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Ear Training Software

Distinguishing between major and minor triads

Goal: To distinguish major triad from minor triad
Level: Beginner
Module: Triads

Ear training is the single best thing you can do to improve your musicianship. You can already hear the music and enjoy it. To learn to distinguish major and minor triads is an important step in your ear training process, and its very difficult.

When you hear a major triad it should sound happy or bright. The minor triad should sound sad or dark. To better illustrate this, compare the sound of a major triad to a minor triad:

A happy C major triad.
Major Triad
A sad C minor triad
Minor Triad
  1. Start up the BigEars application and click on the Triads tab.
  2. under the Settings menu click on Choose Triads
  3. click on Deselect All
  4. click on Major, root position
  5. click on Minor, root position
  6. click Done
  7. slide the Tempo slider to its lowest setting, 40 bpm

BigEars will now only play major and minor triads in root position.

Press NEXT to start a new problem. Listen carefully to what is played. Use REPLAY to hear it again. Does it sound like a happy sound? Does it sound sad? Click on the button you think identifies the sound. Did you get it right? If not, don't jump right to Show Answer, but instead click REPLAY and try the same problem again. If you get the correct answer, use REPLAY just to hear it again. Build up confidence in your ability to identify what you hear.

Do this type of drilling every day for about 5-10 minutes. Its important to not skip a day of ear training practice!

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