Ear Training and Visualization

Nice games, thanks for sharing with our members! I think guitarists of all ages who are game freaks will really enjoy these; and certainly kids. Could be good motivation for learning the staff and the fretboard more quickly. The more tools like this that a teacher can have to inspire a student, the better! Good work. Martha Masters
Executive VP and GM,
Guitar Foundation of America

What is Woody Says?

Woody Says is a Musical Copy Cat Game hosted by our mascot Woody (The walking guitar).

Why Play a Musical Copy Cat Game?

The guitar is a visual instrument. Just look at it, the strings and frets form a big grid. Scales and chords can easily be moved around the neck just by changing position. But along with this visual nature comes certain problems. Namely the fact that you can play the instrument without thinking of what sound you want to produce. A rock player could simply put their finger on the right fret from the right pattern and think the are making music. A classical guitarist might be able to read all the right notes without regards to what sounds they produce. But ultimately playing notes from a pattern or a page won't make beautiful inspiring music. A connection must be made between where notes are on the guitar and what they sound like. Enter Woody Says a musical copycat game.

A copycat game is a game where you mimic what appears on the screen. A melody is played on the guitar fretboard (or piano keys) and you echo it back by clicking on the correct frets (or keys). By doing this over and over you create an association between he sounds produced and the distance on the guitar fretboard (or piano keyboard). At first you practice with the game showing you exactly where each note is. Once you are comfortable with this you use "Blind Fold" mode where the game only shows where the first note of a melody is and you have to use your ear to tell you where the other notes are.

What else does musical copycat game do? Train your memory. The game forces you to memorize a melody fast, a skill that will assist any guitar player regardless of style.

The Game

Woody Says - Ear Training, Memorization, and Visualization

Game play on Woody Says is fairly straight forward. You will see a guitar fretboard (or piano keyboard) and hear a melody play. As the melody plays the location of the notes will light up. Simply echo back the notes that were played by clicking on the guitar frets that were played. For example if the melody consists of the 2nd string 1st fret followed by 2nd string 3rd fret, click on those two notes in that order. Timing does not matter, only the order of pitches (notes) matters.

A few guideposts worth mentioning: When the computer is playing the melody the cursor is shaped like an ear:

Ear Cursor

Should you need to stop playback, click on the stop button:

Stop Button

Or if you need to hear the melody play again click on "Replay." You are allowed 3 playbacks per melody.

Replay Button

When it's your turn to enter the melody the cursor is shaped like a finger:

Finger Cursor

The game continues until you make three mistakes on a single melody, the mistakes are shown by the red "X"s in the bottom left-hand corner:


The melodies are all four measures long, if you make it to the end of the melody you receive a bonus and a new melody begins. Your score, along with your best score and the high across the web is shown on the top of the game screen:

Score Bar


Woody says has several settings available, they control the games difficulty and appearance. The difficulty of the game is controlled by the level box on the opening screen. 1 is easy, 10 is difficult. You can change the appearance of the game in two ways. First you can choose between guitar and piano mode.

Piano View

Secondly you can choose to be blind-folded or not. When the game is in blind fold mode it only shows the location of the first note of the melody. For the rest of the notes you need to figure out where the note is located by ear. This is difficult! If you miss in blind fold mode the game will show you on your next turn where the note was, so you don't have to keep guessing. Blind Fold mode is great for ear training! Every player should make it their goal to eventually play the game in blind fold mode.

System Requirements

Works with any computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) with an internet browser (that's you if you are reading this) running flash player 8 or higher. Chances are very good you won't need to install anything, but if you are experiencing difficulty visit Adobe's Flash Download Page.

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This is a great tool for ear training. By visually and aurally locating tone patterns on the fretboard, you will hone your "inner ear." Ear training, which is often overlooked in guitar studies, is essential to advancing your improv skills.James Duchon
Edgewater, FL, U.S.A.

I have just started using this game and it is great; however, it occurred to me that it would be better if I could plug my guitar into my computer, or plug in a microphone like the one is use for Skype, and actually interact with the game using my guitar.

Maybe there is a technical reason that this can't be done that I'm not aware of, but if possible, it would improve the game. Daniel Pantalone
Guilford, CT USA

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