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Posts: 1576
Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

ear training? 

can anyone reccomend a method for ear training or a means to go about teaching oneself by ear? i really want to develop some level of competancy instead of looking at tab the whole time.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2007 12:57:56


Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007

RE: ear training? (in reply to henrym3483

Play lots of easy familiar tunes by ear in different keys. Play what the singer is singing in various toques. Work out the basic chords to lots of simple songs.

I use a program called band in a box which will play tunes as slowly as you like then I play along with it by ear until I get it right then I change key but stay in the same position and start again until ive been round all twelve keys.

None of the formal eartraining things that I have ever worked on gave me half of the results that this did. It is simple really if you want to be abel to play by ear then practice playing by ear.

The other thing (and I am sure everyone here will agree) is to transcribe simple pieces. Or perhaps just try and get the chords that will fit with complicated pieces.

All of this will be mad a lot easier if you have a decent amount of theory and chord/scale knowledge. If you don't then there go the jazz way and oddly enough avoid books with TAB. The reason for this is that most books which include TAB are well.... rubbish also this will encourage you to think in terms of fingerisng instead of in musical concepts. Most classical books dont really deal with theory as something which you can use with your instrument in your hands but the Jazz books do.

But I have to say again the 'method' which works when to improve your playing by ear is PRACTICE PLAYING BY EAR. Now there can be some method in that but there is no substitute to playing by ear. Preferably play along with a recording that you like (your computer will play it at half speed ) of very very simple music and this is much more effective than working on your own because.

1) You will have to notice the structure of the piece since you wont be able to stop and start like you would playing on your own.
2) You will have a much more emotionally fulfilling musical experience and this will make the learning more vivid and more memorable.
3) Your ear will be comparing the actual tune with your note choices and not a (possibly) flawed recollection of it.
4) It is heaps more fun.

Good luck.

PS all the perfect pitch stuff is a con.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 23 2007 15:14:18

Posts: 14409
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: ear training? (in reply to henrym3483

Very simply put, make YOUR OWN transcription. Even of a piece you have the score for by Faucher or whoever. Write the notes and rhythms out yourself by ear after slowing down and or repeated listening of the recording. It really does the job fast.

Also, for if you actually want to PLAY your trancriptions, try singing along to all the notes and rhythm's of the falseta. If you can't do that like driving in the car, I mean if you are "off" with your singing at all, then you dont' really "know" the music. It is that simple.

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 24 2007 6:18:08

Posts: 1143
Joined: Sep. 1 2007

RE: ear training? (in reply to henrym3483

I agree: Transcribing is the best way to develop your skills in this regard. However, it's an activity that develops a number of skills that you might want to at least consider separately.

I might be misunderstanding what it is you're after, but "ear training" suggests to me the ability to analyze something upon listening to it. In order to do that, you have to be able to associate sounds with musical concepts (and not necessarily with fancy terminology).

They say that music consists of rhythm, melody and harmony, so you might want to think about what those things are before you start transcribing. Transcribing develops your ability to analyze these elements, so you don't have to be an expert on them before you work out your favorite alegrías, for example, but it's in your interest to give some thought to them beforehand.

Aside from those three elements, there are guitar techniques that have characteristic sounds: different rasgueado fingerings, doubling a note with an open string, playing a chord higher up the neck on the bass strings, etc.

About rhythm, you have to be able to clearly distinguish between eighths, triplets, sixteenths, quintuplets and sextuplets (and combinations of these values). This is something that you have to be able to hear clearly in your head or tap out with your fingers without any difficulty.

A fundamental part of understanding melody is recognizing the sound of different scales and the "color" provided by different notes. For example, in the context of A Phrygian, a Bb7 chord has an A flat note, which contrasts greatly with the A tonic, and an F7 chord has an E flat note, which is has its own peculiar sound. Music theory is very helpful, but you don't have to use the fancy terminology. Most guitarists, upon hearing that F7 in tangos might just think, "Oh, jaleos."

But this last example has more to do with harmony than melody. One way to develop melodic/harmonic analysis is to familiarize yourself with different combinations of two notes. For example, E-F is probably the smallest interval you can imagine and/or sing; E-Fsharp is the beginning of the major scale; E-G sounds like a minor chord; E-Gsharp sounds like a major chord; E-A sounds like you're tuning the guitar (open strings); etc. You can establish any series of names for these intervals, the idea is to associate them to the sounds.

Be sure to test yourself after you start to get the hang of it. Get someone to play two notes (separately) and, without looking, try to determine the interval between them. It's not as hard as it might seem.

This last bit of advice about the intervals is the kind of thing that you DON'T really need to work on BEFORE doing your own transcriptions. But I'd say that you will need to be familiar with time values and certain characteristic guitar techniques in order for the transcribing to go smoothly.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 24 2007 12:20:43


Posts: 1511
Joined: Oct. 15 2019

RE: ear training? (in reply to henrym3483

I've started to listen to increasing and decreasing chromatic scales/runs and intervals on a daily basis and sing along on my own. Now I want more challenging exercises.

Any good ideas/methods how to train ear for flamenco guitar music?


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2022 14:46:50
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