Re-Active Listening ™ Lesson on JustinGuitar

Learn re-active listening - and try fun exercises to develop your musical listening skills and guitar improvisation!


View the full lesson at Re-Active Listening ™ | JustinGuitar

Does anyone else find the tone and timbre of the instrument you are reacting to “throwing off” your ability to identify the best notes to play or the chord that’s being played? My jamming partners sometimes have an acoustic or an electric with a different amp or even a piano. I know we are only supposed to react to the chord without necessarily recognizing it but I reckon chord recognition will be necessary later?

The reactive listening exercise is brilliant! Really helps with the ear training. Great work. Loving the lessons

This was a super cool exercise to play along with. Look forward to giving it ago with some friends when we are able to again.

Don’t see it as being too hard but do notice the difference after I found the note I was trying to find the chord and it sounded very different on my electric vs. Justin’s accoustic.

This is a great lesson. I was before going through all the steps to try to figure out what to play, x chord and this scale has these notes available. This was very helpful.

From the video, it was not always clear which chord you were playing. I had to look it up in the text notes!

I have just gotten worse the more I have done of this. I think the best I have done was the first one I ever did, and it’s just gone downhill the more I have tried this.

This was a great exercise, I really enjoyed something different and more interactive!

Having trouble with this one as I don’t understand the reason for learning this. Is it all about improvisation? To be honest most of the note choices in the exercises work for me. May be my ears really have shot it!!

@Stuartw It is all about developing your ear to recognise the good / better / best notes that suit the underlying chord. When improvising, you are cast-iron guaranteed to land on a not-quite-so-good note now and again. Or more often than that! The key is to be able to detect it yourself. And, to know how to make a swift adjustment and move to a good / better / best note over that chord. If you do this in a smart manner, no-one will notice, everyone will marvel at your prowess and ability to play and use some ‘interesting passing tones’ as you reach the exalted status of jazz virtuoso!

Hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Approved Teacher

The problem I have is that my ears are shot, due partly to too much loud music/concerts when younger and partly hereditary, so differentiating between notes is a problem.

More chance of going to the moon!!

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I don’t understand how to practice this. Is there anything I can do like the exercise in this video? I don’t have a jamming partner and any backing tracks I can find on the internet are either too fast for me to find the right note or they don’t play the chord enough times before I can identify the notes. Any tips?

Hello @Kakashi4 and welcome to the Community.

A simple option is to play a chord yourself, then the notes, then play the chord again, then the notes. Bouncing back and forth between chord and notes is an entirely credible method of hearing them together and trying to pick the ‘good’ notes.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

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I don’t understand this. For me nothing really sounds bad which makes it hard to find the right note. I just can’t hear what is right and what is wrong.

heya, it isn’t a right or wrong thing, all the notes are useful in improvising, you are just trying to identify what sounds the most natural accompaniment to the chord. I think maybe it is better to go with your gut instinct on it a bit rather than think too hard about which one is better.

There is plenty of theory that explains why that is but none of them are ‘wrong’ which Justin corrects himself on partway through just one that sounds like it goes best with the chord most naturally.

Thank you for the answer. That explanation was very helpful!

Check out the piano solo in David Bowe’s Aladdin Sane, for example. If you would like to practice improvisation over diatonic chord progressions, especially on a beginner level, this is not the way how you would like to sound.

I really enjoyed this lesson. Improvisation always sounds intimidating to me, but this lesson made it a little less intimidating. I was able to find the “correct” notes, so that was encouraging!

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