Time required to find a simple, English-explanation-free video about Mandarin tones: five minutes.
Times required to learn how to say the four (five) tones of the language accurately from memory: four minutes.
It’s not like Cantonese and Mandarin tones are especially similar, but I guess my mind’s more receptive to the idea of tones now and so it was pretty simple to crack them.
In other news: sod diagrams that try to “explain” tones visually. They aren’t accurate and they suck. I went around with the wrong idea that Cantonese tone four didn’t go lower than tone six for about a year, and was in danger of similarly thinking that Mandarin tone four went no higher than tone one until actually listening to a native speaker.
Play it by ear, dude. You just gotta trust your instincts.
P.S. I guess I should note that although this is the first time I’ve learnt how to say Mandarin tones properly, I’ve had a non-trival amount of exposure to the language (especially songs). I’ve just never made any effort to learn the tones themselves until now.