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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Ear Training For 5 String


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/310544

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 10/25/2015:  18:20:57


Ear training keeps coming up on this site and it is so important to be able to hear pitches in genres of music that depend on personal improvisation instead of note or tab reading so I want to start a thread on the subject. I am first just putting up a couple of charts on the subject hoping to generate questions and answers from members.



to practice:



childrensmusicworkshop.com/mus...0_en.html



The big thing to get into your mind is that the 5 string banjo is tuned to a chord and is not an equidistant interval instrument. By that I mean the interval distance between the strings are different. For example, strings 4 and 3 are match tuned at the 5th fret while 3 and 2 are at the 4th fret and 2 and 1 are at the 3rd fret. Because of this unequal tuning the ear is always confused when string changing occurs because the intervals are always different. These intervals are shown at the top of the ear-training chart +5 +4 +3. So say you play the 4th string open and then the 3rd string open that is a distance of 5 frets. The song that will be heard is Here Comes The Bride. If you play the 4th string open and then the 3rd string open that is a distance of 5 frets. The song that will be heard is Here Comes The Bride. you play the 3rd string open and then the 2nd string open that is a distance of 4 frets. The song that will be heard is When The Saints. If you play the 2nd string open and then the 1st string open that is a distance of 3 frets. The song that will be heard is Popeye. This tuning scheme can be seen if you go to the zero on the chart and look at the numbers in that row ( 0 5 9 12 ). You must add 5 then 4 then 3 to get those numbers. The red = +-5 is the way to compensate to the banjo to conform to equal intervals. As you can see the addition across the strings using the red circles is always a distance of 5 frets ( 0 5 10 15 ). Therefore the song Here Comes The Bride is always constantly sounded giving the ear a firm benchmark to go from. By using the red visual grid you can easily go across strings and add or subtract interval numbers to get the one you want without trying to memorize that whole chart. For example, say you want to go up 3 you would simply cross the string and back down 2 frets. If you want to go up 10 you would simply cross the strings twice. If you want to go up 7 you would cross the string and go up 2 frets. This grid system also brings the 5 string into alignment with the circle of fifths but that is something for another day.



 



























































































































 String Instrument Tuning Guide



Instruments with an asterisk are tuned to equidistant intervals, the same pitch distance between all strings



(the number after the asterisk is that interval in half steps)



Violin*7



G-D-A-E



Viola*7



C-G-D-A



Cello*7



C-G-D-A



Bass*5



E-A-D-G 



Mandolin*7



G-D-A-E



Guitar



E-A-D-G-B-E



12 String Guitar



E-e-A-a-D-d-G-g-B-B-E-E



Guitar Drop D-Tuning



D-A-D-G-B-E



12 String Guitar D-Tuning



D-d-G-g-C-c-F-f-A-A-D-D



7 String Guitar



B-E-A-D-G-B-E



Hawaiian Guitar



E-A-E-A-C#-E



Tenor Guitar*5



G-C-D-A



Baritone Guitar



B-E-A-D-F#-B



Bass Guitar*5



E-A-D-G



5 String Bass Guitar*5



B-E-A-D-G



6 String Bass Guitar*5



B-E-A-D-G-C



Soprano Ukulele C-Tuning



G-C-E-A



Soprano Ukulele D-Tuning



A-D-F#-B



Concert Ukulele



G-C-E-A



Tenor Ukulele



G-C-E-A



Baritone Ukulele



D-G-B-E



Banjo G-Tuning (Bluegrass)



G-D-G-B-D



Banjo C-Tuning



G-C-G-B-D



Banjo



E-A-E-G#-B



Tenor Banjo*7



C-G-D-A



Dulcimer



D-D-A-D



 



Lower Case Letters Indicate a String an Octave Higher






10/30/15



I added the tenor banjo / mandolin version



______________________________________________________________________________________



Here's a link to an ear-training video demonstrating 18 different ways to mix up the I IV V chords.



youtube.com/watch?v=wsLpwP6eDd4



​intervals used 2 5 7 



also down intervals   -2 Yesterday



                                 -5 I've Been Working On The Railroad



                                 -7 The Flintstones 587





 



Edited by - mmuussiiccaall on 12/10/2015 05:32:26



Tenor Banjo Major Scale


Tenor Banjo (Mandolin)


Banjo Ear Training

maneckep - Posted - 10/25/2015:  18:59:51


OK - I'll be the first with a question. How do you use it? I looked at it but didn't understand it.  Could just be me though.



Edited by - maneckep on 10/25/2015 19:00:34

NealR - Posted - 10/25/2015:  19:30:35


I'm interested in learning how to use this.


thisoldman - Posted - 10/26/2015:  04:26:53


Here is a link to the home page for that site childrensmusicworkshop.com/musictheory/



Thanks for sharing. Lots of stuff there.  As primarily a visual learner, I envy those who can learn by ear,  This looks like something that would be helpful.


TNCowboy - Posted - 10/26/2015:  04:43:37


Looks like the top list of reverse numbered songs relate to the numbered list below. The numbers that follow are notes shown on the fret board. The dash in white Christmas is a rest. At first glance it looks like the second and third notes (10&9) in star trek should be reversed (?).

Michael

JoeDownes - Posted - 10/26/2015:  06:09:05


The numbers 1-12 before the songs and the numbers 1-15 on the fretboard diagram are half tone steps. The m2, M2, etc are musical intervals. (read minor second, major second, perfect fourth, etc.) They are interchangeable: m2 equals 1 halfstep, M2 equals 2 halfsteps, m3 equals 3 halfsteps and so on.



The main melodies of the songs are beginning with the specific intervals: theres one song for each interval up to the octave. When you know the melodies, you know what the interval sounds like (an aural picture if you will). That makes it easier to recognize a given interval by comparing it to those melodies.


mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 10/26/2015:  08:16:05


here's the short wiki article on this subject:



Relative pitch




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


 


 



Relative pitch is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note by comparing it to a reference note and identifying the interval between those two notes. Relative pitch implies some or all of the following abilities:



    w3.org%2F2000%2Fsvg%22%...Fsvg%3E%0A); color: rgb(37, 37, 37); font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">
  • Determine the distance of a musical note from a set point of reference, e.g. "three octaves above middle C"

  • Identify the intervals between given tones, regardless of their relation to concert pitch (A = 440 Hz)

  • the skill used by singers to correctly sing a melody, following musical notation, by pitching each note in the melody according to its distance from the previous note. Alternatively, the same skill which allows someone to hear a melody for the first time and name the notes relative to some known reference pitch.



This last definition, which applies not only to singers but also to players of instruments who rely on their own skill to determine the precise pitch of the notes played (wind instruments, fretless string instruments like violin or viola, etc.), is an essential professional skill required to be able to play with others. As an example think of the different concert pitches used by orchestras playing music from different styles (a baroque orchestra with original instruments might decide to use a much lower pitch).



Unlike absolute pitch (sometimes called "perfect pitch"), relative pitch is quite common among musicians, especially musicians who are used to "playing by ear", and a precise relative pitch is a constant characteristic among good musicians. Unlike perfect pitch, relative pitch can be developed through ear training.[1] Computer-aided ear training is becoming a popular tool for musicians and music students, and various software is available for improving relative pitch.



Some music teachers teach their students relative pitch by having them associate each possible interval with the first two notes of a popular song. (See ear training.) Another method of developing relative pitch is playing melodies by ear on a musical instrument, especially one which, unlike a piano or other fingered instrument, requires a specific manual adjustment for each particular tone. Indian musicians learn relative pitch by singing intervals over a drone, which is also described by W. A. Mathieu using western just intonation terminology. Many western ear training classes use solfège to teach students relative pitch, while others use numerical sight-singing.



Compound intervals (intervals greater than an octave) can be more difficult to detect than simple intervals (intervals less than an octave).



Interval recognition may allow musicians to identify complex chord types, or to accurately tune an instrument with respect to a given reference tone, even if the tone is not in concert pitch.



Relative pitch has not been known to develop into absolute or perfect pitch. Most North American universities develop relative pitch in their ear training courses. This can pose difficulties for students whose musicianship is more dependent on perfect pitch, although absolute and relative skills are not mutually exclusive.



I would advise learning to recognize one interval at a time. Let's start trying to hear the m2 (which means a pitch that is one fret on a banjo higher higher than the root note (G if you were in the key of G) On the chart the 0 which represents the key note happens to look like you are in the key of F (because it is an F note) but you can slide the whole fret-board up and down the neck to put the in formation in any key you like. To practice the m2 go to the ear-training site listed above and make it look like the attachment  by unchecking all the other intervals. As the chart says the m2 sounds either like the first two notes of Jaws or White Christmas. The first two notes of the example songs are all we ever care about.


1.    0   1  0  -1  0  1   2  3 = I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, the first 8 notes of the song but all we care about are the first two. BTW the -1 means to go one pitch lower than the root note, tonal center etc.


The other song Jaws simply keeps playing the first two pitches over and over 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 etc.


 


Once you get this idea you should be able to play any note on your instrument and then hit the note that is one fret higher and you should hear these two songs in your head. For those who are not tone-deaf ( which is helped by studying this skill) then start playing any note on your instrument and then try to sing the m2, one pitch higher note before you physically play it.


 


There are five different areas of learning on the chart to eventually get into but we will just take it a bit at a time. The goal is to be able to play anything you hear audibly and internally.




Edited by - mmuussiiccaall on 10/26/2015 08:19:07



m2

   

Rick McKeon - Posted - 10/26/2015:  20:31:00


Great topic Rick,



Here is another chart I put together to illustrate musical intervals rickmckeon.com/guitarlessons/intervals.pdf



Of course there is a lot more to ear training than just musical intervals, but it is a good place to start. There are a lot of excellent ear training programs out there for chords (maj, min, dim, etc) where you can work your way through a series of lessons and track your progress.



This is a topic that will be very helpful for most banjo players!



Rick


banjoak - Posted - 10/26/2015:  22:12:47


There is another Ear Training and idea of Relative Pitch. The above method is focused on the linear steps, jumps... generally in a sequential way.  (I guess thinking of the melody as a series of the interval step up/down, then the next up/down, then the next .....)



The other idea which focuses on function and context of relative pitch - where pitches are understood in the harmonic relation to tonal center; key (as well expands to chord). Solfege is a good tool for this, as it is hierarchical rather than just linear.. Each interval in the key holds unique harmonic relation to the tonal center, and remains the same;  it matters not what sequential linear note was played before.



 



That White Christmas example.



1.    0   1  0  -1  0  1   2  3 = I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, the first 8 notes of the song but all we care about are the first two. BTW the -1 means to go one pitch lower than the root note, tonal center etc.



That  the first note is not the tonal center of the piece, nor root note of the key or chord chord;  but rather is the major third; and the first 2 notes are MI to FA (M3 and a P4)



Popeye is MI to SOL ( M3 to P5);

Here Comes the Bride is a SOL to DO (P5 to the Tonic); . NOT DO to FA.

Morning of the Carnival is SOL up to ME (P5 to m3)

NBC is SOL to MI ; and then concludes down on DO (P5 to M3 to tonic)

Star Trek is SOL up to FA (P5 up to P4)



Many folks find Ear Training easier via this harmonic relation to the actual tonal center, and via chords; often without thinking of (or even quickly knowing) how many linear steps distance between 2 notes.


mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 10/27/2015:  05:54:02


quote:

Originally posted by banjoak

 

There is another Ear Training and idea of Relative Pitch. The above method is focused on the linear steps, jumps... generally in a sequential way.  (I guess thinking of the melody as a series of the interval step up/down, then the next up/down, then the next .....)




The other idea which focuses on function and context of relative pitch - where pitches are understood in the harmonic relation to tonal center; key (as well expands to chord). Solfege is a good tool for this, as it is hierarchical rather than just linear.. Each interval in the key holds unique harmonic relation to the tonal center, and remains the same;  it matters not what sequential linear note was played before.




 




That White Christmas example.




1.    0   1  0  -1  0  1   2  3 = I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, the first 8 notes of the song but all we care about are the first two. BTW the -1 means to go one pitch lower than the root note, tonal center etc.




That  the first note is not the tonal center of the piece, nor root note of the key or chord chord;  but rather is the major third; and the first 2 notes are MI to FA (M3 and a P4)




Popeye is MI to SOL ( M3 to P5);

Here Comes the Bride is a SOL to DO (P5 to the Tonic); . NOT DO to FA.

Morning of the Carnival is SOL up to ME (P5 to m3)

NBC is SOL to MI ; and then concludes down on DO (P5 to M3 to tonic)

Star Trek is SOL up to FA (P5 up to P4)



Many folks find Ear Training easier via this harmonic relation to the actual tonal center, and via chords; often without thinking of (or even quickly knowing) how many linear steps distance between 2 notes.





Yes I totally agree that's where we eventually want to be headed!



Here are those intervals in relation to the key signature. To those just learning from this thread please note that these numbers are not related to the above banjo chart.




 



Song Melodies As They Relate To The Key Signature



Over The Rainbow                  1   8   7  5 6 7  8



Dont Know Why                      5 14   12 12  10 10  8 8



Star Trek                                              5   11   10 9 8 7 b7  b6  5  12  11 10 9 8 7   



N.B.C.                                                    5   10   8



Morning Of Carnival          5 b10 9 8 8  7 9 5



Chim Chim Chimeree        6    10 10 10    10   10 10 10   10  11 10 9



The Simpsons                                1 #4 5



Here Comes The Bride      5  8   8 8  5  9   7 8   5  8  11  10  9 8  9 8 7   8  9



When The Saints                       1 3 4 5  1 3 4 5  1 3 4 5  3 1 3 2



Popeye                                                    3 5 5 5 4   3 5   5 8 4 6 8   6 5



Do Re Me                                            1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8



White Christmas                       3  4 3 b3 3 4  #4 5 



Edited by - mmuussiiccaall on 10/27/2015 05:55:26

Tom Hanway - Posted - 10/28/2015:  18:49:33


Oh wow, this is good!



Best ~ Tom


Rawhide Creek - Posted - 11/14/2015:  09:54:17


Ear training can be made much simpler:




   

steve davis - Posted - 11/17/2015:  08:12:54


Ear training can simply consist of sitting in with other musicians and trying to play a viable break to any song that pops up.

Quickly determining the key and chord changes is the foundation.What to play within the chord pattern is between your fingers and ears to choose.

As with anything,it gets better,quicker when you can play every day with someone else.



I learned to play well by ear from just playing all the time with good ear players.Dad didn't know any theory,just what he'd picked up by listening.

Good ear players remember what sounded good yesterday.



What is playing by ear doing in the theory section?



Edited by - steve davis on 11/17/2015 08:15:02

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/07/2015:  16:20:41


quote:

Originally posted by steve davis

 

Ear training can simply consist of sitting in with other musicians and trying to play a viable break to any song that pops up.

Quickly determining the key and chord changes is the foundation.What to play within the chord pattern is between your fingers and ears to choose.

As with anything,it gets better,quicker when you can play every day with someone else.



I learned to play well by ear from just playing all the time with good ear players.Dad didn't know any theory,just what he'd picked up by listening.

Good ear players remember what sounded good yesterday.




What is playing by ear doing in the theory section?







Hey Steve I challenge you to do this ear-test. I can get these results using the system I have explained above. 



youtube.com/watch?v=n6UwB-PF4SI



Here's the location of the tester



childrensmusicworkshop.com/mus...0_en.html



I'll owe you a hot fudge sundae if you can get the 100% out of 20!



 


Rawhide Creek - Posted - 12/08/2015:  09:53:32


Rick, that trainer is also available as an app for $0.99.



I had no problem scoring perfectly on the ear test because it is essentially how I was taught, nearly 50 years ago, before the Internet and personal computers and software applications.  



Ear training was accomplished by sitting in a classroom with the instructor at the piano behind us playing the intervals.  The notes were played both separately (sometimes ascending, sometimes descending) and together.



Those who failed ear training (and/or basic class piano and/or basic sight singing) instantly washed out of music as a degree program.


Dave1climber - Posted - 12/08/2015:  11:44:57


quote:

Originally posted by Rawhide Creek

 

Rick, that trainer is also available as an app for $0.99.




I had no problem scoring perfectly on the ear test because it is essentially how I was taught, nearly 50 years ago, before the Internet and personal computers and software applications.  




Ear training was accomplished by sitting in a classroom with the instructor at the piano behind us playing the intervals.  The notes were played both separately (sometimes ascending, sometimes descending) and together.




Those who failed ear training (and/or basic class piano and/or basic sight singing) instantly washed out of music as a degree program.







Did those that failed have the opportunity to repeat those class's?


Rawhide Creek - Posted - 12/08/2015:  12:41:16


quote:

Originally posted by Dave1climber

 
quote:


Originally posted by Rawhide Creek

 


Rick, that trainer is also available as an app for $0.99.




I had no problem scoring perfectly on the ear test because it is essentially how I was taught, nearly 50 years ago, before the Internet and personal computers and software applications.  




Ear training was accomplished by sitting in a classroom with the instructor at the piano behind us playing the intervals.  The notes were played both separately (sometimes ascending, sometimes descending) and together.




Those who failed ear training (and/or basic class piano and/or basic sight singing) instantly washed out of music as a degree program.








Did those that failed have the opportunity to repeat those class's?







Good question.



Under general academic policy, I'm sure repeating was possible.



But I never met a student who had successfully repeated the coursework. 





Apropos of nothing in particular:  A musical colleague of mine, a pianist whose wife was my son's piano teacher, developed a similar software-based ear-training program for the Commodore 64 back in the middle 1980s.


Tam_Zeb - Posted - 12/09/2015:  01:02:03


Hi Rick



I stumbled on that website a few years back and can't seem to get my head round it at all.



Strange thing though, when I was in my teens I took music lessons for the accordion. My teacher tried to get me to read music but once I had grasped the first few notes on the keyboard from the music score I just rattled off the tune.



Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out a friends accordion and to my surprise after noodling around for five minutes I was able to find the melody to a number of tunes which I had never played before. I should add I haven't played an accordion in fifty years. I just wish I had the same ability to do that with my banjo.



My banjo journey started out learning by ear, I struggled with TAB in the beginning so I spent my first two years working through the Murphy Method learning the mechanics of Scruggs Style before going on to learn to read TAB and apply that to my studies. I use TAB quite a lot now to learn fairly complex arrangements. Once grasped I can usually play about 95% of the tune by ear/from memory before I have a train wreck. Not sure why I crash and burn, I used to get all excited/nervous and hold my breathe but I am a lot more relaxed these days. I guess something else is going on inside my head that distracts me.



I have never really been able to improvise a tune from scratch on the banjo but it seems like second nature on the accordion even after fifty years, I can't understand why.



I have acquired a good repertoire of Scruggs licks, some Melodic and Single String stuff and my goal for 2016 is to spent a lot more time working on learning to improvise. I'm hoping this thread might be the springboard to help me kickstart the process.



 



 


mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/09/2015:  04:18:23


Hello Archie, I would recommend combining this other thread banjohangout.org/archive/279248 with this thread.



This was one of your comments on that thread "This numbering system confuses me too. I'm just sticking with video lessons and TAB". 



Please ask me or others any questions about ear training and intervals till you understand the concepts and you will have the roadmap to play any music on any instrument. Hey there are just 12 notes in different octaves, how hard can it be.


Tam_Zeb - Posted - 12/09/2015:  08:31:09


quote:

Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

 

Hello Archie, I would recommend combining this other thread banjohangout.org/archive/279248 with this thread.




This was one of your comments on that thread "This numbering system confuses me too. I'm just sticking with video lessons and TAB". 




Please ask me or others any questions about ear training and intervals till you understand the concepts and you will have the roadmap to play any music on any instrument. Hey there are just 12 notes in different octaves, how hard can it be.







Hi Rick



I hadn't realized the two threads were connected. Yes I am confused with all those numbers.



You ask how hard can it be. I guess as hard as parking the QE2 in a dry dock if you have never done it before.



 


mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/09/2015:  09:08:39


How about an exercise, let's say I want you to play the melody of about the simplest song in the world MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB which is 3212333 222 355 3212333322321



If we do the song in the key of G the song will start on the second string open because that's where the 3 is (see diagram, left chart only). There are only four different numbers of the scale that make up this song 123 and 5. See if you get the idea of this and shoot back at me either way.




Banjo Intervals G C D

   

Tam_Zeb - Posted - 12/09/2015:  11:27:47


quote:

Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

 

How about an exercise, let's say I want you to play the melody of about the simplest song in the world MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB which is 3212333 222 355 3212333322321




If we do the song in the key of G the song will start on the second string open because that's where the 3 is (see diagram, left chart only). There are only four different numbers of the scale that make up this song 123 and 5. See if you get the idea of this and shoot back at me either way.







Hi Rick



Yes, I was able to find the melody on the first three using that string of numbers,  Open first, second and third strings and third string fretted at the second fret. But I still find the chart and strings of numbers somewhat overpowering. A bit like reading a picture built from hexadecimal numbers. You can see the picture but it's a struggle to identify the individual numbers and letters.



 


mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/09/2015:  11:45:10


I would say to next go to the PDF children's songs and see how many of those songs you can play. As an example this is a good one because it uses 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9



 The Flintstones



5 1 8 6 5 1 5 4 3 3 4 5 1 2 3



5 1 8 6 5 1 5 4 3 3 4 5 1 2 1



7 3 8 7 7 6 6 7 6 6 2 7 6 6 5 5 6 5



5 1 8 6 5 1 5 4 3 3 4 5 1 2



1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 8



Edited by - mmuussiiccaall on 12/09/2015 11:54:17

chas5strings - Posted - 12/09/2015:  12:06:24


You know, with all this complicated ones and twos and threes and stuff, I'm sure I read someone, somewhere has invented a system of little black and white dots on 5 or 10 lines that simplifies things immensely.

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/09/2015:  13:13:17


Reading standard notation is just one way to get it done.




ways to play

   

chas5strings - Posted - 12/09/2015:  13:51:30


Love and marriage......

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/09/2015:  16:08:05


quote:

Originally posted by chas5strings

 

Love and marriage......







Yes this skills can go together to make a more well rounded musician. I've been in bands were they all read and only some could improvise and I've had it where nobody read and they all improvised.


chas5strings - Posted - 12/09/2015:  23:12:46


The skills of improvisation and ability to read standard music notation are not reliant upon each other.

I must bow out of this thread as I didn't read the title fully and therefore missed that you were referring to 5 string, a banjo and genre about which I know little to nothing.

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/10/2015:  05:39:17


quote:

Originally posted by chas5strings

 

The skills of improvisation and ability to read standard music notation are not reliant upon each other.



I must bow out of this thread as I didn't read the title fully and therefore missed that you were referring to 5 string, a banjo and genre about which I know little to nothing.


 







I added a PDF to this thread for tenor banjo players that can be applied to the archived thread banjohangout.org/archive/279248 so hopefully both types can participate.


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