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#474738 - 08/19/19 08:37 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
Crossover Offline
Member

Registered: 11/19/17
Posts: 225
In my case it has been split from childhood on. I had many years of classical piano lessons so reading sheet music was required. But I always had more fun playing any pop or swing song I like and have always played such songs by ear. I can play hours by ear.

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#474739 - 08/19/19 09:20 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Mark79100]
Uncle Dave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/01/99
Posts: 11094
Loc: Philadelphia Pa, USA
The BEST lesson I ever got was from a family member's boyfriend, who was a music major when I met him in the 70s. He told me to memorize the chords, not the melody. If you know the chords, and you train your ear to listen ... you can go much further. The melody is easier to "hear" once you know the chords. Ask any horn player, and they will tell you the same.

Second best piece of advice I got was to sit in with as many players as possible ... preferably better musicians than myself. Learn from them.
Served me well, all these years.
_________________________
Everyone, and everything I listen to is my teacher. Every instrument, every voice, every sound in nature ... they are all my private tutor ... 24/7 for free.

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#474761 - 08/19/19 06:33 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Crossover]
Machetero Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Tampa, Florida, USA
Originally Posted By Crossover
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.


Thanks for all the members that responded. Yes I think that chords + intervals are the critical parts.
I have find out these nice lessons:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOxo6V7HTSc


Edited by Machetero (08/19/19 06:34 PM)
_________________________
Machetero

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#474762 - 08/19/19 06:39 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Machetero]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4028
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Which leads to a bigger question for me? I'm wondering now how many musicians DON'T have formal training? What do you think? P.S. I personally think that non-trained musicians play better as they don't deal intellectually with music structure and rules!
Mark


Mark, my thoughts for the question you are asking:
Which is better, a non-trained musician or a trained musician? (I think I got that right) Who does the better job?

A trained musician is better equipped; by that I mean that his mind and hands have been trained to do a job. Let’s use the word chops to express his ability. The non-trained musician relies on what he is feeling. Both musicians can do a good job.

The musician who can do a better job is the one who is trained, and plays by what he is feeling. My choice would be play what I am feeling, but I need the chops to do it. So, the question is down to: What is the best way for me? Where are my talents?
Simplicity: The music I enjoy playing the most is where my talent lies.

IMHO, John C.

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#474763 - 08/19/19 08:33 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: Uncle Dave]
Fran Carango Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 8953
Loc: Levittown, Pa, USA
Originally Posted By Uncle Dave
The BEST lesson I ever got was from a family member's boyfriend, who was a music major when I met him in the 70s. He told me to memorize the chords, not the melody. If you know the chords, and you train your ear to listen ... you can go much further. The melody is easier to "hear" once you know the chords. Ask any horn player, and they will tell you the same.

Second best piece of advice I got was to sit in with as many players as possible ... preferably better musicians than myself. Learn from them.
Served me well, all these years.



I remember we use to figure the basic bass first, then worked out the chord structure, when we were learning a new song.
_________________________
www.francarango.com



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#474764 - 08/19/19 09:08 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear (reworded) [Re: Mark79100]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: USA

re-worded question

"I'm wondering now how many musicians DON'T have formal training (out there, NOT in here)? What do you think?"

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#474765 - 08/19/19 09:12 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear (reworded) [Re: Mark79100]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: USA
Nice letter, Bill....a slice of real life, plain and simple. Some TV producer should run with what you wrote and make it into a "reality" show. 'Cause that's what it is......REALITY!

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#474766 - 08/19/19 09:28 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear [Re: abacus]
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By abacus
there are plenty of books out there (And on the internet and YouTube) that can teach you how to play


I'm not ashamed to say I'm presently working out of a book. A jazz tutorial that teaches chord voicings and chord structure if you want to play jazz. I absolutely love the sound of these chords and the challenge in putting them together.

The Complete Jazz Keyboard Method

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#474767 - 08/19/19 11:10 PM Re: formal training vs play it by ear (reworded) [Re: Mark79100]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4028
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
A large majority of musicians out there do not have formal training.
Most of today’s music does not require formal training.

John C.

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#474774 - 08/20/19 09:18 AM Re: formal training vs play it by ear (reworded) [Re: bruno123]
captain Russ Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 6733
Loc: Lexington, Ky, USA
No formal training, but sat with, listened to and learned from people like Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Ella, Louie Belsom...even my friends J.D. Crowe and Rory Hoffman.

To me, that was invaluable.

Russ

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