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Scale Degree Ear Training

Scale Degree Ear Training develops a musician's ability to know each notes place relative to other notes in the scale employed. The tendency tones of a scale are the primary anchors for feeling scale degree function. These tendency tones have 'pull', especially when accompanied by specific underlying harmony (usually dominant resolving to tonic harmony). In such a context, the strongest pulling tendency tones of the major scale are at the half steps, with the 4th scale degree tends to resolve down by half-step to the 3rd scale degree, and the 7th tends to resolve up by half step to the tonic.

Scale Degree Ear Training is the cornerstone exercise of SonicFit. Read more about our pedagogy on our pedagogy page.

Musicians often use a mnemonic system to remember scale degrees of a scale. At SonicFit, we encourage using movable DO solfege. In this system, the first note of the scale is always DO, the second note RE, etc. Please see the lessons for full information on this.

When doing this exercise, you should be singing everything! Start by singing the scale on solfege. Next, sing prominent tendency tone resolutions, such as FA-MI, or TI-DO. Then sing the example played on a neutral syllable- like TA. Hold the first note and sing up the scale to find the first note. You might also try to hold the first note, then sing down the scale until you feel you've arrived at DO. Repeat this same action for the last note. Before you put in the answer, sing your choice on solfege and see if it feels right. After it is graded, sing the correct answer on solfege.

If you are taking a lot of time to answer the questions, you need to change the settings. Click on the settings button at the top, and select fewer notes. If these are easy for you, select more notes, add chromaticism and change keys. See the lessons for information on chromaticism.

Settings allow the user to adjust the material to match their skill level and pedagogical preferences. Settings include:

• select individual notes in the scale
• define the range and tessitura
• set mnemonic system- solfege (fixed or movable), numbers, letters
• set mode (major or minor, with la or do based minor both available
• set the instrument sounds played