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

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Oklahoma
#1
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

Finger Flapper
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Hampshire
#2
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..
 
Messages
11
Location
Oklahoma
#4
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

Seeker of truth and beauty
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Oneonta, NY
#5
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

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Burnley bb9 9dn
#6
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. ;)
 

tenorviol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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#7
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.
 
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485
#8
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.
 
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