How was your musical year? Did it go as planned and leave you a better, more accomplished musician at the end of it? I hope you’ve had a very successful year of musical development and achieved what you set out to. Here at Easy Ear Training it’s been a busy and exciting year – so before things get too crazy with the holiday season and New Year’s celebrations it seemed like a perfect time to look back on the “best of” 2015 and help you make sure you didn’t miss out on anything that could help you succeed in your musical ear training this year.
Let’s dive in…
At the start of the year we launched our most popular Unravelling Music album to date, Classic Chords, which teaches you to hear the most common four-chord progressions in modern music by ear. We followed this up with Starting to Sing, a step-by-step guide to go from “Argh, I’m tone deaf!” to singing confidently and reliably in tune.
Both of these proved a big hit but they were really just previews of what was brewing behind the scenes…
In April we launched Musical U, our all-in-one training solution for becoming more musical. At Musical U you can learning to play by ear, improvise, create your own music and feel truly confident and natural as a musician. It’s where you can get a clear roadmap for your reaching your musical goals and join a friendly and supportive community who will help you succeed.
We’ve poured all the very best of Easy Ear Training into Musical U, including our most popular eBooks, training albums and mobile apps – and since launching we’ve already doubled the number of training modules available, including:
- 5 Planning modules
- 2 Pitch modules
- 5 Interval modules
- 3 Melody modules
- 3 Chord modules
- 8 Chord Progression modules
- 6 Rhythm modules
- 2 Play By Ear modules
- and our most recent addition: Solfa!
You can preview almost all of these and learn more about joining on the Musical U site.
Musical U also has its own blog where you’ll find terrific articles on planning effective training and becoming more musically confident, along with fascinating interviews with pro musicians and Musical U member case studies. Stay up to date on the latest post through the Musical U Facebook page!
Tone Deafness and Singing
So far this year 349,798 people have passed the Tone Deaf Test – wow! Big thanks to Eric Whitacre and the many other singers and music educators who’ve shared the test to help people discover they might be musical after all.
For many of them the natural response was “so why can’t I sing in tune?”. Finally we have one clear answer for them, with our simple guide to learning to sing in tune. It breaks the process into four simple stages so you can understand where you’re having difficulty and what you can do to improve. We turned it into a handy infographic too!
Ear Training for Improvisation
Improvising music is one of the main reasons musicians choose to do ear training and this year we launched a new series of articles to answer the question: how do you learn to improvise? Starting from the very beginning we’ve covered:
- The Basics (Improvisation 101)
- Improvising Music in 6 Steps
- Improvising Rock
- Improvising Guitar in 3 Simple Steps
- Improvising Jazz
And since jazz is the genre most associated with improvisation and perhaps the most challenging genre to improvise in we brought in a whole group of jazz experts to help tackle the question of how to start jazz improvisation ear training.
The Ultimate Guide to Intervals
Intervals have always been one of our core topics at Easy Ear Training. It’s not the only way to develop your sense of relative pitch but it is a reliable and effective approach. From our best-selling Relative Pitch app to our popular eBooks and albums (now available as modules inside Musical U) we’ve offered a range of resources to help you learn interval ear training.
We recently decided to kick it up a notch, bringing together all the key information and answers you need to learn interval recognition into one “Ultimate Guide”. If you’ve been curious about intervals or need some fresh guidance, don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to Interval Ear Training.
(and if the epic size of that guide is a bit much for you, you can try the 5 minute guide to intervals instead!)
Rhythm and Song Writing
We tackled two other big ear training topics this year: improving your sense of rhythm, and learning to write your own songs.
The Talking Rhythm series explains two handy methods for “speaking” out rhythmic patterns. This helps you sight-read rhythms from notation and also enables you to write down rhythms you hear in music. Discover “count chant” and the Kodály approach in Talking Rhythm.
The Songwriter’s Secrets series just began a few weeks ago but already we’ve covered the basics of song writing, how to take your first steps, and an easy process you can follow when writing songs. Much more to come on this subject in 2016!
Speaking of song writing… Adele’s “Hello” was a massive hit around the world this year and we couldn’t resist asking the experts: was its success due to great music – or just great marketing?
We’ve been fortunate to welcome a whole host of expert guests to EasyEarTraining.com this year. Through interviews and guest posts they’ve shared their wisdom and insights on musical ear training of all kinds.
Did you miss any of these? Time to catch up!
- Nate Smith of the 80/20 Drummer shared three secrets to drumming success.
- Scott Edwards from Ear Training HQ joined us to give his keys to fast results with ear training.
- Evan R. Murphy of SightReadingMastery wrote a wonderful tutorial on sight reading music in choir and we were delighted to follow up with an interview on why and how to start sight-reading music.
- Following on from our Jazz Ear Training Experts Guide we went in-depth with three of the featured experts:
A big thank you to all of our guests for being generous with their time and musical insights!
Whew, what a year! As 2015 draws to a close there’s still time to put yourself in a great position for musical success in 2016. Explore the resources linked above or join Musical U and make sure your next year is even better than this one and moves you a big step closer to being the musician you dream of.
What was your biggest musical success in 2015? Leave a comment below and let us know!
P.S. Don’t forget there are just a few days left in our Christmas ear training giveaway!
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