Q: I have been working with your Ear Training One Note Intermediate and Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing books for some months now. I am noticing improvements in my hearing.
But anyway, my questions are these:
1. In the Ear Training One Note Intermediate I now have about 90-95% accuracy, but when I do make mistakes, it is usually in confusing a b5 with a 5, or a b6 with a b2. Once in a while I will mix up a b5 and a 4 or a b7 and 7. My question is, is this happening because I am trying to use intervalic distance to get the notes right (meaning, I confuse the b5 and 4 because I am judging distance and am just missing the distance), or is it just because I don't completely know the sound of the note yet. It worried me because, the b5 and 4, or the b7 and 7,or the b6 and b2 sound very different, so I wasn't sure if I was judging the distance between notes.
2. With the ear training, I find that my recognition of notes is much better than my ability to hear the notes in my head and sing them. Are there any other exercises you would recommend other than the ones mentioned in Fanatic's Guide that I should also do to better develop the ability to pre-hear notes and to accurately sing them.
A: You probably still have some distance judging going on but the fact that you are mixing up b2 and b6 shows that you are also getting to know each note for it's original sound.
The exercises in the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing should help you a lot to get closer to these notes. It's important that you do the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing many times a day to reinforce your memory, which will help your pre-hearing. This whole process can take some time so be patient and be consistent. Missing a day is like missing 2 weeks in your current state so stick with it.
I also find that if you guess the answer fast it doesn't give you time to calculate the distance but only rely on the sound of the note in the key. You might also get the Contextual Ear Training Book. The audio tracks with this course are the same "one note" exercise from the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing but you can do them anywhere because the answer is given so you don't have to check on your instrument. These exercises don't give you much time to respond so again that might help you to get away from judging distance.