Connecting Ear Training with Your Instrument Using MetroDrone® Practice Tool
Connecting Ear Training with Your Instrument Using a MetroDrone® Practice Tool
Ultimately what a student is trying to accomplish with ear training is to connecting ear training with your instrument but the final goals can of course be mostly up to the student. Many students have goals like:
- Being able to hear what others are playing on the band stand
- The ability to transcribe off CDs
- Know what the sounds are that they hear in their head
- Be able to hear chord progressions
But let’s talk about some simple goals that a beginning musician might want to set, to get going with the application of ear training to the everyday exercises that a student might be trying to master. With all of these exercises you want to use a MetroDrone® Practice Tool so that you have a key center (via the drone) playing in the background. Initially you don’t have to play in time with the MetroDrone® Practice Tool but as things improve, that would be the next goal. But remember the overall goal here is to prove that you are hearing what you are playing by being able to sing it as fast as you can say the solfeggio syllables. That will take a good amount of time but you will see that each goal will strengthen your ability to take on harder and harder and faster and faster goals. Just be patient; it is going to take many months to master each step.
Goal One with Connecting Ear Training with Your Instrument:
Learning scales can be a challenge especially if you want to prove that you hear the scale by singing it. Connecting Ear Training with Your Instrument has some definite steps to take to achieve this goal. First put on a C MetroDrone® between 50 and 60 BPM. For any instrumentalist or singer besides a guitarist or bassist, you want to start by playing a C scale starting on “C” and go up and down your instrument two octaves if you have those notes available. For guitarists or bassists you want to start on your lowest fretted note and play three notes on every string, always playing each string starting with your index finger and the 3rd note on the string with your little finger. Play ascending and descending. Speak either the note names or the degrees and alternate that every day. i.e. note names: F, G, A, B, C etc. Degrees: 4, 5, 6, 7, 1 etc… If you are a guitarist or even a bassist, watching the videos in the Guitar Technique and Physiology Course will go a long way toward playing the scale physically correctly, and there is further information on using the MetroDrone® Practice Tool as you practice. For other instrumentalists and singers you want to keep all parts of your body relaxed as you play. If you use your fingers to push on a key or valve do so with the least amount of pressure and when releasing keep your fingers as close to the valve or key so that you have good ergonomic movement. And of course, singers, NEVER force your voice.
So now that you have physically played the scale and the MetroDrone® Practice Tool is sounding so you are actually hearing the notes correctly within a key center whether you realize it or not, you need to start singing the scale too. At the beginning, most students cannot sing the scale as fast as they can play it, which tells you right away that there is a disconnect between your ear and the notes of the scale. If you play a wind instrument, obviously you can’t sing the scale as you play it but you should try to sing the scale without your instrument with the MetroDrone® Practice Tool playing the key center. As mentioned you won’t be able to sing the scale as fast as you can play it, but you should be able to sing it about as fast as you can say the notes —but this will take practice. I recommend you use solfeggio as you sing the scale mostly because solfeggio is just one syllable for each note which helps as you speed up with the scale.
- 1 = Do
- 2 = Re (pronounced like Ray)
- 3 = Me
- 4 = Fa
- 5 = So
- 6 = La
- 7 = Ti (pronounce like Tea)
Singing the Scale with the MetroDrone® Practice Tool to
With the MetroDrone® Practice Tool on 50 BPM try to sing one note for every two pulses of the MetroDrone® Practice Tool. For all students I would first start to sing the scale from the root. For guitarists or bassists, play the scale from the root too, and then over time start singing the scale from various notes of the scale as you play in different positions, 3 notes per string. If you need to check notes, play them on your instrument but always try to first sing the note, then check. Over time you will need to check less as you master the exercise. This is a great exercise to start the day with because it tunes up your ear by making you sing each note over the MetroDrone® Practice Tool and then check its accuracy on your instrument.
The Historic Precedents Of This Kind Of Music Education
You might enjoy checking out the "Music Education Genealogy Chart" located on my artist's site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!