In this article, you'll learn about FREE software programs to help you with ear training: developing your musical sense of pitch.
Ear training gives you a map to clarify and simplify where you are and where you're going. And it's a great skill to develop, even a little bit.
You can use ear training in almost every area of music:
There are two pieces of FREE software that I highly recommend you download:
- Pitch Coach: http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/PitchCoachOSX/
- Functional Ear Trainer: http://www.miles.be/fet.html#fetbasic
Pitch Coach works on Mac computers.
Functional Ear Trainer only works with Windows.
Quick Start to Ear Training
Get used to singing DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI-DO:
- Start by singing the familiar syllables: DO-RE-MI-FA-SOL-LA-TI-DO.
- Load the Pitch Coach software on your computer.
- Throughout the day, from time to time, use it to listen to the pitches of those syllables as you sing them. Play a pitch, then try to match it as closely as you can.
Although there are many methods of ear training, here is a quick way to start: split your practice into the first 4 syllables (DO-RE-MI-FA) and last 4 syllables (SOL-LA-TI-DO).
The first four syllables tend to move DOWNWARD (resolve) from FA down to DO. So it will feel more natural to practice singing them backward: FA-MI-RE-DO.
The second four syllables tend to move UPWARD (resolve) from SOL up to the upper DO. So it will feel more natural to practice singing them upward: SOL-LA-TI-DO.
Using Pitch Coach
When you first start Pitch Coach, select "7 tones" and "2 octaves." Your screen will look similar to the image below:
Use your mouse to click on "F" (FA), then down to "E" (MI), then down to "D" (RE), then down to "C" (DO). Sing FA-MI-RE-DO as you do that. If you practice for several days in a row, just a few minutes at a time, your ear will get familiar with those tones and syllables. And eventually you will be able to sing FA down to DO without the intervening notes.
Use the same Coach Pitch keyboard with your mouse to practice SOL up to DO (SOL-LA-TI-DO).
Using Functional Ear Trainer
You can use Functional Ear Trainer to further test yourself on the first four syllables:
On the top menu, click on VIEW.
- Select SOLFEGGIO SYLLABLES (MOVEABLE DO).
- On the left (Note Choices), choose F, E, D, C.
- Press START.
- Click on the correct tone you hear.
The two exercises in this article are deceptively simple. But if you try them, for just a few minutes at a time, for a couple weeks, you'll begin to have a different relationship with music. After these two exercises, you can expand your learning with the exercises in related article http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art50040.asp.
BellaOnline's Musician Editor