#1
I've been playing for a while but am just trying to train my ear to recognize sounds. I typically get about 80-85% on the regular intervals on musictheory.net.

My guitar teacher wants me to work on the chord recognition on the same website and I'm at a loss. The intervals were easy for me because almost all of them trigger tunes in my head, but right now, I'm having a hell of a time with chords.

I am 95% accurate on major/minor, but when I get rid of those two and do Augmented, Diminished, and Diminished 7th, etc... I have no way of figuring out what they are. Is there a way to train myself to recognize these different types of chords?
Last edited by drewfromutah at Nov 23, 2008,
#2
Try messing around with them on the guitar. They surely have some distinct values, maybe you just need to get more familiar with their voicings.
My gear:
-Gibson Les Paul Studio
-Fender DG-11E Black (Acoustic)
-Marshall AVT50
-Cry Baby "Wylde Wah"
-Roland RE-20 Space Echo
#3
do some more work on recognising intervals, especially with both notes playing simultaneously
#4
I kind of listen to the tension the chord creates. Turn just diminished and augmented on for a little while and listen to the difference. They sound very similar. But Diminished created that extra bit of tension that augmented doens't. It also sounds like a tighter...smaller chord. If that makes sense.
Winner of the 2011 Virginia Guitar Festival

Protools HD
Lynx Aurora 16/HD192
Mojave, Sennheiser, AKG, EV etc mics
Focusrite ISA828 pres
Waves Mercury
Random Rack Gear

65 Deluxe Reverb
PRS CE 22
American Standard Strat
Taylor 712
#5
I see what you guys are saying. If I have the website play the notes of the diminished/augmented chords separately, I'm closer to 85 or 90% because I can pick out the minor third in the beginning of the diminished chord, but I can't hear that when it's all played at once on the virtual piano on the site. Hopefully it will click soon.
#6
aug/dim chords are real hard at first. Really get the sound of the tritone in your head, eventually you will be able to differentiate between the flat 5h and sharp 5th
#7
Harmonic ear training is made needlessly difficult by computer generated sounds. Have someone play them to you on a real piano so you can actually hear how chords resonate.
#8
Quote by Nick_
Harmonic ear training is made needlessly difficult by computer generated sounds. Have someone play them to you on a real piano so you can actually hear how chords resonate.


not really
#9
In the experience of myself and everyone I've trained ears with, actual instruments present themselves much better for identification. I find that you get much more of an interval's character coming through.

Do you find otherwise?
#10
They work fine for me.. you are gonna want to try different sounds anyway because timbres can color the sound to a certain degree. the basic sound of the interval is still there and the computer sound programs are still a great way to learn them. but yeah you have a point, learning how different timbres color sound is very important too
i have explored the sea
#11
Also try to sing the the chords in arpeggios. Again, this would be useful if you had access to a piano. I sometimes play maj, dom, min, then dim chords on a piano while singing the chord tones.(it's just more straightforward on a piano) It helped me out so maybe it might work for you too.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#12
I don't really mean timbre - Two clarinets playing an interval, a string quartet playing a chord, a piano playing anything, it's quality is to me much clearer than the computer approximations.

I'm not saying that it doesn't work I'm just saying missing out on the extra help of the way those qualities sound acoustically isn't really making you any better at picking them out just making it more difficult and possibly frustrating for you.

But not everybody has access to a piano with a friend available and willing to play you chords (of course you'll do the same for him after) and so computer programs can be very convenient. If you have the means, though, you might want to pick up a an ear training textbook, which usually have recordings of instruments.
#13
Quote by Nick_
I'm not saying that it doesn't work I'm just saying missing out on the extra help of the way those qualities sound acoustically isn't really making you any better at picking them out just making it more difficult and possibly frustrating for you.


unless you are using some retard program then the sounds are going to be perfectly accurate the only difference is timbre
i have explored the sea
#14
^but how about overtones in general? I'd say trying to simulate that is still a big big problem for computers. I mean that's why computer music generators still use live samples. btw, I'm not against computer training software at all but I think that's what Nick is getting at and I agree with that aspect of it.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#15
Quote by KryptNet
^but how about overtones in general? I'd say trying to simulate that is still a big big problem for computers. I mean that's why computer music generators still use live samples. btw, I'm not against computer training software at all but I think that's what Nick is getting at and I agree with that aspect of it.

In Piano, the dampers do not let any other strings ring. On guitar, string muting will not allow any other strings to be rung as well. It's moot.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#16
these are more subtle things that are completely unnecessary for understanding the base sound of the intervals
i have explored the sea
#17
Quote by SilverDark
In Piano, the dampers do not let any other strings ring. On guitar, string muting will not allow any other strings to be rung as well. It's moot.
huh? Are you saying a piano has no harmonic overtone series or did I read your post wrong?
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#18
Science aside I'm speaking simply from experience. I've not met a single person who prefers computer-generated ear training sounds to live or recorded instruments and my sample makeup is pretty decent (it's not just my cat, my brother, and I).

I can hear a plain difference, I know that. Dispute it if you like.

It's also why I don't like Finale / GuitarPro / sequencing as a compositional tool - stuff that sounds awful on real instruments sounds fine there, which is no good.
#19
Quote by Nick_
Science aside I'm speaking simply from experience. I've not met a single person who prefers computer-generated ear training sounds to live or recorded instruments and my sample makeup is pretty decent (it's not just my cat, my brother, and I).

I can hear a plain difference, I know that. Dispute it if you like.

It's also why I don't like Finale / GuitarPro / sequencing as a compositional tool - stuff that sounds awful on real instruments sounds fine there, which is no good.


not really its just a different timbre. nobody prefers the freakin midi because it sounds like garbage. its still the exact same intervals the only difference is timbre. I have a hard time believing that there are things that sound good in midi that sound "terrible" on real instruments.
i have explored the sea
#20
Quote by Deep-Sea-Seamus
not really its just a different timbre. nobody prefers the freakin midi because it sounds like garbage. its still the exact same intervals the only difference is timbre. I have a hard time believing that there are things that sound good in midi that sound "terrible" on real instruments.
"Satin Doll" with piano and guitar arranged on Finale. Sounded terrible live. Had to make a lot of adjustments because in real life it sounded way to crowded. Also..I don't think overtones falls into the category of science.
Gear:
Inflatable Guitar
Digitech GSP 2101/Mosvalve 962/Yamaha S412V
My Imagination
#21
Quote by KryptNet
huh? Are you saying a piano has no harmonic overtone series or did I read your post wrong?

A piano can have overtones, but the dampers in the piano prevents the strings from ringing, unless you pedal the notes.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#23
Quote by KryptNet
I don't think overtones falls into the category of science.


what
i have explored the sea
#24
Quote by Deep-Sea-Seamus
I think you are confusing overtones with sympathetic vibration.

I may be. Lemme look closer at what overtones are.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
#25
I was just saying you can argue overtones, sympathetic vibration, imperfect intonation, room acoustics, placebo, day of the week, moon cycles, and all sorts of other trivialities as to why it might sound different but it's kind of pointless.

I'm not talking of timbre. All I'm saying is that to me, computer generated tones, especially when combined have this weird androgynous perfection that makes them difficult to hear. And since I can't think of an application where being good at picking apart the difference in that context is of any use I can only recommend using real instruments as the best method for ear training
#26
yea real instruments are better but you sayed that using computer tones are just going to make you worse when really they own for ear training
i have explored the sea
#27
I didn't say they'll make you worse.

I'd compare it to reading without glasses if you need them - It's not going to make you any better at reading, just going to give you a headache and make it slow and frustrating. You're better off just wearing the glasses.

So while it's nice to be able to ear train from the comfort and safety of your computer it's not all that difficult to find a similarly motivated buddy and a quiet place with a piano.