HOW TO PRACTICE MUSIC WITHOUT YOUR INSTRUMENT (Everyday Ear Training #1)


– Okay, take two. Hello, how’s it going? Julian Bradley here from the
Jazz Tutorial YouTube channel. And I just wanted to announce
the beginning of a new video series I’m starting, which is called Everyday Ear Training, and
Everyday Ear Training is about showing you just how much
you can practice music when you’re away from your instrument. So most of the great
musicians of all time, they don’t just practice
music when they’re at their instrument, in fact most
of their practice is done in their everyday life
particularly by ear training, and transcribing music by ear. And I’m gonna be posting this on YouTube. This is gonna be a
different style of video to the normal videos which
I post, and actually this is really good timing for me to
do so, because I’m actually just going on a road trip
across America, going from Southern California all
the way east to Oklahoma. I’m gonna be stopping at some
beautiful places like this right now, I’m in Zion National Park, and I thought this would
be as good a time as any to practice posting some
new type of content. (mellow synthesizer music) Okay, so we’re just about to leave Zion. We’re just about to get
breakfast, but before we do I just wanted to say that I
can hear some music playing, that I can hear Billie Jean. I don’t know if it picks
up on the microphone. But of course I’m transcribing
the bass line to start with. ♫ C, G, B-flat, C ♫ B-flat, G, F, G, C ♫ G, B-flat, C ♫ B-flat, G, F, G So I’m transcribing it as
though it’s in C minor, actually it’s in the Dorian
mode, so it’s C Dorian mode. (“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson) So that’s my morning
practice out of the way. I’m sure there’ll be many more
opportunities today for me to transcribe songs, usually
I do about 15 songs a day. So that’s it for me, now we’re
gonna go to Salt Lake City. I’ll see you there. (upbeat techno music) So I’m just here at Bryce Canyon. This is a place called Inspiration Point. (upbeat techno music) Now one of my favorite places
to practice ear training is when I’m driving, on the
road, listening to music. This is a perfect opportunity to practice transcribing songs by ear. You don’t need your instrument
to practice transcribing. In fact, it’s better when
you do it away from your instrument, because then you’re focused to actually think and improve your ear rather than relying on your instrument. So that’s the way I like
to practice ear training is away from my instrument. Those are always the places
where the biggest breakthroughs happen, when you don’t have
your instrument right there to give you an instant answer, and
in fact you actually have to use your ear and your brain
to really think it through. So driving, that’s one of my
favorite places to practice ear training and that’s what I’ve
been doing on this road trip. So this has been a typical day for me. I’ve transcribed about 15 songs by ear. I’ll do the same thing tomorrow,
the same thing the next day, that’s my favorite
way to practice music. (mellow synthesizer music) Okay, so I’m just doing some
transcribing at Chipotle. As you can hear, there’s a melody playing. There’s some intervals going on. ♫ G, G, G, G, G, G, G ♫ C, C So I’m transcribing this song
as though it’s in C minor. I don’t actually know what key it’s in. It doesn’t matter what key it’s in. But if I listen to this
as though it’s in C minor, I can hear this riff. Starts on G fifth, goes
down to the root C, and then jumps up an octave
to the root again, which is C. (piano music) And as far as the chords
are concerned, it’s just a C-minor chord being sustained. Okay, so a new song’s come on. It’s in a different key, but
I’m just gonna transcribe it as though it’s in C minor again. (faint radio music) So I’m hearing the major one chord, that must be E-flat major, the one chord of the relative major scale of C minor. So that’s how you transcribe
in C minor every time. If it’s in the major key,
then you just transcribe in E-flat major, which is the
relative major of C minor. (faint radio music) So I can hear the two chords are E-flat major, and C minor. So like the one chord of the major key, and then the one chord of
the relative minor key. So in the bass line you can hear ♫ C, C ♫ E-flat, E-flat ♫ C, C And those two bass notes
would indicate an E-flat major chord, and then a
C-minor chord, because the bass line nearly always
plays the root of the chord. And again, I don’t know what
key this song actually is in. I’m just transcribing it
as though it’s in C minor. For all I know, it could
be any of the 12 keys. It doesn’t matter, but if I
play this at the piano later then I’ll play it in C-minor. (piano music) (mellow techno music) Okay, so I had a good day
today in Salt Lake City. We did some transcribing
at Chipotle for lunch. Transcribed about five songs. Then I listened to some
music while I was driving. Transcribed another eight songs I’d say. And that’s about it for today. It’s getting pretty late so
I’m gonna go join my family for the evening, and I’ll
see you again tomorrow. And if you’d like more
information on ear training, you can go to themusicalear.com. It’s my website. There’s a ton of free information. You can go through my free
video series on ear training which shows you how to
practice ear training the right way, and how not
to practice ear training. You can also sign up for ear
training email tips from me. These will be weekly
emails which challenge you to transcribe songs by ear,
and of course if you’d like to take my complete flagship
course in ear training which is the Musical Ear
course, you can sign up for the wait list at themusicalear.com, and I’ll notify you by email
when I next open enrollment. So that’s it from me. Thanks for watching, and I’ll
see you in the next session of Everyday Ear Training. (mellow techno music) (light jazz piano music)