There are so many ear training options out there, that you no longer have an excuse not to do it!
As someone that considers ear training one of my weaknesses – it’s definitely on my procrastination list – I figured I should scour the internet and share some good ones with you.
(I’m not associated with or paid by any of these companies and they’re not listed in any particular order)
1. A Keyboard:
I’ll start with the old fashioned way. Hit a key and try to sing the note. You’ll get a lot farther than you might think. Try different intervals, or use the time to expand on your music theory knowledge. A great article on ear training, with a lot of detail on how to go about selecting a training path can be found at EasyEarTraining.com.
This site is great! You might hit some road blocks getting it to work for you on your device, because it’s in Java, but it’s worth checking out. It’s so customizable, with options for key, interval, chords, instrument, rhythm, and even supplying melodies that help you remember certain intervals. It’s been a while since ear training in college, so it was definitely nice to have a refresher on some of those melodies. The best part though, is call and response. It’s such an organic and fun way to train your ear, that I would definitely recommend this whole site, but especially the call and response section!
3. Ear Beater
The name sounds painful, but the app isn’t. It has a great interface, and is simple and easy to use. It’s customizable, and uses a smooth progression from exercise to exercise, easy to hard, built to help you “beat” your ears into shape. With a paid app a free “lite” version of the app, and a free “classic” browser version, you can feel free to investigate the basic form of the product a bit online before deciding whether to purchase the paid app. Simply pick a “discipline” (guess the interval size, the interval, the chord, etc) and a lesson number, and you’re set to start. With concise descriptions for each discipline and lesson, you can easily select the best starting point for you. You can also create custom exercises and track your progress through the app, something that would be great for educators. Unfortunately, if you don’t have Apple iOS, you can’t get the app. But you can still use the browser version, so go check it out!
Don’t feel like downloading an app? No problem. This website has everything you need. It’s fast and easy to navigate, with the option of creating a user account to track your progress, and different (paid) tiers of service. You will need Flash to use the site though, and an app is yet to be made available, if that’s what you’re looking for. I like how they have a music theory page as an added bonus, and a pretty informative blog, for extra hours of fun. With built in tests, it would be a great tool for educators and musicians alike. Check it out!
This is a great app available on the Google Play Store. It has some limitations in the free version, but has a sleek design with plenty of exercise options, so what’s not to like? You can customize exercises, and even choose between piano or guitar. Besides, the first version of the app had a featured review that read: …and who could turn down advertising like that?
So there are a few tools to make ear training a bit easier, and procrastinating a bit harder. Go out and evolve your ear! It takes time, but is worth the effort.