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Interval training for my 14 year old

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Steve Clark, Sep 9, 2008.


  1. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    We pick tunes that help us remember intervals. Hear Comes the Bride for perfect 4, O Canada minor 3rd. Maria Ma7. Maria means nothing to my son who does listen to a wide range of music. Can TBers give me some more modern tunes that I can use to help him with intervals. He likes everything from early Bowie to Jamiroquai to Protest the Hero. Ascending and descending would be great.
     
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    That strategy has it's place in the beginning stage, but to really get going with recognizing intervals, sight-singing, dictation, transcription and a simple interval drill applet are all great.

    I have found that no single approach works best for everyone. The problem is that for many musicians, they have to try several remedies if they are stuck.

    Probably the cheapest and most effective way to get a quick boost in skill is brute force drill with a computer.

    There are a number of free applets and programs that can do what is needed. The problem is that most of them have a zillion bells and whistles.

    To drill intervals, find a program (browser hosted or native) that will allow the following options to begin:

    1. restrict range to a single octave
    2. present intervals as a sequence of two pitches, not as a two-note "chord," with unrestricted repetition before an answer is given.
    3. restrict intervals to diatonic intervals from major and minor scales.
    4. allow difficulty to be increased
    5. allows for some degree of intelligent tracking of right and wrong answers. The
    more the software will focus on weaknesses rather than present random items, the better.
    6. allows for eventual (controllably gradual) inclusion of all chromatic
    intervals within a span of several octaves.

    !5-20 minutes a day for a few weeks generally transformed my ear training students at Columbia, Stanford, San Francisco State, and the University of Kentucky. It did not turn them in to good readers, good transcribers, or better musicians. It did allow them to make much more and much faster progress in transcription, sight singing, error detection, and dictation. Ah, Wilderness! :cool:
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    All the great nursery rhymes are good for intervals. "Can we sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" again, Dad?" ;)

    Every song has intervals. Early Bowie? "Suffragette City" is a good simple tune. "Panic In Detroit" is a good one for showing him intervals for walking over rock tunes.
     
  4. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    http://www.teoria.com/exercises/ie.htm

    You're welcome! :smug:

    15 min/day and he'll be in relatively good shape (har har) for any college-level ear training classes in a few weeks or so. It even has a clock so you know how long you've been doing the exercises, and it continually updates your percentage of correct answers.
     
  5. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Excellent. Thanks everyone. Its great that he's doing this in Grade 9. It will be great practice for both of us as we work on it together.
     
  6. DudeistMonk

    DudeistMonk

    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Dave you are the man! I just can't use the interval thing on activebass, but this! I was able to limit my choices to the major scale and ascending and I'm starting to get them right for once!

    And I can do it at work!
     

  7. Yes, awesome site for sure.

    Check out also "Gnu Solfege". It's an application (not a web site), but gives much the same options when you're not online.

    One thing I like about it over the site is that you can actually have it present the (midi) output as a bass guitar "sound", and use a bass neck as the input diagram. It also has many other instruments; 5 and 6 string bass, various guitars, accordions (?!), etc.

    Keeps track of statistics, you can setup tests, and does more than intervals - scales, rhythms, etc. Good stuff.
     

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