Ear Training 101

Chromatic scale starting on CImage by Ethan Hein via Flickr
There are 3 qualities that every good jazz musician must possess:

- a great ear, a strong sense of time, and a unique sound.

While there are many different ways to approach these skills, the first two always require a certain amount of drilling. The ear can be thought of as a muscle and to a certain degree must be trained like one. Improved ears will lead to better intonation, improvisation, ensemble playing and transcription skills. With that in mind, here are three great ways of dramatically improving your students' ears and, hopefully, their overall playing.

Are you familiar with the underlying scales and moveable "Do" solfege?

It's essential that you learn to sing a chromatic scale. As chromaticism is prevalent throughout modern jazz, this exercise will improve both intonation and students' understanding of the genre. When singing through the chromatic scale, remember to use sharps when ascending and flats when descending.


Chromatic Scale Ascending:

C,  C#,  D,   D#,  E,  F,   F#, G,  G#, A, A#, B, C
Do, Di,  Re, Ri,  Mi, Fa, Fi, Sol, Si, La, U, Ti, Do


Chromatic Scale Descending

C,   B,  Bb, A,  Ab, G,  Gb, F,  E,   Eb,  D,   Db, C
Do, Ti, Te, La, Le, Sol, Se, Fa, Mi, Me, Re, Ra, Do

Target Tones

Target tones are an essential part of any ear training regimen. They force students to hear not only chordd tones, but surrounding tones as well. Now, many students can correctly sing a major scale but they have some difficulty picking out specific intervals at random.

With respect to the scales and scale degrees, the best way to practice this is through the use of target tones. Here are a few exercises:

C, // C, D, C // E, D, C // F, E, D // C, G, A // B, C, A // B, C, B // C

"Improved ears will lead to better intonation, improvisation, ensemble playing and transcription skills."
-- Chaim Burstein

You might be interested in these resources:

Jazz101

Jazz201

Pitch Ear Training Software

Pitch By Ear





"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Monday Music Quote: Chris Tomlin



 "I will rise when he calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain, I will rise on eagles wings before my God; fall on my knees, and rise, I will rise."
Chris Tomlin

There's a song that I used to play with a band... it's called Be Glorified and I just love it because it really rocks and is fun to play. I like hearing the bass. It was written in 1999 with words and music by Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin and Jesse Reeves.

The song is from the Chris Tomlin Collection with 15 worship songs. Be Glorified is just one of my many favorites. Perhaps it's fun to play because of the easy progression and all the suspended chords. Sometimes we play it a bit faster but it has a lot of words so that slows it down a bit.

Chord Chart


Intro: G, Csus2, Fsus2, Csus2, x2

Verse 1:
G    Csus2     Fsus2    Csus2
Your love  has captured me.

G    Csus2     D
Your grace has set me free;

G    Csus2     Fsus2 Csus2
Your life, the air i breathe.

Am7              D
     Be glorified in me.

G, Csus2, Fsus2, Csus2, x2

Chorus:

Csus2
You set my feet to dancing

G
You set my heart on fire.

       Csus2
In the presence of a thousand kings,

    G
You are my one desire.

Csus2                           Em7       D            Csus2
and i stand before you now with trembling hands lifted high.

Be glorified

G, Csus2, Fsus2, Csus2, x2

Back to verse 1:

Come back in after chorus:

Bridge:

G             G/B  C   D
       Be glorified in me,

       G/B  C   D
Be glorified in me,

       G/B  C   D
Be glorified in me,

       G/B  C   
Be glorified

Repeat to bridge: x2
 








So, here's the piano chords I'm playing (not in any order):


Csus2 = C/CDG


Fsus2 = F/CFG

Csus2/E =  E/CDG


F add2 = F/CGA


G = G/BDG


G5 = G/DG


Am7 = A/CEG


Em7 = E/EGD

G/B = B/DGB


C = C/EGC


D= D/DF#A

Awh, repetition is a good thing. Recycle those chords over and over throughout the song!

You might be interested in backpocketband software Check it out, if you want.




"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Monday Music Quote: Michael Stipe

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 09:  Apple CEO Steve...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
 Mind Versus Music:


Listening to tunes has plenty of benefits-but helping kids memorize isn't one of them, say researchers from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. Students were more likely to recall a list of letters in a specific order that they'd memorized in silence than a list they'd studied with music on-regardless of whether or not they liked the songs. For a boost, you might want to consider having kids use their iPods before a big test or competition; research suggests it may actually improve some kinds of performance.






"I've been looking at the iPod- the Apple iPod. One of the interesting things about the iPod, one of the things that people love most about it is not the technology; it's the box it comes in."

-- Donald Norman


"My iPod that was programmed by Peter Buck. It has 7,000 songs hand-picked for me by him. "
 
-- Michael Stipe (For the last quarter of a century Michael Stipe has been the lead singer of R.E.M) 

So, I wanted to share this very cool work of art. Karen, over at Graphic's Fairy had the image and the artwork was painted by http://thejunkinourtrunks.blogspot.com/2011/07/poppy.html


Losing My Religion



FAmFAmGAmEmAm
                   Oh....  life, it's bigger, it's bigger than you, and you are not me,
EmAm
The lengths that i will go to, the distance in your eyes,
EmDmG
Oh no I've said to much, I've said it all,
AmEmAm
That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight losing my religion,
EmAm
Trying to keep a view, and I don't know if I can do it,
EmDmG
Oh no I've said too much, I haven't said enough,
FAm
I thought that I heard you laughing, I thought that I heard you sing,
FAmG
I think I thought I saw you try,
AmEmAm
Every whisper, every waking hour I'm choosing my confessions,
EmAm
Trying to keep an eye on you, like a hurt lost and blind fool,
EmDmG
Oh no I've said too much, I said it all,
AmEmAm
Consider this, consider this, The Hint of the century, consider this, the slip
EmAmEm
 that brought me to my knees failed what if all these fantasies come flailing around
DmGF
And now I've said to much, I thought that I heard you laughing,
AmFAmGAm
I thought that I heard you sing, I think I thought I saw you try,
AmAm
That was just a dream, that was just a dream,
AmEm
That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight,
AmEm
Losing my religion trying to keep a view,
AmEmDmG
And I don't know if I can do it, Oh no I said to much, I haven't said enough
FAm
I thought that I heard you laughing, I thought that I heard you sing,
FAmDmAm
think I thought I saw you try, that was just a dream, to try cry fly try,
DmAmGAm
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream, dream.
 I must confess, I didn't play R.E.M.'s music much but this one song stayed with me and the chords are super easy. 
So, how's your Monday going? 







"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Monday Music Quote:Shania Twain




Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)Image via Wikipedia
"All I ever intended was to make a living at what I do. Everything I've achieved since then is above and beyond."
-- Shania Twain 







 One of the coolest new software that is available for my MacBook Pro and also for PCs, is called Back Pocket Band

Here's what it does:

* It gives you access to over 350 real-sounding
   backing tracks.

* Practice and live performance files are played
  in all 12 keys.

* You can choose between multiple speeds: slow,
  medium, and fast.

* 3 different sections, 9 styles of music, &
  drums-only option (...they also give you lifetime
  updates and they're already working on jazz, blues,
  and funk backing tracks to release very soon).

* Instant streaming playback and automatic downloading
  to your system for burning to cd, transfer to ipod,
  and editing.

* And much more... Back Pocket Band Software
 

It's fun to keep the rhythm groove going and practice to great songs like this one.





Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

D
Yea uh uh oh yeah
D
You're so complicated
                                A       D
You hang off my shoulder when I read my mail
D
I don't appreciate it
D                                           A     D
When I talk to other guys you think they're on my tail
D
I get so aggravated
D                                    A       D
When I get off the phone and get the third de-gree
D
I mean I feel frust-er-rated
D                                            A     D
Why don't you take a pill and put a little trust in me
            G  lick
Ahd you'll see.
G                                    D  G5 D    A
Don't freak out until you know the facts      relax



CHORUS:
           D        G5       D
Don't be stupid.  You know I love ya
 A           D            G5      D
Don't be ridiculous.  You know I need ya
  A          D          G5   D
Don't be absurb.  You know I want ya
  A           D          A                 A
Don't be impossible  1.) uh uh alright  2.) Oh no no no
  Bm           G/B
* I'm mad about you

      (I'm mad about you)
 Bm                   G/B
* I can't live without you

   (I can't live without you)
 Em/B          A
* I'm crazy about you

    (I'm crazy about you)
           D          G5          D
Don't be stupid.  You know I love you
    D
1.)go to 2nd verse

2.) Don't be stupid Uh huh uh huh my baby aaaaaa,

     go to *, chorus, ending
     D
2.)Stop over re-acting
D                                A        D
You even get suspicious when I paint my nails.
D
It's definitely distracting
D                                    A     D     Lick see above
The way you dramatize every little small detail
G                                    D  lick
Don't freak out until you know the facts
A
relax  max  go to chorus
ENDING:  Vamp on D
Impossible  Oh no no no no
Tell me tell me tell me  baby  tell me ridiculous  no no
Oh don't be stupid. 
 
 
 "Country music is still your grandpa's music, but it's also your daughter's music. It's getting bigger and better all the time and I'm glad to be a part of it." -- Shania Twain



D  G  D  G

Em       C         Am      C
You're so complicated-you hang over my shoulder
      Am
When I read my mail
  C                Am
I don't appreciate it
  C
When I talk to other guys
  Am
You think they're on my tail

D  G

Em      C          Am      C
I get so aggravated when I get off the phone
   Am
And I get the third degree
  C                 Am
I'm really feelin' frustrated
  C                                      Am
Why don't you take a pill and put a little trust in me
                D   
And you'll see

Bridge 1:
 G                                 D
Don't freak out until you know the facts
G
Relax

Chorus:
D                           G
Don't be stupid-you know I love you
D                               G
Don't be ridiculous-you know I need you
D                           G
Don't be absurd-you know I want you
              D        G
Don't be impossible

Bridge 2:
Em        C   Em
I'm mad about you (I'm mad about you)
Em            C    Em
Can't live without you (can't live without you)
Em        C      D
I'm crazy 'bout you (I'm crazy 'bout you)
             G           D
So don't be stupid-you know I love you

D   G   D   G

Em    C        Am
Stop overreacting
     C                          Am
You even get suspicious when I paint my nails
  C                        Am
It's definitely distracting
  C                          Am                  D
The way you dramatize every little small detail

       G                              D
Don't freak out until you know the facts
  G
Relax-Max

Chorus:
D                           G
Don't be stupid-you know I love you
D                               G
Don't be ridiculous-you know I need you
D                           G
Don't be absurd-you know I want you
              D        G
Don't be impossible

Bridge 2:
Em        C   Em
I'm mad about you (I'm mad about you)
Em            C    Em
Can't live without you (can't live without you)
Em        C      D
I'm crazy 'bout you (I'm crazy 'bout you)
             G           D
So don't be stupid-you know I love you

(faster)
D G D G X2

Chorus:
D                           G
Don't be stupid-you know I love you
D                               G
Don't be ridiculous-you know I need you
D                           G
Don't be absurd-you know I want you
              D        G
Don't be impossible

(faster)
D G D G X2
 
 
"I really feel like life will dictate itself. You should allow it to unfold as naturally as possible. Just go with the flow. When you're really desperate, you say a few prayers and hope for the best. That's the way I've always lived my life." -- Shania Twain




 




"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Monday Music Quote: Freedom


 " The greatest lesson we can learn from the past... is that freedom is at the very core of
every successful nation in the world."

 

 

Chords to Amazing Love

Gm7 - C (intro)


C  Dm7  G  F  C


Dm  F  G  C


Gm7  C  Gm7  C  Gm7  C  Gm7  C  Gm7  C


C  Dm7  G  F  C


Dm7  F  G  C


Am  Dm7


G  F  C


C  Dm7  F  G  C  


Gm7  C


The rhythm that you here in the background is from
the new software for PC and Mac. 






Back Pocket Band Software
Happy 4th of July!





"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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