It’s been a few weeks since I posted my 1st ear training exercise and a variation on it. I’ve been working on them and have been making some improvements.
I’ve just began working on a new exercise. It uses the same tools as the 1st exercise, flash cards and a piano/keyboard, but is a little more advanced. In the 1st exercise, we used flash cards to sing different pitches/intervals using C Major as our key. In this new exercise, we will use the interval on the flash card as the root of a major triad that we’ll sing against a C major triad.
I’ll walk you through my process working on this exercise:
1. Shuffle the flash cards and lay them face down on your work surface.
2. Play a C major triad (C, E, G) with your left hand and flip over a card with your right hand.
3. While sustaining the C triad, sing the interval listed on the card. Let’s say that you’ve flipped over b13, you would sing Ab.
4. Try to sing an Ab major triad while continuing to play the C triad.
5. After you think you have sung the correct interval and triad, play and sing the notes of the Ab triad at the same time to check yourself.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you work through the whole deck of cards.
I think the most important part of the process is singing the interval and its triad before you play it. It is also important to do the work in the 1st ear training exercise before adding this one. Having a good understanding of the 1st exercise makes the 2nd one much easier.
Although I haven’t tried any of these yet, I’ve been thinking of some variations that you could incorporate into this exercise.
1. If the last note of the triad you sing is a tension, resolve it to a chord tone.
2. Sing other triad qualities – major, minor, augmented, diminished.
3. Sing inversions. When doing this, the interval on the card could act as the 3rd or 5th of the triad instead of the root.
4. Sing both ascending and descending triads.
I hope that acts as a good introduction to this exercise. I might start making videos of myself going through some of these exercise. I think something is lost between being able to see and hear how an exercise works and only reading the steps.