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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Ear Training 101: The Basics of Interval Recognition

Ear Training

Welcome to “Ear Training 101” with Rick Beato, a musician, producer, and educator with over 40 years of experience in the music industry. In this video, he introduces the concept of intervals, which is the distance between two pitches. Rick explains that interval recognition is crucial in understanding what you’re hearing in a piece of music. Learning to identify intervals can help you learn music faster, sight-read better, and improvise effortlessly.

If you’re a musician or a music enthusiast, you’ll find this video valuable because it provides a foundation for ear training, which is essential for mastering music theory. Rick explains intervals in a conversational and straightforward manner, making it easy to understand even if you’re a beginner.

Key Takeaways

  • An interval is the distance between two pitches
  • Intervals have two properties – quality (perfect, major, minor, augmented, and diminished) and number (unison, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth)
  • Perfect intervals are the easiest to identify because they have a stable sound and include the perfect eighth, perfect fifth, and perfect fourth

Step-by-step Process

  1. Learn the properties of intervals – quality and number
  2. Understand the aural characteristics of intervals – consonant or dissonant
  3. Begin by practicing with dyads – two-note chords
“Being able to do this will allow you to learn any piece of music without a reference tone. It’s great for sight reading, improvisation, analysis or just learning your favorite songs by ear.” – Rick Beato

Resources Mentioned

  • Music Theory for Guitarists: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask by Tom Kolb
  • Auralia Ear Training Software
  • Functional Ear Trainer Software

My Best Advice:

Practice, practice, practice. Learning to recognize intervals is like learning a new language. It takes time, patience, and consistent practice to master. Start with dyads and perfect intervals, then move on to other intervals like major, minor, augmented, and diminished. Train your ear daily, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can identify intervals in music.


Q: What is ear training?
A: Ear training is the process of developing the ability to recognize and identify musical elements by ear, such as intervals, chords, and melodies.

Q: Why is ear training important?
A: Ear training is crucial for musicians because it helps them learn music faster, improvise more effectively, and communicate better with other musicians.

Q: Can anyone learn ear training?
A: Yes, anyone can learn ear training. It takes time, patience, and consistent practice, but with dedication, anyone can develop their ear.

What are some tips for improving ear training skills?
A: Practice regularly, use ear training software, listen to music actively, and sing or play along with music.

Q: How long does it take to develop good ear training skills?
A: It depends on the individual, but with consistent practice, most people can start to see improvements within a few months.

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