how does one determine which note is the root of the chord you hear? i can sing sometimes and get it right, and i think i have a small idea of how it sounds, but most of the times i get it wrong. how do you do to locate it?
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well, from the bits that i know, i gather that there can always be more than one root for any chord, so it depends greatly on the progression.  

bottom 2 examples apply when you hear just 1 chord:
if you already know a chord is am7, and you play egbc, and have trouble singing the a, i think that's just a matter of learning the sound and colour of the am7 chord, or that voicing/inversion in particular if you want to be specific.

if you don't know what chord it is, and hear egbc, then it could be an a if the chord were am7, could also be an inverted cmaj7, and so on. (i'm sure specialists can come up with more possibilities)

if the chord was presented in a progression:  
then it's probably easier to get the root/bass line from the progression.  then it becomes an exercise of going over the ii-v-i and listening to typical bass lines.  i think this makes it easier to find the root if the voicing is very far from the root position.

imho, i think this is the negative result of so many piano books jumping straight into rootless voicings, or any voicing for that matter, without going over bass and roots since they just assume the bass player will cover it.  i guess it'll be covered more if you get into walking basslines on the left hand, or stride.  but those aren't things you just hop into light heartedly, ya know...
btw, i can do lots of bass because i come from heavy pop music/heavily produced music background.  so i'm very used to thinking multitrack, multi instrument.  for the record, i can't play walking bass on left hand, or play stride.  so don't take it as me speaking from experience.  actually, i think i'll be going through a bit of walking bass later this year.
yeah, i'm gonna start singing the root whenever i practice rootless voicings from here on. but what i really meant with my question was how do you sing the root of a simple triad chord? i mean, how do you know what the root sounds like? do you know it by associating it with a starting tone of a song or what? or do you just instantly know whenever you hear a chord? i want to hear the root no matter what inversion the chord is in and no matter what voices have been doubled, but for now i'm just focusing on the major and minor triads. it's simple eartraining, but i've never done this before so how would i know?
thnx for clarifying.  in that case, i think it's about memorizing or familiarizing yourself with that specific chord + root.  for me, all variations of a specific chord (6, maj7, 7, etc) are all associated to c being root, and the link isn't affected by inversions.  a good way to become familiar with root+chord is to play root with left hand, and chord in right.  many books suggest against this, but i think once you're already learned the chord in your left hand, it's not a problem.  i think they may be worrying about you actually learning the chord that way (root on lh and chord on right)..  not sure.

of course, i assume once you figure out the root, then the question of whether you'd be able to sing it out of the blue would be an ear training question.

again, if it's just one chord out of no where you're talking about, there are many possible roots.  so, there's no way of telling whether you got it right or wrong if you don't know what chord it is beforehand.  c+ceg makes it a c, a+ceg makes it a am7, and so on.  if it's about "feeling" right or wrong, chances are, you will feel both of them as "right".  and theoretically, if you're looking for any root, they're both right.
yeah this is all ear training, i'm doing this course by david lucas burge on relative pith, and now i'm supposed to say what tone is the home base of the chord and then name all the degrees in order. i know that the chords he plays are major triads (and minor in another test), and then i have to sing home base. but how do i do that? should i sing one of the notes i hear and then if i hear the chord is becoming a major chord out of this, i'm right? there's got to be an easier way!
i think you just have to memorize the sound.  seems david burge courses often require you to just be able to do the task at hand. (if not figure it out on your own!) not very educational from my perspective i'm afraid.  i mean, if you could do it, why would you be studying it in the first place?  not to say his method doesn't work, it just leaves much to be desired, like any other ear training in a box product.

by memorizing the sound, i mean you just need to learn the root, 3,5,7,9,11 and so on for all chords.  learn the individual notes as relative to the root.  learn the intervals, and learn how they sound in harmony.  btw, does he explain any of this stuff?  i've only heard a part of his perfect pitch class, and those didn't help much since they were too vague.  almost to a point of sounding like a sermon.
yeah, well he explains the theory and so on and points out how important everything is and that finding home base is crucial, but he doesn't actually explain how to find home base. i guess all his exercises are all about listen til' you get it. i would need a teacher to tell me all this stuff, but relative pitch classes here in school is just testing you, they play a melody then you're supposed to write it down. i guess they just assume you've already got all theory behind ear training under your belt. i should've studied music as a kid, maybe i would know all these things by now then.
don't worry about it..  it shouldn't be too hard to get, actually i'm doing software based ear training as we speak.  not sure if this stuff works yet, but so far i get it and understand it.  not as good as a teacher i'm sure, but these softwares have a load of examples and drills so it's good practice.

auralia from sibelius seems to good for jazz since their chord ear training covers jazz chords as well as standard ones.  i'm using practica musica, which is auralia's competitor, because it runs on both osx and pc.  auralia runs on both too, but mac is a version behind and you have to buy separate licenses.  also, auralia (ear training) is to be used with musition (theory) where as practica musica covers both.  anyway, just so you know there are great software out there that help you learn this stuff.

i've forgotten a lot of the theory that i learned in my clarinet lessons as a kid (key signatures, etc) so i'm reviewing and relearning a lot.  i kind of wished i retained this stuff.  but thanks to cubase and virtual instruments, what was unused, got lost. hehe.
try using site has stuff specifically designed for this.........
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