About Ear Master
There are certain gifts and talents that one is simply born with in life. One such talent is the ability to read music. Music really has the power to bring people together and while everyone can listen to a jam, not everyone has the skillsets needed to write, play or produce. Even those who have been blessed with musical talents need to brush up on their talents and skillsets. In particular, one’s musical ear needs to be cultivated. Even though ear training is one of the most important aspects of music education, it is most often ignored. Failure to continuously exercise your musical ear, could lead to a loss of focus, which would negatively affect your musical work.
While prior to the Internet, musicians would have to hire a music instructor; nowadays thanks to the Internet people are able to exercise their musical ear from the comfort of their own home. One such company that helps in this area is EarMaster.com. A company that has been around since 1996, Ear Master has adapted with the times and in 2008 the company rolled out a multi-platform version of the service.
The main focus of Ear Master is ear training, and it uses a number of different methods and exercises in order to help train the ear, such as:
- Chord identification
- Rhythmic dictation
- Music theory
- Interval singing
Since the service has been around for the better part of two decades, Ear Master has really started to develop a coveted following in the music community. It is also used in many universities and schools across the country. With so many people singing the praises of Ear Master, it’s definitely worth taking a deeper dive into some of the key features that really make the service one worth checking out.
Top Features Of Ear Master
The Ear Master interface is very clean and easy to navigate. It is also highly customizable so you can really make it your own and have it cater to all your musical needs. If you are a guitarist, bass player or violinist, you can choose to play your answers using the on-screen instrument and tuning of your choice. Even if you’re left-handed there is an option for that. You can also add your own chords, scales, and even change the musical terms used in the program.
The software isn’t over animated, which is nice, and gives the sense that it’s geared toward the mastery of hearing skills. It keeps track of all your grades and statistics from the lessons you’ve completed, providing additional motivation, so the user or the classroom teacher has the ability to keep track of their student’s progress. You can also change the interfaces from piano to guitar and many other custom options.
The Ear Master program was specifically designed to teach you how to identify chords, intervals, chord progressions, scales, modes, etc by ear alone. There are also special exercises for rhythm and sight-reading. All of the lessons are interactive and get harder as you move along. This way you’ll be able to progress at your own speed. If you want, you can practice individual exercises, or utilize one of the Ear Master’s tutors, which are available through the service upon request.
There are two types of tutors included with the Ear Master software – the standard tutor with 440 lessons and a recently added jazz tutor with 211 lessons. When it comes to the actual exercises, you can tailor the lessons to include whatever chords, scales, or intervals you want to learn. Using just a few intervals at a time, the tutor guides you along at a slow but steady pace. Starting with ascending examples, the next lesson adds descending intervals before moving into the harmonic realm, all the while testing the student’s ability from every possible angle.
Musicians of all types, whether novice or advanced, stand to benefit from using this software. Many of the exercises are even suitable for teaching younger students essential musical concepts such as intervals and song rhythm. However, consumers should be aware that some knowledge of music theory is necessary to fully take advantage of this software, but as a musician it is expected that you would already have a basic knowledge in this area.
Ear Master Prices
The pricing models for Ear Master varies depending on how many features you are looking to have included in the product. You can receive the basic version of the product for $29.99. This version comes with the standard components and a limited number of scales compared to the professional version of the product, which costs $62. Although more expensive, the professional version gives you unlimited access to tons of scales and activities. Payment methods include credit card, PayPal, check, bank transfer or Western Union.
There is no refund policy advertised on EarMaster.com, since when you purchase the software it will come with a serial number that is unique to each product sold. To that point, it should be mentioned that Ear Master only works with the use of CDs and therefore the products must be shipped directly from the site to you.
The software was designed for both Windows and Mac operating systems. The license/serial you receive after purchase is platform independent and will work on either a Windows or Mac machine.
Criticism Of Ear Master
Ear Master has truly been a useful and revolutionary tool for musicians all across the globe. There really are not many criticisms of the service in general, with the biggest criticisms being that the service only comes in CD-ROM format and can only be uploaded onto one computer. This is annoying for many people who wish to utilize the service in varying locations.
In today’s age of mobility, it would make more sense of the service was web-based so that users could simply log-in and access it anywhere there is an Internet connection. At a minimum, the company should allow the software to be uploaded onto more than one computer at a time.
There are a number of ways for users to get in touch with the support staff that runs the Ear Master software. The best ways to get in touch include e-mail and phone, both of which are listed on the website. Ear Master also has a very active presence on their support forum. This is where users have the ability to get in touch with other users of the service as well.
From a quick glance on the support forum, it appears that virtually all of the customer’s support inquiries are responded and resolved in a quick and efficient manner. French and Spanish customers will be glad to hear that they also have support forums in their native language.
Ear Master is an incredible resource for musicians of all levels and genres and really should be the only choice for a musician who is looking to improve their musical tone and diction. It’s extremely easy to use and comes with a wide variety of options and hundreds of lessons on classical, jazz, and rock music. The program is designed to push the boundaries of the student’s ability to hear, recognize, and understand audio skills and music theory.
Although the software would be even better if it incorporated a more comprehensive in-program guide to musical theory, that’s the worst that can be said about the program. As such, it’s best to make sure you brush up on your music theory before you decide to sign on. Regardless, the Ear Master software delivers on its promises, and is wonderful tool for almost any musician. So follow your ear over to EarMaster.com and place your order today!