Here’s a video from Scott Devine, of Scott’s Bass Lessons, that has an ear-training exercise for bassists – although it can probably be used with most instruments. It basically calls for the person practicing ear-training to sing solfege or just sing something in the same pitch as the interval that’s being played. The video focuses on notes of the major scale, but it can, obviously, be altered to any scale, and any pitch or tone.
I’m glad that Scott’s about as good a singer as I probably am, which means I’ll have to practice this in my closet at night through a handkerchief, and its fun to hear that his wife actually IS a singer. That Coursera course that I’m about halfway through now has included ear training for 2 intervals each week for the past 3 weeks now. I haven’t gotten to watch the Lesson 4 videos yet, so I don’t know if it will continue. We covered Major 2nds & 3rds in Week 1, Perfect 4ths & 5ths in Week 2 and then Major 6ths and 7ths in Week 3. I don’t see any intervals in the Lesson 4 titles.
Apparently, solfege has hand signs. I’m throwing this into rotation for my daughter as well. She’s picking up on movements and gestures, so hopefully, she can internalize these quicker than I can. I know parents who teach their kids sign language basics when they’re toddlers – one of our friends actually did it when her daughter was a year or so old. This is probably similar.
Someone on the Talkbass forums posted a link to Julie Andrews’ rendition of Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music. I’m sure most of us have seen or heard that at some point in our lives. For some reason, it made me Google solfege, which I have a very simple understanding of. I found an interesting video which goes over its basics and now I see how they expressed accidentals.
I think that those of you who are interested in interval training might get something out of this, especially if you have long commutes to work in a car, where you can be alone to sing out notes.
As an aside, I’m going to add The Sound of Music video to regular rotation for my daughter. She’s 2 now and I’m curious about what effect it will have on her ear. She sings a lot of nursery rhymes, and the other night completely amazed me because she did “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” using numbers, and used the right pitch for each number.
Of course, she balanced that out the next morning when she woke up and sang “London Bitch is Falling Down”. As they say… from the mouths of babes…