I had a cool idea. I spend a small chunk of every day commuting in my car or walking to the trolley station, when I enjoy listening to music but can't read a book or get any work done. What if I could use that time for ear training?

Most of the focused ear training I've done has been at a computer, clicking which chord I thought I heard, transcribing melodic dictation. I've always somehow needed my hands, but certain exercises could be done hands-free. All I need is a voice to tell me what I heard, confirming what I guessed in my head.

So I made mp3s of 5 octaves of MIDI piano notes, each only 2 seconds long with my voice stating the note name after it sounds. I threw them all on my iPod, and I make playlists out of small subsets of notes and listen on shuffle. I started yesterday with one octave of a C major scale. I hear a note and try to say its name in my head before my voice says it on the recording. This ought to help me with recognizing relative pitch intervals, converting those intervals to real note names, and possibly with absolute pitch. (Each type of interval is identified by its absolute notes. While F to A and C to E are both major thirds, they are treated distinctly in this exercise.)

Download the mp3s here.

The zip file linked above is a mere 3MB. If you end up using it, let me know what you think. Leave a comment with your playlist ideas. So far I've just been using different major scales, up to two octaves at a time. That's too easy, so I'll add a few chromatic notes. I keep the challenge small, because I won't improve if it's too daunting (i.e. 5-octave chromatic scale).