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 Post subject: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:15 pm 
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I got a music program, GNU Solfege, to train myself to have perfect pitch, perfect relative pitch, etc. I've ran into a problem. I can get pretty regularly 100% in hearing the difference between a major and minor chords. I do well in hearing acending intervals of maj/min seconds, maj/min 6th, and 4th, 5th and octaves. But much to my amazement, hearing maj/min 3rds is proving to be a true obstacle. (you would think getting 100% on the chords, daily, hearing the intervals would be problem free, but nope, doesn't work that way).

I turned to science, especially psychology which studies big time cognitive development of senses. However, turns out no one has done any real research (that I've been able to find) on how we might proceed best in aural training.

Due to the lack of science, I turn to the experts when it came to learning this stuff the best I could. My brain recalled reading that Steve Vai wrote down the Black Page while taking a bus ride - that tells me he knows something about the subject (especially after studying some of “The Frank Zappa Guitar Song Book”). I'm also guessing that at web site like this there may be a few people who are completely trained up in solfege and can give very helpful insight into how they did it, what sort of problems they had, better, "what they did to get past problems" and what they found as the most helpful approaches, etc.

You who have it down - sure would like to "hear" from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:35 pm 
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major and minor thirds are the easiest

for minor thirds
think of the them to beverly hills cop (axel f)

for major thirds
think of completing the 5th for a major chord

done


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:52 am 
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That isn't my experience both. Like I said, I get 100% on hearing correctly hearing major or minor chords, root position, but do really bad on hearing melodic intervals of 3rds, yet reasonably good at hearing melodic intervals of 2nds, 4th&5ths and 6ths.

In fact, in melodic intervals the easiest for me to learn was the octive, followed by the 4ths and 5ths, I assume in part because of their greater distance apart. However, I do wonder to what degree the overtone series can shed light on this. For example, we know from the overtone series that the first strongest relation is the octive followed by the 5th, the 4th, the major 3rd and the minor 3rd in that order. Thus you would think, if there is any merit to that relationship, that learning the octives and 4ths and 5ths to be easier than learning 3rds. However, again, theory and practice are two different things - like I said, I get high scores on the seconds but terrible on the thirds - I have no idea why.

That brings up an idea - maye I should use the overtone series. One could do it like this:
1) hear difference between octives and 5ths
2) hear difference between 5ths and 4ths
3) hear difference between 4ths and major 3rds
4) hear difference between major 3rds and minor 3rds
5) hear difference between minor 3rds and major seconds

This ignores supermajors and subminors and the likes of that - but maybe that's part of the problem. What we call a Major 3rd actually has two types, same with minor 3rds. Perhaps if the training split 3rds study into groups of only proper Major and minor, and proper Supermajor and sub minor, it would tend to be learned faster - I don't know - just an idea from looking at the overtone series.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:23 pm 
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you have to think of songs

minor second - jaws
maj second- the two notes o a major scale

min third- axel f

major third- wanting to hear the root

fouth- here comes the bridge

fifth- star wars

triton- the simpsons

and so on

do re me/solfege sucksssssss


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:53 am 
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Why do you think “do re me/solfege sucksssssss”? The system was placed forward by Guido of Arezzo in about the year of 1025 which means people have been using it now for just short of a thousand years. More important, if its bad, what do you replace it with? Here comes the bride?

I did give song recall a chance at first, but it confused me some when changing key every new interval. It seemed like if I simply sang the intervals every time that over time I would hear the difference between, whatever, a forth and a fifth. Then I could even start hearing it in my head without singing. However, if I just tried to put it in the head directly without singing the intervals, it took much longer – just my experience thus far. It seems to get mixed reviews from what I've been able to find thus far - but something does need to be said for personal experiance too - if it works for you, great! It is interesting to note that two of you have now suggested that same method.

One thing that is often overlooked about Guido of Arezzo was his memory technique with music. He had a memory system wherein you could recall how a tune went by the use of your hand and it was very common for a very long time until sheet music became easy to come by. Musical memory is very interesting too, that's for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:10 am 
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well solfege sucks because- its really for singers
i'm not a singer

if you play an instrument then there's not much purpose to it...

it's not accurate- you can sing wrong intervals with wrong syllables then you're screwed/lost

some countries use solfege for naming the notes

USA uses A B C D E F G
parts of europe do re mi..etc

i don't think hearing a note and trying to identify it by putting it in solfege is a good idea or accurate or easy-

solfege can get tricky when moving keys and chromatically
solfege is awful chromatically and extrememly useless when it comes to the chromatic scale.

you can kind of 'deduce' intervals

play an interval...

is it happy? is it sad? is it close together? far apart? is it dissonant? is it consonant?

unison- same not
minor second- really close together really disonent
maj second- really close together doesn't sound good
min 3rd- close together sounds sad (not dissonent)
maj 3rd- close together sounds happy- wants to hear 5th on top

and so on


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:25 am 
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I'm not a singer either, by any stretch. My whole idea here is not to be a singer, but to develop correct “hearing”. Grasping relative pitch being of primary interest. For example, if some great performer is blazing along I want to know exactly what mode they are in at any time when really listening to it – I want a trained ear. Believe me, you can go learn Zappa's watermelons in Easter hey, of better, pink napkins via Vai's transcriptions, and actually play them reasonably well, and still not be ear trained worth a crap – I know, I did it and I'm for sure not someone with a trained ear. Well that's just plain unacceptable – that's like being a painter who can't draw someone so that the picture actually looks like the person your drawing – I mean there is some minimal degree of technical development a person should have, or at least it seems like it to me. This is especially true when they have shown that anyone with hearing can learn it, thus how can you be a “musician” if you neglected to get your hearing up to speed?? Now that's just how I see it – I know others don't agree and that's fine. On my side, however, is Julliard complaining that the worst problem with their talented kids getting into the school is that they are NOT ear trained – I think they say that for a reason. Besides, its gotta be easier than learning Pink Napkins, dear god!

Now you say its not accurate – you mean the program is producing the wrong tones, for example instead of a C its a C plus 75 cents or something?? I hope not because everyone states to NEVER practice it with an out of tune instrument – you want to be in perfect tune, every single note, so that you not learning it incorrectly!


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:29 pm 
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it's only accurate if you have a good ear- it doesn't work on its own

and you can easily sing wrote notes with the right syllable
and when you get into accidentals- sharps/flats- black keys

then solfege is pretty much useless.

if you go to a college- they basically teach you what i said above
comparing it to other songs, or dwindling down the options to figure out whats there

I took AP music theory in high school and learned all the ear training I needed to get through 2 years of college theory/aural perception

also- solfege has a connotation of notes/a key- it's often used in C

if you think that way then you loose the aspect of RELATIVENESS of the notes

if you think a major second as the first two notes of HAPPY BIRTHDAY then you get that on every note and any note you start on relatively

when you think of a major second as do re there's a lot of room for error


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:14 pm 
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I do have the GNU Solfege program, so its not like I'm missing the correct pitch or anything like that – it makes two tones and I simply have to say what they are, Major 3rd, minor 6th, etc – or it can play chords and I have to say what inversion its in, that sort of thing.

So if I follow you, your saying just learn happy birthday, the Major second, and figure everything out from there and pretty much forget about the rest of it, just step your way through to any changes you hear type thing – yes??


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:42 pm 
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i'd really suggest going to a community college and take music theory/aural perception

i've never learned or used training software

the way i explained is how they teach it in college
there are rules/songs/examples of each interval

you have to go one by one... and then practice...

you go through the steps apart and the interval and so on...

0 steps apart is a PERFECT UNISON- its the same note twice
1 step is a m2 it is dissonant and really close together and sounds like the theme from jaws (its also the closest two notes can be together)
2 steps is a M2 it is dissonant but not as bad but super close together sounds like the first two notes of a major scale

solfege a triton is tough
but think of the theme to the simpsons
theeeee simmmpppsooons
triton right there

t


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:14 am 
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Ahh, so now it sounds like building it up piece by piece – unison, m2, M2, m3, M3, 4, etc.

That is actually the GNU Solfege is physically laid out. It also returns us to the main idea. When I looked into the science of methods that worked best in learning this, there is almost zero study on the subject. Its like we have various teacher doing different ways here and there without any actual tracking of students to see if any one method is better than any other, with the sole exception that everyone agrees that singing intervals makes the learning faster. Because of this blind spot I simply looked at what was easiest for me as I tried to learn it, and that was having octave as easiest (although I never though about unison). After that the next easiest for me to get 100% on was the 5th and then the 4th. This pattern reminded me of the overtone series so I simply based the learning patter off the overtone series inclusive of its inversions. Thus instead of this learning pattern

unison, m2, M2, m3, M3, 4, tritone, 5, m6, M6, m7, M7

I got this via the overtone series (mindful of inversions)

octive, 5th, 4th, M3, m6, m3, M6, M2, m7, m2, M7, tritone.

To which, thanks to you, I would now add unison at the very start. In short the method builds a gradual hierarchy of dissonant's, so your learning from most consonant to most dissonant. I can not say its any better than learning it the u, m2, M2, etc way, and as far as I can tell, no one has ever studied it to see – all I can say is that it fit, at least to start with, with what I found by far the easiest things to learn. For whatever its worth I did have a music teacher from Australia tell me he thought it was an excellent idea because in his experience of year of teaching aural training, kids very show errors when tones are close in the overtone series, say a 4th and a M3. I know it seems odd but apparently the guy has tracked the error types and discovered overtone proximity to by high on the error type list. Thus, his thinking was, that by teaching based of overtone series proximity the student becomes and stays critically aware of the very factor causing so much problem in many people right from the start (I just learned this yesterday). I would have never in a million years have guessed that, but there it is.

I have noticed that it self reinforces melodic direction study. It does this by grouping inversions. In this way ascending and descending study's are reinforcing the inversion relationships which then make it all that much easier to notice – maybe (again, no proof). Anyway, so there we come full circle.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:27 am 
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if you want to become a lawyer you go to law school- you don't download a program

you want to go to be a surgeon you go to medical school- you don't subscribe to an online training course

you want to learn music theory/ear training....

go to a college or university- and take classes/study it

or find someone that did and pay them for lessons.

$20,000 a year music schools know how to teach it and probably use the best methods

i'd listen to them over what a software program claims to be the best method.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:43 pm 
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When I can afford school I'll do that, unless I have it down by then.

As far as schools go, best I can tell there is no set fixed best way – just a hodge podge of different approaches from different schools with no testing to see which, if any, methods kids learn faster by, aside from near universal agreement that singing it as you go helps you learn it faster.

Today I re-wrote my own GNU Solfege files as to my idea and have now started the self taught method. Thanks for you suggestions all the same, but, I gotta start, teacher or not.

Oh, and BTW - the program doesn't claim what method is best, it simply gives you a huge variety of intervals you can test yourself on as well as many other aspects of aural training - timing, notes in various chords, what inversion their in, scale recognition, etc., etc. They leave it up to you as to how to approach it. Download it, its free, you'll see. GNU Solfege - there are others as well (and many universities do you them these days).

Also - after searching the net for info on it, and talking with the professor's of music who would talk to me, I figured I would dig for information here assuming that their just my be a good selection of people who learned it at a very early age and see what they had to say about it - problem areas, things that worked well with them, etc. I mean if you following Steve Vai, I rather expect you know quite a lot, including full aural training for at least many of the people at a place like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:42 am 
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For whatever its worth I took GNU Solfege and created personal user files that in turn make it have a section for training according to the method I suggested above. It works perfectly fine. I have the files that make it work if anyone is interested it.


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 Post subject: Re: Solfege Training
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:00 am 
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if you're in the USA- there's something called FAFSA

no matter how old you are- you fill it out- and if you can't afford school they'll pay for it or find you a way to pay for it

there's also scholorships

so before you say 'if i could afford school'

at least try-
because from that statement it just says 'i've never tried but i'm using it's expensive as an excuse'

i graduated with NO SCHOOL DEBT
without any help from my parents


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