Aural Training

Aural Training Lessons

Listening is fundamental to creating good music. Aural training is all about learning to recognise chords, chord progressions, intervals and scales, purely from listening.

Although these tasks can seem a little intimidating at first glance, most people can learn these skills in time, and the benefits are enormous. Aural training is inextricably linked to music theory. For this reason, Stuart usually teaches these two areas simultaneously.

Learning to recognise chord progressions from their sounds alone, makes learning and remembering songs much easier. Similarly, being able to recognise intervals and scales help us to become better improvisers or composers. Aural training is important in both popular and classical styles of music.

Aural Training and Popular Music

Aural training is very useful when learning pop, rock, metal, blues or jazz. Some of the main areas of study are:


  • Recognising chord types
  • Recognising chord progressions
  • Recognising scales
  • Recognising intervals

As you develop your aural skills, you will find that you are more sensitive and aware of the sounds that you create. This helps you to become a better improviser.

Rather than thinking in terms of visual shapes and patterns, the sounds themselves become the focus of our playing.

Similarly, as you develop your aural skills, you begin to know – in advance – what certain notes will sound like. Rather than improvisation being a series of reactions to surprises, it becomes a personal and controlled act of self-expression.

Aural Training and Classical Music

Aural training is one of the key components of classical grades. Each grade has within it an aural test and includes several tasks such as:


  • Recognising and reproducing simple rhythms
  • Identifying characteristic features of compositions
  • Singing back melodic lines played by examiner
  • Singing melodic lines from a musical score
  • Clapping rhythms of notes from a piece of music

Many of these tasks can seem daunting. But, as with all aspects of your classical guitar lessons, you will be taught aural skills gradually and at a pace that you are comfortable with.

As time goes by, your aural skills will improve and each task will become easier; naturally leading to the next aural challenge.

Booking a Guitar Lesson

To book a guitar lesson with Stuart, or to ask a question about taking lessons, send an email using the button below:

Message Stuart

“Almost anybody can develop aural skills. The key is finding the right pace of learning.”

– Stuart Bahn