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Ear Training ear training

How to set up your musical mind for success

Whenever we set out to learn something, our brain automatically tries to take what it assumes to be the easiest path. We naturally navigate towards what we take to be the easiest way to accomplish any given task. But what may seem to be the easiest path...

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Essential Ear Training ear training

If you’re new to ear training, there is one skill that would be a good idea to develop first. Ideally, this skill would be developed from the very beginning of your music study since it makes other ear training possible and facilitates working with a music teacher. It even makes for a...

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Solfège ear training

Doe, a deer…

Solfège is a system for singing notes. If you’re familiar with the famous Rogers and Hammerstein song “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music, you already know the solfège note names: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la and ti.

A Brief History

The first and last...

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Perfect Pitch: Blessing or Curse? ear training

What exactly is "perfect pitch"? This lesson explains what it is, the difference between perfect pitch and relative pitch, and what you should pursue if you weren't blessed—or cursed!—with it.

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How to Recognize Intervals ear training

Question: Mr. Frantz,

First of all I’d like to thank you for your amazing site. Everything you wrote and explained there has served me considerably.

I am an 18-year-old girl who has decided (a year ago) to pursue piano studies in university. I started to play at a very late age (15), but...

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Chord Ear Training ear training

Question: How can I readily identify any chord when played?

– Timothy (Nigeria)

Albert’s reply: The first step in chord ear training is to learn to identify the basic types of chords, starting with triads in root position. Since a triad is composed of two stacked thirds and each of...

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When Do People Usually Start Playing by Ear? ear training

Question: I know people usually say it depends on the person. Well, I want to know the average year of when a person who take lessons starts playing by ear. I know that some people don’t take lessons and play by ear.

– Mila (USA)

Albert’s reply: The unfortunate truth is that...

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Voice Leading and Inner Voices ear training

Question: I would like to know more about proper voice leading. I can hear each separate voice in a piece and I can hear chord progressions, but this seems like an either/or method for me. When transposing all voices, notes in chords are arranged in different orders and inversions. I would think...

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Singing Scale Degrees ear training

Question: Thank you very much for this website – it has helped me tremendously. My question goes for the Intervals lesson, where you stated that to learn the intervals in a scale, one should sing the actual numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. In order to remember the intervals, how would I be able to...

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Problems with Ear Training ear training

Question: Hi Albert,

My name is Shane. I’ll keep this brief. I’m hunting around for different ear training methods. I’ve been through a bunch of stuff but it doesn’t stick.

The level of ear training I’ve done was 2 1/2 years of classes at a university music school,...

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Playing Piano by Ear ear training

Playing piano by ear is among the most essential of musical skills, yet it is generally looked down upon by teachers of traditional reading-based approaches (of which I am also one). In this article I wish to demonstrate that the two can live in harmony with one another.

I find this state of...

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Play Piano by Ear ear training

Many piano teachers tend to look down upon efforts to play piano by ear. Yet music is sound, and the better our aural skills the better musicians we become. I believe we should encourage students to learn music by ear by teaching aural skills while continuing to teach reading skills.

Playing...

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