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Are Your Ears Good Enough? Here’s How to Test Them.

Want a challenge that will help develop your ears? Before you touch your guitar, try to sing the pitch of the open A string, or E if you like. I always remember the opening line for the Led Zeppelin song Heartbreaker. That open A string really stands out in my head. The first notes in the Rush song Working Man are E, D and A – the 6th, 4th and 5th strings on the guitar. Practice trying to sing one consistent note each time you go to your guitar. I consider this a smaller form of perfect pitch (the ability to hear and name any pitch or to sing any note without hearing any previous note for reference). The better you get, the better your ears will develop. Great ears are a tremendous benefit to all musicians, not just guitar players. Your ability to figure out songs will improve, your ability to hear chord changes and key changes will improve. Also, your writing and improv will improve. Isn’t that enough reason? When you wake up tomorrow, try to sing an A before playing your guitar. Then test it. How close were you? Keep at it! 

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