Let me say at the outset that this is an excellent course. When I think of the wide range of possible "students", it has to be recognised that Gregg Fine has done an excellent job. It's also exceptional value if bought at the library members discount, which I intend to do. Because this is not a "one-off" course. The exercises are invaluable and worthy of returning to repeatedly as months and years pass.
But it may not be a course for all beginners. There is a clear indication of this in the "technical" language Gregg uses, that also expresses an expectation that you will have some comprehesion of the tempered keyboard, and of degrees and intervals of the chromatic and popular diatonic scales, and in some sections, the construction of triads and 7th chords. That is, if you want to get the most out of it. But if you are a beginner and you choose to ignore the more technical aspects and just embrace learning the different "timbres", you should find it enlightening, and worth your time as it should enrich your appreciation of modes and scales. You could return to it later when you have a little more technical understanding.
So could it be improved? Whilst it may be part of a wider curriculum programme, it is offered as a stand-alone course and for that reason alone it would benefit from placing it in some context, not just in a text introduction but in some kind of initial discovery activity, to get the student on the right "wavelength" and to "demystify" maybe even "revise" some of notions embraced by the course.
Following that idea of "discovery" activity I think it would also have benefited from a "listening list" of pieces used to illustrate the various scales and modes - just references of recorded pieces to which to listen, and why. Together with a suggestion for continued self-study listening - aided by a bit of systematic advice on how to choose pieces for listening and systematically reviewing the advice already given for determining the differences between different scales and modes.
All of that said, if you understand language like "augmented" & "diminished", and know the difference between a minor and major third then I recommend this course without reservation. I really enjoyed it, and have adopted a number of new practice routines based on Gregg's advice. I've always sung a song melody as a means of getting comfortable with a piece - before I do anything else. Now I sing in moveable solfedge and use a Korg VPT-1 vocal pitch trainer to "tune-up" my ear. And into my daily routine I've added a few minutes of practice firming up my "feeling" for different intervals using different instruments; piano, guitar, feadóg.
I'm 73 this year, and have been playing a wind instrument since I was 8, performing since I was 10, and playing guitar since I was 12. I'm not a professional but consider myself a competent amateur. Even so I found Gregg could teach me a thing or two. I'm now the proud owner of a DAW and desk strewn with MIDI peripherals and Ableton Live 11 Standard... I guess I'll be following Gregg's course on that next. I've a few memories, ideas and tunes in my head I want to express and now have a useful understanding of the palette of timbres available to me from a range of scales and modes.
Thanks Gregg... great course.
I really enjoyed doing this course. In fact, I've been going through all of Gregg's series on music theory. Even though much of it is already familiar, it's fantastic review - and there are some pretty basic things that somehow had passed me by before.
Gregg's style is extremely engaging and he keeps things, on the whole, at an easy-to-get level. I think it must be difficult to make music theory fun, but Gregg has pulled it off, in my opinion.
Regarding this course in particular, I think if you don't already have a solid familiarity with modes you might find some of this a bit of a slog. I already know the (major) modes well so those exercises were quite do-able but I completely get some of the complaints that the jump in difficulty level is too steep. There could have been more elaboration / examples on what distinguishes the modes.
The stuff on melodic minor modes was really fantastic. I wasn't familiar with Dorian b2 or Locrian #2, for example, and I found the way they were introduced really efficient. (Again though, this is arguably because I already have an understanding of modes more generally).
Thanks very much, Gregg. These courses have clearly been put together with a genuine love of the topic, and that makes them all the more enjoyable to participate in. Can't wait to get started on the Jazz Theory ones :-)
There's no explanation on how best to practice and utilize these exercises. It starts out fairly basic and easy enough to follow, but then accelerates very quickly and it's impossible to keep up unless one's ear is already moderately developed.
As I was going through the art of ear training, I was finding this transition to be smooth and easy. Furthermore, towards the end of the sectional videos I feel more confident in my ability for having a keen ear for how ear training is performed and done.
Surprisingly enjoyable course for me. This is the best way to learn modes and scales! I have been taught those several times in my life but they were too complex so it never really stuck with me. This does!
I love this course, I have good pair of speakers that help a lot to learn the recognition.of the notes.
Ear training via MPV, beat that for the value. The variety of courses available is vast, I'm hook on MPV, a fan I am.
Good coverage nicely executed. Helped me brush on a few topics i had forgotten. Nice
This course helped me to hear the tonal quality of several scales. Some of them are harder to find for me so i'll need to redo some of the tutorial, but in general, it is now easier for me. The modes sections was a bit fast for me.
Excellent course! I've been taking piano and theory lessons recently and this sped up my learning curve immensely. Looking forward to mastering some of the principles presented and moving on to the next course. The instructor was excellent. Thanks AskVideo.Com and MacProVideo.com!