Have you (or maybe one of your friends) ever wanted to learn to transcribe or play music by ear?
It is so important for a musician to know what you are hearing. A good musical ear helps when you are composing, improvising, transcribing melodies, or playing with others.
Most likely you have already tried different programs to learn to recognize intervals or even to acquire perfect pitch. However, although such programs develop your ear, but can you actually play any melody you hear as soon as you listen to it?
Imagine you could understand music... It is like when somebody is talking to you, you not only hear pleasant sounds, but you recognize words and their meaning.
One day I came across Alain Benbassat's program called "Functional Ear Trainer" and have been using it ever since. It is based on Alain's method to learn to recognize tones.
The main difference between the Functional Ear Trainer and other methods is that it teaches you to distinguish between tones in the context of a particular musical key. You begin to recognize the role (or function) of each tone in this key, which is incredibly similar to its role in other keys of the same scale.
And it is *guaranteed* anyone can gradually develop this skill. It does not matter:
- who you are - an absolute beginner in music or a virtuoso professional musician;
- how old you are - a 3 yo kid or a 90+ adult;
- what musical instrument you play (you don't even have to play one).
The only requirement is to practice for 10 minutes a day.
I was so excited about this ear trainer that I have developed a mobile app based on the Alain Benbassat method. I hope you will find it useful.
This app has been created using libGDX game engine.
Fixes freezing issues on iOS 12.
Ratings and Reviews
Best ear training app I’ve used
I want to start by saying that I never leave reviews but I feel compelled to say how great this app is. By far the best ear trainer I’ve come across. It almost feels like witchcraft at times, like I don’t know how I know the answer but I just do and I sit there smiling. I’ve been using it every day for around 2-3 months at the recommended 10 mins per day. You have to be patient. It took me a while just to get off that first level so don’t feel bad if this is you, it really works if you put the time in.
I’m yet to really put it to the test outside of the app. I wanted to finish all courses first (currently on ‘Not C major many octaves’) but I’ll try and post an update when I do.
Helping finally click
I’ve tried ear training with apps before, not having put a mountain of effort in, but experiencing frustration when I’ve, after making seemingly solid progress, mistaken a perfect 5th for a major second or visa versa. And the more obscure intervals I might get a handle on during a session, but the feel wouldn’t crystallise between sessions.
The big difference with this app is the contextual mechanism it coaches you to employ, walking up or down the scale of the current ket to the nearest tonic. It’s simple, but for me has made a huge difference, to whereby having used the app for three days I’m correctly identifying obvious and a fair few of the more obscure intervals across sessions with good (not yet flawless) accuracy. And it doesn’t feel like I’m stumbling around in the dark!
All that and this app is free and well developed. There are a few glitches with the sound every so often when it’s like the processor wants to take a split-second nap, but other than that, it’s perfect.
Best ear trainer
I have downloaded several ear training apps. This is by far the best. With a few minutes each day I am making good steady progress. Learning this way is almost addictive. I hope the success of this will prompt you to write something similar for chord recognition.
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.