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The Benefits of Ear Training for Strings

All musicians, but especially those who play stringed instruments, can benefit from ear training. This begs the question: what is ear training? It is, in many ways, the foundation that connects music theory to making music. Your playing ability and overall musicianship will be improved by learning this integral technique. Ear training will help you become a more successful and well-rounded musician.

Ear training is more than simply listening, so it will take practice to gain and refine this skill. Detecting or deciphering pitches or notes through ear training can be improved by a number of exercises that are designed to strengthen your ability to tune correctly and recognize the different notes that fit into a melody or chord.

Music Theory at It’s Finest

person listening with hand cupping ear

As your ear training skills improve, you will be able to pick out the different pitches that create the notes and chords of musical pieces. As your hearing becomes more attuned to the nuances of different genres, artists, or performances, music theory will begin to come alive.

Ear training also promotes the necessary skill of improvising. As a member of an ensemble, harmonizing with the group or adding thematic interest to a particular melody or song can become second nature through effective ear training. Playing ability as a soloist is also positively impacted by practicing this form of music theory because it increases your sensitivity to the minute changes in tone in a given composition. A musician with a well-trained ear is an asset to any orchestra.

Let’s Get Specific

It’s undeniable that ear training for violinists or cellists, violists, or any aspiring musician is a must. A good jumping off point is spending five minutes each practice session training your ear to detect melodies, chords, intervals, and rhythms without referencing your sheet music. And remember that It’s okay to get frustrated. Like every facet of musicianship, ear training takes patience and hard work.

If you’re a violinist, there are plenty of ear training and violin playing books available. Not only does Johnson String Instrument carry these and other supplies that all stringed musicians need – from practice books to bows to connections with local teachers – but we are available to help you select the right resources for you. In-person and online, we are here to provide you with the materials and training you need to continue developing as a musician and performer.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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JSI Blog

Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

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