Suggestions for Ear Training

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by johmica, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. johmica

    johmica Tele-Meister

    Mar 10, 2011
    berea kentucky

    As part of my "New Year's Resolution Intensive Jazz Guitar Training Regime" (insert eye roll here), I've been working on a book called "Ear Training Vol. 1, Scale Forms Through Six Basic Tetrachords" by a guy named Elvo D'Amante. While the book and accompanying audio provide an abundance of practice exercises, the material lacks any sort of guidance on how to get better.

    To illustrate, the first several exercises are limited to single tetrachords (the building blocks of diatonic scales). I worked through the sight singing portion of these exercises with some success, and then completed the audio identification (basically identifying intervals within specific tetrachords (or scales)), and did pretty well. If I got less than 80% correct, I would work on the sight singing portion again, and then re-take the audio identification portion.

    I moved through this section rather quickly (within two or three weeks of 20 minutes/day). Now, however, I've moved on to the section in which all six tetrachords are up for grabs, and I have to identify whether a given audio example is major, minor, dom., whole-tone, chromatic, or phrygian. I've been stuck on the first exercise of this chapter for over a week, and I can't get better than 50%.

    My method is to begin with a 20-minute or so session with my guitar, playing the different tetrachords both ascending and descending, all over the fretboard. I listen closely, and play tetrachords that sound similar against one another, just to try to learn to discern the difference. I then play the audio examples and bomb my "quiz." Afterwards, I replay the audio examples with my guitar in hand, reproducing the examples. Lo and behold, the book is always right, and I'm always wrong.

    Like I said, the book provides plenty of materials to practice with, but it's pretty bare when it comes to advice/guidance on how to get better over time. I'd love to hear advice from folks who have gone through a similar process in the past.
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