How to Train Your Ear Without Your Instrument

Imagine you’re in a bookstore one Sunday afternoon and, for whatever reason, you happen to notice the music playing in the background.  Maybe it’s a classic rock song that you haven’t heard in awhile or a jazz standard; the genre doesn’t really matter. Can you listen to the song and know what the chord progression is? When the guitarist is soloing do you instantly recognize the scale being played or what specific notes make up the melodic riff?

If you’re hesitating to say ‘yes’ to these questions, then keep reading because I want to share a simple concept with you that will have a profound impact on your ability to recognize chords, progressions, and scales by ear which you can implement today.

To start, there are two kinds of pitch recognition: perfect pitch and relative pitch recognition. Having perfect pitch is the ability to recognize the exact note being played and having relative pitch is the ability to recognize the...

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