• Unlocking the ear!

    in Ear-Training

    It is important to be able to recognize chords in songs and progressions.

    For example, a major chord is associated with the following moods:

    -nursery rhymes

    The minor chord is commonly associated with:


    The seventh/dominant chord is commonly associated with:


    Play a (C major) Chord: (C) (E) (G)

    What things come to mind when you play this chord?

    Now play a (C minor) Chord: (C) (Eb) (G)

    What things now come to mind?

    Play a (C7) Chord: (C) (E) (G) (Bb)

    What things come to mind when you play a C7?


    Listen to a few songs and record what type of chords you hear. Your chart should look like this:

    Major Chords
    iiiiii (heard a major chord six times)

    Minor Chords
    iiiiiiiii (heard a minor chord nine times)

    Seventh Chords
    ii (heard a seventh chord two times)

    From this diagram, we can see that this song is mostly minor, which means that it will sound sad most of the time. But since we heard six major chords, it is surrounded by happiness. We also heard a dominant chord twice, so this song has a mixture of all three chords. In addition to chords, rhythm is a huge factor when dealing with different types of music. Even though a song has mostly minor chords, if it has a fast rhythm, sometimes the mood of the song is easily covered up.

    When you practice more and more, you will be able to immediately recognize chords and progressions!

    We also have an ear-training program which allows you to train your ear. It has over 500 ear-training questions, 20 chapter reviews, 150 exercises, sound examples and more! Visit:


    … for more information!

    This program comes free with our 300-pg workbook so visit:


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    Keep practicing!

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    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!

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