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Topic Options
#1099942 - 01/06/09 11:31 PM Question about play by ear
Golden Wattle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Western Australia
I suppose I would describe the level I am at as late beginner to intermediate. I can read music and understand chords.
I can also pick out a melody with my R hand and match the appropriate easy chords. But I have to write the notes and chords down as I go along, otherwise tomorrow I would have to start all over again picking out the melody. ( And I probably would not remember the beginning when I reached the end!)
So my question is this-do you folks who play by ear have to write it down? How easy is it to play the same song a few days later if you don't write it down?
I would love to be able to progress with play by ear skills without writing it down so any advise would be welcome.
Thanks
Chris

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#1099943 - 01/07/09 12:30 AM Re: Question about play by ear
Mr Super-Hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4269
Loc: Arizona.
Once you have a certain melody in your head, play it over and over...and over again.

Play it to the point family members know what notes are coming next. This will provide you with a memorized basis from which to work from.

Then, once you have your tune down pat, start to play it differently every time. Not only will that encourage creative thinking but some of the nicest chords/melodies come spontaniously as opposed to pre-canned.

My moods can also play a factor in what comes out even on the same pieces I play every day. Just think outside the bun...it's fun!.

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#1099944 - 01/07/09 02:14 PM Re: Question about play by ear
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1915
Loc: Netherlands
Or... learn to understand the predictable structure of the chord progressions and the relationship between the chords and the melody. That way you can pick out songs much easier! \:\)
_________________________
No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!

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#1099945 - 01/07/09 03:03 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
 Quote:
Originally posted by mahlzeit:
Or... learn to understand the predictable structure of the chord progressions and the relationship between the chords and the melody. That way you can pick out songs much easier! \:\) [/b]
Perhaps, you would care to elaborate on what you mean, please....

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#1099946 - 01/07/09 03:11 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Astra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/08/06
Posts: 391
Loc: Slovenia
Ragtime Clown,

knowing that you were in PM for quite some time Im very surprised that you dont know what he means.
_________________________
ex - pian00b

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#1099947 - 01/07/09 03:44 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Astra, I know exactly what he means - I was trying to get him to say piano magic[/b] \:\) \:D ;\)

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#1099948 - 01/07/09 07:17 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Golden Wattle

Writing down stuff and memorizing is not the way to go

If you can pick melodies out (which I couldn't at all back in the day trust me) just keep picking songs out as much as you can (everyday or at least 2 or 3 times a week)

(If you can pick out melodies once you can do it again and again)

The more you do it the quicker you get until one day you can just speak with your fingers you'll just know where to go.


Hope that helps a little


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1099949 - 01/07/09 07:41 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Golden Wattle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Western Australia
Thanks Lee,thats a great help. I watched your video on You tube, if I can play like that one day I will be more than happy!
Are you planning on doing any more tutorials like Moon River?
And how long would you say it took you to get to the point where your fingers just know where to go?
Did you have any help in the form of tuition with the method you describe?
Chris

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#1099950 - 01/07/09 11:57 PM Re: Question about play by ear
blues flat 7 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 90
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Golden Wattle:
Thanks Lee,thats a great help. I watched your video on You tube, if I can play like that one day I will be more than happy!
Are you planning on doing any more tutorials like Moon River?
And how long would you say it took you to get to the point where your fingers just know where to go?
Did you have any help in the form of tuition with the method you describe?
Chris [/b]
Chris, I don't know if you have seen Lee's last 2 videos or not, but they are very good, and I will post the link to them here until Lee gets back to answer your questions.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/32/7189/4.html#000087

Dale

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#1099951 - 01/08/09 01:59 AM Re: Question about play by ear
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland
Chris, all joking aside can I add to the posts above. I have good memory and strong ear and for months now have been taking lessons. It appears that I also can read music but when I sit down at the piano, I get so much pleasure just using all the technique and skill I have to play all those songs I love. It is so much harder to play strictly from printed music because the discipline to do this takes years, and as I already have stated - I have a stronger 'ear' for music.

During my last piano lesson, which was my end of year review, my teacher and I agree to go ahead with 12 more lessons and work through eight more new pieces. I have already completed six pieces in my first term.

However, at the end of this term, I will be thinking about taking all that I have learned from lessons and applying it myself. He has agreed with me that there is so much I can learn and then I must apply it.

Lee, is a fascinating player and has done some superb videos on youTube and it would be a good move to have a look at his playing and pick up the technique and tips he offers.

I have added a few links below that I find very useful

http://uk.youtube.com/user/pianojohn113

http://uk.youtube.com/user/baypianist

http://uk.youtube.com/profile?user=drumfisk&view=videos


Have Fun

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#1099952 - 01/08/09 03:12 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Deji Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 10
Loc: Estonia
I can barely play the piano, but have played guitar for some years now:

Playing by ear is something you just have to work on. I find that the most relevant and most fun way to work at it is to leave songs playing from your computer or audio system or whatever and just play along with them. For practice purposes, I suggest you just try to play the chords and vocal melody along with the recording (improvising also works, but not as well). It took me a while to get the hang of it, but now it takes me 5-15 seconds to find the correct key and with some smaller errors, I can play along the melody (I do have to have heard the song before some times \:\) ) straight off the bat.

Also, solfege practice is useful for two reasons:
a) It gives you a system of translating what you hear directly into notes
b) It hones your sense of relative pitch, ingraining the sound of different intervals at a subconscious level

It takes quite a bit of work and practice, but in the end, is easily attainable for anyone. If you can sing or hum it, you can play it.

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#1099953 - 01/08/09 06:28 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Hi Chris \:\)


 Quote:
Are you planning on doing any more tutorials like Moon River?
I think my strong point is showing/teaching how to have fun with improvising and I enjoy it more...there is more to show and I am enjoying figuring out new things (its stretching me which is good for me)...erm...maybe but, there doesn't seem to be a massive amount of interest in fact, I made a video for one member who asked and they never even commented or replied to say whether it was good or bad so that kind of thing has slightly dampened my enthusiasm to be honest
 Quote:

And how long would you say it took you to get to the point where your fingers just know where to go?
Ragtime is very fortunate that his strength is his ear (mine isn't that good to be honest - in fact it still frustrates me the amount of songs that I can't work out, I have good days and bad somedays I can just play whatever comes into my head other days I can't!!)

Especially when I play on that piano in the hotel bar it gets crazy with requests "can you play Elton? Billy Joel? Clocks? Rock and Roll? Elvis? Robbie Williams/ Angels? show tunes? a bit of jazz? Lionel Ritchie? Neil Diamond? John Denver? Roxanne? on and on especially when I've got the place absolutely jumpin'!! and my mind and abilities seem to leave me and I just can't figure out any of them that I don't know

I had such a terrible ear to start with its come a long way but, still further to go RC's strength is his ear mine I guess is my tenacity and single minded determination to play by ear when I'm happy I can do it as good as I can I'm going to learn to read and take jazz piano lessons too (find myself a gorgeous millionairess and ride off into the sunset )

 Quote:

Did you have any help in the form of tuition with the method you describe?
I haven't had any other lessons other than what I learned at Pianomagic and the other 950 thousand piano videos that I own


Glad you liked the vids Dale \:\)


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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#1099954 - 01/09/09 04:00 AM Re: Question about play by ear
Golden Wattle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/01/09
Posts: 12
Loc: Western Australia
Thanks every one for your replies, I have a lot of ideas now to work on.

Seaside Lee-your videos are great. I particularly liked Video for Rosanna and Taking our noodling into a song as a bridge.
Thanks again
Chris

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#1099955 - 01/09/09 06:49 PM Re: Question about play by ear
Seaside_Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Blackpool, UK
Thanks Chris \:D

Interesting you should mention "Taking our..." as that hasn't received a comment or a single star?

This is where not getting much feedback doesn't help me to decide on what to do next if anything at all? so, that kind of comment is very helpful thanks again.


Lee \:\)
_________________________
Twitter: @Seaside_Lee

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