Pause During Ear Training One Note Training Complete
Pause During Ear Training One Note Training Complete
Q: I have the Ear Training One Note Complete with CDs. I started listening to it after reading it. I listened to it for about twenty minutes last night before I went to bed, and I’ve listened to it a couple times today. I have some concerns. First, I’ve never had any formal ear training, or much music training at all. I tried some simple computer program a while ago, but I had no idea what I should be doing with it, and did not understand what most of the terms were meant to represent, so that only lasted briefly for a day or two. The way you have described the goal of ear training is what I’ve been looking for: recognizing notes in a way like I recognize color. I thought of it in similar ways.
I also have your 1st Steps for a Beginning Guitarist. When tuning (5 fret method) I have no idea when the notes are the same, even when I tune them both with an electric tuner and see how they sound. I can still hear something different about them.
When I listen to the ear training CD, it seems as if I get C right the most. I don’t know why, I had some ideas. Something about it being in the key of C. Had some other thoughts about it too. Also, the space between the note being played and the answer being given gives me a lot of time to think about what the note would be. If I’m to give the first note that I think it might be should I be using that much time? Once the note is played and I give a guess (it is usually a guess every time, which I anticipated before starting) then there is that relatively long pause afterwards. During that pause should I be rethinking my guess? During the pause, should I think about the note more before guessing?
When I listen to the CD, sometimes I think I compare the note to the last one played. I’m not sure if I am or what, but during waiting for the answer sometimes I’m thinking of it sounding different than the last note, higher or lower, and wondering about things like that. Sometimes I end up changing my mind about my guess (often both guesses are wrong anyways). I also forget to include the sharped notes in my guesses, and usually only answer with them because a previous note reminded me that I haven’t been using them. During the pause, I don’t recognize the notes anyways, I’m wondering whether it’s a C or F, I’m not wondering if it’s a C or C#. I’m thinking that I should just guess with the notes all in mind, but when I guess D# or whatever other accidental, I don’t really have a reason. Many times during the pause I’m off by a half step or something. But I do think that maybe sometimes I’ll hear a note and think it sounds like an F# I heard before.
I don’t easily tell the similarity between the same note in different octaves. If it sounds different in some way, I start to think it might be a different note or I don’t even sense any distinct similarity, unless maybe I ‘equate’ something between the two, not even sure if that is what is shared between them. (I’ve heard something about different ‘color’ notes, but any difference between them I end up getting confused about their apparent similarity). But I’m doing this with a progressive approach. It’s definitely not review for me.
My main aversion to many of the methods I encountered in general was too much of leaving it up to the student to figure out a lot, and that all my technique will just fall into place somehow. Learning from mistakes is necessary, but no matter what advice I’m going to be given, I’m going to make mistakes anyways and have to practice correcting them. I work part-time as a tutor and many I have been acquainted with present an attitude about teaching that people have to figure out everything for themselves to learn it well, not even realizing that the large body of information and learning they have they were exposed to repeatedly when they were very young. Or they had enough support that engaged their innate styles of learning to get started. Why so many think they’ve figured out a lot of the things they understand largely on their own I believe is fairly ridiculous. The main thing I find from your books is your teaching. You use many mediums (video, computer and internet, print, audio, etc). Different perspectives and ways of understanding anything help to focus on the similarities. You’re willingness to interact with those using your books I’m sure really helps many who previously felt left in the dark to blindly find their way (I was thinking of getting rid of the guitar, wondering if I was really up for figuring so much out for myself, with all the loosely covered guitar technique concepts in many books.)
I have about 7 or 8 method books, and most of them are filled with tons of exercises, with a few pages on technique (a word I didn’t use much before). Whenever I came to an exercise, yea, I could practice it all I wanted, but I kept looking for information to give me more specifics (‘How should this finger be?’ ‘Is my thumb ok this way? Or is this better?’ ‘This feels more comfortable. Do I just practice and use this as my own style?’) All kinds of questions and the most articulate response I got was to keep working on it or experimenting and I’ll get better. But work on what? I know what finger goes on what fret, your books says so on this 2-dimensional representation of the fretboard. I need clarification that explains how my three-dimensional hands should be interacting in time with this 3 dimensional fretboard, frets, set of strings, etc. I’m real glad I found your work, and I appreciate your correspondence from this and my earlier e-mail.
P.S. My wrist occasionally bothers me, (right/picking), which I am going to have to clarify in a later e-mail, when I figure out more on whether it has anything to do with guitar or something else (I write holding a pen very different than the traditional way). I will try to make note of other things to ask about as I practice (just started over yesterday) to elaborate and focus on so I don’t just glaze over something nonspecifically.
A: I can see that you have many questions and are confused about a number of things (including the pause). I think some of this just comes from my method being new to you but I think there are a few things you can do to help educate yourself which should make many of your goals easier.
I first think you need to learn a little more about Music Theory. This will help you in the understanding of your instrument and music in general but it will also help you to understand the ear training processes which in turn will help you to improve quicker. Being you are a guitarist I would recommend Music Theory Workbook for Guitar Volume One. This will help you to understand and build all chords in all keys. It will also help you to make the music theory like a second language. Remember that by making some of simple concepts in music theory clear in your mind your ability to practice and understand music will be enhanced. For your ear training work I think it is very important for you to start working out of the Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing. This will help you to start memorizing sound and give you a fighting chance when you are listening to the Ear Training One Note Complete CDs. You description of your mind’s internal processing is common for someone starting off with this technique. With patience and the understanding that you will receive from the above books you will find your ability to focus and understand the ear training will grow over time.
For the guitar related issues I think you should take a look at the video chord files found under the Help Files for Chords link in the free member’s area. This will give you an in-depth look at each chord and the pitfalls and problems associated with each chord. This should help you to decide if the way your are playing chords is correct or if they need more work.
I think you should also get started playing scales on the guitar. I would recommend Guitar Technique and Essentials and go to the Help Files for Essentials and the Help Files for Scales in the member’s area. Work through each scale position shown in the PDFs which show the proper fingerings. These books along with Guitar Technique and with the 1st Steps for a Beginning Guitarist book book should answer most of your questions on technique and how to play and think of each scale.
If you follow the suggested right hand technique in the 1st Steps for a Beginning Guitarist book your wrist problems will go away because my right hand technique doesn’t involve using the muscles of the wrist.
In general I think you should work on the above information for awhile and see what questions come up. Try to be as exact as you can when asking questions so I can really focus in on your problems.
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.