I’ve been working on this interval exercise with a drone for the last week or so and it’s really starting to have a positive effect on my ear and connection between my ear and my fingers. There’s an outline of the routine below and a midi mp3 of how it sounds in one key.
- Pick a drone (1 of 12) and play it with headphones or speakers. If you can get my acoustic bass acro drones here or use an app etc.
- Next you will play each interval above the root starting with a half step (b9) and go back to the root. Remember to use 9 for 2, 11 for 4 and 13 for 6; this will help you with quickly grasping chord symbols over time. To be clear, here is the note order: 1, up to b9, back to 1, up to 9, back to 1… b3, 1, 3, 1, 11, 1, #11, 1, 5, 1, b13, 1, 13, 1, b7, 1.
- Play each interval lyrically and slow (quarter notes at around 40bpm; use a metronome if needed).
- Clearly think about each notes in relation to the Root. In your mind say and visualize “1, b6, 1, 6, 1” etc.
- Move the starting note up one half step and repeat the entire process from b9 to 9 back to b9 to b3 all over the same initial drone – repeat #3 and #4 starting on b9 instead of 1.
- After playing up all the intervals from the b9, move up another half step to the 9 and repeat #3 and #4.
- Continue until you have covered each interval from every other interval over one drone.
- Each day pick another drone. Do the routine one time per day.
- Extra things to think about: keep your embouchure stable and unchanged the whole time, stay relaxed, breath deep, use space between each interval, sing the interval after playing while visualizing and thinking about the numeric relationship to the root.
I have already seen some great results with this exercise.
Mp3 of exercise over a concert C drone.