Q: I just bought your Ear Training One Note Complete book from Barnes and Noble. I understand the idea of relative pitch and I totally agree with your approach of straight memorization. However, I play trumpet and hadn't really thought about the fact that the book might not have a portion in Bb (spoiled by the Aebersold stuff I guess). This presents a real problem for me personally because I tried to teach myself trumpet with a chromatic tuner and ended up learning (sort of) the fingerings in C and have finally purged most of that and replaced it with the Bb info. I'm afraid that using the CD as is might bring back old habits. I'm also afraid that transposing the answer key and looking it up each time wouldn't give me the immediate feedback I need. I was wondering if you had any suggestions. Also, is there a Bb version available/in the works/can I get one??? thanks for the excellent resource!
A: I understand your dilemma, and I have a couple of concerns.
First if let's say there was a Bb version. You would hear the a cadence in C then let's say the 5th or G concert was played. You would like the answer to be A or the 6th. So then when you played A on the trumpet you would be playing a G concert. I'm wondering about the wisdom of learning ear training/music theory in this manner. Basically if you hear the 5th of a key sounded you think the sixth (or basically always thinking with transposition.) You would basically have to do this for all music theory and ear training knowledge you possess. I guess that is OK but from the trumpet players and woodwind players that I talked to they believe you should be able to do the ear training method both concert AND transposed. I'm also wondering how you will deal with always transposing when you are reading non-transposed parts which happen quite a bit in the real world.
On the other hand I understand your need for instant ear to finger connection. One possible solution would be to listen to the Ear Training One Note Complete CD and pretend the cadence is in Bb; then when you hear to answer it will be transposed.
Another possibility would be to use your trumpet when you listen to the CD. You would hear the I IV V cadence and then when the note in question would sound, you would then play on the trumpet what note you think is correct. This way you wouldn't even have to listen to the answer because you would know if your trumpet note matches the sound on the CD.
A really no-nonsense answer to your quandary would be to say you should learn the ear-training "in concert" as originally intended, just to be an all around good musician, then go BACK over the exercises with your trumpet, until you are instantaneous in your responses. Tough to do, but that's another route.