Radio Jams: Ear Training the Fun Way

Ear training tends to be a scary and confusing subject for guitarists. But it doesn't have to be.

One of my favorite ear training techniques is to simply turn on the radio (or Spotify) to any random station (or playlist) and play along.

The idea is to just jump in and play. You'll need to peck around until you get a feel for the key/chord changes. Once you've found the key center, make some music happen.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this ear training method.

  • Create rhythm parts as well as lead lines.
  • Match your style/tone to that of the song.
  • Take inspiration from the vocal melody and instrumental hooks of the song.
  • Make the groove your priority. In the words of Victor Wooten, "Never lose the groove in order to find a note."

    Fear ear training no longer, my friends!

    One last benefit of this're training your ear in a real musical context. The most valuable guitarists are the ones who know how to support the song. Here's your chance to master that skill!

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