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I am in a bit of an odd situation: I need to sing for my church choir but I don't have regular access to a place where I can sing out loud without bothering others (it's a long story). However, I have a very imperfect knowledge of the musical scale and I would like to train my ear to be able to recognize the difference between a minor and major third, for example.

Is there an audiobook or some other method to train my ear only by listening to something?

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    I figure that you are in a situation akin to being cooped up in a hospital -- you have to remain inside, and there are no places available to you where there aren't noise restrictions. Is that the right picture of the kinds of constraints you are dealing with? – Dave Nov 15 '17 at 19:30
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    The car is a great place to practise - a bit embarrassing at traffic lights, but out on the open road it's great :) – Tetsujin Nov 16 '17 at 9:08
  • @Dave Basically, yes, that's a good analogy to my situation. – daveslab Nov 16 '17 at 16:01
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Yes, there is a free website with a series of ear training exercises. You can practice them exactly in the way you described in your message. The address is www.tonedear.com

I have been using it for months, cycling through the various exercises on a daily basis and I have felt a marked improvement in my ability to transcribe music by ear.

Edit: SUGGESTION: I found that studying music theory went very well with ear training. Music theory can be studied quietly in a setting such as the one you describe. So I suggest getting a good tutorial book on the topic, a pencil and a notepad, and start studying it, if it's not done already.

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If you have a smartphone (and headphones), there are several ear training apps available, like "Perfect Ear", which offer exercises like telling apart different intervals.

For those times that you do have an opportunity to practice singing, apps like "Vocal Pitch Monitor" can help you verify that you're singing in tune.

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You can train your ear and you don't need any books. Just go through your sheets and imagine the notes, go through the church song book, try mentally to sing the soprano, alto, tenor and the bass voices.

And go to the responsibilities of your church and ask for the key to practice there: in the hall or in any other room. That's what for churches have been built!

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    "that's what for churches have been built" ...worship/religion? I feel like that's somewhat important to most churches... – user45266 Feb 11 at 22:07

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