Singing Exercises For Ear Development
Even if you don't want to sing, learning some basic singing exercises that relate to ear training will REALLY help you develop your musicianship!
Singing can be a very useful tool for many aspects of guitar playing (well actually for all musicians). Using singing for learning intervals is pretty much essential. It will help you absorb the sounds of the intervals, really ingrain them. These exercises will help a great deal and need to be done regularly to work their magic.
Play the following musical example and sing along with every note - be careful and stay in tune. If it is not in your key (too high or too low) then move the complete exercise up or down the fingerboard. You can even move the pedal tone (root note) onto the 6th string to get real low. Start very slowly and just work on getting each interval before you move onto the next. Expect the further intervals (6th and 7th's) to be harder to judge, but it will come good with practice.
Also make sure you know what interval you are singing!! In the exercise below you will sing:, Maj 2nd, Maj 3rd, Perf 4th, Perf 5th, Maj 6th, Maj 7th, Octave - all the notes from the major scale. Work at it slowly and you will be amazed how quickly you memorise it. Don't forget to think of the song references as you sing the relevant interval (Song References) as the best exercises are combinations. Check out the tab - play it - then check out the audio file and then get busy!
Once you have it down diatonically, try the same thing but chromatically (using all the notes). It's quite a lot harder so make sure you have the diatonic ones done first!
This exercise is a great way to test yourself and really train your voice.
1. Start by playing a root note on the guitar, lets say the note C for this example, and sing along with it.
2. Then decide an interval that you need to perform, lets say a Maj 3rd, and then while you hold the note on the guitar, sing up to that note and hold it. You might want to check out Guitar Intervals and have the reference page in front of you to check them - but try to get all that into your memory as soon as possible.
3. Keep singing the note, and on the guitar play the note it should have been - check if it was the right note.
You might want to start by just doing the same notes in the same order as shown in Exercise 1 until you get used to it, then jumble them all up. This is a great one - and great for learning to sing harmonies. Once you can do all the intervals found in exercise 1 then try doing all the chromatic intervals (like in Exercise 3 below). Good luck.
This is really a development of the first exercise - but here we will do all of the intervals within an octave, rather than just the intervals found in the major scale. Same rules apply as Exercise 1 - do things slowly and make sure you are in tune. Once you can do this well then apply Exercise 2 to these note - if you can do that well you should have no problem recognising your intervals and should do very well at ear tests.
Hope these get you singing!! :)