• An easy way to build your ear skills

    in Ear-Training

    Learning to pick out the key to a song (the “tonic”) is a very useful skill to have as an “ear” musician.

    Many of you have found this tip very helpful…

    Go to a site like TowerRecords.com or open Itunes, where you’ll have access to hundreds of thousands of song samples (no purchase necessary).

    towerrecords preview center

    Simply go to your favorite genre and start listening to the samples.

    Just take your time and listen for that ONE common note that can almost be sang over any chord in the song. Try to fast-forward yourself to the end of the song and figure out what the keynote of that chord would be. Often times, the keynote (root note) of the first chord is the key of the song… but not always.

    Also, you can review this post for more tips on finding the key.

    Have fun with this one!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.


    { 7 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 learnlah

    Hey Jermaine, this is very good tip for ear training. Thanks


    2 tobi

    yeah sure. you’re right. more often than not, the tonic chord is the last chord of a song, so if one can fastforward either the music or his/her mind to the last chord, then he/she could easily consistently get the key of a song. and having built that foundation, one could then move on to be able to determine the key even in the middle or at the beginning.



    3 Jermaine

    Absolutely Tobi! Thanks for adding…


    4 felina

    I think this is a great strategy. thanks j


    5 nexus863


    wonderfull advice. I will try it and let you kno how i do.


    6 sabatini

    Hi There! I’m having trouble identifying music genre. I wanted to know how I can differentiate Gospel between Worship and Praise songs.


    7 Print Derry

    salutations like your time take a browse of mine


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