Problems hear tones!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SpiritDCI08, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    I've never really been able to hear a note and know what it is. And it's getting to the point were I really need to learn how to do this. Tell me how you guys figured out how to read tones.
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    It really isn't something you can figure out.

    Some people have absolute pitch (likely genetic) and can identify a pitch when they hear it. Others develop "pitch memory" and have acquired a similar ability through exposure.

    You cannot acquire the first, but if you just keep playing and listening you will build up the latter.
  3. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
  4. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
  5. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    Ear training is hard. When I was a kid I had a bad habit of starting out a harmonic too low, and not realizing until the fingerings no longer matched up and everything sounded weird. (I do it deliberately now for simple transpositions, but know how to fix it...)

    My advice is to spend some time with a piano (or keyboard, whatever, so long as it's in decent tune). Trumpet notes and piano notes are a step off because the trumpet is in Bb, but it's not hard to figure that out, if you haven't already. Trumpet D is Concert C, Trumpet C is Concert Bb, etc. (Sound the Trumpet has a keyboard overlay in the back that shows the trumpet notes on a piano keyboard, if you get frustrated.)

    Try tapping out (or figuring out) tunes on a piano keyboard, and then playing them on the trumpet. It shouldn't take too long before you get more comfortable with hearing where you are.

    If you want a more abstract approach, you can find CD/book combinations. I think the Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory includes an ear training CD, and there are also courses that teach it. I suspect there are a bunch of these online these days too.
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    There's a study course called PerfectPitch that a lot of people swear to. As I always say "Trust but Verify" The website is or 1-888-745-8880.
    I found the add in Jazz Improv magazine Vol. 6 No. 5. which offers a 40 day money back guarantee which says "you'll experience perfect pitch or you'll get a full refund."
    Good Luck
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Start singing. Choir, church, everywhere. It gets you in touch faster than anything else that I know of!
  8. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    I hate choir

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