About Drone Tone Tool

Welcome to dronetonetool.com, a service created by professional musicians and music educators providing high quality reference pitches with the rich overtones of real cellos. We encourage musicians of all abilities to experience the benefits of reference tone practice!

Purpose and benefit of reference/drone tones:

A reference (or drone) tone provides a center of harmonic stability. Our ears are able to discern the way that multiple pitches interact while strengthening our internal sense of pitch. By playing with a movable pitch (instrument or voice) relative to a fixed pitch (drone tone) we can start to perceive truly consonant perfect intervals, and 'shades' or 'colors' within Major/Minor intervals. This heightened awareness of relative pitch leads to artistry through intonation.

Why real cello drones?

There are many electronic tone generators, and while they are better than nothing, they lack complexity of overtones and can be painful to listen to. Our cello drones are pleasing to the ear, rich in overtones and contain layered octaves to facilitate practice in all registers.

How to practice with a reference tone:

Scales/Arpeggios: Pick a drone in the key of the scale you wish to practice. Make sure the drone is at a volume that it can still be heard over the sound of your instrument/voice. Practice scales slowly, experiment with the pitch 'boundaries' of each note (where is it too sharp or flat? What is the range within which major/minor intervals sound good?). Try to perceive the sound of the interval, not just your instrument or the drone. Scales in 3rds/6ths and Octaves are also valuable.

Passage work/Improvisation: Identify the root of the passage's prevailing harmony and set drone accordingly. Start slowly with a focus on perceiving intervals. As you increase the speed of the passage, pay attention to how the tempo effects interval perception (some people exaggerate major/minor intervals for faster passages).

Send us feedback and suggestions, we look forward to hearing what you think.


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