Ear training

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cobragamer, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. cobragamer

    cobragamer Pianissimo User

    Jan 26, 2008
    I had hearing damage when I was in High school from a series of ear infections. This has prevented me from learning to tune very strongly. I am currently studying music in college and am wondering if their are methods to learn to tune better, play in tune intervals and hear and tune the various voices in chords.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I taught a legally deaf student in Germany and with hearing aids she was able to hear anything above 80 db, meaning her releases really sucked. Intonation was never an issue.
    I would suggest the following: Bring your mouthpiece to a piano and match pitches. When you start to get good at this see if you can access one of those old 12 window Stroboconns. (Fun stuff here: Stroboconn )
    If not, grab the cutest low brass player you know, have them play a concert Bb and tune your intervals to them.

    Built in fun, the best!
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There are a couple of different mechanisms to check intonation. The one that I have found to be most effective is VBs second suggestion - Drones. A bass note from a keyboard/computer/organ(cute low brass player?) is held out and you play various tones on top. Unless we are talking about octaves, you will sense "beats" that are mathematically related to the sum and difference of those 2 frequencies. If the bass note is a low C (128 Hz) and you play a concert A (440 Hz) the beats will be at 568 Hz and 312 Hz. The beats are most "comfortable" when you are in tune!
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I also have 50% hearing loss, and some permanent tonal deficiencies. In one ear the trumpet literally sounds like I am playing into a 5 gallon bucket. I practice about 4 feet from a wall, that way "I hear myself louder" and thus can literally practice softer. I use tuning meter to "define" the note, and play it in tune -- and the note sounds to me (certainly) different than a trumpeter with good hearing.
    using that, you can train yourself to "hear" the note as you do -- then train yourself to listen to THAT SOUND -- which will be (hopefully) the correct note in tune.
    Also -- there is a "feel" of vibration in the lips, and correct air, and such --- so to some extent -- I can "feel" the right vibration which produces the desired note.

    other than that -- I haven't dialed in "good" playing in a group, and mostly do solos ---- but I suppose that takes time also, to hear "all" the different sounds in a group,

    hope that helps --- it may not be easy --- but I attest, it can be done.

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