Get Perfect Pitch: 7 Must-Do Exercises

Ear training improves the way your ears perceive sound, and involves identifying tones when you hear them.

People who have good ears can reproduce any melody with both hands once they’ve heard it once or twice– and they usually have perfect pitch.

These excercises are designed to train your ears effectively.

Once you’ve mastered one step, move on to the next as you improve progressively.

  • Have someone test you
  • Or you can do these exercises alone by recording your own playing, and listening to it afterwards, to quiz yourself.

Remember to write the answers down as you make up the questions!

  1. Know the intervals and be able to sing (out loud or in your head) any interval when the name is given to you. (What are intervals?)
    • Learn a few every week; a trick to use is to associate each interval with a song or piece that has the interval in it to help you remember.
  2. Name intervals when you hear them. (Excluding augmented and diminished intervals.)
    • If you have a song or tune for every interval already in your head, then you can match the interval you hear to the tune. Add on Augmented 4th (Diminished 5th) when you think you’re ready for a challenge!
  3. Play any interval named when the first note is given to you.
    • E.g. You’re given an F, and you need to play a Perfect 5th interval; play F – C.
  4. Replay short melodiesexactly as you hear them with your right hand.
    • Make sure the melodies are single-lined and do not have harmony. Listen twice, then try to recreate the melody (knowing which key it’s in), on the keyboard. Begin with a 5-note range and expand within one octave.
  5. Replay longer, more intricate melodiesexactly as you hear them with your right hand.
    • Listen to the melody twice, then try it. Try melodies with more interesting rhythms.
  6. Replay accompaniment to short melodies exactly as you hear them with your left hand.
    • Listen to it twice, then try to recreate the melody (knowing which key it’s in), on the keyboard.

    *Accompaniment is harder to isolate, so begin by having the accompaniment played louder than the melody and gradually soften the accompaniment as you move on.
    Make sure you play the accompaniment with your left hand.

  7. Name solid triad inversionsas they’re played (once only).
    • Listen to 3-note major or minor chords played in either root or first inversion, then try to identify it.
    • Add on second inversion triads as you become more comfortable.
    • Warm up by playing solid triads (in your voice rance) and singing each note up from the bottom up. Repeat for major and minor, and each of the inversions (and root). After this, sing each triad as they’re played and try to identify them.
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