Ear Training Blog by Bruce Arnold for Muse Eek Publishing Inc. Key Retention

Ear Training Blog By Bruce Arnold

This Ear Training Blog concentrates on the Ear Training/Aural Recognition side of your music education.  It explains different elements of my teaching approach which will in turn help you raise your music mastery.  I will explain different courses that I have written and why they are important and which deficiencies they will address.  I will also discuss common mistakes students make when working on ear training.

Why Follow This Ear Training Blog?

There are obviously a ton of books and music education sites available today. So what makes my Ear Training Blog and my way of teaching better or different? In my 45 years of teaching music I have taught countless students. One thing I’ve consistently found is that my methods work.  That’s because contrary to the many sites that have a “one size fits all” format (which seldom works) mine is holistic. This means that I have a variety of ways to teach ear training skills no matter what your deficiency. 

I Know It Works Because I Experienced It Myself

My courses are successful because I personally experienced the trauma of realizing I had been taught music incorrectly in my beginning years.  This meant I had to unlearn and then relearn a multitude of things later on, wasting valuable time in the process.  So I know how it feels to have wasted so much earnest practice on the wrong thing, and I now know what to do about it. That’s because I was lucky to have found great teachers who really knew how to help me.  These musicians “passed the torch” of their experiences on to me. I found answers that fixed my problems, and now helping my students to reach their potential is one of the greatest satisfactions of my career.

An Example of Misguided Teaching:

I spent about a decade learning “interval ear training” and although I got “A’s” in the class when I got on the bandstand I heard nothing.  This made me realize that there had to be another way to recognize musical elements instantly, because the great musicians that I was playing with obviously had that ability. This is what lead to my Ear Training One Note Complete Course which contains a basic concept that will help you to hear what all 12 notes sound like in a key center.  It’s not about hearing the distance between each note i.e. the interval method taught at most schools. The course explains the method in very simple terms, and gives examples of why interval training will not work. Contextual ear training is the KEY if you are trying to hear what’s inside your head or what someone else is playing.

You Are Unique

So back to what makes my method different from those offered on other sites. As I mentioned, my approach is not “one size fits all.” When you work with me you get a program tailored to your specific needs. Maybe you can hear only a few intervals and occasionally identify chords, or you just know your ability is too limited to work well with other musicians.  Whatever the case, I believe you will find “Contextual Ear Training” to be just the ticket to improve your ability.  You will experience a transformation wherein you can identify what you are hearing inside your head, as well as what others are playing, as they play it

The Available Ear Training Courses

Check out the Ear Training Books that are currently available to see the scope of this method.  You can improve you aural recognition skills with the many products found on this page.  By following and interacting with this Ear Training Blog you can determine which combination of courses is best for you. Sometimes you may need to do a personal Skype lesson with me if you feel you have really specific issues to address.  As you move through the many levels of the “Contextual Ear Training” method you will have many questions. Hopefully through this Ear Training Blog, the Muse Eek FAQs and the Ear Training Facebook Group you get the best advice possible.

Epiphanies Through Interaction

The most important thing is to communicate through your comments and questions.  I am there to help you by answering pertinent questions.  I also recommend joining our Ear Training Facebook Group where you will find many other students using this method.  These students get together via Skype and work on ear training together.  You will improve more quickly if you have an ear training buddy to help and challenge you. And participating in the group can help you gain more confidence that you can overcome your problems.

You Can Do This!

Interacting here or in the Ear Training Facebook Group will help you to see that many people have the same problems that you are experiencing.  It will also help you to maintain a positive attitude.  This is crucial when working with a method that requires you to use your memory.  Ear training is really about you developing a memory of the sounds you hear.  By maintaining a positive attitude you help your brain remember faster.  So keep your chin up!  You can do this!  I’ve never had a student that couldn’t develop amazing aural comprehension skills.  The key is keeping at it and keeping a positive attitude.

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!

 

 

Bruce Arnold playing guitar found on Ear Training Blog

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3 thoughts on “Ear Training Blog by Bruce Arnold for Muse Eek Publishing

  1. I am working through some of your material after realizing the same: interval training wasn’t help me in my way to play what I hear.
    Can I ask you something?
    I think is a waste of time to transcribe lines and songs note by note when I cannot visualize those notes in my mind. Do you agree?
    What levels of your materials do you have to reach before attempting transcription in an effective way?

  2. Hi Sergio,

    Of course, I agree with you about interval training. But transcription is still an excellent tool depending on whether you pick the right material to transcribe, and it may even help students who are working with my “Contextual Ear Training.”
    For instance, I often recommend “modal” songs like “Impressions” or even songs that are all in one key like “Bye Bye Blackbird” as good songs to transcribe. Even transcribing just the melodies to songs is a good idea. As I’m sure you know, musicians often “interpret” a melody, so in transcribing those melodies you gain many insights into the elements of style. I also recommend transcribing solos by musicians who tend to play fairly few notes and not too fast. Some examples of that would be Miles Davis, Jim Hall, and Lester Young. I sometimes have students play a MetroDrone https://muse-eek.com/metrodrone-all-purpose-practice-tool/ of the key center at the same time that they are transcribing, to help them stay in the key center.

    Getting students to hear melodic lines on a staff is a whole other problem. I’ve tried to balance the ear training books I’ve written so that some have notation while others are strictly MP3s. “Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Reading” https://muse-eek.com/ear-training-and-sight-singing-for-musicians-book-with-audio/ is one of the cornerstone books for developing an ability to hear what you see on a staff. I also encourage students to sight read, especially by having a MetroDrone playing in the background which grounds the music in a key center. The Sight Reading Solved Course https://muse-eek.com/sight-reading-intermediate-level-for-musicians-with-midi-files/ is good for this because it gives you études in all keys using 22 of the most used modes in music. You can also go through the entire “Rhythms Series” https://muse-eek.com/category/time-studies/ with a MetroDrone playing the key and play the rhythms using “one note.” This helps you learn rhythms while practicing ear training at the same time.

    Finally, applying this sight reading idea to real music gets you honing your ability to hear what you see. Often I recommend students to get a copy of the “Real Book.” Learn a melody a week starting with tunes that are mostly in one key center. Here is a list:

    A Foggy Day
    Afternoon in Paris
    Alice in Wonderland
    All Blues
    All of Me
    Au Privave
    Autumn Leaves
    Beautiful Love
    Bessie’s Blues
    Bewitched
    Black Orpheus
    Blue Monk
    Blue Room
    Blues for Alice
    Blue Trane
    Bye Bye Blackbird
    Ceora
    Dancing on the Ceiling
    The Days of Wine and Roses
    Dealy Beloved
    Equinox
    Falling in Love with Love
    Footprints
    Four
    Freedom Jazz Dance
    Gentle Rain
    Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
    Hello Young Lovers
    I Could Write a Book
    I Love You
    Just Friends
    My One and Only Love
    My Romance
    Sometime Ago
    Spring is Here
    There is no Greater Love
    There will Never Be Another You

    Eventually all these different approaches will get you to the same place, playing what you hear, and hearing what others are playing.
    I hope this answers your question…but if you are still unsure, don’t hesitate to contact me again.

  3. Of course, I agree with you about interval training. But transcription is still an excellent tool depending on whether you pick the right material to transcribe, and it may even help students who are working with my “Contextual Ear Training.”
    For instance, I often recommend “modal” songs like “Impressions” or even songs that are all in one key like “Bye Bye Blackbird” as good songs to transcribe. Even transcribing just the melodies to songs is a good idea. As I’m sure you know, musicians often “interpret” a melody, so in transcribing those melodie s you gain many insights into the elements of style. I also recommend transcribing solos by musicians who tend to play fairly few notes and not too fast. Some examples of that would be Miles Davis, Jim Hall, and Lester Young. I sometimes have students play a MetroDrone https://muse-eek.com/metrod… of the key center at the same time that they are transcribing, to help them stay in the key center.

    Getting students to hear melodic lines on a staff is a whole other problem. I’ve tried to balance the ear training books I’ve written so that some have notation while oth ers are strictly MP3s. “Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Reading” https://muse-eek.com/ear-tr… is one of the cornerstone books for developing an ability to hear what you see on a staff. I also encourage students to sight read, especially by having a MetroDrone playing in the background which grounds the music in a key center. The Sight Reading Solved Course https://muse-eek.com/sight-… is good for this because it gives you études in all keys using 22 of t he most used modes in music. You can also go through the entire “Rhythms Series” https://muse-eek.com/catego… with a MetroDrone playing the key and play the rhythms using “one note.” This helps you learn rhythms while practicing ear training at the same time.

    Finally, applying this sight reading idea to real music gets you honing your ability to hear what you see. Often I recommend students to get a copy of the “Real Book.” Learn a melody a week starting with tunes that are mostly in one key center. Here is a list:

    A Foggy Day
    Afternoon in Paris
    Alice in Wonderland
    All Blues
    All of Me
    Au Privave
    Autumn Leaves
    Beautiful Love
    Bessie’s Blues
    Bewitched
    Black Orpheus
    Blue Monk
    Blue Room
    Blues for Alice
    Blue Trane
    Bye Bye Blackbird
    Ceora
    Dancing on the Ceiling
    The Days of Wine and Roses
    Dealy Beloved
    Equinox
    Falling in Love with Love
    Footprints
    Four
    Freedom Jazz Dance
    Gentle Rain
    Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
    Hello Young Lovers
    I Could Write a Book
    I Love You
    Just Friends
    My One and Only Love
    My Romance
    Sometime Ago
    Spring is Here
    There is no Greater Love
    There will Never Be Another You

    Eventually all these different approaches will get you to the same place, playing what you hear, and hearing what others are playing.
    I hope this answers your question…but if you are still unsure, don’t hesitate to contact me again.

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