7 Ear Training Resources for Musicians and Producers
In the world of music, your greatest asset is undoubtedly your ears. However, relying on your ears to pick up on nuances in music isn’t always enough. If you’re serious about a career in audio engineering or music, it’s a good idea to work on your skills on a regular basis.
Luckily, we’ve rounded up some of the best ear-training resources available for musicians and producers. Below, we’ll share exactly why ear training is so important and point you to some resources so that you can start your journey.
What is Ear Training and Why Is It Important?
Ear training is the process of familiarizing your ears with certain sounds, intervals, and relationships within a piece of music. These training exercises provide more context to how music works and help you unlock the code of what it takes to make a good song.
For instrumentalists, singers, and traditional musicians, engaging in music theory exercises can make it easier to build sonically-pleasing music. For audio engineers and producers, ear training can help you identify problem points within a mix faster. You also start to develop a sense of where frequency problem areas typically lie, which allows you to build a more-well balanced composition from the get-go.
7 Ear Training Resources For Musicians
Here are some of the best ear-training resources you’ll want to check out. We’ve included resources aimed at general musicians and audio engineers so that you can get the most out of your training sessions.
This resource is primarily geared towards audio engineers and provides plenty of different interactive games to help you enhance your core listening skills. Work on your EQ instincts compression skills, or sharpen up your feedback elimination all within the site’s clean UI and interactive design.
Tenuto is a free music app that makes brushing up on your music theory easy. This app challenges you to identify intervals, notes, and chords. It can also be used without wifi, making it an excellent app for learning on the go.
3. Quiz Tones
If you’re looking for an app to improve your mixing ear, Quiz Tones is a great pick. This app challenges you to identify changes in frequencies, decibels, and more. Plus, you can use songs from your own library to help you learn.
4. Tone Savvy
Tone Savvy is another great site for learning music theory within your browser. The site has several ear training exercises for interval training, note identification, and, notably, rhythmic dictation, which can be challenging to find from a free resource. You can even take the perfect pitch test to challenge your intuitive ear.
5. Train Your Ears
As the site name may suggest, this is a great place for budding sound engineers to train their ears. The software trains your brain by having you guess select frequencies or correcting them using an equalizer. Note that this is one of the few options that requires upfront payment, but your single purchase comes with lifetime updates. Used by some of the greats like Bob Katz.
6. Ear Master
This music theory site can help you build your knowledge as a musician on desktop or through your phone. Become better at sight reading, understand your intervals, and work on your rhythm all through the interface’s clean and intuitive design.
If you want to grasp music theory without emptying out your wallet, Teoria is a great place to start. This website hosts music theory training exercises, tutorials, and plenty of helpful references for you to put your training into practice.
Bonus: Critical Listening and Creating
While these ear training resources are bound to help you improve, nothing can substitute for learning by creating a lot of music over time. Your ears will naturally improve as your make more music and watch others’ creative processes in real-time. There’s also no shortage of YouTube tutorials to assist you on your learning journey to bolster your ear endurance.
Don’t forget that listening to music also serves as another training opportunity. Take the time to dissect some of your favorite songs and analyze why certain intervals or sounds gel together.
At the end of the day, training your ears boils down to making consistent space for music in your life. Be sure to use these resources to your advantage and enjoy the process of progress.