Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

What key are your wind chimes in?

Is a beautiful day in Nashville today, low 70’s sun shinning and windy as all get out.

Momma (wife) has the fancy smancy wind chimes (3) that cost around $200 each which are hanging in 3 of the 150 year old sycamore trees that are next to our back patio/form a canopy over our patio. I always thought she was wasting money and I pretty much still feel that they were a bit in excess. However, today, I learned to appreciate their value even more-so when I recognized 2 were in the key of A and are the A Pentatonic major scale. The other is in the Key of D and also of the pentatonic major variety.

I’ve been working on my ear training over the past 6 months, to my surprise it is starting to work as I had never really even considered that wind chimes are within a key.

I watched a show on tv one time about savants and “perfect pitch” and how some of them heard notes and identified them in different colors…how cool would that be?

I guess that you can say that Momma was not very frugal in her purchases and I am an idiot for even noticing what key the chimes are in, however it’s pretty cool!

Would be interested in us maybe talking a bit about ear training. I know Ben mentioned to me before that he has “perfect pitch” and I know that I do not. Perfect pitch is when you are born with it (can identify a single note at any given time by ear) others say they have perfect pitch but they had to learn it (this is not really perfect pitch).

Look for a composition in A pentatonic with emphasis on the F# minor pentatonic scale with me and the brothers chime in a recording! Optimal tempo is 20mph with 30mph gusts.

Excellent! We need to do something to include the chimes. If we want a faster tempo, we could break out the oscillating fan.

I have tinnitus. It is fairly infrequent, but what I typically hear is all sound go away on one ear and it’s replaced by an absolutely pure tone. The external noise drops, then the pure tone fades in, then it slowly subsides as the background noise comes back up to normal. The other day, I happened to have my guitar sitting with me when the tinnitus hit and guess what? My tinnitus seemed to be a perfect A pitch! I think it was the same octave as the 12th fret on the A string of a mando. What are the odds of tinnitus being a particular pitch? I would think very small. I did a google search and found nothing on tinnitus being linked to a musical note. I did read that tinnitus is linked to damage to particular areas (hair follicles) and so I wonder if I can absolutely tie my tinnitus to my rock days. We played in A probably more than any other key. If I lived closer to Jesse, I could blame my tinnitus on his chimes.

On perfect pitch… I kind of had it as a kid. I could tune a violin to pitch pretty accurately without a reference. I seem to have lost it for the most part. I still recognize some keys when I hear them. Sometimes I am wrong as well.

— Begin quote from "Oldhat"

Would be interested in us maybe talking a bit about ear training.

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I’ve been using Earmaster software for a month or so to try to improve my ear, but I’m finding that I am not so gifted in this category. Using the “Work On What You’re Not Good At” theory, I should be increasing the time I spend on this, but I get frustrated with it.


My biggest work on ear training has been by identifying intervals. Identifying in a sense that it’s 2 notes that get played and you think of a song from those 2 notes. So start with the root note, hit it then go to the 2nd of the scale…well with those 2 notes you should be able to identify some melody that starts with those 2 notes. Then go from the Root and to the 3rd, with those 2 notes identify another song/melody that starts out with those 2 notes.

This has really helped me in my improv in hearing where I want to go next.

If you run into some cool Youtube videos on ear training by any thing other than the Nasal Flute then post them up!

Interval identification is about all I have been working on. I am making some progress, but it seems like between sessions I lose what I learned.

I suspect you all might find that interval training stuff sticks with you better than you would expect at some level. I haven’t tried to maintain practice of interval recognition, but I still mentally sing Here comes the bride when I am tuning a guitar. I don’t even remember when it was, but I remember doing interval training as a kid/teen. Some are in the front of my brain (P4th being the most common one I “hear”). But just thinking through the easier intervals I am pretty sure these are some example songs I learned way back when:
P4th: Here comes the bride (going up) Eine Klein Nachmusik (going down then back up… Bonus!)
minor3rd:Smoke on the water (up) Hey Jude (down)
5th: Star Wars (up) Feelings (down… that should help date when I was doing it)
minor7th: Star Trek (up) (on this one I remembered the reference song, but had to pick up an instrument to see what the interval was)
minor2nd: Jaws (up down up down up down up down up down up duh nuh NUHHHH!)

Now that I have thought about it a bit, I think I got a double dose with violin as a little dude and music theory class as a teen. I just got a memory of taking a test in music theory where an interval was played on piano and we had to write down the interval. An interval would get played, and then you would hear a bunch of us students humming songs to figure it out. That is the only test I ever recall where humming was expected.

Down interval example songs are what I need! I’ve been trying to backward hum Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

I hate for you to have to sing Twinkle Twinkle backwards:

I hope you were looking for the first interval of Twinkle Twinkle.

Ha! That one is burned in my memory now.

I did a quick search and found this cool page with lots of examples (including Feelings).

That’s a very cool page. It even has links to the songs.

I had tinnitus in my other ear today and it seemed a perfect match for some note other than A (I think it was F#, but I should have wrote it down). What was odd was it was the first key I tried on the piano. Maybe luck? I dunno. Anyway, I am curious to see when I get it back in the left ear if it will be an A again.

You need to learn how to change notes. I"ll be really impressed when you can play a melody with your tinnitus. :laughing: