Developing Relative Pitch?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Snorglorf, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Does anyone have any tips for developing relative pitch, or at least getting a little bit closer and improving my ear?

    (Sorry if this is not the right forum, I couldn't think of a better place to put it)
  2. tptCarl

    tptCarl Pianissimo User

    Jan 17, 2006
    Cottonwood, Arizona
    Get in the habit of singing the last note you played in a phrase and learn to then sing the next note. Singing is key to developing not only relative pitch but good intonation as well. You should eventually be able to sing (mentally) your part while playing it.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Duets with somebody better than you is the fastest way to get better ears. Ensemble playing is the ONLY way to improve. Tuners are useless. Sometimes I play extended low notes on a keyboard and my students have to play a scale over that. For instance, I hold out a low C and they play an Eb scale very slowly, taking time to make each note sound fullest.
  4. TrumpEd

    TrumpEd Pianissimo User

    Oct 9, 2008
    Are you asking about interval recognition? ie; M3, P4/5, etc...
  5. siarr

    siarr Pianissimo User

    May 18, 2007
    Hollywood, FL, USA
    There are lots of ways to develop relative pitch. One thing that helped me immeasurably when I was young was to simply follow recordings of music with the score. Try to anticipate how the next interval or passage will sound. In my high school years I was fortunate to also audit classes at the University of Miami, and I was allowed to check out scores and recordings. I learned a huge amount of repertoire and developed my ear at the same time. I also hand-copied dozens of trumpet parts from the scores and then played them (or tried to!) along with the records (LP's in that ancient age). These activities, including the copying were really helpful to me in developing my inner ear. And put in a lot of keyboard time! Once you know the basic intervals, work on the compound intervals (> an octave). Play a note at random and try to sing several intervals up and down from the note. Make up your own exercises. Be creative and have fun with it!

    Best wishes,
  6. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Interval recognition. But tips on developing better intonation are great too.

    Thanks guys.

    EDIT: Why Eb over C? This doesn't make any sense to me.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  7. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    Tuneing fork's pitch pipe or piano. In music apreaciation we learned first with tuneing forks then moved on to piano. When we got to band we already had a decent ear even if we had no clue how to play our instruments. Just the other when I was getting a cleaning kit for my son I say a violin player about my age in Marshal Music getting a pitch pipe. They are old shool and they work which why they are cheap and sell like mad!
  8. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    new york
    That's right on. Also: interval recognition - that is key (no pun intended).

    I do not have perfect pitch but have fairly good relative pitch. I'm an ear training nut and am always forcing my students to work on identifying intervals (often through songs that they know). When you are playing in an ensemble, always check around and see what other players are doing and how it relates to the key center. But really, intervals are the key to relative pitch.

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  9. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    pick a simple tune you know well and play it in every key by ear. then do another one etc.
  10. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Solffegio also works well, using the syllables while sight singing helps to reconize all the intervals in all keys ,I also use pieces of songs the student are familiar with for certain intervals.

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