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2/21/2015

DavidBaker'sguidetojazzeartraining:Jazz

Hiall!Fortheperformersamongus,thisissomethingyoumayfinduseful.DavidBakerisa
majorjazzeducator/composer/etc,andhewroteafantasticbookcalledJazzImprovisation:A
ComprehensiveMethodforAllMusicians.Onechapterofthebookistitled"Developingthe
Ear",andisasequenceofeartrainingexercisesforjazzmusicians.It'saprettyrigorous
fundamentaltraining,butifyoureallyworkthroughandmasterallofit(notsayingIhave
yet!),thenyourear'sgoingtobeprettydarngood.Ihighlyrecommendthewholebook,but
thisisshortenoughthatIfiguredIwouldshareithereforpeoplewhomightfindithelpful.
Someofthemrequireasecondperson,andsomesimplyrecommendonebutcouldbeworked
aroundwithoutone.Enjoy!
1. Theplayershouldpracticesingingandrecognizingintervals.Heshouldhavesomeone
playintervalsforhimwhilehenamesthem.Heshouldnameintervalsandsingthem.
Theplayershouldplayanoteonhisinstrument,thennameanyothernoteandsingit.
2. Heshouldextendtheintervalpracticebyplayinganote,thenarbitrarilynamingeightor
tenotherintervalseachintervalmeasuredfromthelastinterval.Example:playC,say
Major3rd,singE,saytritone,singBb,sayMajor3rd,singD,etc.Attheendofagiven
periodoftimeheshouldplayanoteonhisinstrumenttocheckforaccuracy.
3. Nexttheplayershouldpracticesingingtriadsofanyqualitystartingonacommontone.
(Forexample,singAb.Then,usingthatasaroot,singmajor,minor,augmented,and
diminishedtriads.)
4. Nextheshoulddothesmeexerciseusingthedifferentqualityseventhchords.(For
example,singAbastheroot.Thensingmajorseventh,minorseventh,dominant
seventh,andhalfdiminishedseventhchords.)
5. Heshouldnowuseninths,elevenths,thirteenths,etc.
6. Nexttheplayershoulddothetriads,sevenths,ninths,elevenths,etc.,alteringvarious
tonesinthechords,e.g.,Cmaj9witharaised5th,Bbmi7(b9),C13(+11),etc.
7. Usingasinglenoteastheaxistheplayershouldsingchordsintheirinversions.Example:
SingAb,thensingtherestofanEmajortriad.NowtheAbisthe5thofaDbmajor
triad.Abisnowthe7thofaBb7chord.NowAbisthe9thofaGbmajorchord,etc.
8. Nexttheplayershouldpracticeallchordsandtriadsinallinversions,ascendingand
descending.[Note:heincludes9thsandabove.Forexample,forCmaj9hewritesCEGB
D,DEGBC,EGBCD,GBCDE,etc]
9. Nextheshouldpracticerecognizingthematerialinexercisesthreethroughtenwhen
somebodyelseplaysthemalsonametheinversion,etc.
10. Hemustbeabletosingscalesofanyquality(i.e.major,diminished,wholetone,etc.)
11. Theplayershouldsinganyqualityscalestartingonanydegreeofthescale.Forexample,
singamajorscalestartingontheseconddegreeorthesixthdegree,etc.
12. Heshouldsingthediatonictriads,seventhchords,ninthchords,etc.onthevarious
scales,ascendinganddescending.Example:theseventhchordsofCmelodicminor,
ascending,areCEbGB,DFAC,EbGBD,FACEb,etc.
13. Heshouldsingthediatonictriads,seventhchords,ninthchords,etc.startingfromany
degreeonthescale.Example:theseventhchordsofCmelodicminor,ascending,starting
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2/21/2015

DavidBaker'sguidetojazzeartraining:Jazz

onthe3rddegree,areEbGBD,FACEb,GBDF,ACEbG,etc.
14. Hemustbeabletorecognizeanyofthematerialinexerciseseleventhroughfourteen
whenplayedbyanotherperson.
15. Heshouldsingthediatonicseventhchordsbuiltonanyscaledegree.Heshouldsingall
inversionsbeforemovingontothenextstep.Example:CmelodicminorwouldbeCEbG
B,EbGBC,GBCEb,BCEbG,DFAC,FACD,ACDF,CDFA,etc.
16. Irecommendthattheplayerdeviseothersimilarexercises.
17. Theplayershouldtakeabasslineoffarecord,perhapsabluesorotherrelativelysimple
tune.
18. Theplayershouldmoveontomorecomplexbasslines,thentosololines.
19. Oncetheplayerisfarenoughalongtodealwithsololines,Irecommendthathedispense
withwritingthesolosdown.Instead,heshouldplayandmemorizethesolosdirectlyfrom
therecord.Atalltimes,heshoulddrawonhiscompletefundofknowledge,usingreason
andlogictohelpthehear.Forexample,ifhejustrecognizedaDminorseventhchordhe
shouldbesuspiciousthatthenextchordmightbeaG7.heshouldalsosuspectaIIV7
progressionbeforethefinalchordofthepiece,etc.
20. Ifpossibleheshouldnowenlisttheaidofanotherplayerandplayfollowtheleader.At
firstheshouldavoidplayingonanactualsetofchordchanges.Heshouldjustplayat
randomandimitatetheleader.Heshouldstartwithbriefcloselyrelatedphrasesand
proceedtolonger,morecomplexphrases.
21. Whentheplayerfeelscomfortablewithnumber20,thenheshouldpracticehislistening
techniqueonarelativelystatictypeoftune:blues,SoWhat,MaidenVoyage,etc.Phrases
shouldbechosenthatenablethesecondplayertocompletethephraseatthesamepitch
levelasthefirstplayer.Thefirstandsecondplayersshouldexchangerolesfrequently.
22. Nexttheplayersshouldproceedtothequestionandanswertypeplayingwherethe
answerisduplicatedbutatadifferentpitchlevel.
Twentytwoshouldalsoproceedfromthesimpletothecomplex.Asadailyexercisetheplayer
mighttakeforourfivedifferenttunesinrandomkeysandplaythroughthemveryslowly
withoutstoppingtocorrectmistakes.Heshouldstrivetoheartheintervaland/ortheposition
ofthenoteinthescalebeforeheplaysit.Thisalsoappliestohearinganyfamiliarpatternsor
chordoutlinesthatlivewithinthetune.Thisprehearinghastotakeplacewithoutdistorting
thetempo.Astheplayergainsconfidenceheshouldstrivetoplayeachtuneatthecorrect
tempo.Theplayershouldmakesurethekeyshechoosesforthevarioustunesarediversesoas
todevelopequalfacilityinallkeys.Iftheplayerhasaccesstoataperecorder,heshouldrecord
thetunesandplaythem,makingnotesoftheintervalsorchordsmostfrequentlymissed.He
shouldthenstrivetoimprovehishearingandrecognitionoftheseintervalsorchords.

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