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Thread: Ear training

  1. #1
    FUBAR'd Metalliska's Avatar
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    Ear training

    Don't know whether this comes under guitar talk or theory but I really need some help with ear training. I'm not a bad guitarist, i got a bit of technique and a bit of theory behind me, but I sometimes wonder about my ears. I've read loads of stuff on ear training and I've tried the exercises. But how do you know that you're making any progress or if you're doing things right. Plus I feel like a bit of a tit sitting on my bed singing 'B.....' over and over again while plucking a G trying to get a major third interval. Is there any techniques out there that let me see my progress, ones that don't involve me shelling out on overpriced exercise manuals like earope.

  2. #2
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    Welcome to IBreatheMusic!

    We have discussed eartraining a lot on forums - methods, software etc. Search through the forums cos there are too many links to post

    Zatz.
    Zadd9 -> A6 -> T#9b5 -> Zmaj7

  3. #3
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    This is probably brain-dead obvious but, keeping your instrument well-tuned is huge for ear training, I find.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  4. #4
    Registered User Mike7771's Avatar
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    Do a search on "tonic sol-fa" it should help you out a lot. Tonic sol-fa is the ear training technique that uses doe-ray-me-fa-si-la-ti-doe and attaches these name to the intervals it is very useful. If you get good at this technique you can figure out any melody without your guitar and write songs without your guitar too. It's kinda like having frets for your ears. Me, I'm ok with it still not great, but I've met people who are really good with this technique and their ears are solid.

  5. #5
    Eric V & Thorsten Wannabe
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    i seriously dont mean to sound arrogant, but i think having an ear for music is something some people have all there lives, making things a hell of a lot easier. people who need to develop their ear will seriously have to try hard. i know other guitarists who i play with who have no ear. you could play a single not on the fret board, and they cannot hit the tone. they cannot distinguish whether or not is it a high or low pitch, and these people are not amatuers ( playing wise )
    the best advise i can give you is try your hardest to tune the guitar yourself. if u can do this already, than thats a good start for being able to figure out all the licks and solos on metallicas songs.
    perhaps use a program to slow down song however keep the pitch. Audobe Audition is great for this.

  6. #6
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    kirk_wannabe - i could probably find the tone you were playing, but it would most likely take a few shots... are you talking about people who just WOULDN'T be able to find it? Cause if so im.. slightly relieved

    [edited for spelling]

  7. #7
    Eric V & Thorsten Wannabe
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    Yeah, people who actually would just take blind guesses, having no idea at all.

    So there you go, you've already got an ear, you just gotta strengthen it.

    Try and seperate the music when you listen to song. Don't listen to the whole thing. Try and only focus on the guitar.

    Thats what I do. Most songs that I play, I have no idea what the lyrics are.

  8. #8
    Registered User loveguitar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalliska
    Is there any techniques out there that let me see my progress, ones that don't involve me shelling out on overpriced exercise manuals like earope.
    Some suggestions on testing whether you improve

    1) Play a melody with the radio and see if you could
    make as little mistake as possible on the notes
    2) Without a guitar, figure out the notes of a melody
    that you know of, then test it on the guitar to see
    if you are correct
    3) Find some songs and figure out the chords without a
    tab. Then compare with a good tab to see how near you are.

  9. #9
    FUBAR'd Metalliska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7771
    Do a search on "tonic sol-fa" it should help you out a lot. Tonic sol-fa is the ear training technique that uses doe-ray-me-fa-si-la-ti-doe and attaches these name to the intervals it is very useful. If you get good at this technique you can figure out any melody without your guitar and write songs without your guitar too. It's kinda like having frets for your ears. Me, I'm ok with it still not great, but I've met people who are really good with this technique and their ears are solid.
    Yeah, I searched for it, i looked for lessons and everything, all I could find was loads of crap on people like John curwren who I think developed it. It was like mini excerts from peoples Biographies all on acrobat reader, I couldn't find any exercises or anything!! Do u have any links were I could find online lessons, I'm really intrigued I remember steve vai mentioning it in an artical, and that guy is the mutts nutts.

  10. #10
    i Breathe ... Admin Guni's Avatar
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    Please don't email or send me private messages with music related questions as they will be ignored. Rather use the forums for this and I will try my best to take part as much as I can.

  11. #11
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    Well, I think sometimes we tend to put too much magic behind things like "perfect pitch" and "perfect technique" and similar. Truth be told all that ear training does is link our minds to our hands.

    Music is relevant, as human beings we are born with the natural instincts as to how things are supposed to sound. Thatís why your average joe non musical person can tell if you're really messing up a song, it's not because they have perfect pitch, but because we all know where the notes go. Itís the reason we have theory, infact, all theory does is give us a map to why things sound the way they do, why some sound good and some sound bad.

    Confused? I understand

    I'll try to explain. What ear training does for musicians is not so much give them a mental key board that is perfectly in tune and can recognize notes just by sound. Being able to sit and listen to a song and go, "OH! the run they're playing is G,C,D,G,A,A,Bb, blah blah blah...." and I think that's how most people see training your ears. They think that being able to sit and do that is the goal. Well, they get disappointed fairly quickly when they do this because it's just an ungodly ridiculous request of anyone. Aside from the fact that a skill such as that is MUCH less practical then anything should give you.

    What you SHOULD get out of eat training is a good sense of relevance and a connection between your ear and your fingers. Everyone can tell you where the notes are going to go. You know it. When something ends on a dominate you know it's wrong. When you get a dissonant chord you know it's wrong. You also have a god given sense of resolution.

    Try this: turn on the radio. Flip around till you find something you've never heard. Listen for 2 full measures. Half way through the third measure or at any random point turn off the radio. I bet you donít have any trouble at all hearing the next chord in your head. it's like if someone were to sing "row row row your" and just stop, or "happy birthday to" even without having known the song or even having the slightest clue anyone could mentally hit that note.

    But here's where ear training comes in. You turn that mental note into sound.

    Some people go about it wrong though, and this can also bring them down. They say, well, I have a C. and they play it. Then they go and say, well now I will try and sing a major sixth, and they try it like that just cold turkey. I donít believe that's very helpful. Because how many times will you be playing along and stop and think "you know, I think this passage needs more major sixths"

    I feel a much better way to do this is to think of a melody in your head and turn it loose on your fingers. This way you arenít thinking about theory, but actually playing what you're hearing.

    And if you're wondering if you're getting better there's a simple way to tell. Just try and play what you hear, if you're getting closer or faster at it then you were before then you must be doing something right.

    I may be completely wrong about everything though, just my view on it.
    -Oakleaf
    http://intellectualmusician.com the world's fastest growing collection of music lessons.

  12. #12
    Registered User Mike7771's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalliska
    Yeah, I searched for it, i looked for lessons and everything, all I could find was loads of crap on people like John curwren who I think developed it. It was like mini excerts from peoples Biographies all on acrobat reader, I couldn't find any exercises or anything!! Do u have any links were I could find online lessons, I'm really intrigued I remember steve vai mentioning it in an artical, and that guy is the mutts nutts.
    I've never searched for it on the web so I don't know where you can find it. I wrote a small introduction to this topic here http://forum.guitarknowledgenet.com/viewtopic.php?t=19 I will do a complete lesson on it sometime in the near future.

    Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    FUBAR'd Metalliska's Avatar
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    Cheers to Guni + Mike7771, them lessons got me on the right track, I kinda got a cold at the mo so i'm battling with a sore throat and a blocked nose but I'm still kinda getting the notes, cheers again

    P. S. Will learning solfege make me a better singer, most of the time my singing really sucks and I go out of tune loads, i annoys me cause me and my mates have these jammin sessions and they can all sing pretty well n I always sound terrible.
    Last edited by Metalliska; 04-29-2004 at 01:48 PM.
    Matty

    "People say crazy things during sex, one time I called this chick mom!"
    Randal, Clerks.

  14. #14
    Registered User Mike7771's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalliska
    P. S. Will learning solfege make me a better singer
    It won't hurt.

  15. #15
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalliska
    Plus I feel like a bit of a tit sitting on my bed singing 'B.....' over and over again while plucking a G trying to get a major third interval.
    You definately are from England, that's for sure. I'm fairly certain they are the only ones who refer to other people / themselves as 'tits'.

    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

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