And welcome back to Swiftlessons! In today's session I'll be sharing with you a couple of activities that you can use to train your ear. The ultimate goal is to develop a connection between your mind and the notes on the fretboard, so that you can anticipate what a given note will sound like before you play it. Let's get started!
Activity #1 - Retrace Your Steps
This first exercise is useful for developing your memory, while also associating positions on the fretboard with the sounds they create.
Step 1: play a note in a scale you are familiar with.
Step 2: repeat that note, but add another.
Step 3: retrace your steps back to the beginning, and place yet another note at the end.
Step 4: repeat step #3 for as long as possible, challenging yourself to memorize an extended sequence of notes.
Tip: For additional benefits, practicing singing along as you build upon your sequence of notes.
Our next exercise is designed to build the connection between the music you hear in your head and your fingertips. As an added bonus, this exercise also enforces dedicated practice to developing your pitch, and singing technique.
Step 1: Choose a single scale position, or a blend of multiple scales (more advanced)
Step 2: Sing a short lick.
Step 3: Find that lick on the fretboard.
Step 4: Reverse this process, play first, then sing to develop your pitch.