major Sixths and minor Sixths
Ear training is a vital skill for every musician. It is important to be able to recognise chords, name intervals, and cadences. I have no proms with this except with major sixths and minor sixths. Those 2 intervals are horrid to remember, and try as I might, I still have trouble remembering the difference between the 2.
I’d tried all sorts of ways. First, there’s the “name that tune” method. This requires that you learn a tune for every interval. I found this time consuming and frankly I couldn’t remember them all. I found I wasted time searching my memory for the tune that matched the interval. The process would go like this for me… Hear the interval, remember the tune it sounds like, remember the name of the tune, then state the interval. Way too time consuming for me!
Then there’s the chord method. Quite often, when I hear an interval, I don’t just hear the notes of the interval. This is where perfect pitch can become a curse. It’s a great skill that God has blessed me with, but has its quirks. When I hear a interval like g to e, I think to myself it’s an e minor first inversion. It’s so automatic I can’t seem to stop it.
The method I have decided to try to learn those pesty intervals is the “logical process of elimination” method. That is, using the chromatic scale to work out the intervals. I’d thought and thought about this and realised tonight that minor always precedes major. Therefore, a minor 6 is a semitone or half step above a perperfect 5, and a major 6 is a tone or whole step above a perfect 5. Now all I need to do is get this firmly planted in to my brain.