As you continue on this great venture as a guitar player, you’re going to notice that inevitably, your ear will be improving. This comes from simply having to listen to, and play more music, and from really getting to recognize certain elements in music that tend to repeat themselves.
After all, it’s all really been played and written before in some form or another, and the “archetypes” that repeat themselves over and over start to really present themselves to you over time! Certainly, I know that once I really started to recognize phrases and other subtleties within guitar playing, it became a lot easier for me to understand what seemed like “unreachable” passages by certain players. The real trick is to begin to recognize things so well, that even though you may hear 100 notes mysteriously flying by, a certain grouping of 3 or 4 within the phrase will certainly become at least something you can “hang your hat on” from a recognition standpoint. This in turn, tells you where the guitarist might be on the fretboard, and will help you to define and find the other notes and phrases that are in the vicinity of what you can recognize.
This is a key element when it comes to “fine tuning” your ear, and as you can well imagine, this ability will only continue to improve as you mature as a player, and as your experience starts to really grow. Just as I always keep on saying, “one good thing always leads to another”, and this is so true of musical knowledge. I love to imagine that “big fingerboard in the sky” which has always become my true musical benchmark, and a reference point that I use to always come up with new ideas. The same should always be true for you, as you keep making your “ear” a more and more trustworthy partner to have!
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of all of this, especially since no matter the process you are learning by, the development of your ear will be the single most important development for you as you go through your musical life! My ear has never let me down, and it just seems to actually improve with age. I used to have perfect relative pitch…now I have perfect pitch altogether, as well as perfect relative pitch, which of course, is the foundation of learning to recognize anything musical!
So, learn as you go, and listen as you learn….it all comes together sooner or later, and when it does, it’s one of the great revelations for anyone who aspires to be a musician! Best of luck!