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Questions about composer ear training: diatonic

Discussion in 'Composition, Orchestration & Technique' started by Phillip996, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Phillip996

    Phillip996 Member

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    Jan 8, 2017
    I have no ear training what so ever. I have been through some theory, harmony and know interval names and so on. But never really got good at identifying chords or intervals by ear. Is this a course that could help me achieve this, or should I have a better trained ear before taking a course like this?

    https://scoreclub.net/course/composer-ear-training-diatonic/#imageclose-5741
     
  2. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Senior Member

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    Feb 8, 2016
    Earth
    Phillip,
    If as you say, you know intervals etc. why not just devise your own course? You will know where your inner ear is weakest and you could focus on improving in a more direct way.
    On the assumption you can record from a keyboard into a computer and make an mp3, why not just record repeated combinations of intervals or chord types or whatever you feel appropriate, stick them on your mp3 player and put time aside each day to listen and focus and then try to hear them back unaided. Don't do too much too soon though. You could devise a listening programme that lasts maybe a year, within which you exhaust just dyads of different intervals individually and then in linear combination, i.e. have a p5th followed by a maj 3rd followed by...well you get the idea. Just a suggestion, many other ways of doing this are possible and I haven't even mentioned melody! There is no need to pay somebody else imo.
    At some stage, get a friend to play intervals for you to guess and you will be able to measure your progress - if you get a maj.7th wrong in this test, then focus on that interval for a while and so on.

    Like all practice (for scales etc.) repetition is the key, eventually combinations will stick in your head and at that point devise even more complicated exercises that build on your new found mental hearing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  3. Saxer

    Saxer Senior Member

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Frankfurt/Germany
    A good part of theory is simply learning chords and scales like a math table.

    If somebody asks "Emaj?" you have to say: "e-g#-b" and "e-f#-g#-a-b-c#-d#-e".
    Same for minor and all twelve keys. Get yourself an inner picture of the chord on the keyboard. From that point on everything will be a lot easier to understand and learn.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Phillip996

    Phillip996 Member

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    Jan 8, 2017
    Ok, I'll try that out. How much would you recommend doing ear training each day?

    If anyone who have taken the course has anything to contribute, then I would still be curious to hear how the experience was.
     
  5. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Senior Member

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    Feb 8, 2016
    Earth
    Hi Phillip,
    Most composers I know are fundamentally autodidactic and come in neat, untidy little packages of angst, booze and stress (just joking..I think!). Seriously though, are you the sort of person who knows his own mind, is aware of your own limitations and can define a long term goal to improve, devise a route of learning to get there and stick to it? If so you can go it alone. If you don't feel able to do that just yet, then the course might be your best bet at first.

    If you play an instrument then you will know about practising scales and other technical exercises so I'd treat aural training in pretty much the same way. I cannot devise anything for you because I don't know you, but if I were doing it for me, I would devote perhaps 30mins- 1 hour per day on just one or two intervals at a time, until you feel as though they are lodged in your minds ear and you can 'hear' them accurately inside, then move to the next intervals, whilst occasionally revisiting the earlier intervals to keep them familiar too. Again, I don't know your abilities, but it might be worth considering to stay diatonic for now until you feel able to progress into chromaticism. Perhaps you will want to also include linear movement or progressions in your training. That is your call but remember slow steady development is best and getting the basics right is crucial. It seems to me that intervals are a good place to start, because generally speaking melody and counterpoint is formed from a procession of intervals and harmony is formed from a vertical stack of intervals.

    If you do not have perfect pitch, then try to develop relative pitch. Play a note on your preferred instrument and then sing the interval(s) you are learning, then play them on the instrument to see how you did.

    Applying lateral thinking to devising targeted exercises will get you there, but like learning anything, incremental steps learnt very, very well, will give you the solid foundation you need to build on - how good you get at it is very dependant on how much time and considered study you are prepared to do. Clearly there are many approaches to aural training, have you done a thorough search? It'd be a good idea to hunt around and cherry pick ways of learning that feel suited to you as I am only coming up with generalities to get you thinking. Let's hope the fine folk here will also chime in a bit more to give you more food for thought.

    I don't know what progress you expect if you embark on this, but it is not really a short term goal if you want to reach for the best you can do, so good luck - and stick at it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 12:07 AM
  6. OP
    OP
    Phillip996

    Phillip996 Member

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    Jan 8, 2017
    Well, I don't think it would be inaccurate to describe myself as autodidactic (angst and stress too xD). I pretty much taught myself music theory through books and a few things online here and there, but I never went to any class or anything. I learnt japanese by myself etc. I guess I just find ear training so boring that I just kinda skipped it and got lazy. Maybe with this course I was hoping to find something that would give me a quick solution/motivation. I honestly didn't think that ear training would take me that long. I could just make my own schedule, but I am not sure how motivated I am at the moment.
     
  7. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 Senior Member

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    Feb 8, 2016
    Earth
    Sounds like you've got the right attitude Phillip. As to how long it takes, well how long is a piece of string? Maybe do the course and if it is not enough, then devise your own way. I honestly can't think of anything in music that is a quick solution if you want to do it to a high standard.
    Good luck.
     
  8. chrisphan

    chrisphan Senior Member

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    Ear training is the best thing since sliced bread :grin: You'll like it eventually
     

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