Lesson Plan


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Lesson notes

Hearing chord progressions and chord changes is another vital aspect of ear training. We start this phase off with focusing on the five common guitar keys and listening to progressions using only the primary chords.

These would be I, IV, and V, with V frequently expanded to being a seventh chord. The first few parts of this section include three progressions played in various keys and rhythms.

The next three segments of our Harmony Phase in Ear Training start with a look at what we heard with Progression #3. It then continues with some thoughts about hearing the minor chords, and three new progressions incorporating the ii and vi chords of the key.

We review progressions 4-6 then take a look, or a listen to our last chord in the key, the minor chord iii. Part 10 then continues with a couple progressions using all six primary chords in the key. These are also longer than what we have heard so far, more like verses to songs.

Part 11 reviews what we heard in Part 10 and Part 12 starts looking at the primary seventh chords in the major key. This includes three minor sevenths, two major sevenths and the dominant seventh that falls on step five. Part 13 then has examples of recognizable progressions that use some of the sevenths that we are working on hearing and identifying.

Part 14 goes over what was played in Part 13, then Part 15 enters the world of Secondary Chords. These would be chords outside the key but usually in a nearby key and commonly used by songwriters. We then have another “Listen” segment with more varied and complex progressions.

Wrapping up Phase II of our Ear Training Series we review the progressions we heard in Part 16 and then go through a suggested list of Songs To Know, or at least Progressions To Recognize. The songs start with basic two-chord songs and cover common progressions and bass note patterns. The list of songs is only the tip of the iceberg but it should give you a firm foundation to start with as you improve your listening and recognizing skills.