In this post I’m going to tell you the fastest possible way to internalise the tonic.

If you’re not sure what I mean by internalising the tonic you might want to go here to see the previous lesson, which explains how to get started with relative pitch ear training (clue: it involves internalising the tonic).

As I told you in that post, your goal when you’re getting started with ear training is to be able to sing the tonic when you hear music. That’s how you know that you’re internalising it.

The fastest way to achieve this?

Listen to the tonic.

Create a strong, stable sense of tonality, then play the tonic. Listen to it. Sing it as well.

In 80/20 Ear Training I’ve created an exercise that is designed to do just that.

You can listen to it below.

First, you’ll hear the same chord progression that you heard in the last lesson. It creates that strong sense of tonality.

Then you’ll hear the tonic chord played and the tonic played on top of it. The tonic is the top note that’s played in every bar.

Hit play to have a listen.

Can you see how this exercise works?

By creating a strong, stable tonic, then playing it repeatedly you'll quickly and easily start to internalise its sound. It's the musical equivalent of repeating a phone number over and over again until you remember it.

But the exercise gets even better.

After the sequence, guess what happens. It repeats!

The whole thing repeats (a total of 12 times) with a different tonic each time. After each sequence the original chord progression repeats with a new tonic (in a new key) and then there's another 8 bars of the tonic.

As the key changes throughout the exercise don't try to follow along. You can forget about the notes themselves and just focus on the sound of the tonic each time. After just a few listens you'll start to internalise the sound of it.

Try the full exercise out for yourself:

This exercise is one of the (many) things that makes 80/20 Ear Training so effective. It really allows you to focus on an individual sound (in this case the tonic) and learn it inside out.

So now that you know how this exercise works you can get to it! Start trying to internalise the tonic so you can sing it confidently!

And if you'd like to master this quickly, why not take the plunge and grab 80/20 Ear Training. You'll get access to the exercises I've shown you for the tonic as well as every other scale degree, and over 400 other ear training exercises that will take you step-by-step from this point to ear training mastery. If everything you've read so far is making sense then I know you'll love the course (and the changes it will make in your playing)!

CONTINUE TO: 80/20 Ear Training

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