Easy Ear Training students are always welcome to ask for help with their practice, whether as part of our ear training Crash Course or in our community forums. Here are just some of the questions we’ve had over the last month. Do any of their problems seem familiar?
Improving as a Singer
A: There are a number of techniques and exercises which can improve your singing voice. It really depends on which aspects of your voice leave room for improvement!
A: It sounds like the best match for you would be our ear training exercise MP3s: Intervals, Chords and Chord Progressions. You can download these and then play them to practice singing and recognising musical elements. The interval ones will be most suitable for singing practice, but singing the arpeggios of the chords would also be helpful.
We also offer our book Ear Training Essentials as an audiobook. This is more instructional than practical exercises, but might be useful to help you plan your training.
Identifying and comparing the different sounds in music
A: It sounds like you are mostly interested in audio effects, the different processes which can be applied (such as reverb, distortion, phaser) to modify the overall sound of music or instruments. To train your ears to recognise these different effects and their parameters I would recommend that topic page.
You also mention composing and editing so I think you might find our Song Writing and Composing articles interesting. It’s a different area of ear training but quite nicely complementary to the audio side of things.
Training for the Studio
A: Although not part of our ear training exercises page, we do indeed have plenty of practice clips for audio ear training!
I would recommend working through our two series:
You will find these provide a variety of sound clips which you can download and practice with.
Difficulty recognising chords by ear…
A: Training the ear does take time and persistence – try to stay patient! If you find yourself getting frustrated it might be worth looking at these possible explanations.
If you’re having trouble distinguishing C major and A minor chords, there are a couple of things you could try:
- Firstly, if you aren’t already practising interval recognition, this would be worth some time. Learning to hear the individual intervals in chords helps your ear to recognise them more reliably. The major/minor interval distinctions may also help you tune into the major/minor differences in chords.
- Since C major and A minor are closely related you might find it helpful to study them in their natural environment rather than isolation. Doing chord progression ear training will introduce you to the hearing C major and A minor as the I and vi chord of the key of C and so help you practise telling them apart in progressions.
Applying Ear Training to Real Music
We also have offer ear training albums which teach intervals and chords using real musical recordings.
Trouble With Intervals
I still have problems with recognizing semitones and tones, even though I’ve played guitar for more than a decade.
A: Don’t get discouraged if you struggle with tones and semitones. As you’ll see from this FAQ, you are not alone!
I would recommend trying some of the tips in this article and explo