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Ear Training Methods

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by 928cat, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. 928cat


    Aug 6, 2018
    Blake Bass and lowplaces like this.
  2. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Glad to see you want to study ear training. Its super important for the complete musician. May I recommend

    Ear Training

    It's free and it works.
    ryco, design, Whippet and 2 others like this.
  3. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    That’s the one I use
  4. I'm not familiar with the books you linked but there are many good apps for ear training. My favorites are one called "Tone" and another called "ChordProg"...having them on your phone is great because you can get in some ear training anywhere.

    Singing scales, chord tones, roots of chord progressions are just a few things you can do on your own.
    MattZilla likes this.
  5. 928cat


    Aug 6, 2018
    Thanks for the replies.

    Great site. I just gave it a quick try and an initial test of intervals gave me 94 out of 111 before it leveled beyond major 3rd, perfect 5th and octave. I have some work to do for sure.

    I think I'll hold off on the book for now and see how it goes with this site. I like that it is configurable so that I can hone down into the areas I'm studying at any given time, or areas that need work as I progress.

    I've been thinking of incorporating singing along as a way to internalize sounds. It sure can't hurt and from what I've been reading in various threads, it can make the difference. I plan to look into solfège as a place to start.
  6. seilerbird


    Apr 12, 2012
    Back in the 60s I wanted to train my ears better so I went to the local community college and took violin lessons. Best thing I ever did to sharpen up my hearing.
    bobba66 and IamGroot like this.
  7. DuckSoup


    Dec 20, 2017
    This is what I've been using.

    928cat likes this.
  8. 928cat


    Aug 6, 2018
    That definitely sounds like it would do the trick. Perhaps fretless bass would serve in a similar fashion for someone so inclinded.

    I have my hands full with current studies, but I did string up the old strat and pull a keyboard out of the closet to play some chords for another angle on hearing improvement.
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    No better ear-training exercise than transcribing songs, in my experience/opinion. :)
    928cat, onda'bass, bfields and 2 others like this.
  10. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Singing (solfegge or otherwise) is really good to internalize. I sing 7ths in the car on my commute....

    1 3 5 7
    1 3 5 b7
    1 b3 5 b7
    1 b3 b5 b7
    1 b3 b5 6.

    I also need to start singing scales again. Minor & major pent, major diatonic. Unfortunately, I am tied up with practicing songs.
    Quinn Roberts and eJake like this.
  11. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    If you want to know how good your ear is, select all intervals, ascending and descending, random starting note.

    I sucked when i started. I can get 95% on a good day now. I need to practice more when i can find the time.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    The only one I used was called 'golden ear'. It was along time a go..
  13. I was using 'complete ear trainer' mobile app from google play. Still am from time to time, though more for the fun of it. It was the only one with decent enough piano samples I could find few years back. However, though hard, it's not so very effective from bass player practital point of view.
    For practising musician, these tips are definitely more rewarding:

  14. Solfege is indeed very good training...

    When I was first taught ear training I believe it was a bit confusing for me. I was told to learn the sound of the intervals, then told that a perfect fourth sounds like "Here Comes The Bride"....this is partially true and misleading as not all perfect fourths in a key sound the same...I'll explain. It's wiser (in my opinion) to hear "Here Comes the Bride" as the 5th scale degree resolving up to the 1st scale degree. There are five other ascending perfect 4th intervals in a major scale but only the 5th scale degree to the 1st is and sounds like "Here Comes the Bride"

    So in my humble opinion, it's better to internalize and learn the sound/feel/color of the different scale degrees rather then learning random intervals. A good way to work on this is to play a drone of a root note on your bass and then ascend and descend in a major scale, making sure to fine tune and adjust each interval so it fits against the root you are playing. Some notes will be more dissonant then others but over time you will learn how each scale degree "feels" in the key.
    928cat, smeet, bfields and 2 others like this.
  15. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Ear is rusty.I got 83% this morning . Need to start practicing again.
  16. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN

    That was fun. I got 100% on the default (interval) settings, going until I leveled up. I'm sure if I added in more intervals and changed it to ascending/descending I wouldn't score as well.

    It looks like they have an app you can download too, which I probably will.
    IamGroot likes this.
  17. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Yep, I think your right when you throw in descending intervals which invert the interval for the same note. Everybody knows 1 5 like C G . Well its a fifth ascending, but a fourth descending.

    Best of luck.
    mmon77 likes this.
  18. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    An advantage of transcribing songs is learning to recognize entire melodic patterns, not just single intervals. For example, you hear a pattern in the first measure and you identify which notes are being played. Every time you hear that pattern, you recognize it. Even when you hear on the IV chord or the V chord. Even when you hear it in a different song in a different key. Keep doing this and you eventually have a library of ideas that you recognize even without a bass in hand and that you can hear in your head and play on your bass. When you hear a slight variation of the pattern, you can just focus on the variation, and then the variation becomes part of the library.

    I like all approaches to ear training.
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  19. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Dictation = transcription for SadoMadochists.
    onda'bass likes this.
  20. bfields


    Apr 9, 2015
    There's a simple app called "functional ear training" that takes exactly that approach. I recommend it.

    I like the Roberta Radley book a lot. It focuses on hearing chord progressions, and I seem to recall it assumes you can already transcribe a simple melody, so it might be better as a second book? But, I don't know, may be worth a try.

    If you have the chance to take a class, at a local college or whatever, take it. That should give you some structure and a good mixture of theory and singing and listening exercises.

    But, looking back I think one mistake I made as a student was thinking that I couldn't do what I really wanted to until I'd done a bunch of classes and exercises first. The exercises are worthwhile, but it's also good to keep your eye on the real goal. If there's a bass line you want to learn from a recording, for example, just go for it. It'll take some trial and error but it's doable without any special training. Start with something simple if you can, but don't put off working with real music.
    IamGroot and 928cat like this.

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