Sunday, April 08, 2007

Become A Better Guitarist By Developing Your Ear

By: Peter Edvinsson

Can you hear a melody and then play it on your guitar? To have a
good ear will help you a lot in your musical endeavors. Let's
see how we can improve this ability!

Learn to know your guitar

To be able to pick up your guitar and play any melody you hear
would be nice I guess!

To understand the relationship between the melodies you hear and
the frets and strings you have to use to play these melodies is
something you can practice in different ways. Here are some

1. Play around with your guitar. Yes, that's right! Have a nice
time with your guitar! First of all because it is fun and you
probably play the guitar first of all for this reason.

This means that you try out things on the guitar. Play notes and
listen how they sound. It doesn't really matter if it is
fantastic melodies you create. The important thing is that you
gradually will learn how notes, strings and frets relate to each

2. Learn scales. Scales can be played for many reasons. One way
is to develop a better understanding of the fretboard.

To accomplish this you should as soon as you have learned to
play a scale on the guitar try to use it, experiment with it,
try to create melodies with it, play patterns and so on.

3. Learn music theory. Well, this sounds a little bit
intimidating maybe. But music theory can be as simple as knowing
the names of the notes on the guitar. Take a few notes at a time
and practice playing them on the guitar as you say the notenames

4. Learn easy melodies. Yes, very easy melodies like Mary Had A
Little Lamb and other melodies with few notes in them. Then try
to play the melodies starting on a different place on your
guitar fretboard. This is a very effective way to learn to
understand the guitar.

5. Transpose songs. You will develop your ear and your
understanding of the relationship between chords by transposing
the chords of the songs you can play by heart to different keys.

Let's take the song Tom Dooley as an example. It contains only
two chords in it's most common form. If you play it in D-major
it will be D and A7. If you play it in E it will be E and
...well you can figure it out by yourself.

Try to play Tom Dooley in the key of C and see if you can figure
out the chords.

To hear a melody and then be able to play it on the guitar is
really both fun and of great use to a guitarist. By trying these
tips you might find yourself a little bit closer that goal!

About the author:
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free sheet music,
guitar tabs, ebooks, music lessons and read his music blog at

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