Ear Training Techniques
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Christian Crush's Avatar
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    Default Ear Training Techniques

    I am looking for some good exercises to train my ear to identify key, have started to integrate maschine and massive into my djing and am wanting to start doing some live synth but just have a hard time knowing what to play because alot of my tracks key is wrong. Looking for a good starting point to begin training my ear.

  2. #2
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    For critical listening skills in general...I HIGHLY recommend this book. Plan to work through all the exercises a few times.

    http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Liste.../dp/1598630237
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  3. #3
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    I never read such a book though I imagine such things might help. What I do when identifying keys of new songs I run some software to analyze first and check it with my keyboard. That proves to be a good mix between speed and accuracy. When checking with my keyboard I do the following:

    1. finding the base note by listening to the baseline and/or melody and it's usually the first note, often the last one as well - if not just try to play the baseline until I get it
    2. trying a minor and a major chord - one of them will sound odd
    3. playing some typical cadences - after this point you will know the key 100%
    4. jump once or twice to a later part of the song to double check and possibly notice pitches within the song. If the song gets pitched within the song you have to find the breakpoints and repeat the procedure for every part

    Also I do this before I use the song for DJing, because it takes some time (even though you get much quicker at it with practice) and of course you need a keyboard (or a software keyboard - which I use on my macbook sometimes).


    Finding the key by having a fixed reference key (eg. tuning fork) or varying, but fixed reference key (eg. the ongoing song in a mix with a known key) can be learned easier than learning the absolute pitch, but is still harder than using a keyboard. Anyways this will probably just come with time, because it is the same thing as singing a song correctly: You might not know the first note of the "happy-birthday"-song, but you just chose one that you feel comfortable with and than you just know the next tone, because you know the interval between the first and the second note. Maybe you can not name it (eg. X semitones), but THAT is what you can learn. And once you learned that you can proceed to finding the (relative) interval between base notes of chords.

    For knowing the key without any reference (eg. keyboard or tuning fork) you would need an absolute pitch. If that's what you are aiming for than things get much more complicated. You will probably need years to learn that - if you ever will.

  4. #4
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    Default Auralia

    Developing some solid chord recognition and interval recognition skills would be highly useful. Check out Auralia ear training software http://www.risingsoftware.com/auralia/ for the full program. Or they are starting to release a series of single topic apps also - http://www.risingsoftware.com/mobile/

    Good luck!

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  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Go to musictheory.net where you have a basic free online course, they also have a free app, it will teach you about scales, intervals, chords etc. For ear training you could get an app called tenuto that has exercises for identifying notes, intervals etc. Its a small price and very handy.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    learn to play the piano. this is the best exercise ever. it will teach your ear while teaching you to read music.
    - Equipment - 2X Technics 1200, 2X Audio Technica ATLP1240, 2X XDJ700, 2X XDJ1000 MK2, Denon DNX-1100, Mixars DUO, DJM750 MK2, NI Audio 10, NI Aduio 4, Serato SL3, 4X Shure M44-7, 2X Ortofon Pro S, 2X Numark Groove Tool, Maschine MK3, Samson Carbon 49, Roland SE-02, Novation Launchcontrol, TouchOSC, Nocation Peak, Arturia MiniBrute, Korg Volca Kick, MicroKorg (Classic), NI Komplete Audio 6

  8. #8
    Tech Wizard ponk's Avatar
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    Although already in progress, Queen's University is running a free online course in critical listening. Pretty sure you can still join and do the exercises.

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Mr_Moo's Avatar
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    Any apps like this for Android?

  10. #10
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    Get some Techniques and start playing on vinyl. Get decent at that and everything else will seem easy
    Allen & Heath Xone DB4/2-Pioneer CDJ 2000's/Maschine/Audio 10/S4

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