Transferring Ear Training from One Key to Another

Transferring Ear Training from One Key to Another

Transferring Ear Training from One Key to Another

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Transferring Ear Training from One Key to Another

Q: But all the CDs in the Ear Training One Note Complete book are in the key of C, so wouldn’t I be memorizing it against C? Meaning if they were in F Major, I’d be memorizing it against F… If this is wrong, I’m afraid I’m lost. I am memorizing tones against a cadence… I don’t know what to be listening for. Am I memorizing the tone against all three tones in each chord in the cadence? I’m utterly confuzzled.

Regarding the first statement above, isn’t a key center created by whatever note is used the most? In the cadence of C, C is used the most … So aren’t I just memorizing it against the key center (which is what you say in the book) which in this case is C?

Also, meaning the Ear Training One Note Complete  and the Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing books I have, or the Two Note Ear Training method?

A: Remember all keys are the same. By this I mean when you hear a C# in the key of A it sounds like the 3rd. When you hear an E in the key of C it sounds like the 3rd.

Your statement “wouldn’t I be memorizing it against C?” is wrong because it should say I’m memorizing the notes against the KEY of C. There is a difference although subtle here in the way you think about the ear training. Many students will think they are memorizing the notes against C so they hold the sound of C in their heads and then listen for the other note. This is wrong. You want to let the cadence create the key then just listen to the note and try to identify it. This is why in my first email I said “Remember you are memorizing all the notes sounds against a key not against a “C”.” So because the cadence has happened you are already in a key, in this case C, there is nothing more you need to do but listen. Most people don’t get the notes right right away, it takes time and also working with the singing in the Fanatic’s Guide to Ear Training and Sight Singing which will strengthen your ability to maintain the key center while you are trying to identify the notes. Once you master the idea of what notes sound like in the Major Key, you will be transferring this ability across all 12 keys.

A key center is not created by the note that is used the most. I could show instances where this is true and also when it is not true. Here is an example of where the most played note is not the key.

C, E, G, A a C6 chord to A, C, E, G a A-7 chord to D, F, A, C a D-7 chord to G, B, D, F, A a G13 chord to C, E, G, A a C6 chord. I have 4 C’s and 5 A’s this doesn’t make the progression in the key of A it’s in C.

The “Two Note Ear Training method” is what I meant to say in my last email. Of course this is all relative (by way of transferring) to how you define a “professional musician.” Most artists are always attempting to improve their art and therefore would be always striving to improve no matter what their level is.

Once again I would recommend you reread the books and the FAQs at Many of the things I’ve said in this email are stated many times throughout the FAQs. You might want to consider (re)reading these files. Many times students find that seeing something explained in a number of ways helps them to understand.

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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