Even if you’re a casual guitarist, the sort who plays just for the fun of it, you’ve probably heard a little bit about ear training. “Ear training” means, simply put, training your ears to recognize the details of music like the intervals between notes and what chords are being played, as well as how to identify different rhythms. It’s often part of college and university music programs and so on. Is it worth it, though, for a guitarist to put in the time and effort that ear training takes? Well, a lot of the concerns that even casual guitar players have can be addressed through ear training. Many say that they wish they knew how to play by ear as though it’s some kind of special, innate skill that only the chosen few can possess, but learning to play by ear is actually one of the immediate outcomes of ear training. Similarly, through ear training you can acquire the skills necessary to transcribe music accurately. As you’ve probably found out, the vast majority of the guitar tabs and chord charts available on the internet range from fairly inaccurate to completely wrong, and the best way to overcome this problem is to do it yourself. With ear training, it’s actually pretty easy. By the same token, ear training will have benefits in terms of sight-reading sheet music, which is another skill a lot of people say they wish they had. Ear training will also improve your composition abilities, as it gives you the tools to translate the musical ideas in your head to your guitar and voice. You’ll also find you have a better sense for what’s going on in the songs you hear and the tendencies of your favourite songwriters and guitarists. If you’re playing with other musicians, the skills you can gain through ear training will help you play with them in a more natural way; you’ll never have to ask what key or chord you need to be in, and you can play your instrument the way you want to. What’s more, you’ll know if you’re in tune or not, and you won’t need an electronic tuner anymore, which was a hassle in itself. So, if you’re wondering how much a guitarist might benefit from ear training, the answer is: very much so. Ear training can prove helpful in virtually every aspect of guitar playing, eliminating a lot of the hassles and worries, and allowing you to just play.