HOW TO PLAY MUSIC BY EAR (ear training for musicians)

( “Senorita” by Justin Timberlake) – Hi, YouTube, this is Julian Bradley. Today I’m going to talk about ear train. So I’ve got some advice which will speed up the process. First of all you need to get in the habit of listening to music in another way. Every piece of music you hear you need to be thinking what are the intervals? Whether it’s a trail on the radio, in a club, someone’s phone travelling off, a police siren travelling by, the fowls singing you want to be thinking, okay, what is that interval? What are those notes? Second of all my advice is when you’re starting out to try and stick to one key and to work in that key.

Doing that will construct you recognize a lot quicker that they’re the same notes that are coming up and the same chords, particularly in pop music, it’s the same four chords which come up over and over again in the same pentatonic scale. It’s really good practice, it’s the best practise you can do, is to try and work out popping ballads by your ear.

Pop carols are great’ cause they’re the right sort of degree for rookie. And there are only four chords, really, the majority of members of the time that are used over and over again and the same pentatonic scale most of the time. To give you an example of some pop chants that I used to work out, especially when I was 16 to 18, I did this a lot and it was great rule.( “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child)( “Beautiful People” by Chris Brown)( “Senorita” by Justin Timberlake)( “U Remind Me” by Usher)( “Sweet Dream/ Beautiful Nightmare” by Beyonce)( “When You Were Young” by The Killers)( “Only Girl( In the World) ” by Rihanna) Okay, so the first step is to work out the music by ear. The lane I recommend you do this is not to have the racetrack playing and to just try out tones until you find the ones that you can hear. That is better than nothing, but the better behavior to do it is to listen to the trail several times until you can sing the melody in you manager at least, then to sit at the forte-piano and “ve been trying” find out what the mentions are. So what you’ll find is as you work out chants by ear, you start to build up a remembrance bank of various types of sounds, different intervals, different chords, which you can refer to when you’re working out new songs.

So you are able to hear the interval which is in the Batman Begins soundtrack, and that will tell you that that’s a minor third.( orchestral music) You might hear a tritone which will remind you of West Side Story and a lot of the sungs in West Side Story, which use a tritone, for example the sung Maria.( “Maria”) You could use a well-known song by Usher to remember the perfect fifth and the minor sixth.( “Yeah! ” by Usher) Or you might hear an octave and recognize that from Over the Rainbow. If you hear a minor 2nd, that might remind members sungs like Deeper Underground by Jamiroquai, or Candy Shop by 50 Cent.( “Candy Shop” by 50 Penny) So what you’ll find is as you work out tunes by ear very quickly you’ll develop a recollection bank of these various sounds, which you can draw upon when you’re working out future ballads. Okay, so the next thing you will be required to do is learn by heart the series of intervals which are found in the minor marketing and the major scale.

I’ve drawn it out here for you. So note how all the intervals are whole steps apart from two intervals which are half paces. So in the minor mode you’ve got the second to the third magnitude degree, a half pace, and the fifth to the sixth magnitude degree is likewise half pace. So in C minor it’s D to Eb and G to Ab. Then in the major scale it’s the same tones but they’re actually scale degree three and four and seven and one. So you can use these half step intervals to locate the melody within the scale. It’ll allow you to understand what scale degrees you’re actually playing rather than just playing the correct melody notes but not actually understanding where they fit within the scale. So it’s important that you hear this by nerve,’ cause you need to know what key you’re in and what scale you’re in if you’re gonna put the right chords to it.

Okay, so let’s look at the four most common chords in popular music genre. If we stick within our scale of Eb major and C minor, then the four chords are Eb major, Ab major, Bb major, and C minor. Now the way to think of these chords is one, four and five within the Eb major, so that one chord is Eb major, Ab major is the four chord and Bb major is the five chord. And then the relative minor of Eb major is C minor, which is the sixth degree of the Eb major magnitude. Now about 90 percent of popping hymns, specially the ones that are being produced today, seem to use just these four chords and not really anything else. There are exceptions to this of course, and if you find a carol that seems to be using chords other than these four, the next chords I indicate you try are F minor and G minor within the scale of C minor and Eb major.

An F minor chord fulfills the same function as an Ab major chord, except it has a minor sound. And the same with the G minor which fulfills the same role as the Bb major chord but with a minor sound. Okay, so with that mentioned, look at how simple-minded the chord structures are for pop music. We basically have three main chords, Eb major, Ab major, and Bb major, and then we have three minor chords which are just relative minors of those three main chords. So C minor is the relative minor of Eb major, F minor is the relative minor of Ab’s major, and G minor is the relative minor of Bb major. Likewise notes the fact that F minor and G minor are chords four and five of C minor. So truly our six chords are just one, four and five of the major scale, and one, four and five of the relative minor magnitude. And it’s really that easy. And if you work within the same key consistently you will smudge that very quickly.

Once you have identified the important tones in the melody, by that I mean the most powerful notes which seem resolved as they are, start scanning the four pop chords for that music mention. Some mentions you will be able to find in multiple chords like C, G and Eb. Eb for example, you can find in a Ab major chord, a C minor chord, and the Eb major chord. Other tones will simply appear in one of the chords establishing your select easier. For lesson , notes D and F is simply be found in the Bb major chord, and Ab is simply be found in the Ab major chord. Between them the four pop chords encompass all seven mentions of the scale, meaning that every tone of the scale has a alternative of at least one chord. When you’re trying to work out what chord you’re hearing you are eligible to listen to the bass pipeline,’ cause in pop music the bass pipeline nearly always plays the root of the chord.

( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) So let’s take Rihanna, Umbrella. Got the tune down, it’s pretty simple.( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) Okay, so it’s just really two mentions for those first two saloons. And it’s an Eb and a C. So what chords would that go with? Well you could have C minor.( keyboard music) But that voices already resolved and that’s not how the actual hymn clangs. So let’s try our second chord, though also an Ab major.( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) And that voices right. Okay, and then what happens next?( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) Then we just have an Eb. That could be C minor again.( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) That’s not quite right. It’s almost there. It’s actually the next chord though which is the Eb major.( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) So our next primary note in the third chord is a D. Then that will only is in accordance with Bb so let’s try that Bb major chord.( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) Yeah, it was spot on. And then the primary tones in the last part is a C. And I’m going to go with C minor as my first choice because we’ve already had Ab and Eb and Bb, so it’s likely that they’re going to use a brand-new chord rather than just one that we’ve already played.

( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) And there we have it.( “Umbrella” by Rihanna) This is Julian Bradley. Check out my other videos on Jazz Harmony. Post any questions you have below the video and I’ll get back to you. Meet you soon. Bye ..

FREE VIDEO SERIES: How to play music by ear:

I’ve put together 4 more ear training videos for you – showing you:

– The 9 habits that prevent your ear from developing (avoid these)

– We’ll transcribe 3 songs together

– The one thing you have to practice to develop relative pitch

Watch video #1 now at:

As found on Youtube