Ear Training Exercises - Intermediate

hey Tuomo
arg this blues line sound really weird on a standard classic 251 major ?? and either on minor because the end of it … really lost how to use it
how to make it sound ok ?
do we have to change the classic voicing for another ?
if you could give us some tips or example

PS maybe it would be cool to record yourself shortly applying those exercices in the context of one part of a standard when you have melody or even with the harmonic movement for some reharmonisation . but already such a lot of work … but maybe you could extend to 15 days between each exercice


Hi Pierre,

Thanks that’s a great point,

try to play the line faster, it is something what for example Oscar Peterson would have used, (blues scale material over 251 in major or minor).

Also the last notes of the line show that we are in major, which is a common thing to do when using blues scale over major.

Here is a good example of Oscar doing just that, in the beginning of his solo and especially around 3:45:

PS Thanks for a great idea, I will record some examples using the line this week and post it here!

Please let me know if I can help with anything else,

all the best,


Hi @Pierrot , here are 2 examples where I’m using the same kind of material as the Ex 3, mostly just blues scale, over simple 2 5 1 6 in the key of Cmajor:

Hope that helps,

all the best,



Love that recording.

I’ve been meaning to get around to analysing Oscar’s solo on that tune.

Thanks for the extra info here @tuomo :ok_hand:

@pierre - remember that these exercises have been designed to improve our listening and transcription skills. They are common melodic ideas, phrases, and patterns that you will hear in recordings.

These exercises are not a replacement for transcribing from records

These exercises alone cannot teach the skill of improvisation. We must be transcribing from records on a regular basis to truly understand how this material works in context.

I’d recommend every time we sit down at the piano we dedicate time to transcribing from our favourite records.

I think we keep them roughly each week for now.

@Tuomo - It’s flexible when you can post them… I know you have a busy gigging and touring schedule, so whatever day is convenient for you.

I did suspect that it might be a lot of work for students to complete one per week, but at the same time I wanted this section to be challenging.

The more you do this @Pierre, the easier it becomes. At first, taking a line through all 12 keys can seem like a huge task, but soon you will be flying through these exercises each week :grinning:

@Tuomo - I think it would be insightful to post a recording from YouTube that contains similar material, or a similar style of playing - just like you did above with the Oscar Peterson Trio recording.

Perhaps this won’t be possible with every exercise, but the example above is brilliant and shows exactly how to apply it in context with Oscar’s solo.

I think this will help to bridge the gap between these great listening exercises, and transcribing directly from records.


:partying_face: Thanks a lot @Tuomo to all this precision and time you take for your explanation . And I agree with you lot of blues pattern from the blues scales can be apply on major too and your skill is awesome

However you dont use the same line than in the example 3 :wink: i know , as Hayden point it , those exercices are not done for being licks … … even it could be great to have great lines that we could use as licks to join the gap between transcription and application in solo. And if we could have an application in just a phrase , of those exact transcription exercice at realtime tempo, it would be a great add i think.

@Hayden I agree with you : personal taste for the choice of lines we love, cant escape from transcribing solo ourselves.

best regards

@Pierrot, thanks for all your feedback!

Please keep asking questions, and I will post extra material and video links when needed.

Also wanted to point out again that it is very flexible how one can do these exercises, someone might just enjoy doing a part of the exercise, and later on doing more, depending on the progress and of course how much time each person can invest on these exercises on a weekly basis.

Keep up the good work,



Im having a hard time with the harmony exercices, maybe because its the first time i try this, the 1st exercices are relatively easy for me, i learn the melody and transpose it in all 12 keys within an hour but the harmony part is really tricky but ill stick with it, hopefuly i can get some results !!

I can hear the top note of the chords but i can’t really hear the bass note

Hi @Guillaume,

stay patient and work on the exercises little bit every day, use piano if needed, and I promise you’re going to make fast progress with hearing the harmony :slight_smile:

You might want to check out the Beginner Exercises for the interval ear training, that might help with the intermediate exercises as well. After all hearing all the intervals is essential for all transcribing/ learning by ear.

Let me know if I can help any way,


Hi guys, here are the answers to the last weeks intermediate exercises:

Exercise_3_-_Intermediate.pdf (109.1 KB)

Keep up the good work, stay tuned for the new weekly exercises posted in the next few days!


ah, by focusing my mind first on the bass i can kind of hear it, got 4/7 correct on exercice 3, i think ill stay focus on hearing the root before focusing more on chords quality, can’t wait for the next exercices !! By the way @Tuomo do you think trying to hear the bass in the advanced exercices or i should really stay on Intermediate/beginner. Thank you for your work !

Hi @Guillaume, thanks for writing!

I think you can do the advanced ones as well, just try to hear as much as possible, I promise you will get better every week! Also don’t forget the intervals, when you get strong with them, everything else improves as well!

Keep up the good work,


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ah alredy answer posted … ok

its pretty long to record and move it to youtube and get the link to send … too lazy tonight to post the video i have made

maybe i will do next week as Lyndon just a picture of the score , finally its a better idea.

Good to know the guys still inside this weekly exercice .
Bravo @Guillaume keep it going

PS my result blues melody got it 95% yeah :champagne: improvement the harmony bad voicing but all chords right

Great work @Pierre,

just keep doing the exercises, pick up as much you can, and soon you will see improvement!

All the best,


Hi Guys,

here are the new ones! Just wanted to say few words about these exercises.

When you feel like you are in a dead end and simply can’t hear what’s going on, don’t hesitate to help yourself with piano, the point of these exercises is to keep our ears active every day, that will give you the best result.

Our ears are sort of like muscles that need to be exercised on a daily basis, so even a little bit of ear training every day (10-15min) will give you a huge benefit!

Exercise 4

Part 1 - Melody over 2 5 1 cadence in the key of Cmaj

Transcribe this melody from the audio track provided below. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj7 chord. After learning the melody in the key of C, take it through keysEb and G.


  • Try to hear the relation of the notes in the melody to the chord tones, especially the roots of the chords, D-7, G7 and Cmaj7.
  • First try to detect the starting and the ending notes of the melody, then any note you can find in between and this way continue ‘filling up the puzzle’.

Part 2 - Transcribe the harmonic movement

Transcribe the following harmonic movement, in the key of Cmaj. In the audio track you will first hear a simple Cmaj chord. The exact voicings not needed, just roots and the basic function (major, minor, dominant, diminished etc.). You can also transcribe and/or learn the rhythm, as it is a common comping pattern.


  • First detect the bass movement, then the melody (highest note).
  • Always relate to the material you are sure of, for example the chord in the beginning or any part you already transcribed. Use logic and memory.
  • Extra Tip: The first chord is Cmaj9 with D in the melody, and the last one Cmaj7 with E in the melody

If you have any questions, please drop them into the comment box below. Right answers will be posted here the day before new exercises. Enjoy!

My guesses on bass notes are: C-A-D-G-A-Ab-G-G-C
Will update for the other parts !

Hi @Guillaume, great job,

you got first 4 and the last bass note correct, check out the rest!


Ill give another shot, bass notes: C-A-D-G-G-A-B-B-C
And melody notes: D-C-A-Ab-G-Gb-F-F-E

Good job @Guillaume , the melody notes are correct, with the bass notes I’ll give you a hint, 5th note is E.

Use piano if needed,


Hi guys, here are the answers to the last weeks intermediate exercises:

Exercise_4_-_Intermediate.pdf (113.6 KB)

Keep up the good work, stay tuned for the new weekly exercises posted in the next few days!


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I will keep trying a bit before looking at the answers ! Thank you for your work.

I think your file doesn’t work @Tuomo :sweat_smile: , but i think i got the last bass notes, so E-D-A-B-C