Q: When I do the Ear Training One Note Complete exercises at random, I find that I try to derive the current note based on the previous example, regardless of the octaves involved. Is this the same as doing interval training and/or is it a bad thing?
Also, I made a new CD out of the provided 'Ear Training One Note Beginning Level' CD where I grouped the examples per note so that I could listen to all of the different octaves of a note together. So, on the CD, I have all the C note examples first, then the C sharp, then the D, etc... Is this advisable and is there any other technique that I can use to assist in this learning process?
A: Yes that is a very bad thing to do and defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. Why don't you try to just listen to the creation of the key via the cadence, and when you hear the note, just say to yourself, "What does that note sound like?" If you have an idea, say it. If you listen to the CD in this way and do it for 10 minutes 5 to 10 times a day you will notice that you will start to remember the sounds. Another way to think of this is to image you are learning a foreign language rather than ear training. When you hear each note, think of it as a word that you are trying to memorize in another language. Obviously, the relationship of one word in one example and one word in another example has no meaning or relationship.
I don't think the octave CD is a very good idea either. I think that a better idea would be to get the Fanatic's Guide to Sight Singing and Ear Training to help you learn the sound of all 12 notes. You will find that a combination of both books will help you to understand this technique and improve at your fastest rate.
Overall, I think you are approaching this whole process with the wrong frame of mind. Don't gauge your progress on getting a note right or not. Think of it as a memorization process that will take time and know that it's OK if you don't remember the sounds right away. The important thing is to do it everyday.