Ear Training

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by gonzo85, Apr 10, 2001.

  1. gonzo85


    Mar 25, 2001
    I was recently reading bass player (yeah, yeah, yeah) and I saw an advertisement for a perfict pitch program that caught my eye. It supposedly will have you naming notes upon hearing them soon after using the program. If anyone knows if this works, let me know--or if you have any good tips for training my ear. Thanks.
  2. The idea behind the perfect pitch program is that every note has a set of qualities relative to only that note. Instead of listening to the pitch of each note and trying to decipher what note it is, you listen 'beyond' the note for certain characteristics that distinguishes that note from another.

    Does it work?? I dunno, I never finished the program. I can tell that with the time I did invest into it, the theory does hold water. What they do is start you out with a couple notes and then add from there. At four notes you'll be working in minor thirds: A,C, Eflat and F#. Once you get to this point it gets a little tougher because you can't rely on relative pitch as much. After awhile you do recognize some of the notes' characteristics but they are so subtle it does take a lot of practice. The biggest downfall of this program is you have to have someone spend the time it would take to master the course playing all these random notes. That's where I ran into problems. It's not the most exciting thing in the world having to play random notes to someone while they try to guess what note it is.

    Can this program help you? Yes. Even though I didn't complete the course, it did help me in other aspects of ear training. I found my relative pitch became much more acute. I'm still not a big proponent of this program, though. If you really want to do some good ear training, I would pick a song you really like and learn the bass part from the recording. If you keep doing that, you'll not only develop your ear, you'll probably be able to cull some good ideas from the music you learned.;)
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Gary Willis has a much cheaper ear training book and CD he has written for bassists and guitarists. He has a systematic approach based on relative pitch. From what I have heard about the program you mention that is advertised in Bass Player and many other magazines, Willis' plan may be every bit as good.

    The book is called "Ultimate Ear Training for Guitar and Bass" with CD by Gary Willis. You can buy it at


    When you reach the site, look at the left under product categories, scroll to ear training and you will be taken to a description of the book. I tried to give you a direct link, but all I get is the main page.
  4. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    If you don't want to sign up on a program, there's something at www.activebass.com that may be of use. Scroll down about half way, and there's a section on the right-hand menu called Hot Tools - click on the Ear Training Tools option below it. I'm not saying it'll have as much sucess as a devoted course, but it should at least allow you to get a little practise in.
  5. I tried the one you're speaking of, but I sent it back because it really didn't work for me. Besides, it's so simple, it wasn't worth $150!