Ear Training

Andante cantabile

Senior Member
Messages
697
Judging by the radio silence on this topic, I imagine that few players even know what they are. I certainly don't. And my first inclination would be that such devices may well work, and they might even be desirable. But I prefer to listen to the what I am producing and work on it without the use of whatever gadgets. The saxophone is a great instrument. Just enjoy it.
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
I was going to ask my teacher about ear training. I'd like to be able to play along to CD tracks, but at the moment it just seems to be a jumbled mess that bears no relationship to the CD!!! I'll see what she says.
 
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Fredso

New Member
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21
Location
Merseyside
I've been looking around at these cos I'd like to be able to play by ear. When I attempt to I convince myself I'm tone deaf although I know when I'm playing the wrong note whilst reading music! Just wondered if anyone else could report if they help speed the learning process up. Maybe one day after I've played for a couple of years I'll manage it.

Ray
 

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
Subscriber
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2,341
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The Millenium Falcon
If you just want to use one for distinguishing between intervals, chords (i.e major. minor dim etc), types of cadence and so forth then just pick a free one and try it. Most of them have free tests - I don't use one so can't recommend any.
 
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Fredso

New Member
Messages
21
Location
Merseyside
Thanks to Dave for that suggestion. I've been looking at Trainear.com claims to work by association in the same way you learn to spell, A is for Apple etc, by using the first 2 notes of well known tunes. For the first 10 minutes or so I get 95% of intervals right but then I lose concentration and suddenly can't tell a 1st from an octave, could let that worry me but I won't. I'll carry on for a while and see if I improve and then give feedback if anyone is interested.
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
OK, some tips for ear training without the aid of the internet:

1) Choose a tune you like that is simple, and repetitive, and you have a copy of to play on a cd player, mp3, etc.
Examples off the top of my head: In the Mood (Glenn Miller),Sweet Home Alabama, YMCA, Fight for This Love (Cheryl Cole) etc. etc.
2) Play the track through to the repetitive bit (usually the chorus) and pause after the first note.
3) Grab your sax and try to find that note (doesn't matter if it's the same octave or not) - when you've got it write it down if you need to.
4) Release the pause on the track, then try to play that note each time it happens in the repetitive bit
5) Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for the second note.
6) Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for the first and second notes.
7) Keep going until you've got the whole phrase...

There's no quick fix for this (as in so many aspects of music that seem so simple when you watch someone else do it) - it's Training. Like training for feats of sporting excellence or endurance, it takes a while, so don't worry if it doesn't happen quickly.

Cheers,

Nick
 

half diminished

Senior Member
Messages
1,361
Location
Buckinghamshire
I think they're OK. My teacher (Karen Sharp) who is a top jazz sax player tells me the key to playing jazz really well is understanding and recognising intervals in your head and then being able to translate that into your playing - how often have you got a good melody/harmony running up top but can't seem to play it on the sax!. I have been doing a bit of work on this and I do a lot of transcribing by ear which also has helped. Since changing my mac, I haven't sorted out all my old browser links and as I recall, I had found a couple of pretty good ear trainers, one of which you downloaded. I will see if can dig this info out.
 
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Fredso

New Member
Messages
21
Location
Merseyside
I understand where your coming from Nick. However there are plenty of times when I could practice using the web when I can't play my Sax, i.e lunch breaks at work later in the evening. It all comes down to putting the effort in to get the rewards I'm hoping that the web will assist with this process.

Ray
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
862
Location
Wokingham, Berks, UK
OK, some tips for ear training without the aid of the internet:

1) Choose a tune you like that is simple, and repetitive, and you have a copy of to play on a cd player, mp3, etc.
Examples off the top of my head: In the Mood (Glenn Miller),Sweet Home Alabama, YMCA, Fight for This Love (Cheryl Cole) etc. etc.
2) Play the track through to the repetitive bit (usually the chorus) and pause after the first note.
3) Grab your sax and try to find that note (doesn't matter if it's the same octave or not) - when you've got it write it down if you need to.
4) Release the pause on the track, then try to play that note each time it happens in the repetitive bit
5) Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for the second note.
6) Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for the first and second notes.
7) Keep going until you've got the whole phrase...

There's no quick fix for this (as in so many aspects of music that seem so simple when you watch someone else do it) - it's Training. Like training for feats of sporting excellence or endurance, it takes a while, so don't worry if it doesn't happen quickly.

Cheers,

Nick
I asked my teacher about this last night and she said basically what you've said, Nick. Go at it slowly a bit at a time!!!
 

saxnik

Member
Messages
381
Location
Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom
I understand where your coming from Nick. However there are plenty of times when I could practice using the web when I can't play my Sax, i.e lunch breaks at work later in the evening. It all comes down to putting the effort in to get the rewards I'm hoping that the web will assist with this process.

Ray
Fair enough - someone else mentioned learning intervals by the first notes of popular tunes, examples here (supplement, minor second, first two notes of 'Pink Panther' theme). Imagining them is probably more use than recognising them by sight if you want to improvise - obviously if you're practicing sight-reading then recognising the interval on the page is vital.

You will have to repeat these exercises on the sax though, since you've got to train your fingers to go to the interval your brain recognises! There's no substitute for actually doing it...

Good luck, keep it up,

Nick

P.S. For pure 'ear training' i.e. interval recognition, this site's pretty good. There's also lots of supplementary material on the site for your music theory training too...
 
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rob4

New Member
Messages
27
Location
SW London
For beginners wanting to train their ear, I’ve discovered an app called Relative Pitch. There’s a free version I’m trying at the moment Relative Pitch Lite. It basically plays intervals and you guess them. Pretty simple.
There are worse ways to spend 25 mins on the train every morning.

Rob
 

rob4

New Member
Messages
27
Location
SW London
how are you getting on with relative pitch? I cant' believe how crap I am! I struggle to recognise even the most simple pitches at times.
I put it down to years of lsitening to heavy metal.....
 
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