Yet another ear training thread..

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by DannyS, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. DannyS

    DannyS Member

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    I feel so discouraged... I picked up David L Burge relative pitch course and I'm just so stuck on harmonic intervals between 4th's and 5th's. I'm fine with the melodic intervals, those come through as clear as can be, but I just can't seem to consistently hear the difference between a harmonic 4th and a harmonic 5th. I've tried singing just those specific intervals in many different kind of ways, it just seems that there is no way to do this. It's been over a week now and I'm still stuck on this part.

    Has anybody else struggled immensely with this part of ear training as I am and what did you do to overcome it?
     
  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Perfect 4ths and 5ths are intimately related - one is an inversion of the other. G-D and D-G are both G power chords. Raise the octave of either note, and the interval switches; and both are highly consonant.
    So it's not surprising they're hard to distinguish.
    I suggest trying to sing what you perceive as the root note of the interval. With a 5th it will be the lower note, with a 4th the upper. Or, if you sing the lower note of the 4th, the upper one will feel like a tension, not a consonance.
    Ie, generally speaking, although both sound consonant, the 5th should sound marginally more stable than the 4th; because of the possibility that the lower note of the 4th is the actual root, making the upper one a suspension.
    IOW, although D-G on its own is likely to sound smooth, like a G power chord, there will be contexts in which we'd hear D as the root, against which G is dissonant.
    Of course, if you can tune in and sing each note of the interval - in the octave you're hearing it - then you can convert them to melodic intervals - job done!;)

    But mainly I wouldn't worry too much, or get stuck on this. Accept that these particular two intervals are close relations (twins?), and move on. As long as you're confident with them as melodic intervals (much easier, right?), that's the main thing.

    It also may be a good lesson in inversions in general. Eg, it's possible to hear a minor 6th as an inverted major 3rd; or a major 6th as an inverted minor 3rd, or vice versa. These are musically valid parallels; the intervals are not the same, but may have the same harmonic meaning or function. IOW, even if you can easily tell the differences in these cases, being aware of the similarities is also good.
     
  3. DannyS

    DannyS Member

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    It's really tough, but I think so far the experience has been rewarding. I can hear better than I ever could and I'm not even past level one yet. It's almost like Burge is my personal mentor with all the reassurance he gives. People like to talk about how he's long winded, but when he explains things multiple times, I believe, that it helps to re-enforce what he already talked about. It's kind of needed, at least in my case. Worth the cash? I believe so, but I won't really be able to say until I'm finished! :) wish me luck, I'm about to try the 4th/5th harmonic lightning rounds once again..
     
  4. Zappafreak

    Zappafreak Member

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    Think of the Star Wars theme song. That first interval is a perfect 5th.
     
  5. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I found I could hear all of the intervals once I was given examples of them. And by the way, they are perfect 4 and perfect 5, not harmonic.

    P4 = here comes the bride
    P5 = "2001, A Space Odyssey (Thus Sprach Zarathustra)"

    But mainly it's logical, P5 is the interval that feels unresolved and calls out to be resolved, while P4 is the interval that feels most resolved.

    Try hearing it this way; 1 to 5, 5 to 8 (a P5 followed by a P4),
    do - so, so - do (8va),

    Another way to hear it, think of Country and Western bass playing.
     
  6. DannyS

    DannyS Member

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    Thanks for all the good advice! I passed the drill for harmonic p4 and p5 but i still feel as though they will trouble me in the future. Burge will continue to add new intervals as i move through the course so i will continually be challenged in this area. Wish me ?uck as i move on.. maybe i will come back to this thread when i run into another wall :)
     
  7. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    Cruise, that resolved/unsolved issue depends on setting. For example a 4th from G-C sounds resolved in C, but G-C in G, wants resolution.

    So......

    You might want to get used to the sound of harmonic 5ths as being part of a root position triad: say, C major as CEG

    and the sound of 4ths as part of second inversion chord: say F/C as CFA.

    It complicates things, but it also puts this intervals in fleshed-out harmonic settings. That's a biggie.
     
  8. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    DannyS, this is a tough course, period.

    I guarantee that you are going to get stuck in certain spots. One week is nothing, I got stuck on some drills literally for months but I kept at it and got through them.

    I got stuck on the minor 7ths because for some weird reason I kept getting them mixed up with minor 6ths. Finally, I went back and redid the minor 6ths lessons and got through the 7ths. I don't recall how long it took but it was way more than one week.

    There is only one answer, just do what he says and keep slugging away.

    Don't worry about failing a drill, just keep at it.

    I hate to tell you but it actually gets harder.

    However, I can identify any interval up to a ninth melodically (up or down) or harmonically just as fast as you can play it! It took me over a year to get there but my ears are 1000 times better than before I started the course. It's definitely worth it.

    Just wait until you get to the 10 minute drill of nothing but ninth chords (maj add 9, min add 9, maj9, min9, dom9, maj6/9 min6/9, dom#9, domb9) it's killer, no strikes allowed. It's like disk 12 or so. After 3 months of drilling every day, that's where I finally gave up. You should've heard the names I calling our friend Mr Burge.

    Just this weekend I started back on it again.
     
  9. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I believe there are free ear trainer apps on musictheory.net that test you on harmonic and melodic intervals. I enjoy doing them to check and see if my Mr. Potato Head ear is tuned up.
     
  10. Sensible Musician

    Sensible Musician Member

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    if you can find a system that uses solfege instead of intervals you will be further ahead. people learn music syntactically, the same as language. if you can hear the resting tone and tonality of a sample/exercise/real music, plus the ID of each tone... well, that's what it's all about. frankly you'd be better off sitting in an elementary classroom using kodaly method than with any interval-based method marketed to musicians
     
  11. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    Good news and excellent advice from Sensible. You can improve quickly. In six months you can have all of that worked out if you work at it....meaning practice at least 4 hours a day. I know this because I went from trouble hearing the difference between 4ths and 5th, and flat 2nds and 2nds, to having all of that worked out. Yes, ninths are really hard.

    1) Get your pitch identification checked, or check it yourself using a guitar tuner app. When you hear a C you should be able to humm or whistle a C and not a third up or a fifth. If you have pitch issues you want to start to get that fixed.

    2) Start to identify the intervals with songs you know. Bali Hai for the 7th, West Side Story has flat 5ths (Maria) and minor 7ths (A Place for Us), N-B-C (6ths), The Entertainer (Flat 6th), Walt Disney theme (Flat 2nds) etc These are mine, find you own.

    3) Make sure to play in all keys and without too much distortion.....obviously. Force yourself to play in EFlat and BFlat besides the A G D E guitar string stuff.

    4) Most of the computer canned software is not worth much in my opinion except as testing....its all samples ie not music generated by vibration of a string, reed, etc. Its like learning to cook with artificial flavors.
     
  12. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Do you have any suggestions, ideally iPad apps or PC-based software?
     
  13. AndyNOLA

    AndyNOLA Member

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    You need real music sounds, not samples.....find a teacher with a real piano, or get one yourself, or just use your guitar.

    If you really want software try Earmaster. :)
     
  14. DannyS

    DannyS Member

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    I do own a book that teaches in this method. My plan was to move to this book after I finished Burge's program to compare the two methods of ear training myself. I'm not quite sure how well solfege would help me to hear the extensions within chords. Maybe I should complete the solfege book first and come back to Burge's program? hmmm.... thoughts?
     
  15. Datsyuk

    Datsyuk Member

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