APA possible improvements

Talk about what you've discovered by using ETC-- and post your high ranks!
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APA possible improvements

Post by abminor » Thu May 02, 2013 12:06 am

Yeah, I went ahead and tried it out again to make sure I really could do this. It seems that you reach a certain level of competency and the skill that is required to achieve all levels of once pitch can instantly be transferred to any of the other pitches.

This skill in my experience is as follows:

The ability to maintain an internal representation of the target pitch in short term memory by which to compare each egg.

The ability to 'set' the target pitch as a tonic so that one then hears the pitch as a tonal center which adds another cue by which to locate the pitch within chords and melodies.

Once these two are established, the last little bit that helps is every time the target pitch is heard, the internal representation of it is again reinforced and continues to be maintained throughout play.

The only thing I've found that throws me off is a strong dislodging of the target pitch as a tonal center.

I've begun to experiment at the piano with possible melodies and cadences that have a strong functional drive toward various tonalities. These would be applied in additional advanced levels.

My experience with APA has been that somewhere around level 312 of any pitch, the program glitches and doesn't go farther. I figure with these tonally driven melodies and cadences, we could push things into the 500's and possibly knock out one of the strongest remaining hindrances to unearthing and forcing chroma perception.

Space, you have a point here. APA doesn't really require you to store the chroma in long term memory as the pitch is recalled so often. I have only completed the demo so I'm not sure how the advanced levels are but it would help to, at some point, suppress the melody trigger and increase more and more the space between repetitions of the target tone.

Also, you're idea of having a different target tone at each chicken is good, but it should only come after the two or more tones have been properly memorized otherwise you would end up in the same situation as before where you have to play the target tone before each chicken. If they have been memorized, APA could just announce the target tone name instead of playing it.

I think the game levels could go like this for example:
1 Complete C level (should be memorized at the end)
2 Complete G level (should be memorized at the end)
3 Alternate chicken with C and G
4 complete D level (should be memorized at the end)
5 Alternate chicken with C, G and D


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Post by Space » Thu May 02, 2013 5:04 am

I've considered that exact protocol myself. Also, as far as ETC as a whole is concerned, there needs to be a traditional note naming game built in, like Pitch Player. I think it is good to move from APA to traditional note naming random notes across all octaves.

I've also just recently begun working with groove builder for speed identification of notes, seeing how quickly I can ID pitches accurately using the keyboard shortcuts (with keyboard layout style - q 2 w 3 e r 5 t 6 y 7 u). I've found that when I use a groove that cycles through all 12 keys and I push myself to ID the pitches at a regular rhythmic pulse (no time to 'think' too much), I am forced to use chroma to ID pitches more. The groove drives you into a situation where tonal cues are constantly shifting and messing up your sense of pitch 'location'.

If I can figure out how to record my sessions, I can demonstrate this stuff eventually. I really wanna do something like that so people can really understand what it is I'm doing when I train.

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Post by Nikolaus » Fri May 03, 2013 3:24 am

note recognition drills BADLY need to stick with triads in a tonal context until a sub one second speed without the need for direct answer feedback is achieved. mixing in garble that's the musical equivalent of "gefagit derfamaltots bedelwin" is a musician killer. how so? it'll kill you with time, and eat away at your resolve and lead you down unnecessary curly, winding paths that do not at the most rapid pace lead one to the objective of musical comprehension. revision is badly needed.

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Post by Space » Fri May 03, 2013 4:13 am

I truly believe, actually, that learning to ID pitches as scale degrees against a background keycenter (like what I do with groove builder) helps immensely with this. I identify random singles, doubles, and triples within a key as well as alone. Even if the notes are still totally random, if in a key and being identified as scale degrees, each note has musical definition.

But I agree that identifying pitches as part of a more musically familiar entities should be the goal.

Also, I've found that it's actually hearing pitches within tonal/musically familiar contexts that throws people off when trying to develop AP.

For example, I used to have a much easier time IDing pitches in Schoenberg than Bach or even pop songs. The tonal context is too overpowering. Humans are hardwired to hear tonally and tonality in general is what drives much of our emotional experience of music. If the 'note-naming' skills one learns via note naming drills can't be integrated into one's tonal sense, then it won't become 'functional'.

And this seems to be the big bogeyman lately - feeling that acquired note-naming skills is not 'real' AP because it is not 'functional'.

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Post by Axeman » Sat May 18, 2013 6:52 am

Hey space can you please explain what it is you do with groove builder.

I am thinking of recording groups of notes harmonically to identify the scale degrees. Would this be helpful? I remember you saying that you hear a V chord as 5th , 7th ,and 2nd degrees of a key. That would be good. Did you also say that you play unrelated(key wise) music jun the background while you play APA or was it while you listen for scale degress?

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Post by Space » Sun May 19, 2013 2:32 am

I've tried all kinds of stuff, but what I do on the daily is I program 12-bar blues grooves into groove builder. I'll set the thing for 12 bars and the bars will go like this:

|: I | I | I | I |
| IV | IV | I | I |
| V7 | IV | I | V7 :|

Hopefully that comes out looking right when I post it :P

This has just become my standard way of maintaining a key center in a way that is simple but has a musical feel to it. Seeing as the 12-bar blues is a great foundation in terms of rhythm and harmony, I feel it's a good start for beginning to apply pitch identification to a musical context.

When I first started doing this a number of years ago, it was actually a bit difficult for me to maintain my sense of key throughout the entire 12 bars. Whenever the chords would change, my perception of the scale degrees of the notes I was IDing would get fuzzy. Over time, that totally went away and I can ID all 12 notes against a key center just the same throughout the 12 bars. In fact, it's the same with 2 and 3 note chords. I hear all notes in the chords as scale degrees of the key as long as the groove is running in the background. So, to answer your question about hearing the V-chord, yes, but in addition to that you hear the notes of weird chords, like b2, 2, b3, or something really dissonant like that in the same way.

As far as additional things you could do, well the possibilities are endless, really. I've tried using different progressions in groove builder and playing songs I like on youtube and IDing notes against that. Mostly that's supplemental, though. With my regular eartraining, the 12-bar blues has become my gold standard, mainly because it's simple.

Obviously, I need to evolve to progressions that modulate and such but for now I'm back to focusing more on AP so I'm sticking to the single key blues progression.

Oh, and yes, I've played the 12-bar blues while playing APA as well which can be challenging. Even more challenging, though is I set up a 24-bar groove that cycles through all keys and tried playing APA against that. It's quite difficult because you can't maintain the target pitch as a tonic at all and with random timbres, you're pretty much screwed! It really tests your ability to maintain the target pitch in your active internal memory while playing.

Man, now that I think about it, I need to be doing more sessions of that.

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