#1
I regularly use the 'functional ear trainer' (http://miles.be) to improve my ability to recognise scale degrees. Whilst I do very good on the mini tests (e.g. I get 45 right out of 50) I can't seem to translate this skill into actual music. I can't just listen to a song and recognise what degree of the scale the note that the guitarist just played was, even when there is a clear chord progression behind it. I can only recognise the note when using the programme, as it is always the same chord progression played over and over (is this why?). Is it because I haven't practiced enough or is the ear trainer simply not for this purpose. i.e. it's not supposed to teach you this particular skill?
#2
I used to use this daily for a couple months, and I did get better at the program itself, but I saw no improvement whatsoever in listening to a real song and picking out any solfege, Do/Re/Mi stuff as I was listening.

Now if I listen to a song to get a subconscious feel for the key, and I also have in mind a particular note that I know the singer hits during the song, and then I hum that note to myself, I might be able to recreate the exercise similar to this software, and then the Do/Re/Me scale degree might jump out at my. But that's a pretty involved process, and I've never tried it. The software seems to suggest, in the introduction, that using it will get you to the point where you are making these connections in real time as you hear a song, not having to pause the recording and go back over note by note figuring out the scale degrees. Maybe that's true, but it must take a TON of practice with the program because I never got anywhere close to that.

I think learning melodies by ear as you simultaneously break them into the solfege elements may be a quicker way to pick up on this. Like, I picked out the melody for Sounds of Silence, figured out which note was "Do" and "sung" the other notes in the melody as their relative Do/Re/Mi. This gives me real-world experience learning to recognize, say, a perfect fifth, a major seventh, etc. I've done similar stuff with other melodies, anything I have strongly in my mind, even down to kids stuff like Happy Birthday and Three Blind Mice. This training not only is teaching me to hear the scale degrees/intervals, it is teaching me to recreate them on the guitar, so I feel it is a better bang for the buck in terms of my study time. Also, singing the solfege degrees aloud as I'm figuring out the melody and playing it also is improving my singing voice, as it is a form of vocal practice, which adds even more to the efficiency, killing 3 or more birds at the same time.

Ken

p.s. Of course, at my work computer I cannot be singing or playing guitar or whatever, and I can pull up that software and play it (quietly), so I guess I'd suggest the software can be good when you cannot play your guitar or sing, or when you just feel like doing something different for a change from whatever you normally do. My view is it certainly cannot hurt, it's just not the fastest/most efficient ear training method.
Bernie Sanders for President!
#3
Quote by krm27
I used to use this daily for a couple months, and I did get better at the program itself, but I saw no improvement whatsoever in listening to a real song and picking out any solfege, Do/Re/Mi stuff as I was listening.

Same here. Only doing that with real songs has helped me. I still suck at it, but I can recognize minor thirds and perfect fifths pretty comfortably in real time now.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 19, 2014,
#4
I like the program but I think that traditional ear training and solfege is superior to it.

When playing your scales and arpeggios, sing the Solfege, movable do, based on the key you are in. So, for example, if your key is A major then a C#m7 arpeggio root position would be sung Mi So Ti Re, etc. Practice all the chords and all their inversions.

Every day, pick a song (on your iPod or youtube or w.e), play a measure and then pause, sing back the melody that you just heard using movable Do solfege, and check to see if you were right. Rinse and repeat.
Last edited by macashmack at Mar 19, 2014,
#5
thanks for the useful info. Can anyone give me a link to some solfege online lessons? I understand the basic concept of it, but I would really need some lessons/tips to get started.

And also, what do you mean by 'traditional ear training'?
#6
Quote by mickel_w
thanks for the useful info. Can anyone give me a link to some solfege online lessons? I understand the basic concept of it, but I would really need some lessons/tips to get started.

And also, what do you mean by 'traditional ear training'?

It's really simple. Just sing the major or minor scale. Use your guitar or keyboard or whatever to memorize the scale. Play each note and sing it afterwards until you have it memorized and can sing it. The whole scale and the intervals between the root and other notes.

And you don't really HAVE to use the solfege syllables. You can just sing the notes without saying any words as long as you remember which note (or scale degree) it is that you are singing.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Mar 19, 2014,
#7
I do not do any formal solfege exercises. But, for example, after I worked out Sounds of Silence melody on guitar by ear, I could see how they all fell on the major scale and sang the Do-Re-Mi rather than the lyrics, like:

Do Do Do Do Mi Do Re | Ti Ti Ti Ti Re Ti Do | Do Do Mi Mi So So Mi | Do Do Mi Mi So So Mi | Do La La La Ti Do Do Ti La So | So La So Mi | Do Do Do So Ti Do La |

I think that's pretty close to it. Some of the Ti's, Do's, La's are an octave higher /lower than others. My assumption is that if I keep doing this with songs I'm learning, it is sort of like learning solfege, and I get better and better at hearing notes in relation to the root using these solfege terms.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#8
Quote by mickel_w
I regularly use the 'functional ear trainer' (http://miles.be) to improve my ability to recognise scale degrees. Whilst I do very good on the mini tests (e.g. I get 45 right out of 50) I can't seem to translate this skill into actual music. I can't just listen to a song and recognise what degree of the scale the note that the guitarist just played was, even when there is a clear chord progression behind it. I can only recognise the note when using the programme, as it is always the same chord progression played over and over (is this why?). Is it because I haven't practiced enough or is the ear trainer simply not for this purpose. i.e. it's not supposed to teach you this particular skill?


Keep at it. 45 out of 50 right in the context of an exercise that makes the question easy (precise context) isn't that impressive.

And even then, when you're actually playing, it seems more intuitive than that to me. It's not that I (usually) say "oh, that's the 4th" - it's that my fingers quickly and intuitively find the right places on the guitar neck.