Use Your Ear – How to Learn Guitar by Yourself


In Part 1 we talk about building a habit,  Part 2 I mention staying inspired every day. No days off. If you love what you’re doing every day becomes natural. Part 3 I mention the importance of others. Next in Part 4, I talk about mindset, confidence and rhythm. Then Part 5 is on picking. Part 6 is on Emotions. and here is Part 7.


Use Your Ear

In the following post I’m gonna talk about using your ear and training it to decipher short little melodies as well as rhythmic patterns, chords, chord progressions, baselines etc…

I have recorded some melodies below. Your job is to try and figure out the melodies on your guitar. This is what you would call an ear training exercise. There will be no tab, just audio.

Most, if not all great musicians have a good ear. This means they can hear the bassline move up or down, decipher the melodies, and pick apart the harmonies of a piece of music. Some musicians have been trained to do so and some were born with a natural inclination to hearing things other musicians can’t hear right away.

Many books I have read have said these words, “no need to fret, no need to worry,” “you can train your ear to do the same.”

I’m no fan of these words because they tell you to not fret and not worry. Although you shouldnt fret nor worry, you should buckle down and get to work. You should take this seriously. No need to fret or worry… suggests that you could perhaps  be lackadaisical about this whole ear thing.

Nothing could be further from the truth.


Use Your Ear by Singing

Try singing do re mi in the lower octave of your guitar. Now try singing it an octave above. Now try singing do re do. Do re do re do. Do re mi re mi re do.

Lets try an arpeggio. Play a C, then an E, then a G note. Try to sing along or hum it at least. If you feel uncomfortable around people go to a quiet place where you can belt out some notes like you’re a rock singer at a concert. You dont need to do this loudly but eventually at one point or another you should.

Here are some more examples:

  • Do re mi fa mi re do
  • Do re mi fa so fa mi re do
  • Do re mo fa so la ti do re mi re do ti
  • Do ti la so fa mi re do ti do

Make up your own based on the ones that give you trouble. This is not an end all be all type of exercise, there are many types of exercises that you will be shown in my new ebook:


How to learn guitar

How to Learn Guitar by Yourself – The Elements of Guitar Playing You Need to Know


Sign up for the newsletter to get access to it right away. I may give it away for free for the first week. Its due out after Part 10 of this series.

You can visit the other posts on How to Learn Guitar by Yourself below if you haven’t gotten around to it yet:

In Part 1 we talk about building a habit.

In Part 2 I mention staying inspired every day. No days off. If you love what you’re doing every day becomes natural.

Part 3 I mention the importance of others.

Next in Part 4, I talk about mindset, confidence and rhythm.

Then Part 5 is on picking.

Part 6 is on Emotions.

How to Learn the Guitar by Yourself – Part 6 – Using Your Emotions

Part 7.


Use your DAW:

Download the audio or get it somehow into your DAW and figure out the tempo of the song. Now loop the section that you want to work on, if you can’t figure out the first two bars, do half of one or even a beat if you have to.

In other words, do what you need to do and use, abuse and train your ear as frequently as you can. When you are driving around, listen with intent.


Listen with Intent

Listen for which way the bass is moving, for the melody’s shape. Does it start low and go up? Vice versa?How about the drum beat and where you can add filler material.Finally listen to the vocal and on what beat of the measure it comes in? Is it before the first beat? On the second beat?

Ear training can be many things. Start training your ear now. Little by little you will see progress. You will be able to hear chord progressions, certain chords…and licks.  If you’ve never done this before, its going to get frustrating at some point. Most likely it will be frustrating early on.

Persevere… is my best advice.Remember to sign up for the mailing list here. Last but not least, apps are good but there ain’t nothin’ like the real thing baby….Talk to you soon’