#1
Hi Guys, I recently quit my old boring job and am looking to set up my own start-up based on trying to help with ear training and musical learning. I've been chatting with some leading neuroscientists and, combining the latest scientific research, mobile app and wearable technology, we think we can help speed up and enhance your ability to hear intervals, chords and scales (something that I constantly struggle with after playing guitar for 18 years). It basically works by creating associations in your brain rather than the standard repetition based approach. Before going any further I thought I would see if there was any demand out there for a solution to help with ear training. I've set up a basic website with more information at
www.vibes-science.com and would really appreciate your thoughts/ideas on the matter before going any further down this road. Thanks in advance!
#2
I've always been interested in this. In fact I'm trying to learn intervals by ear now. I'm closing my eyes so I can "feel" the distance between intervals as well as saying the interval in my head (3rd, 5th, minor 3rd, etc...). The idea is to mentally map the fretboard in my head (rather than relying on visuals) but I also hope it helps with ear training.

Interested to know what this wearable technology is.
#3
Could you please provide references to the latest scientific research you mention? 
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#4
As a possible future researcher I would also like to see the research you mentioned and hear some examples of "leading neuroscientists" you've consulted, just to get an idea about the reliability of this project.
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#5
PlusPaul and gweddle.nz . Thanks for your replies. To answer both of your questions. We are currently working with a leading university in London (can't be named as they require a contract in place. Soon to be announced) so some of their material is currently unpublished. However here are some scientific journals links relating tactile stimulation to auditory sense
http://jn.physiology.org/content/117/3/1352
http://jn.physiology.org/content/87/1/122 (More generic but interesting)
The wearable technology would produce tactile stimulations at the same time as the notes/chords etc will be played. Therefore allowing your brain to learn by creating associations rather than the standard high repetition based system. The method and process of producing the unique tactile stimuli is part of our 'special sauce' which is challenging but we are currently prototyping it. If you are keen to be early testers when called upon then I would love to have you. Just sign up on the website. If you have any friends who might also be interested then please forward it on to them. To be honest, I don't have lots of money to do this and it will start to get costly so to persuade investors I need to show a demand for such a product. This is shown by sign ups, as long as people are honestly interested. Thanks
#6
I have to admit, I don't see the point at all  

To me this falls down because of the same inherent flaw in something like Rocksmith - "training" to play the guitar by means of external stimuli, whether it's visual or tactile, means you're learning to react to those stimuli, not actually "learning to play the guitar". Fair enough when leaning to play there's visual aids like tabs and sheet music but you go at your own pace, they're not some kind of twitch test. Likewise there's audio stimuli in terms of backing tracks and even the sounds that come out of the guitar but those are part and parcel of music, indeed they're the stimuli you NEED to learn to react to.

I personally don't believe that adding something else into the mix is going to help in any way, and possible could end up being counterproductive. If external stimuli are part of someone's learning process for ear training are they really training their ear? Or just learning to associate the name of the interval with the stimulus? This just seems like a proposed fix for a problem that doesn't actually exist - especially when those additional factors aren't going to be present when someone actually plays.
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#7
Thanks for your honest comment. The idea is really centred around ear training rather than being able to play guitar. I look at ear training (recognising intervals, chords etc) as the foundation of music knowledge, helping you to hear a riff or melody in your head or from a track and take the first step to know how you should play it. I agree that the next phase of knowing the intervals between notes in a melody still needs to be transferred to the guitar fret but that is the second part of the challenge. An idea for the companion app would be to show you where those intervals are on the fretboard. Just an idea...
#8
I'm not panning your idea or anything, maybe it would work for some people but I'm not interested based solely on the fact that I don't really need help with ear training. I can already tell intervals and chords apart and learn songs by ear without any trouble, and to be honest I didn't need tools like this. I just learned a lot of music by ear, starting with easier songs and working my way up, and I also learnt to sing a couple of chords so I have an easy reference for thirds and fifths. This is all I needed to develop a solid ear, I never did those dull repeating exercises you mentioned, I just learned how to play and sing by ear. And that is what I would always recommend to other people as well.
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Theory: Not rules, just tools.

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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#9
no worries at all and didn't feel you were panning the idea. Great to hear you did ear the proper way and built up your ears gradually. I wish I had done that as well.
#10
Made me think of Evelyn Glennie. More ways to "hear" than just with your ears.
She's a deaf percussionist.

#11
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I have to admit, I don't see the point at all

To me this falls down because of the same inherent flaw in something like Rocksmith - "training" to play the guitar by means of external stimuli, whether it's visual or tactile, means you're learning to react to those stimuli, not actually "learning to play the guitar". Fair enough when leaning to play there's visual aids like tabs and sheet music but you go at your own pace, they're not some kind of twitch test. Likewise there's audio stimuli in terms of backing tracks and even the sounds that come out of the guitar but those are part and parcel of music, indeed they're the stimuli you NEED to learn to react to.

I personally don't believe that adding something else into the mix is going to help in any way, and possible could end up being counterproductive. If external stimuli are part of someone's learning process for ear training are they really training their ear? Or just learning to associate the name of the interval with the stimulus? This just seems like a proposed fix for a problem that doesn't actually exist - especially when those additional factors aren't going to be present when someone actually plays.


I guess the idea is that you create more associations to the interval. So not only do you have sound, but also touch. I guess in the same way, you could also associate a colour, or a smell to an interval as well. So a major 3rd might be green and smell of lavender for example. The more associations you create the stronger the neural connections. But yeah, it won't help with the technique of playing guitar.