I've been engrossed in Jazz music for 8 months now. Since I've had 9 years experience on guitar, I can usually pick out and sing the melody being played. However, chord tones and their harmonic 'togetherness' cause my ear to stumble.

To dissect this further, I played simple open chords on my guitar:

An A minor, C major, Cmajor 7. I'd try to sing what I hear and find myself flat. If I arpeggiate the chords, I can sing the tones.

I'm wondering how I can advance my ears ability to hear chord tones? The discrepancy is strongest when I try to sing them. Is it as easy as keeping an eye on it, continued practice? Or is there a more in-depth lesson plan.

I do have a guitar instructor. We're currently working through classical pieces and I don't believe singing/ear training is his specialty.

Thanks so much guys, sorry for the dense question. I tried to format it so it's easier to read.

  • 20 minutes in front of the piano singing out different intervals will be tremendous aural training. Just make sure you play the piano where it is comfortable for you to sing.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


I have great news for you!

There are sooooo many tools readily available with a simple Google search. I suggest musictheory.net, but there are so many options if you look for ear training exercises.

Here's a real tough exercise that I used to do for my musicianship class:

  • Give yourself a starting pitch.
  • Sing up a Perfect 5th
  • Sing down a tri-tone (Diminished 5th/Augmented 4th)
  • Sing up a Perfect 4th
  • Sing down a Major 3rd
  • Sing up a Minor 3rd
  • Sing down a Major 2nd
  • Sing up a Minor 2nd

Film yourself doing this or similar pitch strings. Play the notes on your guitar alongside the recording and you'll see what intervals in particular give you trouble.

Hope this helps, Good Luck!


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