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How good is my ear?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by d8g3jdh, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Ive been doiong a bit of ear training lately, and figured that i should figure out how good my ear is already before i get into it. So, i went to try and tune my bass by ear, i figure thats a good way to check. Tuning to E,A,D,G i got the E and the A strings about 10 cents sharp, and the D and the G strings about 3 cents sharp. Is this good or bad?

    Also, what are some other ways to figure out where my ear is at?

  2. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    That's not what you should be caring about. You need to learn the intervals (like thirds, fourth, fifths) and be able to improvise with them. (play what you hear in your head)
    For this test to be any good, tune one of your strings to its pitch and then using only it's open note, tune the other strings. Try to tune the G string to a G# with the D string as a reference. Or D string to Db with the A string as a refernce. Also try doing it with chords (two notes as refence points)
    Also if playing fretless you shouldn't need to know exactly what the note is but you need to know it's pitch relative to the bands tuning. The band might be a bit sharp or flat, so don't rely on you knowing exactly what an E is.
    Intonation is all relative.
  3. Garry Goodman

    Garry Goodman

    Feb 26, 2003
    You should be able to play anything (within reason) the instant you hear it. That means you need to hear every interval and 3,4,5,6,7 note chords in all inversions,and all scale sources such as major,minor,melodic minor ,blues etc.

    Knowing rhythms,phrasing and song structure in addition will allow you to play most anything you hear as you hear it. There are 119 chord progressions and once you are familiarize yourself with them,you can usually hear where the changes are going as they happen in real time.

    That's the best test I can think of to determine where your ear is at.
  4. Wolzly


    Oct 16, 2005
    Just to add something...

    The test you have already performed is more of a "perfect pitch" test then it is an "ear training" test. Like the guys before me have stated ear training is more about brain->fingers communication instead of brain->hum->fingers... it's all about cutting down on the stages of translation of information so that you are more versatile.

    Perfect pitch on the other hand is sometimes more of a hindrance than a bonus :p I know a girl (violinist) who has perfect pitch. She had to play along with a random rock-band with her quartet and got physically ill because she was being forced to play "in the cracks" and it was just messing with her brain.

    Perfect pitch is a curse because "the pitch" means nothing... it's all about fitting into the players you are with.. if they are out of tune, but you are out of tune to the same degree as they are... then it's perfectly in tune ;)

    Kinda... :p