Show and Tell

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A Favorite in a Recent Ear Training Practice Group: Show and Tell (Al Wilson)

My students tell me they are scoring points with their partner when practicing this one! It’s a great tune – awesome singing, cool arrangement, and a smooth and groovy bass line! It is deceptively tricky, too. Right out of the gate you are operating over three of your four strings, and only playing one single note on each string: that’s great coordination training!

The tune is in the key of D – a bit tricky to hear as it starts on G – which is of course the IV chord. Then the pre-chorus takes us to an unexpected but cool place chord-wise using the concept of “borrowed chords” AKA “modal interchange”. (Simply explained as essentially pretending for a moment that the tune is in D minor, not D major, then the F, Bb and A make good sense. It is an often-used device for bridges and sounds great!) Adding even more interest, the pre-chorus ends on an A and we head into the chorus – it does not resolve to the I chord which I think is a really cool twist. Instead, it goes back to the IV chord, just like the song started 🙂

The main riff is a major pentatonic that moves the song forward nicely with its anticipated downbeat. Root-5-6 is the main motif for the verses and chorus with the 5 and 6 of the root chord going to the lower octave in the chorus rather than the higher ones as in the intro and verses.

Major pentatonics, some scalar runs, and a few chromatics thrown in for good measure make up the meat of the song. The toughest spots are bars 14 and 15 with its cool rhythms. But fear not, I help you navigate those funky rhythms!

Here is the PDF (update your browser or right-click this link to Show and Tell if you cannot see the below)



In our Eartraining Practice Groups we tackle and transcribe songs like this together during the 10-week course. I show you how to do this step by step. Join us! Our next group starts on January 28th – Group A is the one where we work on this tune! Are you in??

If you were in the Group that just finished in December, your next group is Group B! You can start with either Group. The more I do these groups, the more I learn about what students need the most and the best way to teach it in this format. I am extremely happy with the success our students have had with these Practice Groups! Check it out for yourself!


Prerequisites: Basic playing technique is needed. It is not necessary to do Level A before Level B, though. The groups work on different songs that highlight different challenges.



  • Starting January 28th
  • Fridays, 9AM Pacific
  • 10 weeks live with Ari on zoom (recordings provided if you miss a session)









  • Starting January 7th
  • Fridays, Noon Pacific
  • 10 weeks live with Ari on zoom (recordings provided if you miss a session)





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