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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I'm failing my Aural class at uni. I've never had to do it before and I'm way behind the rest of the class. Today I bought a decent electronic piano and I'm doing intervals, modes and simple progressions.

Any ideas on what exercises I can do to improve? I don't want to be a piano player but some basic chops would be handy too.

Cheers
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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To do well in the class train at whatever they use for assessment. If it's a specific software use that. If it's transcribing do a lot of that. There's loads of aural training software and sites out there, what most of them do well is to be good at that software as opposed really getting to grips with all round aural training.

For that I recommend you join a choir and do lots of sight singing. Get singing lessons.
 

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Hey saxpunter, sing those intervals! Maybe start out singing a major scale, then on to chord arpeggios and intervals. You could play the broken interval on the piano before singing it, but the idea is to get it into your mind. You probably already know most of these intervals, just need to recognize them. For ex, the song "Here Comes the Bride" starts with a perfect fourth. If you know the bebop tune "Salt Peanuts" you can hear the diminished 5th (tritone). And so on. You don't need a good voice to sing them. But there is something about singing a scale or interval that gets it into your mind and that translates well to the horn.
 

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Pete said something similar to what I was going to say. How are you failing? What test is used to determine that? Is it written or oral (aural)? What are the specific tasks you have to do to pass? What are the performance measures? I've never had such a class, maybe others who have can give you specific advice. But it seems to me that you need to identify the test tasks, then find exercises that will train you to successfully perform those tasks. Please pardon me if I've just stated the obvious and have been no help whatsoever. My intentions are honorable ...
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys, some more info:

The topic title is "Aural Development"... It's part of what's called "certificate 3 in music" a the local uni. I've never done it before and the class is full of kids fresh out of high school who appear to have done it for years.

I'm 42 years old, I have a trade background and a computer science degree, in my job as a consultant people pay a lot of money to my company for me to solve problems for them, but this experience is making me feel like a complete dunce! I've actually considered not going back in the second semester. The first exam I got 29% and the most recent 39%... I guess that's improvement!

My wife insisted that I push on and finish the course, so with her support I went and got the piano to practice the things in the Aural class. So far it's been:

Intervals Ascending


In the first lesson I hardly got any right, but I've worked on this and I'm up to about 70% correct

Intervals Descending

I find this harder for some reason and probably only get about 40 % correct

Rhythmic dictation

I've moved from lost cause to really ordinary with this. One of my biggest issues (oh the shame of it all) is that I didn't really know how to count rhythms. I was cheating by hearing a piece and playing it by memory with charts as a guide for the correct tones. If you cant read properly there's no hope of dictating properly!

Melodic dictation
Pretty well the same as above

Hearing and identifying a modal scale
Pretty well the same as above

Melodic dictation in a mode
No hope right now

I think if the lessons were done on sax I'd have more luck.. hence the piano purchase, plus I really like piano so its nice to have one. I've been tinkering with playing chords over different progressions which I think has to help all around. Anyway there's my story of woe, feeling like a complete goose!
 

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SaxPunter, if it's any consolation, I can't do any of those things. But I know that in the right situation, I can play my arse off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SaxPunter, if it's any consolation, I can't do any of those things. But I know that in the right situation, I can play my arse off.
Hah!... I keep telling myself... "I've got gigs and none of these kids do" sometimes it helps, failing that, beer
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Hah!... I keep telling myself... "I've got gigs and none of these kids do" sometimes it helps, failing that, beer
It's a bit like being able to drive. They don't train people to drive, they train people to pass the driving test. I expect most experienced drivers would fail the test after years of proper driving experience. Same with a lot of aural courses, so not getting top marks is nothing to be ashamed of.
 

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They don't train people to drive, they train people to pass the driving test. I expect most experienced drivers would fail the test after years of proper driving experience.
When my son was about 12, I took him to a deserted dirt road by the ocean, let him get in the driver's seat and I got out of the car to sit by the beach while he drove up and down the road by himself in my old manual transmission Datsun. The experience made a lasting impression on him which he talks about to this day. He's an excellent driver.

I learned practical music theory by gigging. I've always said you can't beat on-the-job training. Learn by doing.
 
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