Audiation may be a strange and unfamiliar word, but it means something you probably do every day: hear music in your head. Learning to harness this skill and develop it can benefit you in a wide variety of ways on your instrument. Taken a step further, learning to sing what you hear or audiate creates a valuable bridge between your mind’s ear and what you play.
In this month’s Instrument Packs our Pros introduce a range of ways audiation and singing can benefit you in music, along with simple exercises you can start using today to hone your audiation and use your voice to transform your playing.
Building on his teaching in the Beginning Improvisation and Major Pentatonic Resource Packs, Resident Pro for guitar Dylan Welsh explains the usefulness of audiation and singing for a range of tasks you’re already doing in your guitar playing:
- Why singing and audiation are important for guitarists, even if you don’t feel confident in your voice.
- How to use audiation and singing to learn new melodies by ear.
- How to use the same technique for playing chords by ear.
- How audiation can help you memorise new songs faster.
- Using audiation and singing to improvise in a way that breaks free of fretboard patterns.
- Practice MP3s for playing melodies and chords by ear, and improvising.
As Dylan puts it: this is a powerful tool for pretty much anything you’re doing on guitar, so if you want better results faster, it’s time to audiate and use your voice.
If there’s a bassist who’s truly free of the improvisation-by-numbers that traps many musicians it’s Steve Lawson, and in this month’s video tutorial he explains how singing can be the key to getting there yourself:
- Why sing every exercise you do on bass.
- Different ways to practice singing and audiation using scales, including a Dorian mode example.
- How this leads to you improvising in a whole new way.
- Example songs and basslines you can practice with.
- Using your voice to help you figure things out by ear.
Finding the right notes by ear becomes much easier when you use audiating and singing as stepping-stones and the more you practice with the exercises Steve teaches, the sooner you’ll be able to play the right notes first time, every time.
As Resident Pro for piano Sara Campbell points out in her video, pianists sometimes struggle because their fingers are so far from their ears! Bridging the gap through audiation and singing can help you gain the “instinct” for which notes your fingers should be playing.
- Audiation: What is it? How can you do it? And most importantly, how can audiation be useful for pianists?
- Audiation and singing exercises that you can use to sharpen your skills.
- Demonstration of specific ways to use your voice while learning to play a song by ear on the piano.
- Tips, tricks and cool stuff you can do with singing and audiation.
- MP3 Practice Tracks for singing exercises based on scales and tunes.
From simple scale-based exercises to more advanced song-based practice, Sara explains a step-by-step method to make singing and audiation an easy and natural part of your piano practice and gradually build that inner sense of where the right notes live on the keyboard.
Audiation is essential for singers in a number of ways, as Resident Pro for singing Clare Wheeler explains.
- Audiation lets you bring theory to life, judge and match pitch, stay in tune,
and harmonise by ear.
- How audiation can be the difference between an amateur and a professional choir starting a piece.
- One simple exercise and a valuable insight to practice matching pitch dead-on, first time.
- How to stay in key and not drift during a piece.
- The usefulness of memorising a single reference pitch.
- How to start learning to harmonise by ear when singing
As musicians and music lovers we all audiate in one way or another, even if it’s just when an annoying song gets stuck in our head! Clare shows how even this is an opportunity to improve as a singer, and the myriad other ways audiation can transform your accuracy, confidence and creativity when singing.
Coming up next month…
Next month our pros will be tackling scale degree recognition and sharing ways to develop your solfege note-recognition skills using your instrument.
Interested in getting access to these resources and much more, with an Instrument Pack membership? Just choose that option during checkout when you join Musical U, or upgrade your existing membership to get instant access!