Q: I plan to start practicing with your Ear Training One Note CD. I think it looks to be a really good method and I am excited to begin. However, I have a couple of questions that I hope you can answer for me first.
1) You state that one is supposed to just listen for what a note is against a particular key rather than listen for the interval between two random notes that happen to be played. This seems to me to be a good method, but wouldn't one also benefit from practicing identifying random intervals as well? For example, if you know what key the music is being played in and you hear two notes played consecutively, by your method you will know what those two notes are, but you won't know what the interval is between them? Of course, you will be able to figure out what that interval is very easily because you know both notes, but it adds an extra step, and as you pointed out in your text, you need to know these things immediately. Or am I completely wrong here? If you can hear two notes against a key is the interval between them really obvious? Do you believe there's any additional benefit to practicing hearing just the interval between two notes independent of a key?
2) I am confused how your concept of identifying notes against a key center relates to the fact that a note has a different interval to another note depending on whether it is higher or lower than that note. For example, D would be a major 2nd above C but also a minor 7th below C. So which interval should one pick when listening to your cd? Or should I be listening for both? Or neither, and instead just listening for the sound that D, a note that is both a minor 7th and a major 2nd in the key of C, has in the key of C?
3) How should I go about beginning my practicing with the cd? Should I begin by only practicing with a couple of notes or even just one note and then gradually introduce others? Should I just start listening to C, to see how C sounds in the key of C, and once I have that should I bring in say, G and listen to them both, and then maybe bring in F? This question troubles me because I feel that if I just jump right in listening to the whole cd, all 12 notes in various octaves, I won't be able to remember individual notes enough to really learn their sound. So what do you recommend as the best method?
A: Answer for question One:
If you knew what key you were in and had the ability to hear the interval between two notes that were sounded you still would not know what these notes were. Let's say the two notes were a 5th. There are 12 possible 5ths so you would have to go through all 12 to figure out which 5th was being played. You could possibly add in the step of hearing the 5th focusing in on one of the notes and then relating this to the tonic note of the key. Unfortunately this takes too long and presents a problem for many people when the key center root is not being sounded amongst other issues.
Answer for question Two:
Quite confused by your question. You are not listening for an interval relationship with this type of ear training so where a note is placed in relationship to the the tonic of the key center has no relevance. Remember all 2nd degrees of a key sound the same no matter what octave they are in.
Answer for question three:
It's OK to concentrate on a few notes at a time, but also make sure to listen to the CD with all notes everyday too. You should also be working out of either Contextual Ear Training or Fanatic's Guide to Sight Singing and Ear Training this will particularly help you to memorize the sound of each note through singing exercises.