Ear Training Apps

Ear Training Apps

Just wondered if anyone has any experience of using any of the ear training apps that are available now.

Re: Ear Training Apps

As someone who never "got" learning by ear, and had tried quite a few of these apps/sites over the years I never really felt they were doing anything useful.

However I recently came across an app called Functional Ear Trainer and I’m extremely glad I did. It doesn’t do the conventional thing of "here is an interval, what do you think it is?". Instead it plays a I-IV-V-I cadence then a note from the scale. After you guess it correctly, it then plays the scale from the chosen note up or down to the tonic. What it does is teach you to place the sounds that you hear in the context of the key, hence the functional aspect.

Try giving it five-ten minutes a day for a few weeks and see how you get on.

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Re: Ear Training Apps

I’m using musictheory.net. It features ear-training (intervals, chords, scales) as well as staff training and fretboard/keyboard training, all exercises customizable into the extreme. The website works well enough on mobile phones, and doesn’t seem to suck much data.

I’ll definitely check out your recommendation, though. Sounds useful.

I started out playing guitar mostly by reading tabs, and only after some 7 or 8 years of playing did I get into the habit of figuring things out by ear - and it’s the best choice I ever made, musically speaking. Highly recommend it.

(reading dots is the next step..)

Re: Ear Training Apps

Ahem, Calum’s recommendation that is.

Re: Ear Training Apps

I don’t mean to be flippant, this is an earnest question: if the ear training apps are teaching you to listen to chords and scales and such, however your end goal is to play and learn Irish music, why not just listen to Irish music constantly to train your ears to pick out the melody? If the melody is still moving too quickly for your ears and brain to suss out, there are many useful apps that slow the melody down and make it more accessible. I guess I can understand why some one would spend time with an ear training app if they wanted to improve their overall chord and note recognition, but if your end game is to learn and reproduce Irish melodies on the instrument of your choice, I am struggling to see the value of a general ear-training app to achieve that goal. It seems like your time could be better spent, just listing to Irish music, no?

Re: Ear Training Apps

The point you make jusa is well made and lay behind for my question.

Re: Ear Training Apps

Following Calum’s lead to ‘Functional Ear Trainer’ (thanks for that) took me to this article http://www.miles.be/articles/28-contextual-ear-training

I have never seen the relevance (for me) of learning to recognise random intervals. The contextual approach described in the article really does seem relevant to me for melody playing. Back to my oft set aside resolution to learn solfege.

Re: Ear Training Apps

> this is an earnest question

And it’s not a stupid one.

Here’s the thing: most people learn this kind of fundamental stuff in childhood. I didn’t. My mother is completely amusical - her parents were somewhat Calvinist about music - and my father, well, I never saw enough of him to hear him sing. Ear learning for me was always as incomprehensible as reading Chinese. I have been listening to traditional Scottish music, in one form or another, all my life. The music itself is baked into my brain. But it was all on record, and I didn’t really get access to decent musical training until I was a young adult. And by then, no-one knew how to "fix" my inability to relate what I could hear to my instrument or voice.

I could never sing, and even some very patient singing teachers couldn’t break through that "missing link". This approach did exactly that. And now when I hear tunes I hear the same piece of music I always did but I hear extra information: here is an arpeggio, here the phrase is twiddling around the high G, and so on. And while I still wouldn’t inflict my singing on others - I am hitting notes and recognising when I’m not hitting notes.

So no, I listened to the music for thirty years and got nowhere. This approach has opened doors for me.

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Re: Ear Training Apps

This is a very interesting discussion. I play in a Celtic group which uses sheet music all the time. I can’t read music (as "incomprehensible as reading Chinese"), but can follow the chord suggestions if available, otherwise I listen and pick up the chords, then the melody, as I go along. We have played these tunes over and over, year after year, but we’re still stuck on the page - they should be part of our muscle memory. My attempts to get them off the page ("Come on, people, you KNOW these tunes!") have been futile, so I guess the security of the noted page is just too safe to abandon. Consequently, we do not "rock" and I fear we never will; but, thanks to this discussion, I think I understand them and myself a little better—especially since I could not understand how anyone could NOT learn by ear, when all one had to do was listen; but I see now there is more to it than that

Re: Ear Training Apps

I’m in a similar situation as Graewulf but we don’t even have the luxury of playing tunes repeatedly as the "dots" people get tired of the same stuff and want to move on to new reels, jigs, whatever. They never get to really know the music as far as being able to play it without paper and it has no feeling! How sad! One of the singers literally reads off his paper and never attempts to memorize the lyrics either. I’d show them these apps suggestions but my guess is that they wouldn’t even bother to take the time. I just loaded the one suggested though as every little bit helps.

Re: Ear Training Apps

I have tried several apps and programs and have not found one that I found really helpful

Listen listen listen to recrodingsband sessions

If you are a fiddler, the best ear training is DAILY SCALES AND ARPEGGIOS on a carefully tuned fiddle. Tune the A to a tuner and tune D,G and E in close 5ths by ear not the tuner. Play scales carefully using double stops with open strings to adjust intonation of the scales. Faithful practice of scales and arpeggios over months will result in marked improvement in both your intonation and ability to get your fiddle dead in tune and you will be able to hear the increased resonance when you play in tune

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