guitarskie (3rdrockroller) wrote in schwob,

aural skills help!

You know for a Major 6th interval you recognize it as "here comes the bride" ?
well, what are some famous associations i should use for descending intervals?
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Just in case it wasn't a mistake, "here comes the bride" is associated w/ a P4.

In all honesty using songs to recognize intervals is a really bad idea, b/c if you get it in a certain context like a weird key or as part of something where it's not normally used, it's not going to sound the same. For example, a P4 in certain areas of minor keys doesn't sound at all like "here comes the bride."

Your best bet is to learn to instantly recognize the quality to where you don't have to think about it. For example, a m2 sounds kind of shaky, wobbly, dissonant; similar to two people playing/singing an unison that's extremely out of tune. M2's have a similar dissonant sound without the "beats" and shakiness of the m2. m3 (for me personally) just has a naturally "minor" sound. Some people tend to hear it as "MI-SOL" or "SOL-MI" like part of a major triad (the reason it's often confused with a M3), so you'll probably just have to figure out what works for you on that one. M3 can kind of be found the same way; when you hear a third it's best to hear that and sing (in your head) another third below the bottom note...since you'll naturally change it b/c you want to hear a triad, figure out whether the triad you created in your head is major or minor and use that to figure out the top interval (the top one will be minor in a major triad and major in a minor triad). P4 and P5 are often confused because your brain will sometimes invert them and mix the two up. They're both SOL-DO one way or another, so when you hear one of the two and you're not sure, try finding out which way SOL-DO goes. If you hear SOL-DO going up you have a 4th, if it's going down you have a 5th. Tritones sound just plain weird...they don't really fit anywhere and they're kind of just begging to resolve. Make sure you can instantly hear the quality of all these before training yourself to hear the larger'll make life easier.

Once you know the smaller intervals, the large ones will be easy. You should mentally invert anything larger than a P5 (works for me anyway). Make sure you know your octaves so you can actually do this. When you hear a m6, you should be able to hear MI-DO (M3) when it's inverted to the smaller intervals...for this reason, m6 sounded major to me for the longest time because when it's ascending it sounds like a normal part of a major scale. M6 should have the opposite effect because you hear a m3 when it's inverted. M7 & m7 are (for me personally) easy to figure out because all you have to do is determine whether the inverted interval is a half step or a whole step. A descending m7 just sounds like DO-RE to me, and the M7 has that similar dissonant, wobbly sound of a m2.

I hope this extremely long explanation helps get you started. Make sure you practice intervals frequently by playing and singing them. Be able to sing any interval in any key, ascending and descending, that way when you hear one and have to recognize it you can check yourself by singing it in your head (the inverval you think it is, not what you're hearing). If it matches what you're hearing then you'll usually be right. If it doesn't, your best bet is to figure out how far off you are and changing to that.

I know you didn't mention dictation, but when you're doing that it's better to hear everything in relation to DO (for tonal anyway) rather than trying to figure out intervals. Use reference points; "this note is the same note as beat 3 in the second measure", to check yourself on that one. It's better than trying to hear intervals.

This explanation makes sense in my head, but I'm weird...I hope I helped you somewhat instead of confusing you more. :)