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#474716 - 08/18/19 01:18 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
Machetero Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Tampa, Florida, USA
I admire and envy folks that can play by ear.
I can't.
Can you learn to play by ear?
In the other side, can it be teach?
It has been frustrating for me not to be able to play by ear. I have try but with bad results.

Any advise will be very welcome !!!
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#474717 - 08/18/19 03:09 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 4794
Loc: NSW,Australia
I can’t play by ear, or it might be a case I’ve convinced myself I can’t. So much easier to just get out the sheet music.

Wish I could.




Edited by rikkisbears (08/18/19 03:10 PM)
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#474718 - 08/18/19 05:11 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: MacAllcock]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4077
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Fran, you are far from insulting anyone, you are talking reality. Years back my accordion play sat with his book in front of him reading every note. One night I waited until his head turned and took his book. The night went well, and he never used the book again. The secret of playing without is to know how to recover. We all make mistakes.

“Learn to play the piano in four weeks” a course, on TV, which allow you to play a song in a very short time. It was presented on TV.

They opened up with this statement: “If you can whistle the melody of a song you can play that song without reading the music; but you must learn the chord progression first”.

IMHO, John C.

PS, John, good post, it says so much about the subject.

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#474719 - 08/18/19 05:31 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Machetero]
Crossover Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 235
Originally Posted By Machetero
I admire and envy folks that can play by ear.
I can't.
Can you learn to play by ear?
In the other side, can it be teach?
It has been frustrating for me not to be able to play by ear. I have try but with bad results.

Any advise will be very welcome !!!


You could train to identify intervals by ear first, then distinguish major, minor, 7th chords etc. Playing by ear is largely composed of these abilities.

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#474720 - 08/18/19 06:16 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Crossover]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4077
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
“If you can whistle the melody of a song you can play that song without reading the music; but you must learn the chord progression first”.

There are many dufferent articles written on this subject -- I believe it is more a gift, learning would be difficult. ???????

John C.

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#474722 - 08/18/19 08:42 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: USA
I'm wondering if anyone actually read my post? It didn't pit formal training against ear training i.e which is better? It said:

"Which leads to a bigger question for me? I'm wondering now how many musicians DON'T have formal training? What do you think?"


I should have left the P.S. off...."P.S. being: I personally think that non-trained musicians play better as they don't deal intellectually with music structure and rules!
"

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#474731 - 08/19/19 01:16 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
Crossover Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 235
Those musicians who are excellent and haven‘t had music theory are not excellent because they haven‘t had theory but because they have had so much talent in the first place that they became excellent wirhout needing it.

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#474732 - 08/19/19 01:40 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
abacus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/21/05
Posts: 4864
Loc: English Riviera, UK
there are plenty of books out there (And on the internet and YouTube) that can teach you how to play by ear, (Although it can be difficult at first) however they all teach basic music theory first so that the you have a base understanding of music, (The circle of fifths is your friend here) so just do a quick Google search if you are interested.

Bill
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#474734 - 08/19/19 08:29 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
Bill Lewis Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 1907
Loc: Bluffton/Hilton Head SC USA
Todays young musicians by a large margin don't want to put in the formal study of music basics. Learn songs and learn them fast. That means coping them by ear or using some online transcription. I taught piano for awhile in a studio and learned this very well. My students wouldn't care about learning scales, chords, etc. just songs. The guitar teacher next door had it nailed. Every kid cold play "Smoke On the Water" in no time and go home and show their parents that they're now a musician so buy me that guitar and amp !
Two bands I played in had very little clue about the basic of music. Everything had to be in the original key because they had no idea how to transcribe, just knew what they copied off of YouTube. Another short lived band was organized by a Blues Guitarist who I was led to belive had quite a reputation. I tried teaching them a new song beyond three chords and when I tried to explain a chord rundown with an Abdim in it he froze. No clue.
I'm glad I had formal training but wish it was more balanced with popular music and ear training. Slave to the written score fo many years.
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#474736 - 08/19/19 08:35 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: abacus]
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6751
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
Was playing by ear in a dining room at an officers club at Ladd AFB in Fairbanks when I was 13.

But when the studio work began, it was quickly apparent that to do high end studio stuff you had to site read in real time. As the work evolved to film scores, there were lots of tempo changes, modulations, stops and starts...things done much easier from a chart.

Then, the natural step was theory, which I enjoyed immensely.

Today, most of my live playing is pretty much "off the cuff", unless I'm playing with the Philharmonic, where real time site reading is essential. In the studio, formal training is a must.

Short story. One night at a country club, the manager said that a new music professor was in the lobby asking for a job. He wanted to know if I would mind him playing. He brought out his sax and a music stand and asked for the charts. I had a duo; me on B-3 and piano and a drummer.

Guy couldn't play one note by ear. Today, he is the head of the University school of music and only plays with a big band, where, naturally everyone reads.

Have played with lots of master's level players(that's the terminal degree here) who sounded awful.

I guess having the ability to play live AND formal training is the best of both worlds.

Good topic, Mark!

Russ


Edited by captain Russ (08/19/19 08:37 AM)

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