Ear Training

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
Arro204
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Ear Training

Post by Arro204 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:51 pm

I want to be able to spell out the notes of say a Major or minor chord after I have heard them. In other words a guitar player would play G Major and I would tell him or her the middle note is B

What is the best way to go about this and does anyone recommend some online resources.

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BugDog
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Re: Ear Training

Post by BugDog » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:38 pm

I'm also interested in this.

There are some online training sites out there but as I only have dial up I don't have useful access to them and so can't help you there. There are some software programs for ear training, some free (GNU solfege), some commercial (Ear Master). Seems that the approaches vary somewhat.

It seems to me that what you want is a pretty advanced skill and you'll have to do some ground work first. Interval training is what I think it's called.

I'm stumbling through this myself. So far I can work through the degrees of a major scale but progress has been slow.
BugDog
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twang
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Re: Ear Training

Post by twang » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:14 pm

BugDog wrote:I'm also interested in this....

I'm stumbling through this myself. So far I can work through the degrees of a major scale but progress has been slow.
Well, that makes three of us. I've tried several software package over the years and none of them have helped-- and it wasn't for lack of trying. I recently started with a book, _The "Real Easy" Ear Training Book_ by Roberta Radley. It's too soon to say if it helps.

I'm currently working on learning to use solfege on the guitar and working on my singing. I don't sing because I can't sing. I used to think it was because I couldn't hear the pitches well enough and that I needed ear training. Now, I think it's the other way around-- I never learned to use my voice. While using a vocal pitch app on my phone I discovered a distinct inability to fine-tune a pitch I wanted to sing.

Anyway, that's not why I posted. What I really wanted was to know more about what other folks are doing in this area.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

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BugDog
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Re: Ear Training

Post by BugDog » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:52 pm

I'm beginning to think that ear training is a tying together of the other aspects of music learning.

What I mostly do is walk through the woods (optional) singing the scale degrees. That is do, re, do, mi, do, fa, etc., then back down do, ti, do, la, do, si, etc.. I use the degree numbers too (do = 1, ti = 7). I'll also try to figure out in solfege the notes of a simple song. I can do things like "Three Blind Mice" but not much more complicated things and nothing in a minor yet.

In spare moments I'll do something similar with the guitar in hand. Find my tonic on the guitar. Then sing a degree and check it with the guitar.

I think that what I'm missing is the notation aspect of this. That is, this ear training has to extend to what you see on the page and you need to be able to write what you hear. I'm in the very early stages of this but I'm hoping for a synergetic effect.
BugDog
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2handband
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Re: Ear Training

Post by 2handband » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:20 pm

Probably the most effective thing you could do is sign up for a college level aural skills course... they're usually very good. But it's not practical for most people... they usually have co-requirements (you have to take theory along with it) and it's often closed to non-majors. There are probably some online resources but I don't know what they are. I've long since given up trying to get my students to take ear training seriously.

Robin
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Re: Ear Training

Post by Robin » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:34 am

Arro204 wrote:I want to be able to spell out the notes of say a Major or minor chord after I have heard them. In other words a guitar player would play G Major and I would tell him or her the middle note is B

What is the best way to go about this and does anyone recommend some online resources.
I agree with some of the other posters that you would want to develop the ability to recognize intervals and understand what major, minor (natural, harmonic, melodic) scales sound like. There are many books and programs to learn this but why not use the music you are working on? You can take a small section and look at the horizontal lines (ie melody line or bass line) and chart out the intervals between each note. Play them, one by one. Sing them. Identify what they are. You may find scale segments or chord outlines or non-chord tones. Next look at the intervals vertically to discover how the chord voicings are built. Play them, listen to them. Sing the tones from lowest to highest, highest to lowest. Being able to "name that note" might be a cool skill or help to pass an academic test but all those intervals work together to create music. Having some understanding of the function of the intervals (theory/composition/style) helps build understanding too.

Some people use song segments to remember the sound of certain intervals. You can easily search for "songs for interval identification" to find sound bits (E A S Y E A R T R A I N I N G) or lists.

Have fun!

Robin
So much music, so little time.

Luis_Br
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Re: Ear Training

Post by Luis_Br » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:50 am

I strongly recommend Functional Ear Trainer, developed by Alain Benbassat:
http://www.miles.be/software/34-functio ... trainer-v2.
There is a nice version for Android with more features (basic features for free, more features is paid).
It is free and his method really works. I have several friends who could recognize any note from a major scale on the fly, from any music, after 2-3 months of daily practice with this software. Even if you check messages from android users, a lot of people said it worked for them.
The difference from this software from the others is that it has a mehtod to make your brain learn the interval leaps from each note within the scale through the process. The method is very simple, but effective. He divides the scale in two parts, C-D-E-F and G-A-B-C. After each trial, the software repeats the steps down or up, according to which of those groups has the note. This division in two groups make it very easy for the brain to memorize the steps. Daily practice of no more and no less than 10 minutes (as recommended by Alain) is enough for the brain develop the recognition of each interval step. After you learn those steps, you start learning notes in between, through cromatic step from the previous ones.

Another great software, IMO, is the Ear Training Companion for Absolute Pitch.
This is the best software to develop the skill for the first post question.
I am not sure it really works developing Absolute Pitch for several people. Worked for me to develop for the C while practicing it (first note to learn in the software exercises). After a couple years not practicing it anymore and a bit out of music practice, I "forgot" it.
But anyways, the software opened my ear a lot. It is nice because it also has a method. It is not made of simple alleatory drills. In this case, the objective is to develop "absolute pitch". The exercises are simple, you have to recognize if there is a C note within the melody from each drill. And you have a basic melody which includes the C to compare with. To a musician, the first drills are quite easy, since you can compare the drill with the melody and check for the C. But as level increases, the difficulty relies on speed of playing each note as well as simultaneous notes (harmonic sounds) that begin to "blur" the C note in the drill.
I could quickly pass a lot of initial drills, at that time I could already recognize notes within a major chord played harmonically, but when the software started to throw out some clusters of several simultaneous notes, including a lot of dissonances, to recognize if the C note is inside there became quite challenging to me. Wether it really develops absolute pitch or not, those drills opened up my ear a lot for recognizing notes within complex chords as well as inside quick passages.

Besides those softwares, I think the most important thing is to sing. I recommend a local choir, normally you find public or school choirs you can simply join in for free. You will certainly learn a lot and have some fun too.

2handband
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Re: Ear Training

Post by 2handband » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:08 pm

I'd like to throw out there that this is a topic that doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. If you want to be any kind of musician AT ALL developing your ear should be a matter of the highest priority. In his introduction to the Nuevo Methodo de Guitarra Dionisio Aguado advises:
Anyone who devotes himself to an instrument with a view to making progress must first have learned sol-fa...
I remember when I was taking first year aural skills in college, and watching my classmates flounder around. These people had been singing and/or playing an instrument for years, and would struggle to identify the simplest intervals. I become convinced at that point that the study of aural skills should be an integral part of the study of any instrument, or possibly even come in advance.

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BugDog
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Re: Ear Training

Post by BugDog » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:18 pm

2handband wrote:I'd like to throw out there that this is a topic that doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. If you want to be any kind of musician AT ALL developing your ear should be a matter of the highest priority. In his introduction to the Nuevo Methodo de Guitarra Dionisio Aguado advises:
Anyone who devotes himself to an instrument with a view to making progress must first have learned sol-fa...
I remember when I was taking first year aural skills in college, and watching my classmates flounder around. These people had been singing and/or playing an instrument for years, and would struggle to identify the simplest intervals. I become convinced at that point that the study of aural skills should be an integral part of the study of any instrument, or possibly even come in advance.
Yeah, I'm sadly coming to agreement with this. Looking back on the work done earlier in the learning process, it seems that ear training could have been incorporated into much of that, had the need been identified then. Think of all the methods out there that don't say anything about that aspect of the process. As it is I have to play catch up.

One of the problems is that it seems, at least at my stage, that it's a bit like lifting weights. Boring and not particularly pleasant to do, and takes awhile just to see the smallest of progress. Furthermore If you stop you regress somewhat so one has to be committed. I wish there was a checklist somewhere that listed the steps required and the order they needed to be completed. Kind of flying blind here.
BugDog
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2handband
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Re: Ear Training

Post by 2handband » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:55 pm

BugDog wrote:
2handband wrote:I'd like to throw out there that this is a topic that doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. If you want to be any kind of musician AT ALL developing your ear should be a matter of the highest priority. In his introduction to the Nuevo Methodo de Guitarra Dionisio Aguado advises:
Anyone who devotes himself to an instrument with a view to making progress must first have learned sol-fa...
I remember when I was taking first year aural skills in college, and watching my classmates flounder around. These people had been singing and/or playing an instrument for years, and would struggle to identify the simplest intervals. I become convinced at that point that the study of aural skills should be an integral part of the study of any instrument, or possibly even come in advance.
Yeah, I'm sadly coming to agreement with this. Looking back on the work done earlier in the learning process, it seems that ear training could have been incorporated into much of that, had the need been identified then. Think of all the methods out there that don't say anything about that aspect of the process. As it is I have to play catch up.

One of the problems is that it seems, at least at my stage, that it's a bit like lifting weights. Boring and not particularly pleasant to do, and takes awhile just to see the smallest of progress. Furthermore If you stop you regress somewhat so one has to be committed. I wish there was a checklist somewhere that listed the steps required and the order they needed to be completed. Kind of flying blind here.
I'm not sure exactly where you're at, but the way I start the process is I teach students to play major scales, and have them sing up and down with solfege syllables while playing them. After awhile I have them do it without the guitar. Then I introduce some simple sequences, and we graduate to singing simple melodies with solfege. And so on. Most students don't take it seriously, and I've learned over the years to not push it.

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BugDog
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Re: Ear Training

Post by BugDog » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:02 pm

Well that's encouraging because that's close to what I've been attempting.
BugDog
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Lawler
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Re: Ear Training

Post by Lawler » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:01 pm

As a guitarist, nothing you do to educate your ear is ever wasted. The ear directs the playing. Everything about how you perceive the music affects how you play, expressively.

As my own ear developed I found that what I noticed and felt in the music was heightened.

Luis_Br
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Re: Ear Training

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:04 am

BugDog wrote:One of the problems is that it seems, at least at my stage, that it's a bit like lifting weights. Boring and not particularly pleasant to do, and takes awhile just to see the smallest of progress. Furthermore If you stop you regress somewhat so one has to be committed. I wish there was a checklist somewhere that listed the steps required and the order they needed to be completed. Kind of flying blind here.
Both softwares I've mentioned have a well programmed sequence for the learning that works quite well with only around 10 min per day of practice, in my experience. The first one with only 2-3 months of daily practice the results are amazing.

Arro204
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Re: Ear Training

Post by Arro204 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:01 am

Thank you all for your replies. This is the first post I made on this website and what a terrific response.
I'll check out the links that Luis_Br posted for sure.
I particularly like the websites that play a very well known melody as a memory jolter, and then it plays a few notes that you have to name. You then sing those notes and the well known melody should make it easier to remember. I find them a bit of fun.

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Tom Poore
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Re: Ear Training

Post by Tom Poore » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:21 pm

I tried looking at the site
Luis_Br wrote:I strongly recommend Functional Ear Trainer, developed by Alain Benbassat:
http://www.miles.be/software/34-functio ... trainer-v2.
I tried this link, but the web site didn’t work on my computer. If anyone else has the same problem, then try this link:

http://www.musictheory.net

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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