Learning Goal: To recognize the unique sound/feeling of the following intervals: minor 2nd, major 2nd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, tritone, perfect 5th, minor 6th, major 6th, minor 7th, major 7, octave…
Download the Zip file, unzip, create a playlist, set to random play, and do ear training on the run!
Each mp3 follows the same sequence:
- Two random notes are played, one after the other.
- Identify the interval.
- After a short pause, the correct answer is given.
Listen to an example…
As you do these, keep the following in mind:
- Unlike absolute pitch, relative pitch does not require any special talent. Relative pitch awareness is a learnable skill, available to anyone who studies and practices the right way.
- Successful ear training is not the fruit of trying to hear something. It is about being receptive to the sound/feeling you are experiencing and then associating that sound/feeling with something you already know–in this case the names of the intervals!
A Critically Important Word of Caution…
There are two commonly-prescribed methods for learning to recognize various intervals.
- Method #1: Sing up a musical scale until you reach the interval of interest. For example, to learn the sound of a perfect fifth, sing the first five notes (Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So) of the major scale. The first and last notes form a perfect fifth.
- Method #2: Sing the first notes of a familiar tune that starts with the interval of interest. For example, to learn the sound of a perfect fifth, sing the first few notes of “Twinkle, Twinkle”.
But there are two fundamental problems with the “sing up the scale” and “sound likes the beginning of…” methods:
- They are incomplete, because they teach intervals only in a very specific context, ignoring all other possible contexts.
- They are misleading, because there is a danger that this will turn into [context-dependent] Solfege training, not [context-independent] interval training.
The correct, general-purpose way to study intervals is independent of context–because the goal is to hear the unique sound/feeling of each pair of notes independently of any key center and independently of which notes came before. Got it? Good!