Free Online Ear Trainer

JazzDoubleBass.com is a very nice new site based in the UK. I recently sold them a few articles that they have re-written specifically for bass players. If you play bass it's definitely a site worth checking out.

JazzDoubleBass just posted a great online ear training tool that was developed by Rick, a fellow blogger, who writes a Jazz trumpet blog called I was Doing Alright. Rick's Ear training tool is a beautiful piece of Java script that gives your ear a complete workout; covering intervals, chords, modulations, melodies, key centers, and more.


JasonMescia said...

Speaking of ear training, the best course on ear training I've ever seen is Bruce Arnold's...I don't know if you've heard of him but I've seen that you posted clips of John Gunther and I know they play together in a group called "Spooky Actions". Bruce Arnold is a guitarist but most of the practice books I use are by him because they seem to me to be the most effective and well thought out practice tools out there. The only thing is that they take a lot of commitment. The rewards are GREAT though...I have been working from them for about half a year now and my overall playing and my learning curve with new material has been dramatically accelerated.

He has a series of books on Ear Training which help you develop what he calls "Perfect Relative Pitch". Rather than hearing intervals or having perfect pitch you develop the ability to instantly be able to identify any pitch within a key center. Now a lot of people, especially people like me who are always transcribing and composing, might instantly react by saying "oh I can do that", but these books are all about approach...the exercises are fairly simple. The books and CD's(and website) slowly train you towards having the ability to INSTANTLY be able to identify a pitch against a key center, not by pondering, but by hearing it and instantly knowing as if it were a color that you saw and you instantly said "that's red". After being able to do that with one note then you go onto multiple notes played simultaneously (which takes much longer to learn) and instantly hearing modulations. These are all skills that are unbelievably useful to a jazz musician. And they are all things that I and many people I know "thought that they could do" but working with the cd's really shows you how much more you can do. One of the most interesting things is how the books show you that interval training can actually be destructive to your ear training (I know that sounds crazy I thought so too) because all you are doing is playing a long tedious game of connect the dots and it's easy to completely lose what key you're in that way and there are too many things to think about without having any anchor. But with this method you gain great Key retention and instantly know what all the notes are against the key without having to think about "connecting the dots" or and then if you feel you are modulating you have to ability to instantly change keys and identify the notes from that key. It's great, and becomes very effortless, but again, it takes a while...and for some longer than others.

He also has a series of books on rhythm that are fantastic and have helped me out tremendously because that used to be my biggest weak point. "The Big Metronome" is a book that every professional or semi-professional should check out. He even has books on how to apply Set Theory to Jazz improvisation.

All of the books and CD's are ridiculously well thought out, and have an absolute lack of bullshit. They might appear to some to be a bit user UNfriendly, but the best part is, you are encouraged to email him regularly with your progress and he will respond with advice, tips, and encouragement free of charge.

Here is the website with all of the merchandise:


Cannot recommend it enough.

The Dissonance said...

So much goodness and so little time. :o)