Beginner Primer Guitar course
Basic ear training

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Identifying pitches

In this lesson we are going to try and identify the difference between higher and lower pitches in context of a given root note. This will eventually help our ears get more seasoned to the different kinds of scenarios we will come across in music.

Contents of this lesson Pitch ear training Absolute and relative pitch Exercises Ear training apps References
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Pitch ear training

Pitch ear training is all about notes and being able to identify their pitch; how high or low they are. Every note has a pitch, and human ears are naturally capable of understanding this difference.
There are two distinct ways you can tune your ears to identify pitches :
You can identify them in absolute terms, we call this absolute pitch or pitch perfect.
You can identify them in comparison to another note, this is known as relative pitch.

Absolute pitch and relative pitch

One of the most talked about topics in music is absolute pitch or “perfect pitch”. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify notes, without using any note as a point of comparison. A musician in this case can tell you just by listening whether the note being played is A, C#, Bb or D just by listening to it. They can tell what key a piece of music is in without using an instrument to check. Although it's a certainly powerful and impressive skill, it is very rare that one needs to identify notes without a point of reference. Identifying one note based on another is a much more practical everyday music skill.
Enter, relative pitch. Relative pitch is primarily developed using intervals and chords as a part of the training. An interval is simply the distance between any two pitches or notes.


Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Example 4
Exercise 5

Exercise 6

Exercise 7

Exercise 8


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