Saying the Note Immediately During Ear Training

Saying the Note Immediately During Ear Training

Saying the Note Immediately During Ear Training

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Saying the Note Immediately During Ear Training

Q: Thanks for your quick response. I see most of the help files you’ve included relate to Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing guide. Although I don’t have that book the general ideas are still useful. I purchased the Ear Training One Note intermediate and Contextual Ear Training last week and this is my rough plan of action:

Ear Training One Note : – make folders for each octave, then begin working with ONLY octave 3 – subdivide this octave into three groups c-d#, e-g and g#-b – listen to each 4 note group for 5 minutes, twice a day, making six sessions a day totaling around 30 minutes – my aim is to make the groups bigger (i.e. 2 groups of 6 notes) until i can do all 12 pitches – after that I’ll add in more octaves

Contextual Ear Training: – practice root until 80% achieved – next practice ONLY the third until 80% achieved – next practice BOTH root AND third until 80% achieved – continue adding notes in this manner until I can do all 12 pitches in all 24 keys – my aim here is to do around 3 x 5 minute sessions a day I think 45 mins a day is about the most I can do between breaks at work, lunch hour and spare moments here and there. I had a few questions:

  • 1) Is the above plan of action a good way to proceed?
  • 2) I find that for some notes the tendency to resolve or use tricks is stronger than for others. Are there specific ways to combat this?
  • 3) I know you suggest saying the first thing that comes to mind, but I worry that by doing this I’m creating an incorrect sound/label association, so if I really have no idea I prefer to just let you say the answer, sing it a few times in my mind, then hopefully the next time I’ll know it. Is this OK?
  • 4) In Contextual Ear Training you say that when adding the 3 for minor keys it should be the flat 3. Does this also mean that when adding the 6 and 7 for minor keys, these should be the flat 6 and flat 7, respectively?
  • 5) In Contextual Ear Training should I work through singing all 12 notes against majors key centres, then move onto minors, or learn each note in all 24 keys right from the off? Sorry for bombarding you with so many questions! Let me know what you think.

A: You can subdivide notes into sections but at least listen to all note randomly a few times a day. Contextual Ear Training is fine I’m assuming you are going to listen to all keys and identify the root. When you do the 3rd do the minor 3rd for the minor keys.

Always guess fast and sing the note for Contextual Ear Training fast this will help you not to use resolution. Don’t think too much about it because it’s very easy to develop a bad habit of thinking too much which won’t work when you apply this ear training to real music. In order to avoid thinking too much saying or singing the note immediately will help you improve a lot. If you get a note wrong repeat the track 4 or 5 times to ingrain the correct sound into your memory. When adding the 6 and 7 for minor you don’t have to flat them like you do for the b3 in a minor key. Do both major and minor keys with the contextual ear training.

Hope that covers everything but stay in touch. It’s especially important in the beginning to develop the right habits.

Best Regards,


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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