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Effortless Ear Training (v2)

Develop Professional-Grade Ears In Five Minutes A Day

The difference between great musicians and just-ok musicians is their ears.

Sure, great ears let you copy your heroes.
Sure, they help you move ideas from your brain to your instrument.
But more importantly: great ears let you accurately perceive your own shortcomings. You can't fix something you don't know is broken. And if you ain't fixing things about your playing, you damn sure ain't getting any better.


Ok fine, great ears are the best lever to improve your musical skills. But you weren't born with great ears. Neither was I. Is there any hope for us? Is there a methodology more helpful than "just keep trying (& failing) and maybe someday it'll click"?


YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.


I struggled for DECADES with mediocre ears and the painfully slow progress that goes hand in hand with them. I tried dozens of different ear training classes, books, courses, and apps. None of them worked for me.
Then I fell ass backwards into a better method, one that uses modern technology to completely transform the best methods of the past.


Here, for the first time ever, is that entire method, laid out in highly actionable step-by-step checklist format.
 

Once upon a time, the only way to learn something on guitar was by ear.

The vast majority of our guitar heroes learned this way. Ear straining training is still the cornerstone of music school education.

When free TAB first became available on the internet, we guitarists rejoiced at the newfound ease of learning.

But along the way we’ve lost something important: our ability to hear clearly, to cop licks from our favorite players, and to easily translate the sounds in our heads onto our fretboards.

  • We feel trapped inside a handful of well-worn fretboard shapes.
  • Our playing feels uninspired.
  • We struggle to learn and remember tunes.
  • Accompanying someone on a tune we don’t know is a crapshoot.
  • We can’t sing harmony.
  • We have friends who can hear a song once and imitate it, while we’re stuck looking up the TAB or chords.

We know we should be training our ears, but all the apps & courses are designed for people with formal music training, and they’re filled with cheesy synthetic piano sounds & fussy music school vocabulary.

Worse still, when we do take the initiative to tackle ear training, we work for weeks with nothing much to show for it. It’s a recipe for demotivation.

I know because I’ve been there.

Effortless Ear Training teaches your ears to instantly discern what’s going on in the music you hear so you can play it without hesitation.

No intense study sessions, no workbooks, no arcane terminology, no endless parade of soul-crushing exercises.

Just a clearly defined, do-this-one-thing-today approach that’ll take you five, maybe ten minutes each day.

With each passing day, you’ll feel noticeably more confident in your abilities. Learning riffs & solos by ear will get easier. You’ll hear a song for the first time and immediately know the chord progression.


 

How important is ear training?

I believe it’s the missing link for most modern players.

Think about it.

Jimi Hendrix.

Duane Allman.

The Beatles.

Prince.

Danny Gatton.

Stevie Ray Vaughan.

They all made timeless, transcendent music without learning any organized theoretical system.

You know what that generation had in spades that we don’t?

Keen ears.

There was no internet, no TAB books, no YouTube. Whatever they wanted to learn they had to learn by ear.

What if you had the benefit of modern learning tools AND the kind of ears that made everything fall seamlessly into place?

You can. Here’s how.

The music school method works… for people in music school.

You know, the best handful of prospective students, selected from a huge pool of applicants, fully immersed in mutually reinforcing theory, ear training, sight reading, & ensemble classes, plus private lessons, all mixed together with relentless practicing.

Four hours a day is the minimum. Eight hours a day isn’t unheard of.

They learn ear training the way a self-driving car follows its GPS: as a series of defined distances combined and recombined into directions.

Again: it works. For machines. And people with machine-like determination.

But it’s hard.

And it’s not how your heroes learned.

You’ve heard the stories:

  • A barefoot Duane Allman stopping the turntable with his toe after each lick as he sussed out a whole BB King record.
  • A nine-year-old Danny Gatton sounding out Foggy Mountain Breakdown on his brand new banjo in the backseat of the car on the way home from the music store.
  • Jimi Hendrix asking Miles Davis what a “diminished chord” was, hearing one once, then immediately playing them all over the neck.
  • Alex Van Halen returning home from a night out to find his little brother Eddie still sitting on the end of the bed, adding his personal innovations to songs he’d heard.
  • Robert Plant scatting out an improvised line and Jimmy Page playing it back on guitar with near-perfect accuracy in real time.

I’ll be honest with you: I have not personally asked these folks how they developed their ears.

But I know more than few people with these sorts of abilities and they fall neatly into two camps:

  1. The people who went to music school and learned through (often brutal) total immersion.
  2. The people who had some natural ability at hearing & imitating, who then spent years working things out by ear.

If you’re either one of those, congratulations! You sure as shit don’t need my help.

But what about the rest of us?

Can people like us, without relying on natural talent, tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and/or years of free time acquire great ears?

Yes, we can.

And it’s easy.

 

How Effortless Ear Training Works

Here's a quick overview of what you'll get


Your Instructor


Josh Frets
Josh Frets

A lucky break forced me to make the jump from "fairly decent bar band guitarist" to "professional musician" long before I was ready or qualified.

Suddenly I was surrounded by elite professional musicians, people who'd toured with huge acts and had long lists of recording credits.

It was a baptism by fire as I scrambled to quickly develop the skills & knowledge necessary to operate in this new space.

Along the way, I discovered something surprising—internet gurus and big-name music schools alike are focused on all the wrong shit.

Badass musicians the world over share a common language & a set of priorities I've never seen taught anywhere else.

It took me awhile to piece it all together & put it all in the right order.

But now that there's a clearly defined path, all that's left is for you to decide you're done with wandering blindly in the darkness, done depending on luck, ready to show up and put one foot in front of the other on the road to badassery.

I hope you'll join us.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
So... is this truly effortless? Like, I don't have to do anything at all and yet I'll develop perfect ears?
Every other ear training I've attempted felt like hacking a path through a dense jungle with a dull machete. Effortless Ear Training is like walking along the moving sidewalk at the airport. Is it easier than breathing? Well, no. But compared to the shit we jokingly called "ear straining" in music school, this feels like that moment when the water finally clears from your ear two days after you went swimming. Plus there's no wondering what to do next, or if it's even working: you just show up each day and do the next bite-sized step.
Is this a video course? A live masterclass? A series of emails? A long PDF filled with spelling errors? What's the format? How does it work?
Everything in this course is on a Trello board. Each unit is a "list." The lessons are "cards" on that list. Each card has a detailed checklist of what to do next. You'll also need a couple apps to complete the course. One of them is free. The other is $4. If you want use Trello on your device, I find that the app is worthwhile (but it's also free).
Why should I buy your course instead [this other person’s]?
Great question. If you have a course of study that’s working for you, keep on doing what you’re doing. Those other ones didn’t work for me. This one does. If you’ve tried and failed at (or even just didn’t stick with) one of the many other options, give Effortless Ear Training a try. 100% guarantee if it ain’t for you.
Do I need to read music?
Nope. This is about your ears. We'll use your eyes to improve your ears, so in a few spots I've written out a melody on a staff just so you can see the general contour of it. But that's about it.
Who Is This For?
Like all my courses, this is filtered through my experience. Pure dumb luck thrust me into the world of musical badassery long before I was qualified, and I’ve been scrambling like a madman to try to deserve that luck. The things I teach are 1) the same things I used to attain badassery myself, and 2) stress-tested in the world of professional musicianship. Have you been frustrated with your ears before? Or frustrated by the conflicting information meted out in drips by self-proclaimed gurus? Do you want to learn shit that works? And works on the big stage and not just the basement of your guitar teacher’s mom’s house? Then this is for you.
Who Is This Not For?
That said, this is not for you if you’re lazy. It’s not for you if you want someone to wave a magic wand that turns you into a badass. It’s not for you if you’re not willing to show up for a few measly minutes each day.
How long will it take?
There are four units. Everyone’s journey will be a little different, but figure a month per unit. So somewhere around four months of 5-10 minutes each day? Super easy.
Does it work for left handed Armenian klezmerbop?
Yes. These principles are rooted in universal musical principles and basic human psychology, neither of which changes much from person to person, or style to style.
I've done some of your other courses. Where does this fit in with Practical Theory, Practice Habits, Playing The Changes, and Metronome Boot Camp?
The bird’s-eye view of the whole process of learning guitar is something like: hands->theory->ear->repertoire. Practicing is the meta skill that enables the rest of it. There are thousands of sub-steps. There are some interdependencies (playing with good feel is both a hands thing and an ear thing). There's some extra credit steps (if you want to play professionally, you'll need to tackle sight reading and sound design). Fundamentals of Picking is about your hands. Effortless Ear Training is about your ears. Practical Theory is about speaking the language of badass musicians. Playing The Changes is about burning that theoretical knowledge into your hands. Metronome Boot Camp is at the intersection of hands & ears. Practice Habits is (unsurprisingly) about getting practice right.
What’s it cost?
It costs seventy five bucks. Or put another way: you could take three lessons of unknown quality in a guitar shop, or you could have a few months’ worth of proven, systematic lessons that move you measurably closer to badassery. Your choice.

Get started now!