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Jazz Sax Lessons: Basic Ear Training: Hearing Intervals

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Okay, another basic ear training tool that
you want to have in your arsenal
is to be able to hear two
notes either played at the same time or
if you hear one note and
then the next one after that.
Why is that important?
Wow, you can think of as
many reasons as I can.
But to hear melodies, for instance,
if somebody wants you to learn melody, or
you want to learn a melody and that
you're studying or learning or whatever.
Every melody obviously
is based on intervals.
If you've got two notes in unison, the
interval is zero, but every other interval
is going to be something that you
want to be able to recognize, and
the better your ears can recognize
those intervals, the easier it will be
to learn music, especially if
you're trying to learn it by ear.
But even when you're reading something, to
see the interval and know what it sounds
like before you're about to play
it is really a great benefit.
So let's work on some
ideas together that will
help you improve your ability to
hear intervals, so first of all,
I think that one of the tools that I
use more than anything, more than just
like hearing it off the top of my head,
if I for instance on the piano if I play.
That interval, or if I hear them together.
If I hear them side by side,
one after the next,
the easiest thing for me to do is simply
start from what I feel is the tonic.
In this case, it's my concert C.
And I sing up to the next
note that I'm hearing.
La la la, I sing up the scale so
this interval's pretty close.
[SOUND] So la la la, there's our interval.
Boom, it's a major third.
So even if it's something a little
more spread like a fifth, I get away.
Right, one, two, three, four, five.
That's our interval there.
So, but all of our intervals,
unfortunately, are not always
related to the major scales.
Sometimes we have
intervals that are minor.
For instance,
la da.
So, if we sing in our head a major scale.
La la la
Doesn't work so you know something is up.
If you've had a little bit of experience
with hearing the E scales, you're
going to hear right away that that top
note is not anything from the major scale.
It's definitely minor.
So So in that case you
hear that next note you go
ba da da, ba da da
Okay, so
as you use that reference going up
a particular scale it
really helps that ability.
Same thing on the horn.
It's one thing I think it really helps
when you're playing your main instrument,
because again you're used to hearing that,
you know the sonic timbres and whatnot.
So if I play
La, la, la, la, one, two,
three, four, do, re, mi, fa.
That's obviously a fourth,
very good let's try this.
Good, what is that, bah dah?
It's a second, right.
How about this?
Bah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah,
the same note in different octaves.
So right.
It was an octave.
So, as you do these,
I would strongly suggest
starting with different base points,
bottom points, okay?
So, what we're going to do now is test
your ears and do this method with me.
So I'm going to start with a root and
then go to a note above that.
And do what you need to do.
Either sing the scale, or hey, by all
means, use your horn and play the scales.
As a matter of fact,
I'm going to give you a clue,
I'm going to give you
the name of the first note.
So I'm going to start on F,
that would be F on my alto, that would be
B flat if you're playing tenor or soprano.
So I'm going to start on F, and I'll play
the next note, and you find it for me.
Okay, here we go.
Okay so if I were you, I'd be doing this.
All right find that first note [NOISE],
and go up the major scale.
So I found it, okay,
I can do the same thing and
I'm going to start on the same root now,
and play a different note and
I want you to find that too.
Find those notes with me.
The first note's an F.
And the next note is,
One, two, three, four, five, six.
It's a major sixth.
Very good, okay, let's do a few more.
I'm going to start on my G this time.
It'll be C if you're playing tenor or
Don't look,
don't look at my left hand, okay.
So, if you're playing the major scale
our target note is.
we know it's not found in the major scale,
it's going to be the minor third.
All right.
I'm going to give you
now the first note and
I'm going to have you just find that
next note without me saying a word.
Here we go.
I'm going to start on my B flat.
If you're playing tenor or
soprano it's an E flat.
Next one is A,
I'm going to start on my F sharp.
If you're on a B flat instrument,
that's a B.
Okay, starting on my F sharp.
This time I'm going to start on my B flat,
for E flat folks, it's an E flat,
so here's my B flat.
two more.
And they'll start down on my low C.
For a tenor and soprano,
that would be an F.
Okay, so here's my low C and
find the next note.
One more.
Okay I'm going to start on my A flat.
My A flat.
This will if you're playing a B flat
instrument, this will be your D flat.
So here we go.
How'd you do?
Hope you did well.
Hope my instruction about thinking about
the scale, you can, as you're doing these,
watch this lesson a few times.
You can do that little test just
with your voice, just with singing.
And like I did,
count up the major scale to begin with and
if you don't find the note,
you know that something's up.
You know that its not
part of a major scale.
It's something else.
It's found in a different scale,
but maybe a half step below.
A little hint on one of those,
it was a half a step below the fifth.
It was a tri-tone, so if you get to the
fourth and you know the note is a little
higher, but then you get the fifth and
you know that the note is a little lower.
It's got to be right in the cracks
there in that tri-tone area.
All right, well, cool.
I encourage you to do that on
your own as much as you can.
The more ear training you give yourself,
this type of integral training,
the faster you're going to get your ears
plugged in to where you want them to be.
It's a great, great practice routine.
Alright, have fun.