Ear Training Guided Tour

Ear Training Guided Tour

Many customers need help when deciding which products to purchase. This ear training guided tour will help you decide what are best courses to target you ear training issues. In general a student should work on a listening and singing exercises each day. It is best to do the exercises in short 5 to 10 minute sessions and do at least two sessions for singing and listening each day. That said doing five sessions a day would be much better. Ear training is all about developing your memory for a pitch. Think of it like learning a foreign language is a very good approach because it makes you realize this will take some time to master. The most important thing to remember in this ear training guided tour is to keep a positive attitude when practicing. Ear Training takes time and there are courses here to fix every issue you will run into. So stay positive and contact us if you need help.

The courses listed on the ear training page are in a rough order of how to proceed and the number of courses change over time. This can vary depending on the student’s ability and or problems that are occurring. One of the main reasons for the existence of so many ear training courses is the problems students run into over the last 25 years and Muse Eek’s response by releases courses that have help fix issues students have with various aspects of ear training.

Getting Started

90% of students need to start with Ear Training One Note Complete a listening course and Contextual Ear Training a singing course. It is also recommended you watch the 25 Ear Training Tips. There are a few alternative to these courses that were created because some student prefers to hear exercises with another instrument besides a piano or they prefer to do ear training within a particular music genre. Although you might think of these alternates as merely other choices the “context” in which you hear an exercise can also point out problems you may have.

For instance, you might be able to do the ear training with a piano but once you hear the same exercise done with a voice you find the exercise to be much easier or much harder. This is normal and is one of the reasons Muse Eek created the “Instrumental Color” series so that students can work on ear training using the sound of their instrument but also so they can check to see if they have any issues when hearing the ear training exercises done with another instrument. You don’t need to go into this in depth at the beginning of your study but it is something to keep in mind.

Alternate Listening Courses:

Alternate Singing Courses:

In this ear training guided tour a few comments about Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing are in order. This book was originally recommended before the existence of the Contextual Ear Training course. We now recommend the Contextual Ear Training course because it can be practiced anywhere. Some aspects of the Fanatic’s Guide need to be practiced where you have a instrument to check your accuracy. Fanatic’s Guide has quite a few exercises that 99% off all students will need to work on so it can be used in conjunction with Contextual Ear Training if you have time but certainly should be worked on after you are getting around 50% correct answers with Contextual Ear Training.

Applied Ear Training Courses

Once you are getting approximately 50% correct notes on the Ear Training One Note Complete and/or Contextual Ear Training or one of their alternates you should start applying your new skills to real music via either the Applied Ear Training courses or the Direct Application courses.

The Difference between Applied and Direct Ear Training Courses

Applied ear training is a much more graduated study of applying ear training to real music so is recommended for most students. That said the Direct Application courses have some very good ear training exercises both for listening and singing which can really help a student to cross the threshold between doing an exercise and having ear training work with real music.

Keep in Mind

In this ear training guided tour keep in mind that for most students transferring over from an ear training exercise to using your new ear training skills with real music can be a slow process. You must work on using your newly achieved skills with real music and this is one of the hallmarks of the Muse Eek ear training courses. So don’t neglect this part of your ear training study. You goal is to hear music in real time and these applied ear training courses will do this for you.

Applied and Direct Application Ear Training Courses

There are many courses for Applied and Direct Application Ear Training. In general you can work on as many of these courses at once but they are listed in order of difficulty and many links are for a multiple series of courses. All Applied ear training courses have audio examples so you can check whether the course is appropriate for you. The Direct Application courses tend to not have examples and in general are harder courses.

Applied Ear Training Courses

Direct Application Ear Training Courses

Understand How to Hear Chords Within A Chord Progression

Before the ear training guided tour continues a few words about the course Secondary Dominants should be mentioned here. Secondary Dominants as well as the mega course Scale Analysis teach you how this type of ear training translates to hearing chord progressions. This is important to understand as you are starting this ear training so that you learn to think and hear chord progressions in the same way. THIS IS CRUCIAL, don’t go down the path of learning a new key center for every chord within a chord progression this is not how you hear music. I recommend getting the Scale Analysis book right as you start your ear training quest. While you won’t be able to do all the singing assignments right away you can start filling in the scales that work with each chord within the chord progressions. Even if that is beyond your skills at least look at how all scales for all chords within the chord progressions are in one key center.

An Important Addition to Starting Ear Training

In this ear training guided tour I’ve skipped over talking about the MetroDrone which is a tool that I highly recommend using as soon as you start this type of ear training. The MetroDrone makes a metronome into key center producing device with the addition of the drone. Since most students have a problem with hearing everything that they play in a key center it is an excellent replacement for a metronome and should be used when practicing scales, arpeggios or anything else that can be hear in one key center. There is a acoustic string bass version as well as a tuba version. Some students have a problem with hearing the fundamental pitch when hearing a stringed instrument and should therefore use the tuba version. The tuba version also uses shorter lengths of notes which requires the listener to sustain the key center in their own mind which helps build key retention. The MetroDrone app is also available for iPhone.

Severe Ear Training Problems

In this ear training guided tour let’s focus for a minute on those folks that are really having a tough time with ear training. If you have problems hearing whether a note is higher or lower than other then use the Total Beginning Ear Training for Adults or Children. If you are teaching a child or need to start with an alternate path to begin your ear training studies use the Ear Training for Children and Others Young at Heart.

Melodic Ear Training Courses

So in this ear training guided tour once you are getting over 50% correct notes with either the Ear Training One Note Complete and/or Contextual Ear Training you can start the Melodic Ear Training Courses. Melodic Ear Training starts with two notes and then adds on more notes. Links can be found below. Melodic Ear Training usually makes a student aware that they have weak key retention because they hear one of more of the melody notes modulate to another key. There are many courses to help fix key retention problems and they are crucial to getting to the next level with this type of ear training.

Melodic Ear Training

Key Retention Courses

Advanced One Note Ear Training

Once you are getting over 80% on the Advanced Ear Training One Note Complete it is time to start Ear Training One Note Extreme. Ear Training One Note Extreme will prepare you for the next step in the ear training process where you need very fast recognition skills. Now is also a good time to go and listen to the examples for the Instrumental Color courses to make sure you can hear one note ear training with all the different instruments listed. If not start working on the instruments that cause you problems.

Key Note Recognition

Now as the ear training guided tour continues when you are getting over 80% on the Advanced Ear Training you can also move on to Key Note Recognition. Although this is really an alternative listening method for one note ear training it is usually very hard for students. This is again the idea of context showing you that your mind learns in one context at a time. There are four levels to Key Note Recognition because this course is also meant to build up your ability to recognize key centers that aren’t based on simple major or minor triads. This is a common problem for students that haven’t played or listened to a lot of different types of music. You should move up through the four levels of Key Note Recognition as you get 80% correct answers on each level.

Moving Past Contextual Ear Training Singing Course

Once you are getting over 80% on the Contextual Ear Training Singing Course it’s time to move to Fanatic’s Guide Volume One and Fanatic’s Guide Volume Two. Most important is to work on the Blues Singing exercise and sing through the written examples in the book. With Fanatic’s Guide Volume Two you continue your study of using different types of key centers like dominant, minor major 7 etc… There are 17 different types of key centers presented in this course. You can use the singing examples in Fanatic’s Guide Volume Two but you should also use the singing examples in Fanatic’s Guide Volume One with the 17 different types of key centers. You can also start the Contextual Ear Training Volume Two which has you sing two ascending notes instead of the one note you did with Contextual Ear Training.

Other Courses Once You Achieve 80% on One Note Ear Training

Now with this ear training guided tour if you are getting 80% on either the Ear Training One Note Complete or Contextual Ear Training there are quite a few courses that you can branch out to depending on your goals. Many times a student has interest in developing improvisational skills with chord changes so they might choose Guide Tones or Tools for Mastery One to learn approach note lines. If a student has interest in improvising with pitch class sets they might choose Trichord Ear Training All 3 Note Combinations or 013 Hexatonic Études. Here is a list in no particular order:

Moving Past Key Note Recognition

At this point in the ear training guided tour continues if you are getting over 80% on any level of Key Note Recognition you can start Two Note Ear Training. Two Note Ear Training is a quantum leap in ear training skills so plan on being on this for awhile. Good news is once you get two note ear training three note and beyond will be fairly simple. You just need to speed up your recognition as you add in more notes. It is highly recommended that you use either the Grandeur Piano or Oboe two notes studies. With the addition of the “stereo” and “singing” exercises we have found that students cut by a third the amount of time it takes to master two note ear training.

Moving Past Two Note Ear Training

Once you are getting over 80% on Two Note Ear Training you can move on to each of the following levels:

Additional Ear Training Studies

And now for something different in your ear training guided tour. If you are getting over 80% on Ear Training One Note Complete or Contextual Ear Training you could also start Perfect Pitch Ear Training. Keep in mind that Perfect Pitch Ear Training is a COMPLETELY different way of hearing a pitch so make sure you are solid on your understanding of hearing a note in a key center before working on Perfect Pitch Ear Training.

Last But Certainly Note Least is Rhythm Ear Training Studies

Let us not forget in this ear training guided tour that rhythm is one of the core ingredients of music so don’t over look doing some Rhythm Ear Training. Muse Eek’s Rhythm Ear Training is unique because it can be done anywhere because the answers are supplied at the end of each exercise. There are various packages you can purchase but at least start with some level of Rhythm Ear Training so that it doesn’t become a hole in your musicianship. There is also the Rhythm Ear Training Video Course which helps a beginning student or student not familiar with were certain types of rhythms are used in real music. This Rhythm Ear Training Video Course is unique and can really help a budding musician understand how rhythms are used in many different styles. This also helps you when you are writing charts so that you have confidence that you are writing your parts on the correct metric level.

Honorable Mention

A final thought in this ear training guided tour is Jam Tracks which are crucial to you applying anything you learn to real music. Working with Jam Tracks will educate your ear about different types of key centers. It will also get you actively playing music which is important for building up your ability to hear in different contexts. You can also use courses like Key to Your Kingdom audio files directly with jam tracks or any music for that matter to test your ear training skills as you improvise with the jam tracks. In any case, always play with real music everyday. There is no substitute for putting your musical mind into a real music situation. Jam tracks are great for this because they have you playing in every key. In the long run this will greatly improve your musicianship.

Wondering where all these ideas about ear training came from? You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my Bruce Arnold’s artist 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!