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Ear Training Wheels

Getting Started with Hide Notes

Hide Notes is a Tunefox Tool that hides notes in the tablature. You can see the string a note is on, but not the fret number. You can use the slider to hide just the right number of notes. It's located in the tools tab. That's located at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen when viewing a tablature. There's a few other things that will help you when learning by ear.

1st - know the scale of the key you're playing in. Most songs, especially fiddle tunes are based on major scales. Knowing that scale will let you know the most likely notes you'll be hunting for. A lot of Bluegrass songs use "Blue" notes. These are tension notes or passing tones that are not a normal part of the scale. So, knowing the blues and chromatic scales will help with these songs.

2nd - use the Tempo Slider to slow it down. If someone is talking fast, it will be hard to comprehend them. It's the same with music. The slower it is when you hear it, the easier it will be to understand it. For iOS users, the tempo slider is located in the playback tab. If you are on PC, it's located on the bottom of your screen when viewing a tablature.

3rd - use the Difficulty Slider to dial out fill in notes. Start simple. If you've never learned by ear, you shouldn't start with a complex fiddle tune or Bluegrass instrumental. Our Difficulty Slider is here to help. For any song in Tunefox you can go from complex to simple with the swipe of a finger. For iOS users, the difficulty slider can be found in the Arrange tab. For PC it is located at the bottom of the screen when viewing a tablature.

4th - use Focus to listen to a measure or section repeatedly. Repetitive listening is the name of the game when learning by ear. The more times you listen, the less likely you are to forget, and the better you will understand it. Using the Focus feature helps us do that. It also allows us to work on a piece of the song at a time. It's like cutting up your food and taking small bites. It's easier to digest that way. To Focus on a measure tap or click on the tablature lines on any measure. A pop-up window will appear. At the bottom of that window you will find the Focus feature. Tap on it to engage. Repeat the process and select unfocus to stop the loop when you are ready to move on.

5th - if you can hum it, you can strum it. Humming, singing or whistling the sounds you are hearing is absolutely your greatest tool when learning by ear. If you can match pitches and hear where the melody is ascending or descending it will help you know the next note you are looking for.

6th - if you are using pc you can click on a single note and hear that note played back. This is an amazing tool. If you have just started learning by ear, learning a note at a time will be the easiest way to go. Eventually, you'll be able to learn 2 notes at a time, then three notes and so on. Eventually you'll be able to hear entire musical phrases and play them back. Especially if the song is similar to one you've already learned.

There are a lot of common musical phrases or vocabulary that is repeatedly heard. Especially on Scruggs style banjo. Knowing common licks will be another tool in your kit that will help you to learn by ear

In conclusion, you should start simple and use all the Tunefox Tools at your disposal to help you when learning by ear. We hope you enjoy this feature!

Now go check out a song for your instrument, and start putting this stuff into practice!