Intonation training

Posted: 6/28/2011 7:35:27 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

A house fell on me!
Posted: 6/29/2011 9:07:43 AM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

I did not get to attend a high end music conservatory, but during the short time I spent studying music at a local college music department, I was lucky to have been taught by a professional musician who'd been around the entertainment circuit enough to know all about rejection.

In my book, the most important thing he taught us besides music, was the sheer, and all to real aspect of the music business, and that's R E J E C T I O N.

He constantly drilled that into our heads, making sure that when we left, we'd enter the field expecting rejection, because a rejection was an indication of things that needed to be changed, not a hateful rejection.

Talent shows, in my book, are nothing more than glorified auditions. You get rejected, just start reviewing the portfolio video, and change your routine, and move on. Yeh, rejection hurts, but once you go into the field with the expectation of rejections, and not the assumption that your performance will bring the house down, you'll be able to survive in this field a lot longer.

I think the alcoholic's prayer fits in here nicely too. "...give me the strenght to change the things I can, the strenght to accept the things I can't, and the wisdom to know the difference." Yeh, that prettymuch sums up what we as entertainers need to keep well in mind when walking out on to that stage.
Posted: 6/29/2011 9:59:45 AM

From: In between the Pitch and Volume hand ~ New England

Joined: 12/17/2010

I understand REJECTION - That word applies far more than just in the music community, but also in life in general. I am a firm believer that you can say what you think nicely, direct to the point without being vicious and condescending. When you go to American Idol, it is pretty much a given that if you suck at your audition, they will rip you to shreads. It's part of the "program" to be an a$$.

When I took voice lessons at first, my coach was such a b!tch. In the long run, She made me hate vocal arts and pretty much stopped going and also made me put this to rest for a long time. Being around bantering people in the way they speak and comunicate with you the mistakes you make (when you take a lesson or whatever) can really taint the desire to persue your music goals.
Posted: 6/29/2011 7:52:38 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Thomas wrote: "....the most important thing he taught us besides music, was the sheer, and all to real aspect of the music business, and that's R E J E C T I O N."

If you read the biographies of the greatest composers who have ever lived, you will find that there is not a single one of them that did not have to endure REJECTION at some time or other. Most often it was either from an important patron, or an audience at a premiere performance. Bach, Beethoven and Brahms (not to mention Wagner, Bizet and Stravinsky) all had their flops where audiences jeered and threw stuff!

As for performers, the greatest artists in both pop and classical music have all been booed. Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti was booed off the stage at the La Scala opera house in Milan (along with Maria Callas and Renee Fleming).

Show business is definitely not for the faint of heart.

"If I don't practice for a day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, the orchestra knows it. If I don't practice for three days, the AUDIENCE KNOWS IT!" violinist Jascha Heifetz (and a number of other virtuosos who made similar observations).

Posted: 6/30/2011 10:44:04 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

Coalport wrote:
"If I don't practice for a day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, the orchestra knows it. If I don't practice for three days, the AUDIENCE KNOWS IT!" violinist Jascha Heifetz (and a number of other virtuosos who made similar observations).

Yes, this was the second thing our music professor taught us, and it was on the final exam.

My piano teacher had a sign on the door which read "You don't have to practice every day. You just have to practice on the days you eat." ;)
Posted: 7/1/2011 3:26:45 AM
Chainsaw Willie!

From: Just a short walk away from Nike Missile Site S-13/14

Joined: 1/28/2011

I have Magic Stave on my ipod touch. I think it responds pretty quickly for cheap software being run on a smart mp3 player.

For ear training I have made a few recordings with a keyboard. Some are running up and down a scale, others are just focused on a single interval. The recording plays the interval slowly twice, and then has a long pause, and then repeats. I listen to the interval once, try to play along with the recording on the second trying to match the pitch of the theremin to the recording, then during the pause I attempt the interval alone without the keyboard reference. Sometimes I have Magic Stave running, try to match the pitch by ear without looking at the ipod, and then check the ipod to see how close I am.

There are other neat softwares for the ipod touch also. One is called "Interval" and it has a one octave keyboard, it plays an interval for you to hear, but doesn't tell you what the notes are, then you have to play the ipod touch screen keyboard to match the interval. The program tells you if you got it right. Though not directly related to theremin, it does force you to listen and understand the distance between two frequencies.

Another ear training app is "play by ear". It also tosses random intervals at you, makes you repeat, and "judges" you. It plays a piano voice through the speaker, but this software uses the microphone to listen to whatever instrument you are playing. You could play back the interval on a piano also, or a guitar, or sing, or whistle. For theremin directly it doesn't work so well because of the sliding up and down in pitch, but I do think it is a good exersize in listening and recognizing pitch.

Air Melody is a fun theremin simulation app. It works on rolling the ipod left or right for pitch (or rolling a thumb wheel on the screen) and up - down for volume. Of course it is not "just like" a theremin, but it is a good exersize in listening, recognizing and deciding, and sending feedback to your hand to correct pitch. Good for getting some practice in when you cannot play an actual theremin. Like maybe on a bus ride, or a quick laugh during lunch at work...

Audio Kit is a neat little oscilloscope/frequency analizer/dB meter app. Of course it all works on data filtered through the funky little microphone on the ipod, so it is not really like a real scope, frequency analizer, or sound pressure level meter, but it is pretty usefull for a quick idea of what is going on with the sound. The frequency analizer shows a log-frequency graph and tags a numeric value to the peak of the curve. So it tells you the value of the loudest frequency it hears, but the trace also shows you the lower peaks. You can see where the harmonics are, and their amplitude in relation to the primary frequency. tapping the screen freezes the trace and lets you export it as a jpg. The scope is single channel, free running and syncs pretty well on any frequency it hears. It also has a capture-screen-to-photo function. You can re-scale the plot by pinching and dragging the screen. I dunno how accurate the dB meter is, but it does seem repeatable, and you can definitly use it for matching or comparing volume levels.

REJECTION! I too know too much about this, being in possibly the worst band in Seatlle in the early '80s. Almost excusively playing frat parties and dive taverns (sometimes for as little as $50 plus tips - so that was usually around ah... $52 total. At least the frats would give you a few hundred bucks) we always had to deal with drunk idiots, usually had deal with some "negatuve feedback" sometimes had to deal with some hostility, and on a few occasions had to duck flying bottles. I think of that scene from the Blues Brothers where they play the country-western bar with the chicken wire around the stage and think "that's really not too far off".

It has been 25 years since I have been payed (or almost payed) to play guitar. The
Posted: 7/1/2011 12:07:58 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

Hello Chainsaw Willie. Yes, I've played a few gigs like that. Of all things, and places, I actually was talked into playing an entire hour of classical works at a pub here. Odly enough, they loved every bit of it. They bood the rock band that came on next, LOL. Who knows? Either it was too early in the evening for the rock/blues crowd, or they just didn't have enough suds in them yet.

Thanks for the list of ear training apps. I'll just go and have a look at them. :)

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