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#2545251 - 06/01/16 04:01 AM Interval Ear Training  
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iamanders Offline
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Hi!
Piano teacher sometimes talk about the importance Interval Ear Training. But the question is: how will such a thing help you play the piano?
Has it helped you become a better pianist? Or has this kind of ear training not helped you at all?

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#2545255 - 06/01/16 04:50 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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If you whistle a song, you are able to hit the right tones, straight away, right...? I hope/believe that you will be able to do this with the piano keys as well, if you train your ears by singing intervals at the piano.

You will also be able to hear the melody of a written score in your head, just by looking at it and before you play it on the piano. that's a big advantage.

http://miles.be/articles
http://miles.be/software/51-ear-training-on-your-iphone-ipad-android-windows-phone


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#2545262 - 06/01/16 05:15 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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'Training' your ear to really hear 'internally' what you're playing is a huge help. It''s very easy to believe that playing any instrument is about getting the physical parts of it right (hand, finger, arm motions, etc). But it's the ability to really hear internally that separates the greatest musicians from everyone else.

That said, any ear training program that you begin is going to take a while to show results. A very simple and effective way to begin is just learn to sing what you're playing at the piano. Play the LH part and sing the RH part and vice versa.

If you can already do that, then great, Move to a slightly more difficult level. Get a book of melodies that are intended for sight-singing. Start on page one and advance slowly through the book. Or just download an ear training app for your iOS or Android phone or your computer.

The bottom line is improve your ear and your playing will improve as well. You'll become a better musician.

#2545265 - 06/01/16 05:47 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Intervals ear training is completely equivalent to   alphabetic ear training: if letters and words don't sound in your head, you can't read or memorize the text,or say it out loud This is exactly illiteracy.

Last edited by Nahum; 06/01/16 05:48 AM.
#2545284 - 06/01/16 07:25 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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I bought a Jamey Aebersold ear training book w/2 CD's some years ago. I remember listening and working with the CD's in my car.

I also recall driving and singing melodic intervals without the CD's. You can, for example, just sing a pitch at random, then try singing a perfect 5 below that pitch. Try singing another pitch and singing a perfect 4th above. And so on. You can make them up as you drive. You should gradually improve with practice.

https://www.amazon.com/Jamey-Aebers...mp;keywords=jamey+aebersold+ear+training

#2545290 - 06/01/16 07:57 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: indigo_dave]  
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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
just sing a pitch at random, then try singing a perfect 5 below that pitch. Try singing another pitch and singing a perfect 4th above. And so on.
Agreed, but how do you check if it is correct?


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#2545305 - 06/01/16 08:48 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d
Originally Posted by indigo_dave
just sing a pitch at random, then try singing a perfect 5 below that pitch. Try singing another pitch and singing a perfect 4th above. And so on.
Agreed, but how do you check if it is correct?
Download to smartphone keyboard application.

#2545312 - 06/01/16 09:22 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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IMHO Musicianship is only for those interacting with other musicians. Understanding each other, while talking or playing. This is why I'd couple interval ear training with chord theory. I.e.: To play a dissonant or resonant chord. Or to play a Major 7th or a Minor ii. I feel one should know how to play it and what it sounds like. This isn't to say one can or should know everything right away. On the other hand there's enjoyment in playing solo, from songbooks. No need for ear training, other than for one's own edification. Whatever makes one happy.


Rhythm & Chords, it's what I do.
#2545319 - 06/01/16 10:10 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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I'd love to get that app of yours (because I don't have a smart phone). It sounded quite interesting.

I never really got why people always say that you should try singing it too and how this would help your hear! Why bother singing it when you can just imagine the melody in your head.

It makes it easier if the notes are from a scale. But if were to get a computer to play random notes and for you to try playing them back, it'd be quite hard. So just because you know the sound of each interval does not mean you'll be able to play back a lead melody line. It's more practical for you to improve (and more fun) if the notes are from some sort of scale (minor, major, mixolydian, pentatonic, etc).


Last edited by Visalia; 06/01/16 10:15 AM.
#2545333 - 06/01/16 10:30 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: indigo_dave]  
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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
I bought a Jamey Aebersold ear training book w/2 CD's some years ago. I remember listening and working with the CD's in my car.

I also recall driving and singing melodic intervals without the CD's. You can, for example, just sing a pitch at random, then try singing a perfect 5 below that pitch. Try singing another pitch and singing a perfect 4th above. And so on. You can make them up as you drive. You should gradually improve with practice.

https://www.amazon.com/Jamey-Aebers...mp;keywords=jamey+aebersold+ear+training

You mean that every pianists should take singing lessons?

#2545339 - 06/01/16 10:47 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Can I be honest? I've been playing jazz for 8 or 9 years, play with several groups, but have never done one of those interval training programs. Too damn boring. I've tried but after a few days I stop. More boring than scales. Would it help? Probably but I don't feel that I'm handicapped. I will note that I've been playing piano all my life and can probably hear things to some degree that a beginner can't.

The most important ear skill I've developed, which helps me every time I play in a group, is the ability to hear the changes in the bass line. Everybody will have moments where you are not sure where you are, but after many years I can hear where we are in the bass line. Boy does that help and make playing more fun!

#2545363 - 06/01/16 12:07 PM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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No, singing lessons are not necessary. This isn't about becoming a singer. It's about making yourself hear a given interval.
The goal should be developing your "mind's ear". Taking the pains to sing intervals can (slowly) develop and sharpen your perceptions in this area. This would be a variation on hearing melodic intervals played and identifying them.

Another thing one could do: play songs on YouTube and play along with the melody. Let's say maybe a Stevie Wonder song like "My Cherie Amour". One could also play along with bass lines. The songs could be simple old pop or rock songs. It could be as simple or as difficult and one wanted or needed to make it.

And of course there are formal "Ear Training" methods available for purchase.

And BTW I have a cheap (maybe it was free) app on my phone. I just checked, and it's called "Musical Lite". My best listening is done when I'm walking (for exercise) and wearing a pair of Bluetooth headphones. I'll use the app to find the key a song is in. Then I'll try following a bass line mentally. Or maybe follow another moving line in the music. Maybe the melody. I can check with the piano keyboard on my phone app to see if I'm correct.



Last edited by indigo_dave; 06/01/16 12:20 PM.
#2545376 - 06/01/16 01:02 PM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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I believe that functional ear training is more useful. As in relating a pitch to its relative tonic. Ofc knowing the intervals help too. Both is a Sisyfos task...
Try this, then you'll practice your singing as well: http://tonedear.com/ear-training/functional-solfege-scale-degrees

#2545380 - 06/01/16 01:27 PM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: KlinkKlonk]  
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Originally Posted by KlinkKlonk
I believe that functional ear training is more useful. As in relating a pitch to its relative tonic. Ofc knowing the intervals help too. Both is a Sisyfos task...
Try this, then you'll practice your singing as well: http://tonedear.com/ear-training/functional-solfege-scale-degrees
Agreed, and this app does exactly the same, and is by far the most useful app I found:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kaizen9.fet.android&hl=nl

Originally Posted by iamanders
You mean that every pianists should take singing lessons?
No, but every musician should train his ear by trying to sing back the intervals he plays on his instrument. Sing them back correctly is the only way to truly understand a certain interval. I am pretty convinced about that. You don't need singing lessons for that...


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#2545549 - 06/02/16 01:42 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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I remember downloading an ear training course. At first I thought it would be good but it sucked. The guy had sold his soul to solfege. So sad...solfege are just syllables for different notes. That guy in the course was really much about singing solfege syllables. What so magical about solfege? Has anyone here really had any success by repeating syllables?

#2545550 - 06/02/16 01:55 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Originally Posted by iamanders
Has anyone here really had any success by repeating syllables?
I've had . I've practiced successfully singing the notes, and later began to make transcriptions from records, which required constant singing by ear. The result - at the age of 34 has opened perfect pitch, which was not by birth.

#2545553 - 06/02/16 02:19 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Originally Posted by iamanders
The guy had sold his soul to solfege. So sad...solfege are just syllables for different notes. That guy in the course was really much about singing solfege syllables. What so magical about solfege? Has anyone here really had any success by repeating syllables?

You sound very against singing. I was also - I wanted to learn to play piano, not singing...
If you don't try it for at least 2 months, 5-10 minutes a day at your piano, well, just leave it behind, and don't keep asking questions about what it could help. You have to experience this yourself. No one can do it for you.

If ear training programs suck, if playing scales are boring and if...
Well, than just try synthesia and learn to typewrite songs directly into your keyboard.


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#2545555 - 06/02/16 02:56 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d
Originally Posted by iamanders
The guy had sold his soul to solfege. So sad...solfege are just syllables for different notes. That guy in the course was really much about singing solfege syllables. What so magical about solfege? Has anyone here really had any success by repeating syllables?

You sound very against singing. I was also - I wanted to learn to play piano, not singing...
If you don't try it for at least 2 months, 5-10 minutes a day at your piano, well, just leave it behind, and don't keep asking questions about what it could help. You have to experience this yourself. No one can do it for you.

If ear training programs suck, if playing scales are boring and if...
Well, than just try synthesia and learn to typewrite songs directly into your keyboard.

I'm not against singing. It's rather the opposite but...I always end up with hearing how much a non-vocalist I am. Sometimes it feels like people are asking me to become a singer without being a singer.
How is singing intervals as a non-vocalist pianist different from doing this as a real singer?
And it actually seems like singing intervals doesn't really help with transcribing certain blues licks (eg someone repeating the first 4 notes of the blues scale for some time then doing something else). It seems like one would rather get a certain feel for what the pianist did rather then thinking intervals. Is intervalic sining even helping one transcribing blues licks?

Last edited by iamanders; 06/02/16 03:07 AM.
#2545560 - 06/02/16 03:17 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Originally Posted by iamanders
I'm not against singing. It's rather the opposite but...I always end up with hearing how much a non-vocalist I am.

That's normal, it will go better after a few weeks - I am far from a vocalist myself (neither an experienced pianist). Just try to sing "Do" after you played the note on the piano, and you will "hear" (ear training) the "click" if you sing it correct. It is easier if a teacher tells you higher-lower, but you should hear/feel it yourself if you sing correct. There are apps on google play to check pitch (cleartune, Pano Tuner,...) but your own piano should do just fine.

Try it if no ones home and if you are relaxed. that helps :-)
If "Do" clicks, try "Mi" and than "Sol" than higher "Do"

After that try to sing Re, Fa#, La, Re and so on (transcribing). (root-3rd-5th-octave)

root-3rd-5th-octave is really the basic you should start with.

http://miles.be/articles/28-contextual-ear-training


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#2545562 - 06/02/16 03:32 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Originally Posted by iamanders
And it actually seems like singing intervals doesn't really help with transcribing certain blues licks (eg someone repeating the first 4 notes of the blues scale for some time then doing something else). It seems like one would rather get a certain feel for what the pianist did rather then thinking intervals. Is intervalic sining even helping one transcribing blues licks?

No, I don't think it helps at all. For one thing the notes in a blues lick are usually coming thick and fast so even using time-stretch it's going to be difficult to pick out notes and intervals.
Instead, you become acquainted with the licks or some of the elements of those licks (there aren't really that many of them) and you'll approach the task of transcribing them as clusters. It's more about recognition than analysis. Same with chords, incidentally. Recognition rather than analysis of intervals.

But recognising intervals IS important. It's just one component of the full picture.

- meant to add; I 'can' sing in tune but no one would want to hear me. If I'm trying to transcribe a top line and encounter an interval that I want to be sure of I might 'sing to myself' but it's more of a vague kind of humming. Alternatively I might just check the top line against what I'm doodling at the piano in which case no need for singing.

Last edited by dire tonic; 06/02/16 03:38 AM.
#2545586 - 06/02/16 07:02 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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Originally Posted by dire tonic
No, I don't think it helps at all.

?

An instrument can be played mechanically, but singing internalizes the language of jazz improvisation more directly than playing your instrument. Singing is the first step to transcription.

http://www.easyeartraining.com/learn/jazz-ear-startup-guide-five-master-tools/


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#2545600 - 06/02/16 07:44 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: johan d]  
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Originally Posted by johan d
Originally Posted by dire tonic
No, I don't think it helps at all.

?

An instrument can be played mechanically, but singing internalizes the language of jazz improvisation more directly than playing your instrument. Singing is the first step to transcription.
http://www.easyeartraining.com/learn/jazz-ear-startup-guide-five-master-tools/

I answered a specific question here about transcribing blues licks. Good luck singing the E.J. lick that Visalia posted a question about.

Does singing help more generally? For myself, I never used it as an aid since there are other very effective approaches.

If it helps you, that's good.

#2545917 - 06/03/16 07:45 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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After following links from this thread, I have signed up for Meludia. It looks beautiful, sounds beautiful, and engages with music in playful ways. This is big because I usually hate ear-training apps with their tinny sounds and endless drudge-work exercises. You can read a review and get a code for a free 2-week trial here.


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#2545952 - 06/03/16 09:24 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: johan d]  
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From which, way down on the page, you get:
Quote
... One caveat: the strategies I am proposing are without question biased towards tonal music. Since most of a music major's two year theory sequence (at least 1.5 years in most schools) concerns itself with music of the common practice period (i.e., Baroque through Romantic), this bias seems justified....

I've done this kind of singing, not for a number of months, but something like 40 years. I'll stress that I was quite good at it. Give me common practice music and I'd sing it off the page like you can probably read these words out loud. It trapped me in various ways - especially the movable-Do aspect of it.

Consider C,F. I would hear it as "So Do" with a "ta-da" kind of cadence feel - V-I. 5(6,7)8 also gave the P4 so I could name it instantly. But C,F could just as well be "Do Fa" in the key of C major but I would hear the darned thing only as So-Do in F major. That prevented hearing other things. I was also not convinced that I was truly hearing the quality of a P4, regardless of being able to name them.

When you hear C Eb, are you hearing Do Mi-flat, or La Do? The bigger point being that I want to hear a minor 3rd as a minor 3rd directly, not through some intermediary (La Do; vi = m3 for root to middle note).

Another way of hearing an interval or chord is as notes together, played at the same time; there is a quality and texture to this. Quite literally, you cannot sing this. Thus for me this particular hearing remained weak.

#2545959 - 06/03/16 09:35 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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A possible more gratifying way to train intervals and internal hearing would be the exercise that Dave Frank talks about in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzegfvnMFHs
starting at 6:57 "Lennies Ear training system"
I found that oscillating the pitches in my head quite rapidly was a more effective way to achieve the "pop out" effect instead of hearing them slow. Quite possible you'd need an acoustic piano for this to pick up the overtones, but Im not sure...

Last edited by KlinkKlonk; 06/03/16 09:41 AM. Reason: where is the friggin vid
#2545965 - 06/03/16 09:48 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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keystring, are there things you're doing now, or have done, to work on recovering from or moving beyond the weaknesses you describe?


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#2545970 - 06/03/16 09:54 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: PianoStudent88]  
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Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
After following links from this thread, I have signed up for Meludia. It looks beautiful, sounds beautiful, and engages with music in playful ways. This is big because I usually hate ear-training apps with their tinny sounds and endless drudge-work exercises. You can read a review and get a code for a free 2-week trial here.

This looks like a nice site. I like it.

The one thing I notice with most of these ear training sites is that they are more like ear testing sites. You are asked to identify, or to duplicate, something, but there is not that much on how to get to identify them in the first place. There should be something besides the actual site, to get at those skills.

#2545979 - 06/03/16 10:50 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
I've done this kind of singing, not for a number of months, but something like 40 years. I'll stress that I was quite good at it. Give me common practice music and I'd sing it off the page like you can probably read these words out loud. It trapped me in various ways - especially the movable-Do aspect of it.
...
Another way of hearing an interval or chord is as notes together, played at the same time; there is a quality and texture to this. Quite literally, you cannot sing this. Thus for me this particular hearing remained weak.
keystring, you tried to use my method of singing with melodica?

#2545982 - 06/03/16 10:56 AM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
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I totally agree, keystring!

The way Meludia feels different for me on this aspect is: In Meludia, most of the early tasks are quite doable for me, sometimes directing me towards sharpening up my attention in ways that are pleasant because they make me feel like "hey, I really do know how to hear this aspect of music."

Then there are some tasks that I am largely puzzled by so far, but the site is playful enough and nice sounding enough (and nice-looking enough, since I'm a very visual person), that it's attractive to me to think "interesting, let me spend more time playing with this and trying to understand my own hearing better, and try to figure out how to match it up with what Meludia is trying to direct me too." And thus to keep trying it.

If you get a lot of questions wrong on a task, Meludia enters a "correction" mode where you can replay the ones you got wrong and see the right answer.

I'm looking forward to seeing (hearing) how Meludia works as it starts moving me towards things I don't currently know how to do. I'm hopeful that it will have slowly increased my hearing over time with stepped tasks, to build me up to new skills.

In some ways it reminds me of the wordless French teaching you've described. Sorry, not wordless, but teaching French with illustration rather than giving meanings in English. It shows/plays you ideas, and then you work on making sense of it.


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Musical-U - guidance for increasing musicality
Theta Music Trainer - fun ear training games
#2546106 - 06/03/16 06:19 PM Re: Interval Ear Training [Re: iamanders]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 475
KlinkKlonk Offline
Full Member
KlinkKlonk  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 475
Meludia actually do seem fun. Much more dynamic then your average ear training. The continuous billing thing bothers me though, would have been better with a set price for the software. I also don't see why they need to know my gender? I'm now a 7 year old sound engineer girlie...

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