Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Music" -> Ear Training Part I

You can't be the best musician that you can be without ear training. Rather than starting off in the theory of how to train your ear, I want to go directly to the application. Alain Benbassat has written a couple of wonderful programs called Functional Ear Trainer-Basic and Functional Ear Trainer-Advanced. You can get to this program via my links on the top of the blog. ("The Best Ear Trainer--And It's Free.")

There is a bit of a war going on when doing ear training. I won't get into the details on this post, but the two camps are:

a. Interval based ear training
b. Functional ear training

From my perspective, the one that makes sense is functional ear training. The key procedure is this:

1. Listen to a series of chords so you know what key you are in
2. Listen to a single note played
3. Pick out this note on a series of buttons

I've been working on this for the last six weeks, and this morning I hit a new high. Out of 300 series played, I was able to pick the right note approximately 94% of the time. The very first time I did this in September of 2006, I could find the right note about 50% of the time. I didn't think that I would progress so far so fast.

This particular branch of ear training has caused me to rethink a lot about the fundamental nature of how our brain digests and processes sound. However, this is for another post.

My advice right now? Get the application. It is free but donations are suggested, and use it.

You'll listen to music in a whole new way.

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