Being able to hear chords on guitar can be one of the most challenging things to master.
Often, the only chance we get to train our ears to hear chords on the guitar, is at a jam session or on the bandstand for a gig.
I have been in search for an ear training app that can allow me to consistently practice hearing chords on the guitar. I found it.
Read on for links on where to get it, how it works, and my thoughts about this awesome ear training app.
Guitar Ear Training App For Hearing Chords On Guitar
Recently, I came across this ear training app for hearing chords on guitar, made by a company called, Short Neck Giraffe Software, LLC.
The app is called Guitar Ear Training and has been made available for iPhone and iPad.
It appears this software application was originally developed for the computer. I found this YouTube video demonstrating the software in action on a computer. I am really glad that further development has been made to make this available to the iPhone and iPad.
Although the video below demonstrates the software using a computer (with the guitar plugged in directly), I wanted to include this video below, because it still demonstrates the overall concept of what this app can offer.
Demos of this app on an iPhone can be found here: http://www.guitareartraining.com/GuitarEarTrainingApp-Media.htm
The Guitar Ear Training app on the iPhone and iPad does not require you to directly plug your guitar into your iPhone or iPad… which is awesome!
Simply open up the app on your iPhone or iPad and allow the app to access your built-in microphone. In my experience, the app had no trouble recognizing the chords I played on guitar. The response is immediate.
Play Chords On Guitar While Training Your Ears!
I believe direct hands on experience is one of the best ways to learn any skill. Guitar Ear Training app is designed to train your ears, while playing the guitar. This app has made the regular practice of this skill possible.
When you are figuring out chords at a jam session or gig, you are actually learning this skill. However, unless you are playing with other musicians on a regular basis, this skill ultimately develops at a very slow rate.
Here is a walk through on my experience with this app.
Upon opening up this app, you are introduced to a very basic tuner.
At first, my initial desire was to go straight into ear training. However, the more I use this app, the more I am grateful that the app does this. I always tune my guitar with a tuner whenever I pick it up. This saves me the step of having to find my tuner.
After tuning, you are taken to the main part of the app. The guitar fretboard is designed well and actually pleasing to look at. I have seen some apps, where the guitar was so bubbly and cartoon looking that I found it distracting. Kudos to this!
At the top of the screen, the name of the game will be displayed, along with the level of the game, the key, and the number of correct answers/questions asked.
As of now (June 6, 2015), there are 9 games in total:
- Melodic Intervals (12 levels)
- Harmonic Intervals (12 levels)
- Melody – 3 notes (12 levels)
- Melody – 5 notes (12 levels)
- Triads (14 levels)
- Power Chords (12 levels)
- Power Chord Changes (12 levels)
- Basic Chords (10 levels)
- Basic Chord Changes (10 levels)
Each game has its own levels, which adds difficulty by adding a new note, chord, or triad to the potential pool of answers.
The app provides ear training in all 12 keys, 5 positions on the guitar, and 8 types of scales.
As you can see, described above, there are a whole lot of melodic and harmonic levels to master, making this probably the most comprehensive ear training app that serves the specific purpose of ear training while playing the guitar!
Although there are so many games and levels that this app provides, the author does provide an Ear Training Practice Plan, making your learning experience a lot less overwhelming, which I really appreciate: http://www.guitareartraining.com/GuitarEarTrainingApp-Plan.htm
In the middle of the screen is the fretboard. Your answers/feedback will be displayed here.
Green dots display if your answer is correct.
Red dots display if your answer is wrong.
This is how it works:
- A basic musical cadence is initially played. This establishes a key center.
- The cadence is then followed by a note, chord, or triad (depending on the game you are playing).
- A green word “Play” will appear at the bottom of the screen. This tells you it is time to play your chord on guitar.
- The results will appear on your fretboard.
At first, I noticed that the notes in question were being provided at the same time they were being asked. This kind of confused me. But then I realized that this is a feature that can easily be switched off in the Settings.
Just change your settings from beginner to advanced and the answers will not show until you play your guitar.
Overall, I am enjoying ear training with this app the more I use it. The interface is clutter free, the responsiveness is immediate, the content is enough to really establish a solid foundation in hearing chords on guitar.
I am looking forward to seeing development continue with this app. Maybe more games that provide jazz chord progressions would be a nice addition!
If you want to improve your ability to hear chords on guitar, I definitely recommend checking out this app. For the cost of a croissant and a tall mocha at Starbucks, this investment is well worth the price!
Guitar Ear Training app on the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guitar-ear-training/id889789715