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  1. #1

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    Hi folks, I'm (slowly) chipping away at an Ear Training Toolkit in Max/MSP that I'd ultimately like to make available as some kind of shareware app+building tooklit. I've got tons of ideas for my own use, but I'm principally a sax player, so I'm curious what guitarists wish for in an advanced ear training setup? Both in terms of things it tests and how you you interact with it.

    Thanks!
    Iain

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Dunno what's yours like but if it's a playalong-type of app then it better have a midi out or else...! Because the freedom to choose own sounds is so important in the long run.
    If it's a quiz-type then it doesn't matter so much.

  4. #3
    The thing I was planning to do next(too busy now) would work like this:
    quiz and also with adjustable autoplay with midi input to show if some notes were played "right"

    quiz would give the key not only(thats the main difference for everything thats out there) one single II-V-I or such. Could be a scale, a chord(with the step indication), a function.. maybe more but I haven't thought this through. And those should vary also - rhythm, voicings, instruments.

    The questions would be - which step, chord in the scale, function.. and maybe more.

    The input could be just manual or midi in from users instrument.

    example: "this is the 3rd triad on ioninan scale" *plays the chord in random inversion*. "which chord is this on the scale" *plays another chord* Answer could be manual or the user can play the asked chord notes and gets cheered if got some notes right.

    Umm.. this kind of app was actually asked for and I've searched around. A few apps do something similar but are lacking. I have no time to start coding another one.

  5. #4

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    I would like an advanced app for functional ear training (i.e. degrees in a key centre, NOT interval training for which there are quite a few apps.)

    Functional Ear Trainer is almost that but lacks some key features, one of which is the ability to mark yourself for a string of notes played rapidly, and all the ability to generate lines with tonality.

    One challenging are of functional ear training is when you have mastered recognition of all 12 degrees against a key centre is to introduce sets of notes that create a different harmonic context - such as the notes 2 4 6 or 4 6 1, or more challengingly b6 1 b3 or b2 4 b6 played in succession after a V I cadence.

    Of course, you could just transcribe music. But it's nice to have an app you can use easily in dead time. FET isn't quite that.

  6. #5

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    I wish it'd make me hear better at a push of a button. Brewing coffee would not hurt, either.
    ^ ^ ^
    <<< My BlogSpot Page >>>
    v v v

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post

    One challenging are of functional ear training is when you have mastered recognition of all 12 degrees against a key centre is to introduce sets of notes that create a different harmonic context - such as the notes 2 4 6 or 4 6 1, or more challengingly b6 1 b3 or b2 4 b6 played in succession after a V I cadence.
    I used the functional ear trainer that plays a 145 cadence to establish a key, followed by a single note that you have to identify. I would like to train the same way with two random notes played after the cadence. Perhaps Christian´s ears are more developed but for me 2 notes already create a different harmonic context which throws me off - loosing track of the established tonal center.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by generalduke View Post
    I used the functional ear trainer that plays a 145 cadence to establish a key, followed by a single note that you have to identify. I would like to train the same way with two random notes played after the cadence. Perhaps Christian´s ears are more developed but for me 2 notes already create a different harmonic context which throws me off - loosing track of the established tonal center.
    Here's a tip - hum the tonal centre through the series of notes until you start to retain it better. More notes does make it much harder.

    Functional Ear Trainer (sounds like the app you mentioned) does do any number of notes you like - you need to go into settings and go into the Advanced exercises. Problem is you need write the answers down. Seems a bit lame for an app.

  9. #8
    Great suggestions and things to check out. thanks folks.

    The main (killer) feature I'm thinking of is doing it in Max/MSP so that anyone can extend it themselves. Cycling 74 has changed their licensing a bit, so if one does an app in Max and packages it up, it can be free or sold or whatever, or if you want to release the source, people can now use get the full Max/MSP license for the flat price of $400 or now for $10 a month. This is making it much easier for music school students to dive into Max. If you're not familiar, Max is the most popular dataflow type language for building audio visual interactive apps and installations with a massive community and huge penetration in academic music circles. Is that something that would be attractive to folks, being able to alter the app to extend the exercises however you'd like?

    Some other thoughts of mine are:
    - true hands off operation: (ie it waits 2 seconds for you and then tells you the answer) so you could use it in the background while doing other things. (like say... have it running in the background of your computer so you could take "work" breaks to eartrain with no indication on screen. lol)

    - allowing quizzes from an extendable library of cells so you can be transcribing real melodic material instead of random cells

    - allowing various degrees of "diatonic". The one I use (Good Ear Pro) has diatonic or chromatic or transcription mode, but that's it. I'd like to say "diatonic but has to start and end on a chord tone" or "diatonic plus the nearest two accidentals (#4 and b7) etc.

    Any thoughts on those?

    thanks for the suggestions everyone!
    Last edited by iainduncan; 03-13-2017 at 11:34 AM.

  10. #9
    Things I dislike in all the apps I've tried so far:

    - there's always way too long a pause between notes. I want to be able to do the simple exercises REALLY fast.

    - it takes too long to show an answer. I don't even need an answer on exercises I've got down but want to do faster, just let me hit next or something and get them coming at me fast

    - chord arpeggio exercises don't have enough patterns: just, "up" and "down". But in playing jazz I use all kinds of broken or decorated patterns, including dropping into them from neighbour tones.

    - they don't allow enough range limitation. I'd like to be able to say: keep in these two keys, do not exceed these notes that match my singing range.

    Feedback on these welcome!

  11. #10

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    I've not liked that ear trainers are never musical. Perhaps what I'm looking for would be more of a "transcription trainer", but I wish ear trainers would play real melodies with real rhythm and ask you to identify the notes of the melody. Or play a harmonic progression as it might be played in real life.

    Playing a triad in quarter notes is OK, I guess, but why practice a skill differently than it will be applied? It would be like practicing tennis where the ball is twice the size of a normal ball, shot always in the same spot, exactly every 5 seconds, varying only the speed of the shot. That is not going to help you play a match of tennis. The point of ear training for me is to be able to hear lines or harmonic progressions, identify them, sing them, and play them.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Functional Ear Trainer (sounds like the app you mentioned) does do any number of notes you like - you need to go into settings and go into the Advanced exercises. Problem is you need write the answers down. Seems a bit lame for an app.
    I was referring to functional ear trainer Version 2.1.10, MacOs. My mobil is to old to run the iOS version which seems to be the one you are talking about. I started to eartrain that way on a piano, play the cadence - turn around and play note behind the back - guess note.

  13. #12
    I had another idea that never seen in apps yet. Not searched enough maybe but here-

    Let it show the key and run through a scale, play some 2-5-1 or other stuff. The more options, the better.
    The question would be: "which key is that chord in?" and plays a certain chord in new random key. Of course the chords should be unique, not just triads or m,M 7hs without the unique note of the function.

    And/or another question "what key is this scale in"?: and plays a new scale in another key.


    Btw, for "what to expect from an app", I've installed a bunch of those and seriously... if the UI sux enough to be a nuisance, its "bye-bye". Because those are usually meant to be used for long periods. If it's a nuisance, it just grows and grows. Can't get used to it:P
    Last edited by emanresu; 04-07-2017 at 03:54 PM.

  14. #13

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    For years I have dreamed of an iPhone app that would show a staff and randomly play Notes like flashcards… He would use the mic and listen to the Notes you're playing and flash red when you got the note right or green when you got the note wrong. As you advance notes would appear more quickly . The higher levels were to actually start the show multiple notes like triplets or maybe the notes with stroll along along the staff.
    Edit: yeah I dictated that to my phone, and no I'm not going to fix the mistakes.

  15. #14

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    For years I have dreamed of an iPhone app that would show a staff and randomly play Notes like flashcards… He would use the mic and listen to the Notes you're playing and flash red when you got the note right or green when you got the note wrong. As you advance notes would appear more quickly . The higher levels were to actually start the show multiple notes like triplets or maybe the notes with stroll along along the staff.
    Edit: yeah I dictated that to my phone, and no I'm not going to fix the mistakes.

  16. #15
    Try my app - the link in my signature. The last one there. It works on Chrome.
    I checked it randomly with my android phone and omg it worked.. It's not designed for it at all but.. hm. Works somehow.
    The page has issues with phones and needs some heavy zooming. The app itself needs a few more presets to show it's functionality but that takes a bit of time.

    It has a few presets now that plays 1 note with different logic. It's still in development.. doing it after a few rounds of fifa&beers today

    To use mic or midi input, I've planned on doing this but after it fully works and the major bugs are killed.


    edit: scrap that. Tried to use it with phone, too many issues
    Last edited by emanresu; 04-07-2017 at 06:40 PM.

  17. #16

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    Hi all,

    I was reading this thread this morning and thought that perhaps you would be interested in looking how the app EarMaster handles functional ear training. It offers a lot of options to configure exercises and to complete them, as shown in the attached screenshots.

    For example, the app can create melodic dictation exercises where it will play a 1451 cadence or the root chord before each question, and then let you answer by entering each scale degree:

    What do you wish ear training apps did?-image1-jpg

    What do you wish ear training apps did?-image2-jpg

    Or it can generate sight-singing exercises that you can sing in real-time and get an instant evaluation of pitch and rhythm accuracy.

    What do you wish ear training apps did?-image5-jpg

    What do you wish ear training apps did?-image6-jpg

    Finally, in the desktop version, you can also have the app use one of the 200+ real-book lead sheets in the exercises. EarMaster will then transpose the songs in various keys, and always cue you in with either the key notes, a root chord or a cadence. When using lead sheets for sight-singing or melody sing-back, the app will play chords while you sing the melodies. That kind of exercises are included in the Jazz course of EarMaster and in the Beginner's course.

    I hope my intervention doesn't feel too intrusive, but I feel that it would be a shame that the tools already included in EarMaster for many years get overlooked here, when they seem to fulfill many of the things wished for in this thread.

    Cheers from Denmark
    Quentin, EarMaster

  18. #17

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    I can tell you what I would like to accomplish, but I don't know what the program should do.

    I want to be able to recognize cadences of chords, in the context of songs. So, if I can hear the song in my mind, I can play it. I can already do that fairly well for melody. If I can sing a line I can play it. But, I can't do that with chords.

    BTW, if you sing a line, I can play it immediately, if it's not too complicated. But, if you ask me to name the notes, I have to think, and, sometimes, think about my hand playing it.

    But, with chords, I'm nowhere near as effective. I'm not sure what the training program should do.

    When I have to play a song that I don't know well, I may go to single note lines to help my fingers find the chord tones. Useful trick.

  19. #18

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    I would like to be able to better hear intervals not connected to a root note.
    There's no money above the fifth fret.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL View Post
    I would like to be able to better hear intervals not connected to a root note.
    For android: "Ear mentor" - free and comfy. Btw, there I was having hard time distinguishing min and maj 6th from each other. Didn't improve at all in a few days just by guessing. So this trick: when hearing a 6th, mentally put a note between them so that it sounds the 2nd inversion of the triad(that worked for me, maybe the 1st could do the job also...). If it sound sad, its min, if happy, its maj(opposite if the 1st inversion). Instantly 100% nailage, no further training needed An added harmonic context would mess them up again I bet.