Everything music & ear training related

ToneGym

What's your most hated game in the workouts? For me, it's either of these:

Melodix (the one where you're supposed to listen to a bit of music and then replicate it on the keyboard) . I have the memory of a gnat and most of these musical passages aren't particularly melodic to me, but maybe that's the point. Also, I don't like the look of the keyboard. It's too dark and I go crosseyed trying to see whether I'm clicking on B or B-flat.

Notationist (the one where you're supposed to identify an interval that moves by quickly). I'm not sure if the speed of it is that much of a help so I often end up just guessing without thinking about whether the P5 or the m7 above the bottom note is sharp, flat or natural, so I often just guess. If there's a flat on top, it's minor; if there's a sharp on top, it's major. Otherwise, stab in the dark because there's no time to think especially the further along you go.

That's my petty grievance of the day.
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Josh Keisler
Nov 20
@Catherine McKay I've got pretty far in Notationist so that I'm now onto identifying 4-note chord inversions but I've plateaued at that point. You definitely have to be very fast which might not be the best way to learn for some people.

Melodix is the one I'm most frustrated about. I too find the patterns they give very stale and unmusical and therefore harder to remember (though my recall for 8 note long melodies isn't very good anyway). I wish you could choose different instruments, different keys and that the melodies were better and sounded more musical. It's most frustrating because I think the main concept of the game is great and it could be one of the most useful games but the above things are holding it back.
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Seighart Bui
Nov 20
I don't dislike melodix but the interface isn't very easy on the eye.
I do dislike notationaist. I have no application for it in real life but I did study classical music for a while so I could read sheet music and there was a time i was able to sight read and play pretty smoothly. but now I have to learn to either use the shortcut keys or use the mouse fast enough. Can read the notes but not a big fan of clicking. Actually I'll disable that game right now
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Miles Walker
Nov 20
I think ToneGym thinks I hate Rhythmania because it never gets added to my daily workout!
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Elisa Carbone
Nov 21
How do you disable a game? There are a couple I would like to do that with.
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Seighart Bui
Nov 21
click on your profile pic at the top right corner, select Account settings.
Select Training Preferences, disable any game then click Update
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Now, thanks to Seighart Bui, I learn that you can disable games, which probably means you can enable them too. Strangely enough, Melody Jay has never come up in my daily workout, even though it is enabled. There are a bunch of things in settings that I was unaware of until today.
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Yeah, Melody Jay literally never came up for me either until I deliberately started choosing it in the gym. Again, even though all games were enabled, like you.
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Joe Brewer
Nov 21
I don't hate the inversionalist game, but it's the one I struggle with the most at the moment - I'm stuck on level 2. I wish there were more chances to hear the notes individually.

Melody Jay has never come up in my daily workouts as well.
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Josh Keisler
Nov 21
To offer a different experience - I get Melody Jay in my daily workouts but never get Departurer.
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@Joe Brewer, I had a LOT of trouble getting started with inversionalist so I open up Chord Player in a different tab and play the chord in its different inversions there. That has helped enormously to get me past the first few levels and on from there. People say to listen for the bass note but often I can't really hear it, so I have to use the hints. Either my hearing isn't all that great (not surprising, especially given my age), or the sound on my computer isn't good (likely). Sometimes my brain fills in a bass note and it IS one of the notes of the chord, but often not the bass note.
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Hmm. I went into settings and disabled notationist and suddenly I got Melody Jay in my daily workout!
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XIN
Nov 22
Hi @Catherine McKay,
In Melodix, we've chosen to focus the skill for this game on melodic analysis rather than on memory. That means that in the higher levels we've prioritized short but musically complex phrases rather than simple but long melodies.

BTW, the keyboard in this game is designed as a upright piano keyboard, so the brighter lines are the notes, and flats or sharps will always be the darker lines.
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@XIN 4tus: The problem is that short is relative to how memorable the melody is. Many of the melodies presented at higher levels are not very melodic and just don't stick in the memory -- wide, nonsensical interval jumps, no sequencing or structure, etc (and yes, you can have sequencing and structure even within 8 notes). Some melodies I can immediately hum back to myself in order to fix them in memory and then analyze them, some flee immediately from memory after 2-3 notes.

If the goal is to focus on analysis rather then memory, the higher levels often miss the mark on that goal, and I don't think it's doing much practical good to have to analyze non-melodic melodies by ear (they are only useful to illustrate how not to write a melody). Either the melody generation engine needs to learn how to be more melodic or we need more lifesavers to be able to listen to the melody multiple times. And I think the former would be much more practically useful.

Perhaps a better way to introduce more complex melodies without that meaning un-melodic is more rhythmic texture or non-diatonic tones (perhaps those things are introduced later on -- I wouldn't know -- but if so, perhaps that's an indication of the engine being misguided as how to best introduce more difficulty).

I am at level 35, and that's already good enough for 96.83 percentile, but at this point I find myself rarely able to raise a level. This is not largely due to my inability to identify the intervals, but mostly to being able to remember the melody long enough to do so. When I am able to remember the melody, I can usually get it right fairly readily.

Overall, I love ToneGym and it's been a great help to me, but it does have its flaws and this is one of them.