My ear?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Nickthebassist, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. I have a very bad ear indeed, I try and try to improve it but can't. I've never seen anything in bass grades that says you HAVE to have a good ear to pass the grade.......
  2. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    First, realize that it's more important to recognize intervals (the distance from the root to the note) than it is to recognize the note itself, an Eb or A etc.. That will come later. I hope you know your scales. Start off with some 70's classic rock. It's all in standard tuning and follows the minor or blues scales fairly religiously (AC/DC, Ted Nugent, etc.).

    Scales are just finger patterns, they mean nothing by themselves. What you have to realize is that the 5th of A minor sounds the same as the 5th of G major sounds the same as 5th of Eb minor etc. ALL INTERVALS SOUND THE SAME!!!!!! Only the keys change. This is how I, and everybody else not born with perfect pitch learns music by ear (I assume). I ask my guitarist what key he's in and I just go from there. It also helps if he yells out the key changes when it's a new song or we're freestyling.

    Try this: go look up some tab for a song and just look at the first note of the song. That's probably the key. Go from there. Remember it takes alot practice and time Nick. Don't fall into the trap,"I wasn't born with perfect pitch."

    I wish you the best of luck.

  3. You're confusing me. I don;t udnerstand all this 'key' stuff. I never have. What does KEY actually mean? What is KEY? How do you find something's key? I'm confused.
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
  5. 1+
    Oysterman showed a good site probably cause I use the site everyday to help get my ears in order although sitting at a keyboard helps too.
    Also learn songs by ear but make sure the songs are easy ones to learn for starters it may take you a while but only by repetition would this become easier.
    You could even figure out nursery rhymes or playing your national anthem by ear
    Even playing a major scale but real slowly so you can hum or sing each note everyday for 5 to 10 mins would be of a great benefit for your ears
    Bassically Listen Study Play :bassist:
  6. The best way I've found is to play a lot of scales and get used to each note. You don't necessarily need to know the note, as was pointed out, but know what interval it represents compared to the tonic (the root note). Play major and minor to begin with, and eventually try to get the modes under your belt. Basically though, learn the important intervals (perfect fifth, octave, major/minor third) and work from there. Try to hum the pitch of the note you think will come out of hitting that interval, and then play it on your bass (you don't even have to hum, just imagine it). Be able to identify thirds, fifths, and octaves, and you can work from there later, as I generally associated sixths and sevenths as relative to the fifth and octave, respectively. For example, the minor sixth is a little higher pitched than the perfect fifth, and the major sixth is a little higher than that. And the major seventh is a little flatter than the octave, while the minor seventh is lower than that. And so on. Of course, that's assuming you know these terms. if not, musical theory lessons would definitely be a good start. Essentially though, having a good ear as it relates to bass tends to reflect your understanding of the bass and the notes at your disposal. Scales, modes, and chords will give you a good idea of that. It's all about practice and familiarity.
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Once you have mastered your intervals, practice transcribing, practice singing what you play and playing what you sing, practice singing melodies with solfege(do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do) practice hearing things internally, build your INNER EAR.
  8. I tabbed out the muisc to Snowman once! Lmao, does that count? I also worked out the riff to KoRn, Here To Stay, but I didn't realise the 5 string was detuned, and I'd never actually played along with it with my bass, I'd just found something that soudned like the right intervals in the right places. I'll keep working at it, cheers for the help.
  9. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Try this one, then. It's Flash-based, not as advanced, but enough for your needs I would think.

    Click on "Ear Trainer".
  10. I have no ides what a 'major 2nd or 3rd or 4th' is. I don't have a clue what to do. I think I'm a lost cause guys, sorry.
  11. I got 5 out of 14 and I set it not to do intervals outside of one octave. How rubbish am i?!
  12. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Well, if you have no ideas what the intervals are, then you did great. Lucky guesser. The intervals' names are based on how many half steps (=frets on bass) they are from the root note. Say the root (R) is an open E. Then you have:

    E = Root (fret 0)
    F = Minor/flat 2nd (fret 1)
    F#/Gb = (Major) 2nd (fret 2... etc)
    G = Minor/flat 3rd
    G#/Ab = (Major) 3rd
    A = (perfect) 4th
    A#/Bb = raised 4th/flat ("diminished" on GKN) 5th
    B = (perfect) 5th
    C = Minor/flat 6th
    C#/Db = (Major) 6th
    D = Minor/flat 7th
    D#/Eb = (Major) 7th
    E = Octave (fret 12)

    This information is not a well-kept secret, and I can't help but think that with a little effort from your side (and Google), you would easily have found this on your own. Next time, perhaps?
  13. Well I have some idea, but my ear needs a boit of training. I know what intervals are......I just don't see how a NOTE can be a certain key on its own.....
  14. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    It can't.

    Have I got this right? You've been getting lessons for four years and you don't know what a key is? You need to ditch your teacher.
  15. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    A note is a note. A key is a key. An interval is an interval. Those are the basics. What roles different notes (and the intervals between them) may play in different contexts (keys), is beside the point here.

    An interval is always relative to a chosen root note (and its octaves). On the ear training sites, this root note is arbitrary and random. You don't need to know specifically what note that is - you only need to identify the interval between it and the second note that is played. Identifying the actual notes is something for people with perfect pitch - not many have that. And even fewer need it.
  16. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Nick, let's take this in a few steps...

    A key is just a bunch of notes that work well together to make tunes. Play a major scale starting on, say, a G. All those notes are all in the key of G major. Play a major scale starting on C. Those notes are all in the key of C major.

    Compare the notes that are in G major with the notes that are in C major. Most of them are the same, one is different... can you figure out which one that is?
  17. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    If you don't get it, it might help to know that for ear training exercises like this, keys are irrelevant. Utterly and completely.
  18. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    This is true. You need a new teacher, ASAP, Nick.