Knowing When to Move on to Ear Training Two Note

Knowing When to Move on to Ear Training Two Note

Knowing When to Move on to Ear Training Two Note

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Knowing When to Move on to Ear Training Two Note

Q: I've been working on my singing exercises more and have been making some headway. I am currently working on all the diatonic notes, and am able to imagine a note in my head after playing a progression. Sometimes it takes a while, or I have to repeat the tonic root chord (like a drone) to be able to do it. I also find it hard to imagine a note in my head while playing a drone. I have to let the chord ring for a while before I can do it. I am concerned that letting a chord or drone ring may be lending itself to some bad habits delaying my progress. As I let a chord ring, I am imagining the root (solfeggio Do) note in my head which helps me get the right answer. Is this an okay way to establish the key center in my mind, or is it becoming a mental crutch for me to imagine Do in my head in order to imagine and then sing the desired note? (I hope that makes sense)

I'm also wondering what is the level of proficiency I am shooting for? Right now, if I hear a progression, am I shooting for instantaneous recognition to be able to imagine and sing the desired note? Currently, if I have a few seconds to hear that root Do note ring, I can usually imagine and guess the right note. I am hoping my speed recognition will improve with time.

What about playing a drone root chord? What is the optimal amount of time that should elapse between playing the drone and being able to imagine and sing a note?

Getting your thoughts on the above would help gauge my progress to determine when I am ready for the two note singing exercises.

My next question is regarding the best way to drill for Fanatic's Guide to Sight Singing.  I've been doing these two things:

  • 1) Playing the same progression over and over and try to sing all the desired notes in random order. (i.e. play C-F-G chord, sing re; play C-F-G chord, sing ti; play C-F-G chord sing la; etc)
  • 2) Playing a progression in different keys, and then trying to sing a random note in whatever key I just played. (i.e. play C-F-G chord, sing fa; play E-A-B chord, sing ti; etic) I find this to be harder because I was having difficulty knowing the random notes I was singing.

Your thoughts on these two methods, and are there any other methods that would help me along?

I've been learning my solfeggio syllables. Is there any value in my learning the corresponding number values (1-12) to each note? Or should I just focus on learning diatonic numbres 1-7, referring to the non-diatonic notes as b3, b7, etc.

Right now, when I listen to my Ear Training One Note CD, I am getting about 50% right. For whatever reasons, I have almost 100% accuracy on recognizing the Fa note (F). I was really glad to be able to just hear a note, and no what it is. This was about two weeks ago. I was hoping the other notes would soon follow, but I've been kinda stuck. Any suggestions? Does an ear trainee typically aquire notes one at a time? Looking for some guidance on what to expect with the process of gaining note recognition.

I've been focusing hard on my ear training exercises, but would like some suggestions on how to apply my training to the guitar. I have already ordered a copy of Single String Studies for Guitar Volume One and hope to incorporate that soon. I've heard in the past about other ear training exercises along the lines of imaging a well known tune in my head (like Yankee Doodle for example) and then trying to play it on the guitar. Do you think this kind of training is practical at this point in my training, or am I better off waiting to make more progress?

I am wondering when would be the best time to add non-diatonic notes to my training routine. Should I learn my diatonic notes better than 50% before I move on?

When I do add the non-diatonic notes, should I add them all at once or one at a time?

I am afraid of hindering my progress because I feel I am making a good head way with knowing diatonic notes after a slow start. But realize I need to do all the notes eventually.

A:  Well the problem you have is weak key retention. Knowing that, We can do a few things to help that. First keep in mind that focusing in on the root of the drone is not a great idea. This tends to make your mind reliant on doing that procedure and over time will slow you down when using ear training in a real time experience. What should be happening is the drone just filtrates into you head and solidifies the key center. You should be concentrating only on the note that needs to be sung and have faith that your mind will absorb the key center without concentrating on it so much.

You can also try building up your key retention by doing some singing exercises without a drone. I usually recommend the Single String Studies for Guitar Volume One for this but you could use the Fanatic's Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing too it's just a harder book to jump into with this exercise. Let me know which book you want to use and I'll give you an assignment. Also, Metrodrone is a useful tool for training your ear with these exercises.

It is also recommended that you read Bruce Arnold's Blog at his artist site. It contains more discussion of the musical topics found in these FAQs as well as other subjects of interest. You will also find the "Music Education Genealogy Chart" located here which shows you the historic significance of the music education products found on the Muse Eek Publishing Company Website.

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