Test and improve your abilty to recognise chords by ear. This program plays a random succession of chords that you have to identify before the chord name is revealed. Chords included in the program (divided into four levels of difficulty) are all major, minor, 7th, minor 7th and major 7th chords in root position. All the chords are originally midi files and each chord is arranged as a single common guitar chord shape, e.g., G major always sounds as it would when played on frets 320003 of the guitar.
Choose a level (from 1 to 4) to suit your current ability and try to name each chord as you hear it. Use your guitar to match the individual notes, string by string, until you recognise the chord from the shape that emerges on the fretboard. Alternatively, try it without the guitar and see if you can name the chord type by its distinctive flavour.
Naming the root too, (e.g., C major instead of just 'major') is far more difficult without the guitar, but with enough practice and countless wrong guesses, you can start to recognise the relationship between the current chord and the previously played (and named) chord. Recognising the relationship and knowing the root of the previous chord makes it possible to calculate the root of the current chord. This is especially true at level 1 as all the chords at that level belong to the key of C major and it's quite easy to hear their relationships within the key. The chord C major, for example will sound complete and final as it's the key chord or tonal centre, while G7 will sound incomplete and feel like it needs to resolve to the key centre, C. (known as the dominant - tonic, or V7 - I progression).
At higher levels, chromatic notes are featured, so there's no feeling of key to help you, but the chord-to-chord relationships can often still be recognised.
If you need more time to identify the chords, increase the "Number of times to play each chord" option to however many you need, or use the pause button. Conversely, as you get faster at finding the chords within any given level, reduce the number of repetitions.
Chord Ear Trainer
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