Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 250
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I wanted to journal my ear training adventures with you all. I put this under "from the bandstand" because this form of ear training is readily usable on the stage.

    My arm is fudged up a little, so I will make the first entry short. Got the new Key Note series. Deals with seventh chord harmony instead of triads. Here's a link:

    Key Note Recognition Ear Training - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    I've found that sounds I thought I understood were actually weak. For instance:

    1. 4th in a minor key

    2. 4th in a major key

    3. confusing the 6 in minor for the b5

    ....Anyway, I would envision this thread as a semi-daily update on how I train my ear. There are many ways to train the ear, but this might help someone who is looking for new musicianship material. If you don't like the entries, that's cool. I need to journal this stuff anyway, and I thought I could involve y'all in the process.
    Last edited by Irez87; 09-22-2015 at 05:25 AM.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2
    Got a new version of Key Note Recognition, it's with organ.

    minor/maj7 chords actually messed with my ability to hear certain pitches against a key. Good stuff! Every problem I find is a new opportunity to refocus my studies.

    As I was driving home (no traffic for once!) something clicked (no it wasn't my indicator light) and was finally able to sing b6's (lay) and b2's (rah) against changing key centers. Exciting. I've been slacking on singing through Joy Spring, gotta get back to the shed.

    My ability to hear 2 note harmony got a little worse. These new sonic contexts are messing with my hearing, but it's yet another hole that I need to address.

    I am getting better at hearing 2 notes in melodic succession within a key. It's hard because these notes are played by a muted trumpet and they are displaced by an octave such as C0 to Ab4. But it's getting better, slowly.

    Love the journey, accept the challenges, and stop typing (idiot I am to do this while I should be resting my hands... addiction?)

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    If you need to be resting your hands maybe you should do a video journal instead? Could just do it on a cameraphone.

  5. #4
    I have a flip phone, but I could use my computer cam... just don't want my face all over youtube. I have to do some typing for work (I work in SPED, a lot of paperwork on the computer with IEP's) so I can do a little typing here. As long as someone is interested, I'll continue.
    Last edited by Irez87; 09-23-2015 at 06:28 AM.

  6. #5
    Today I went through the Key Retention Builder:

    Ear training & key retention builder for musicians book & audioMuse EEK

    The diatonic studies are quite hard because they involve wide leaps of more than an octave, and this furthers Bruce's point of hearing pitches within a tonal center instead of hearing intervals in a vacuum... Anyway, I am finally hearing most of the pitches in my head and singing them in tune! Exciting stuff for me (took me a while to get to this point)!

    Then I tried singing through the Melodic Minor studies, because they have wide leaps and are not straight foward and scale like. For instance, there are phrases like the following:

    (pitches) Eb B A Eb A G F C D G A C D

    The whole point is to ingrain the key instead of hearing pitches as separate entities

    The study on C mixolydian b6 is even harder.

    Good stuff, keeps me busy while my arm heals. Btw, I read that it is not recommended to keep a tennis elbow strap on when you aren't playing. Best bet is to exercise the forearm (gently) and not play the guitar for a little bit. I think I can survive (barely).

  7. #6
    New entry,

    Starship log 2015. 20 hundred hours. Today we set course to Planet Arnold...

    So, I've given y'all a taste of my practicing... but where did it all begin (cue wavy transition)...

    It began with the study of three core study materials:

    1. One Note Complete:

    Ear training one note for musicians book with audioMuse EEK

    2. Contextual Ear Training (still use to this day):

    Contextual ear training for musicians book with audioMuse EEK

    3. Key Note Recognition

    ... those were my bread and butter for 3 years...

  8. #7
    Okay, I think many of you are tired of my ear training rants. New idea for this thread. It's called performance ear training, right? So I propose that you send me clips of songs you're listening to (any genre) and I have to respond asap with an improvisation based off of that song (give me time to upload it).

    But here's the deal, I can't sit with the song and try and learn it. The response has to be immediate to "simulate" the performance aspect.

    I can't guarantee it will be amazing, but it could be a cool idea. I'd love to listen to new stuff to try and get it into my playing. So what say you, forum of all forums?

    If it takes off, we could send each other songs to improvise over.

    Just, give me a break with Giant Steps at tempo, right now. Let me know. Could be the start of something very interesting

    If you all wanna try it, give me a time EST to start. I want to honor the "performance" aspect of the idea.

  9. #8
    My girlfriend is very strong. I would listen to it whenever we went walking to a restaurant or through the park. I also listened while driving. Finally, I listened right before getting ready for work in the morning and before turning in. Bruce recommends at least 4-5 times a day.

    I am currently using his two note harmony courses, 2 note melodic courses as well, advanced key note series (with jazz organ, get the basics first ) and rhythm and pulse studies. I still use the same crazy practice regiment of 7-8 times (or more) a day with all the material. Remember how I said 60-70% of my practice is ear training, well now you may see how that becomes a reality in your own practice time.

    The more you listen, the faster your ear will pick up on the concepts. Remember, there should be no thinking involved with these courses. The only thought you want to have is for the Contextual Ear Training. Think a tone, like try to hear the 3rd of Ab before you sing it. Even if the note you heard in your mind is wrong, you are practicing the right method of accessing that note.

    Do NOT relate any of what you are hearing to songs, melodies, etc. To get out of this habit, practice responding (especially for Key Note and Contextual) as FAST as possible. Response time is key, because this is performance ear training, not "hey band, pause for a sec whilst I find the note" ear training. You will get a lot of stuff wrong in the beginning (or you might be awesome already, I wasn't) but the right answer isn't important at first... Sounds crazy and makes you doubt me, right? I had a hard time with that concept as well, being a perfectionist and all. But the right answer is not the point in the beginning, the response time is.

    Quick and wrong is better than right and long... before anyone criticizes, read through Bruce's FAQ's on You are training the performance aspect. Trust me, you will get more answers right as you go on. But tell your "critical me" to shut the hell up (as they say in counseling) and just focus on speed.

    Bruce is really great with responding to emails. I don't think people quite understand how much of his life he's devoted to the study of musicianship and how to teach musicianship. There's a reason why I went back to him after all these years.

    But, if he doesn't get back to you quick enough, post your questions here. I will do my best to get back in a timely fashion. I'm excited about geeking out over this stuff with someone else . There's so many courses on Bruce's site, I have many of them and I am running out of room on my poor laptop--but they are worth it. Chris '77 studied some of his stuff as well.
    Last edited by Irez87; 09-27-2015 at 09:14 AM.

  10. #9
    Thought I'd add this to the journal. Jean-Michel zero's in on exactly why I devote so much time to my ear training and musicianship:

    I always want to create with the band, even when I solo. It's hard, it opens you up to flubs, but it is so much more fun than playing rehearsed licks and chords all the time and not taking risks. My identity is lost in the process, and so is my ego (if I am doing it right) but the sound is elevated.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Thanks man! I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. The ear training at my college was pretty ropy and it's taken all this time and reading your posts to kick my arse in gear. I'll keep you posted

  12. #11
    Please do. The huge concept with Bruce's material is that everyone hears the exercises a little differently. That's where traditional ear training falls short, it's like my way or the high way. Bruce is all about key center, yes, but he is also all about helping you navigate how you hear. Curious to see how you hear this stuff. Once you get into the two note studies, it becomes ALL you and how you process sound. That's where I'm at, it is interesting as all can be. But it is really freaking tough as well and it's kicking my arse
    Last edited by Irez87; 09-27-2015 at 11:27 AM.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    For ex. Hearing things like #5 in certain registers and even the major 3. I'll report back in a week.

  14. #13
    Actually, this is what Bruce recommends. To keep track of which pitches give you trouble. The #5 still gives me trouble from time to time. It depends on your experience with that pitch in a key. I've also mixed up the major 3 with the 6th frequently in the past. I think you are still hearing the notes as intervals, and not as distinct sounds in the key. Or you might even be inadvertently modulating. Everyone's ear is different. Stick with the basics, and you will fly in time.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Yes, totally, it's like "there is no method" just memorise the sound of each pitch in the key, I guess just repetition is the answer. Can you pinpoint a time where this began to improve you improvisation?

    Can you describe the before and after differences?

  16. #15
    Listen to my sound sample

    No that wouldn't really help it. The before was me being locked into position playing and flubbing all over the place because I only knew some licks and the 5 positions. The after is still happening. I can play tunes without knowing the tune or having the sheet music (standards) and for the tunes I do know, I can actually start crafting my story telling. Does it always sound great, no. But it sounds cohesive and I can concern myself with development more than "where is the 3rd of Cmaj 6 in first position?" I did that stuff with Kenny Wessel, and it really helped, but there is so much more to music than that (those are the foundations, but you gotta build on those foundations).

    The most exciting part of these studies is that I can do what I love to listen to in jazz, I can partake in a true dialogue and improvise. Watch that video of Jean Michel-Pilc talking about improvisation in a group that I posted here, he says it much better than I (and in a French accent).Ear training helps you really own the stuff you already know and it gives you the confidence to reach for stuff you've never played before. You become aware of how everything works sonically, not just theoretically. Right now, I am hearing how certain voicings suggest melodic material that other voicings, even if the progression is the same.

    Is it amazing? No. Is it extremely fun? Hell yes. But I could only access this mode of improvisation with in depth ear training and rhythm training studies. Everyone is different, but this stuff really resonated with me.

    Now I have people come up to me and compliment my playing. I was the worst musician in college, I sucked. Now I hear these compliments and I'm like "are they really talking about ME?"

    Lastly, it makes for an even more interesting journey into music that is centered around the ear as much as it is centered on the mind. I've expressed frustration on theory in the forum because it was just taught as notes on a page with very little sonic context when I learned it. Now I go back to that old theory and it sounds like the most beautiful stuff in the world. Series 2 CounterPoint sounds like a story between two interesting old folks.

    Just a smattering of my experience. You will craft your own with the courses, I am sure. It's not easy, it's not an over night gimmick, but you will slowly notice things in your playing that you weren't doing before. Keep at it!

  17. #16
    Short (relatively) journal entry to get those of you who are following this thread some perspective:

    Ear training is not something you learn with solfege and put to the side. You can train your ear for the rest of your life, and still have material that will be new to your ears. Solfege is an extremely important aspect of the process, but it ain't the end all be all.

    Ear training is as vast and expansive as the study of music is. People who state "whatever, I can hear everything that I play" I bet they have some holes in one aspect of their hearing, whether it is harmonic or rhythmic in nature (rhythm and pulse are part of ear training, IMO, believe it or not).

    I went through some of the more advanced Key Note Recognition studies from Bruce Arnold, and I felt like I was starting at day one. That's exciting, because I am throwing my ear into new sonic situations.

    I was also studying the two note harmony studies, the sixths volume. I heard E and C# today and all of a sudden heard it part of an E augmented triad (E G# C) with a C# on top. The C sounded like the augmented sixth to me. However, last week, I heard those two notes as the 5th and major 3rd in A major. The C that I sung against the dyad sounded like the b3 against the A major.

    Also, today I was ear training pulse.

    What the heck is that, you say?

    Well, ear training pulse is all about learning how a certain tempo sounds by heart.

    Many of us use the metronome to click on 2 and 4. I would challenge you to have it click on the downbeat of the measure, or the and of four.

    What I am studying is even more expansive. Instead of the metronome clicking on the downbeat, the metronome clicks every eight measure. Only one click per eight measures. That looks like this

    (CLICK) 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

    However, you don't count

    I worked myself up to this skill, here is how I got there:

    Developing a sense of time for musicians book with audioMuse EEK

    Developing a sense of time for musicians book with audioMuse EEK

    How to develop rhythm & timing for musicians book with audioMuse EEK

    Start with one click every measure.

    Last edited by Irez87; 10-03-2015 at 02:31 PM.

  18. #17
    Finally getting some of the Hearing Bass Lines right:

    How to hear bass lines for guitar bookMuse EEK

    I'm working off of the Intermediate Level.

    The low pitch set, coupled with the slew of non-diatonic notes, and hearing four notes against a cadence, make this course extremely challenging. I had to use Bruce's 2 Note Melodic Trombone, and Trumpet before I could even grapple with the bass lines.

    But, think of how important the bassist is in a jazz outfit (or any outfit). The pianist could be huffing along, the guitarist could be puffing about, but the bass player determines the harmony and locks in the groove (even more so than the drummer, in some cases). If you can hear the bass, you won't be all over the place (if the bassist knows what's up )

  19. #18
    I took two Skype lessons with this guy... and I got more nervous Skyping with him than taking in person lessons with James Chirillo (what the heck is wrong with me? )

    Anyway, check this out:

    Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals | Lesson by Steve Herberman | Mike's Master Classes

    Steve talks about horizontal harmony! Why do I have this on my Ear Training Journal? Well, I ear train harmony (at least, I try) as horizontal entities. Maybe hearing it from Steve will gain more traction?

    I will be purchasing this.

    Have to schedule my third Skype lesson with Steve. He charges $65, but you have to have an exact idea of what you wanna study with him (he loves going on musical tangents, but I loved listening to them)

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Great stuff man! I watched the video once I've gotten through the Barry Greene stuff I'll look into him

    On an aside, I'm now hearing the pitches on the beginner level single note course much better, strangely I'm hearing the #5 as a b9 against the dominant chord, what's that all about. Also I seem to be hearing notes more in key rather than just against the tonic.

    Although sometimes I'm mistaking very simple notes for more complicated ones, on occasion a C# in the upper octave really stumps me!

  21. #20
    The C# in the higher octave can be harder to hear, he also trains you to hear the highest C# on the piano... and the highest C# on a trumpet (more advanced)

    Keep at it. Glad you dig it.

    Look at the pulse and rhythm studies I posted too. Pick up Bruce's Big Metronome and Doing Time Series. Those will get your phrasing on lock in a couple of months. Totally rethink how to hear time, really cool.

  22. #21
    destinytot Guest
    I've begun watching some Bruce Arnold ear training lessons on True Fire (part of the 'NYC Jazz Summit' course) as an introduction to his teaching and before approaching the specific techniques on this thread, which I find intriguing.

  23. #22
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87
    I wanted to journal my ear training adventures with you all. I put this under "from the bandstand" because this form of ear training is readily usable on the stage.

    My arm is fudged up a little, so I will make the first entry short. Got the new Key Note series. Deals with seventh chord harmony instead of triads. Here's a link:

    Key Note Recognition Ear Training - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    I've found that sounds I thought I understood were actually weak. For instance:

    1. 4th in a minor key

    2. 4th in a major key

    3. confusing the 6 in minor for the b5

    ....Anyway, I would envision this thread as a semi-daily update on how I train my ear. There are many ways to train the ear, but this might help someone who is looking for new musicianship material. If you don't like the entries, that's cool. I need to journal this stuff anyway, and I thought I could involve y'all in the process.
    I've checked out the samples, and I get it now. Great post. I'm in - I'll order this.

    PS Reminds me of
    Last edited by destinytot; 10-04-2015 at 09:15 AM. Reason: PS

  24. #23
    make sure you order the basic stuff first. Not saying that to belittle your musicianship, but you wanna make sure you are approaching the material correctly or you will take a lot longer to make progress with the material. Look post #6

    here is the key note basic (it's great, I just advanced to the next level now, after 5 years with that course)

    Use this course for Key Note:

    Key Note Recognition Voice Ear Training - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    It uses the voice, which I am sure you are comfy with at this point. It sticks to triads. 7th chords can sometimes cloud up hearing key center, and triads are crystal clear. For instance, hearing a "C" will sound like the #5 in E major. That #5 might be cluttered up if you aren't used to hearing that sound with triadic harmony first. Looks like Bruce stopped making the old Key Note

    I'll ask him for a link to the old stuff, to make sure you are on the right track.

    Glad you're interested, his stuff is incredibly vast and goes from simple to incredibly complex. Glad this journal is helping some people As a teacher, that makes me feel mucho bueno. Sorry for my horrible Spanish, I wish I took Spanish instead of French in high school.

    I had a bad experience with French, the language , not the people. Plus, I can totally roll my r's It must be the Moroccan blood in me (my mom is from Meknes)

    PM me for Bruce's email and tell him Alex Link sent you (that's me)

    Bruce's response

    glad to hear you are is getting better and look forward to a lesson soon. Keynote recognition has been replaced and yes the voice course would be the best to start.
    Last edited by Irez87; 10-04-2015 at 09:56 AM.

  25. #24
    For those of you wondering how you can possibly hear a piano chord and find the exact voicing on your guitar, just by listening, Bruce has a method for that (what is this, a Staples commercial? )

    The method is called Two Note Series and Three Note Series (I think he even has a Four Note Series)

    Ear Training Two Note Books - Muse EEKMuse EEK

    But, you have to go through the basics before you get to these courses. Or it will be a waste of time and a waste of money

    Look at post #6 for how to get started. If you are really serious about this musicianship study, PM me and I'll give you Bruce's email. Studying with him, at first, seems like a cult. But you learn to branch out and use his methods to apply to your own musical journey.

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Interesting thread.

    How would you rate David Burge's Relative Pitch ear Training Course Alex?

    Scroll down to see the course contents.