I was playing around the other night and thought I’d share this exercise.
Holding your horn, sing a random pitch. Make sure it’s in your ear. Now, use that as the first note for a song you know well enough to play by ear. First, how quickly on your horn do you pick up on the sung pitch? Second, how easy is playing the tune musically–not start and stop haltingly. Sing another pitch and do the same. Choose a harder tune and sing a first pitch. It’s not to hard to find a song that becomes very difficult–at least for me. Try doing this with the theme from the Simpsons TV show. (I used this song for an ear training exercise in Jazz Ear Savvy.)