practice Session (00:15:00 - 00:20:00)
    • Michael invites participants to suggest songs for an interactive ear training session.
    • He picks a song suggested by a viewer and breaks it down live, showing how to identify its key, chords, and progression by ear.
    • Participants engage by guessing chords and asking questions, to which Michael provides insights and tips.
  • Conclusion and Encouragement (00:20:00 - 00:21:15)
    • Michael concludes the masterclass by summarizing the key points covered and encouraging participants to continue practicing ear training in their daily lives.
    • He invites viewers to attend future classes and engage with more advanced ear training techniques.
    • Michael signs off by wishing everyone a great weekend and expressing enthusiasm for the next session.

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