Q: I was listening to your Ear Training One Note Beginning CD yesterday and think I got what you're trying to teach me to do. Recognize the notes you play in relation to the chords played. It sounds simple but it's more difficult than that. I just wanted to confirm a couple of things. First I should listen to the chords without thinking of their names. Just the sound (I usually count 1,2,3,4 in rhythm with them), then listen to the note played afterward in relation to the chords just played, then quickly guess at the name of the note, listen for the answer and move on to the next one. Now that I understand what I am trying to listen for it makes it a lot easier. Its funny how it just clicked yesterday (my guesswork didn't improve) but I understand the direction I'm trying to go now, which will make it more rewarding along the way.
A: Remember that you are trying to hear each pitch against a key center not a chord progression. This is a subtle difference in language but a huge difference in approach. I would just listen to the chord progression and let it create a key within you; that's it. You may not be able to hold on to this key very long to start with and if you lose it before the note sounds you probably will get the note wrong. That's OK! Just keep trying, it will come. Everyone who sticks with this ear training gets it. Overall I think you are on the right path I just wanted to point out these subtle differences. You should also consider putting some time in each day to work with either the Contextual Ear Training audio files or the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing. This will really help in your understanding of the overall ear training process and help you to improve at a quicker rate.