Ear Training

Ear training by building tonal memory (Listening-Singing-Teacher)

One of the best ways to do ear training is to expand your tonal memory. You do this by expanding the number of notes you have to remember. That is you start with one not: You hear a note played, your task is to identify the note. If you are a beginner, you will have difficulties to identify a note just by listening. Therefore Listening-Singing-Teacher simply lets you sing the note back. You do not have to know the name of the note, but you have to remember the pitch of the note to reproduce the correct answer. Listening-Singing-Teacher evaluates your pitch so that you can see how good you could reproduce the pitch. Now this are two steps: first step is listening and second step is reproducing the pitch. In the beginning to reproduce a pitch seems difficult. However, with the visual feedback it gets easy to learn how to control your voice. Especially, if you use the solfege system it gets easier from exercise to exercise.

The solfege system uses the solmization syllables “Do” (Doh), “Re” (Ray), “Mi” (Mee), “Fa” (Fah), “So” (Soh), “La” (Lah), “Ti” (Tee), and “Do” (Doh). Since for the same pitch always the same syllable is used, your brain starts to make a connection between the syllable and the pitch. In this way, just thinking a solfege syllable, will automatically trigger the sound memory. After a little practice you will see, that just by singing a specific solmization syllable, you will produce a sound, which hits the pitch or at least comes very close. In fact that is a little bit of cheating. You may start to identify the note by reading its solmization syllable and instead of remembering the sound, you just try to remember how you did produce the desired pitch last time. But that is okay, everything that helps in the beginning is okay. One aspect of the music helps to develop the other.

The continuous pitch range of the voice, allows for better feedback on how close you did with the pitch accuracy. When rehearing an exercise with Listening Singing Teacher, use the option "Pitch Sensitivity". This option allows you to see how good you would have done with a narrower setting. For example if we set the pitch accuracy to 25 cents, we most likely will get less green markings than with an accuracy of 50 cents.

Listening-Singing-Teacher increases the number of random notes to remember from one up to eight. If you master to remember eight notes, you are on the right track towards Perfect Pitch. Since by singing a specific syllable you are getting very close to the perfect pitch, it will be easy to reverse the process, so that you can name the syllable of a note when you hear a note. Being able to name a syllable allows you to name the note also in normal music notation, since the relationship between the syllables and the notes in a fixed Do system is one to one.

At first this method where you have to sing, may not look the way to go for many in the beginning. First: You need a microphone and a quiet room. Second: You may feel uncomfortable to sing, since you might make a mistake and your voice is something very personal. And you do not like personal failures. However, to make progress, you need feedback. You also need a more or less quiet room, since in a noisy environment, you never can listen to the details or compare the subtle differences between two notes with noise disturbing your mind.

For singing, look at it as a bonus:
With Listening Singing Teacher you have to use your aural memory, since you have to reproduce the pitch with your voice. Making similar exercises with a piano, only proofs that your ear analysis and reciting memory is good. But matching the pitch with your voice, - compared to hitting a key on the piano, -involves the aural memory. To be able to reproduce the note, you must hear the note with your inner ear. To hit the right key on the piano, does not need an inner ear, only the analysis part is necessary.
Many of you may now say that the analysis property is what they want, they would like to get Perfect Pitch. But the inner ear is more important: If you can remember one hundred notes with your inner ear, I am pretty sure you have reached Perfect Pitch. Or even better: You are a very good musician. So start building your tonal memory.

see video: Building Tonal Memory

Building Tonal Memory

One way to increase tonal memory is to repeat an increasingly random note series (within your singing range)

See also www.listening-singing-teacher.com/LearnToSingWithFeedback.

Ear training by pitch comparison: The Precision Listening Method

Another method to train your ear without singing, is to compare two notes. However, it helps a lot if you physically can hold a note by singing it, so that you can compare it to another note.

In this exercise, you hear a random note, which is tuned to the equal tempered scale, and one and a half later you hear a second sound. Your task is simply to say, if the second note was higher or lower. However, the second note is not a half step apart (100 cents), - the smallest interval used in Western music -, but only a few cents off.

The training starts with 50 cents, which is easy to distinguish. And goes down to 12 cents. The steps are:

The process is always the same: You listen to the first note (randomly chosen) and try to keep that note in your inner ear. After a certain time you hear a second sound. Your task is to tell if the second sound was lower, higher or the same. The exercise looks as follows when started:

Ear Training Question

The program allows you to make the time shorter between the sounds. The shorter the time frame between the sounds is, the easier it gets to solve the problem. In addition you can play both notes simultaneously to hear an overlapping frequency that results if the frequencies are not the same. You can also hear each note sequentially together with a reference note. If the frequencies are very close together, for example 196 Hz and 198 Hz, then this last feature allows you to hear a hauling effect of 4 Hz respectively of 2 Hz if you set the reference frequency to 200 Hz (200 -196 = 4; 200 -198 = 2). Of course if you make use of those features, the number of points you can earn drops down. (See video: Equal tempered scale (the demo of the hauling effect is towards the end)).

The answer screen will reveal the frequencies and the relative position to the next half step.

Ear Training Answer

If you hear a sound and then immediately a second sound then it is much easier to compare the two sounds. The longer the distance between the two notes is the more difficult it will get. The exercises start with 1.5 seconds between the notes. When you have to distinguish pitch differences of 12 cents you will recognize that it is difficult to remember the pitch of the sound that was 1.5 seconds before. Since a deviation of 12 cents is very little, you have to listen very carefully to the first note. It is not sufficient to just hear the note as you normally can do with a deviation of 50 cents. To remember a pitch precisely you are forced to listen with concentration. To get acquainted to this process, you have the possibility to decrease the time between the notes. In this way you can figure out how the sounds differentiate and what you have to remember exactly to solve the puzzle.

With the delay time Factor you can increase the time between the notes. This is where relative and absolute pitch meet. The task to decide if the second note is higher, lower or the same is a relative task. However, if the time between the notes gets very long, - let's say a whole day -, then you need absolute pitch to remember the first note. Otherwise you can't say if the second note was higher, lower or the same. So, if you do the exercises with a longer delay, you will see the need to keep a sound with you for a longer time period. The only solution to improve this ability, - in our opinion -, is: to actively sing. The Singing Funnel Method in our listening-ear-trainer program with its pitch feedback, is probably the best method to increase your singing precision.


The last ear training exercise "Match the pitch" allows you to test your ear up to 1 cent. As if this would not be difficult enough, you will be disturbed by hearing another sound: The sound where you drag the slider. This means you have to keep the original sound in your mind without letting you deviate from your goal: to match the sound exactly.
(Answer screen shown)

Ear Training Match the Sound with a Slider

In this screen shot the original sound was a very flat G4 (370 Hz). The slider was dragged in the opposite direction (sharp) and left with 399 Hz for the check. Thus, the target was missed by 131 cents. Of course, no points were earned.

So, get started, familiarize you with triads and do some exercises.

Absolute and relative Pitch training (Listening-Ear-Trainer)

Looking for an ear training program through singing? Check out the Singing Funnel Method.


Listening Singing Teacher, Listening Music Teacher, Listening Ear Trainer, The Red Pitch Dot, The Colored Pitch Line, The Counting Hints Line, The Half-Step Brackets, The Precision Listening Method, The Singing Funnel Method, The Octave Anchor Pitches Method,The Interval Overtone Method, The Pitch Keeper Method, Absolute Pitch Point, Same Pitch Please, Pitch Ability Method, Pitch Grid Test and PitchBlitz are trademarks of AlgorithmsAndDataStructures, F. Rudin. Macintosh and OS X are trademarks of Apple Computer Inc., IBM PC is trademark of International Business Machines Inc., Windows XP/Vista/7 is trademark of Microsoft Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners