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Ear Training app with transposition

2Piedrasmore

2Piedrasmore

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I'm looking for an Ear Training app that allows one to identify the note a sax player has to play to achieve. In other words, it handles transposition. It would be wonderful if one could choose whether to identify the note by selecting it on a screen OR by playing it on the sax. Do you know of any like this? I've searched but there's a limit to how many I can download and test.
 
Halfers

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The Tonal Energy app can be set for transposing instruments. It can be set for Bb and Eb Saxophone and will tell you which note you need to play when a Concert tuned note is played (like on a Piano).

I would strongly suggest you don't rely on it for long. Use your ears to tell you which note to play. Bb Horns are easy as you just play a tone above a Concert note, they play C, you play D etc. Eb is different, but I don't have to play one of those..
 
Tenor Viol

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I'm curious why you think you need to do this @2Piedrasmore ? It seems a little convoluted
 
2Piedrasmore

2Piedrasmore

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Tenorviol, I'd like to train my ear to listen to a melody and repeat it on the alto sax. But I can't pick out a D from a G from a C, etc. So if I use an ear training tool that teaches me that a concert C is a C, I still have to transpose that to an A (right?), which I can't do in my head (yet if ever). Since playing the alto sax will perhaps eventually force my brain to think that the [sound a piano player knows to be a C] is an A, then maybe I ought to just go with that instead of identifying it as a C and transposing to an A.

Is there a better way to think of this? When you are playing by ear, do you...
hear a C,
identify a C,
and then transpose
and play an A?

Or do you...
hear a C,
identify an A,
and play an A.

(That question assumes you are playing an alto, which you probably aren't based on your name :). I know my proposed way will be a huge mistake if I ever decide to play the piano or tenor. What do you consider best practice?

and Halfers, I'll check out that app. Which method do you use when playing by ear?
 
GCinCT

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If I hear a concert C, I let my ear guide my fingers. When I hit the right note, I identify it as an A. If I need to talk to a piano player (or any other concert instrumentalist) I transpose it to a C. If I have to talk to a tenor player, then I transpose it to a D.

But just playing it on alto, it's an A. That's my horn and that's my note.
 
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Colin the Bear

Colin the Bear

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It all seems very complicated at first. You can easily learn to think in concert pitch. You already know C is Eb and A is C. There's only ten more to learn. Let me start you off F# is A. Ok so that's only nine to go Easy ones are D is F and G is Bb. Learn these and the other seven and you're sorted.

Scales are important for playing by ear. Your fingers will find a melody if they're well practiced.

Your brain is a fantastic tool that improves with use. Much more powerful than any pocket device. No apps required. ;)
 
Tenor Viol

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Although I don't play by ear - I read music because I am both experienced at doing that and I find it much easier than trying to 'play by ear'. As and when I get the time, I will try to do some learning to play by ear. I don't think you need the extra layer of a machine though. Pick a simple tune and 'work it out' a few notes at a time. As Colin says, your brain will learn what you need to do to make a given sound without having to go through that translation step.

It's pretty well the same reason why I would discourage anyone from writing note names on a piece of music - you're just adding another layer into the translation process.
 
D

Dibbs

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2Piedrasmore, you'll probably never be able to identify a note just by hearing it cold. That's a fairly rare ability called absolute or perfect pitch. It's a moot point whether it's possible to learn that skill but the majority of us never do. Most of us can only recognise the difference between notes. This is called relative pitch and anyone can do it with a little training.

So you find the first note by trial and error then figure out the next by how far away it is from that one etc. etc. Or find the key the tune is in and recognise where the notes are relative to the key note.
 
D

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Come on, you are better then that! Just learn to transpose or use your ears. There could be an app for this, but how do you want to learn an Instrument if instead of resolving the issue with practice you search for an easy fix? Learning an Instrument is hard, but you can do it if you put the work in!
 
IGoddard

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Would these skills be useful for playing in tune?
I’ve recently been struggling with playing in tune whilst playing a song or running up and down a scale, yet my long tones are bang in tune.

Would ear training and hearing the note first aid this?
 
D

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Would these skills be useful for playing in tune?
I’ve recently been struggling with playing in tune whilst playing a song or running up and down a scale, yet my long tones are bang in tune.

Would ear training and hearing the note first aid this?

This is off topic. But ear training and hearing the note before playing will help tremendously. These are essential for playing the saxophone and jazz...
 
Tenor Viol

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Would these skills be useful for playing in tune?
I’ve recently been struggling with playing in tune whilst playing a song or running up and down a scale, yet my long tones are bang in tune.

Would ear training and hearing the note first aid this?
Playing a piece is not the same as playing a scale. You’re doing a lot more when playing a piece such as reading, rhythm, dynamics.... so it’s harder. You learn scales partly to help with understanding tuning. Half the battle is realising that you’re in/out of tune. You can do Kodály which will help with pitch awareness etc.
 
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I have the reverse problem! I identify and "hear" everything in concert pitch, coming from guitar and bass. I have to calculate the note on the sax, and it's a pain, but it doesn't matter unless I am trying to read or talk to my teacher. I know where C is on the saxophone, and so up to E it's dead simple. Up from there, I have to think about it. I'm lazy, but if you're serious, you'll have to learn to get the brain wired (as should I). I don't know if there's an app anywhere that would help. For years I wondered why the names of notes were different on woodwinds, since they are not on strings, only the clefs change. My brother, a pianist, thinks it may be because of the instrument's range when writing for the orchestra. One of these days I'll have them all memorized.
 
Tenor Viol

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@randulo it sounds like you have what is usually referred to as 'perfect pitch' so you see an 'A' and expect to hear an 'A' not a C etc.
Before starting to play sax in my early 50s I was an experienced choral singer (I'm a 1st bass aka baritone). I took up the cello at the same time as sax but I've never had an issue with one instrument transposing and the other not transposing. Because of my singing I am reasonably OK when it comes to knowing if I'm in tune or not.

There's a whole branch of music theory plus some history of instrument development (and the French military bands are part of the reason for saxes being in Bb or Eb) as to why some instruments transpose and others do not.

You could re-write sax music in concert pitch, but you would have to learn two sets of fingerings - one for Bb and one for Eb instruments. This happens with recorders where you get C and F fingerings, but everything is written at concert pitch.

Transposing means that you only have to learn one set of fingerings since a written 'G' is the same fingering on all instruments. For some people and evidently you are one of those, it causes a certain amount of cognitive dissonance as you hear different notes depending on the instrument and none of them are at concert pitch.
 
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@randulo it sounds like you have what is usually referred to as 'perfect pitch' so you see an 'A' and expect to hear an 'A' not a C etc.
No, no, far from it. I worked with a classically-trained blues violinist, Don 'Sugarcane' Harris, who did have it. We'd hear a car horn and he say, "D7th!". But what I meant was, I think in concert, always have, and the little I could read was in concert. Handy, by the way, if you're looking at Schillinger's Thesaurus of Musical Scales and Patterns, since the entire book is in concert C. I was just plaing to a Bob Mintzer track in C minor (Do mineur if I had to yell it out at a French jam session) and I'm playing Am on the alto, but I never think of A except if I'm reading or asked to play an A on the saxophone.

I often can hear the notes of the guitar strings, though, if I try to picture an E before I hit a string. That's just some kind of habit.

I did think, when I began on the saxophone, especially with Internet lessons, how it made sense to have all sax keys names the same on the whole range of saxes. I think you are right about that, at least it makes total sense for that reason.
 
Caz

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Use a CD player (using the A-B function) or a pc program (like transcribe) to loop it. break down the solo into small phrases like 1 bar each. Play the phrase on your cd/mp3 with loop on - sing the phrase with the music. Stop the music and sing. Repeat untill you can sing it. Then use a metronome and play the phrase - slowly and then speed it up. If you are having trouble finding certain notes - go to the notes you do know and go back from there (reverse engineer it) also break down the the bar into even smaller bits (i find it’s easier to transcribe If i have certain notes to anchor on to) - dont use slow down in your software - mentally slowing down the tune you are transcribing is something you will want to train.
Often you got the notes correct, but the rythmic or dynamics inflictions incorrect. You will Also want to break each bits apart and learn what’s going on harmonically in each bar and how the chords resolve.

Don’t be to bothered writing down the solo when transcribing.

At least this is what i have learned from Bob Reynolds good luck and good hunting (incase you are still watching)
 
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Cleartune tuner for iOS or for Android does this and I didn't even know it. I happen to be looking at a different parameter, and I saw "transposition". I set it to Bb, and played a concert A, it shows B. Problem solved!

Screenshot 20181223 175013
 
Jeanette

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@randulo are you using it on Android?

Jx
 
Tenor Viol

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I use that app but it's always set to 'C' but it's also set to 'violin tuning' not equal temperament, since I mostly use it to tune the cello.
 

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