If you don’t look like this when you’re trying to learn a tricky song, you’re DOING IT WRONG.
It doesn’t matter how ugly or stupid I look here. What you don’t see is how I’m actually kicking musical ass.
In this seriously scary photo, I’m OWNING Atoms For Peace’s “Ingenue” bass synth. I’m making one of the squirmiest, twisty, jumpy, convoluted, yet infectious melodies in the entire album my own.
The way I see it, if you don’t harness 100% of your musical energy into truly listening (and I don’t mean passive listening, I mean engaging your whole body and mind), then you are not building up your ear. Like… when I do this, the room goes dark around me.
If you lift weights, then you know that you have to squeeze out that last rep to get them GAINS. You have to use every muscle fiber, until you FAIL.
Well, ear-training is no different.
The best thing you can do for your musicianship is, for five minutes a day, listen with FULL INTENSITY to a melody or a portion of a melody you love and try to work out what’s happening in it, musically.
- Is it moving up?
- Staying the same?
- Is it moving by a little, or a lot?
- Does it use the Major Scale?
- Can you match it?
- Can you tell the distance between any two given notes?
- Do you know whether it’s a “1,” or a “5,” or a “♭7?”
Transcribe what you hear until you FAIL. This way you’ll see the greatest musical gains. Because it’s when you actually find the limits of your ear that you discern what’s been holding you back. Only then can you actually do something about it. How can you possibly know how to improve if you don’t know where you are weak?
Don’t know how to transcribe? Well, I have a series that will show you how to do that. I show you how real-world melodies can be translated into Scale Degrees in this free preview:
Or don’t do any of the above, and keep reaching for that next tab, or tutorial. And you’ll just stay the same.
I shared my intense music learning face. How about yours? Do you have one? Put one up on Instagram with the hashtag #musicface. I think it’s time the world sees how intense music students can be!