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The Ultra Zone: Steve Vai's Course in Ear Training, Part 3

My first two ear training columns (Part 1 and Part 2) outlined techniques intended to strengthen your note-recognition abilities, using the guitar as an ear training tool. This month, I’d like to turn you onto some ear training techniques that use chords.

The Ultra Zone: Steve Vai's Course in Ear Training, Part 1

I could never overstate the importance of a musician’s need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good “inner ear” — the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening — is the most important element in becoming a good musician.

The Ultra Zone: Steve Vai's Course In Ear Training, Part 2 is revisiting Steve Vai's classic mag column, "The Ultra Zone," for this crash course in ear training. As I mentioned last time, a valuable method of training your ear is to practice singing the notes that you play on the guitar. I’d like to elaborate on this fun approach and offer you some specific advice on how to go about doing this on your own.

The Record that Changed My Life: Steve Vai Discusses 'West Side Story: Original Broadway Cast Recording'

If you look at the elements of that record, it contains many of the things I enjoy doing today. It has history, melody, and the lyrics are wonderful. Along with its enchanting and exquisite melodies, West Side Story has attitude and a tremendous amount of frenetic energy. It's emotional, theatrical and technical. It's everything.