Transcribing Songs: The Best Ear Training a Songwriter Can Do

When I was a teenager, I had a somewhat limited knowledge of music theory and how it worked. I think that’s typical for most young people. I played trumpet and a bit of piano, so I could read notes in the treble and bass clef, but I had a very rudimentary understanding of what chords […]

Songwriter with guitar and paper

Songwriting, and the Tricky Task of Remembering Patterns

When I taught ear training at university, I had students of widely varying abilities. Some could, as they say, hear paint dry, while others “couldn’t hear a bus.” One of the tasks my students had was to notate melodies as I played them at the piano. (I won’t go into the technique I used for […]

Piano - Songwriting

How to Boost Your Ability to Hear and Recognize Chords

How’s your musical ear? Here’s how you know that it needs some work: You can read music, but you find it difficult or impossible to play by ear. You hear a great melody, but you can’t find the notes on your instrument. You sit at the piano to play a song for a sing-along (like […]

3 Powerful Activities Guaranteed to Improve Your Musical Ear

If you’ve got a bit of a tin ear, it doesn’t mean you’re unmusical. Try these tips for improving your aural skills. _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and solve your songwriting problems TODAY. _____________ The ability to identify and label musical sounds is a very sophisticated activity. Just think about it: you listen to […]

Can You Fix a Tin Ear?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: __________ Whether you call it “having a tin ear” or “being tone deaf”, many musicians feel the great frustration of not being able to accurately label the sounds they’re hearing. It’s a sophisticated activity when you think about it: we’re essentially listening to the air […]

Sometimes All You Need Are Some Chord Progressions that Work

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website If chord progressions mystify you, Gary Ewer’s e-books will give you hundreds of progressions you can use right now, as is, or modify them to suit your latest song. Click here to read more. ____________________ My main duties in the Dalhousie University Department of Music center […]