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#1304779 - 11/13/09 12:47 PM Play By Ear?
Piano Nicola Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 10
I've just recently started teaching myself piano, so I can't play by ear yet. Therefore I was hoping someone who can play by ear, can tell me what notes this guy is playing? Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ImgCKvOXCU

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1304818 - 11/13/09 01:48 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Piano Nicola]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
What you're trying to do essentially
is to transcribe his playing. However,
you're a novice at piano, and although
this is in theory possible to do, you
have no trained ear, and so this
is going to be difficult if not
impossible for you at this point.
Moreover, even if you were able
to transcribe his playing after
much trial on error effort, there
would be no real context, as you
still will not have a trained ear, and
all you will have accomplished
is transcribe one particular song.

That is, you're doing it backwards,
trying to transcribe, which takes
a trained ear, when you don't have
a trained ear. You need to train
your ear first, and then things
like transcribing, playing by
ear, arranging, composing, playing
from lead shts./fake books, music
theory, sight-reading, memorizing,
etc. will have context and meaning.
All of these things require a trained
ear first of all.

The best way to train the ear in my
view is to start improvising, that is,
simply dig in with both
hands and play purely
by ear with no consideration of
things like music theory. This
the way an illiterate or uneducated
person would play, and that's exactly
how you want to do it. You don't need any
theory to play by ear like this. When
you play by ear, all of your previous
music experience will influence what
you produce on the piano. Initially,
it might seem awful-sounding, like
a child pounding mindlessly on the
piano, but like anything on the
piano, improvising takes practice,
maybe many years of practice. Gradually,
you'll be able to home in on the
kind of playing you want, as your
ear gets trained like this.

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#1305126 - 11/13/09 08:51 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Gyro]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Just "dig in"...deja vu... Gyro do you have amnesia or are you just a regurgitating record player? You've got like 10 of your best "posts" stored for a quick copy and paste... hahahaha too funny man.

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#1305177 - 11/13/09 10:49 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Wizard of Oz]
Pianos_N_Cheezecake Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 150
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
BAHA! No kidding, Wizard.

Trial and error, Nicola. Your ear will get there. Take it a couple notes at a time! Good luck!

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#1305200 - 11/13/09 11:26 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Pianos_N_Cheezecake]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Yea, keep on trying, and you will get better at it over time. BTW you can get programs like amazing slow downer or transcribe!.. and slow down the music..those things can help quite a bit with transcriptions. I am transcribing chick's solo on matrix and I don't think I'd be able to do it without these programs

whatever you do, don't do what GYRO do, because you will never be able to transcribe better using his method. Just ask him what he transcribed so far.

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#1305205 - 11/13/09 11:48 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: etcetra]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
I was a totally self taught piano/organ player when I got interested in learning how to play when I was about 15. I heard the famous hit sung by Ben E King on the radio, "Stand By Me." A very basic pop tune. The chord progression is I VI IV V. I learned it by ear. We had a piano in the basement and my father asked me if that was me playing the tune. I told him I played along with the record. He couldn't understand how I could do that by ear without traditional piano lessons or able to read piano music. He was impressed and I talked him into getting me a Farfisa organ and and amplifier. I found an experienced pro organ player in a great cover band in my hometown and he started teaching me songs and music theory. In a few weeks, I was in my first rock band and in about a month getting paid gigs knowing about 12 tunes. After that I got into R&B bands and played for many high school dances and frat parties all by ear. Been at it ever since and can play "Stand By Me in all 12 keys now, wow!! I learned how to read music which I recommend, a very valuable skill to have, comes in handy.

To play by ear, start listening to easier tunes on CD's, get transcribing software as etcetra recommended. Then try to learn one bar of music then move on to the next one until you can play along with the record. The more you do it, the better ear you will develop. Do it for a solid month daily and you will advance very rapidly. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

katt


Edited by nitekatt2008z (11/13/09 11:50 PM)

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#1305210 - 11/13/09 11:59 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: etcetra]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Yea, keep on trying, and you will get better at it over time. BTW you can get programs like amazing slow downer or transcribe!.. and slow down the music..those things can help quite a bit with transcriptions. I am transcribing chick's solo on matrix and I don't think I'd be able to do it without these programs

whatever you do, don't do what GYRO do, because you will never be able to transcribe better using his method. Just ask him what he transcribed so far.


Etcetra, just found my old copy of the entire Chick Corea "Matrix" piano solo transcribed by Dan Haerly that was published in Downbeat Magazine back in the 70's. I am going through it bar by bar to help me get some of Chick's pentatonic patterns down. Unfortunately, there are no fingerings and some of the sequences are very awkward to play as smoothly as he does. Good luck with that one, it's hard, let me tell ya.

katt

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#1305264 - 11/14/09 04:25 AM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
double posted.


Edited by etcetra (11/14/09 05:18 AM)

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#1305266 - 11/14/09 04:31 AM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
katt,

yea, lately I've been learning solos without writing any of them down on the paper. The Matrix solo is tricky but it's still doable for me. I feel like I learn so much more that way.. because you really have to have them in your hands. If I write it down, I have the tendency to cheat and rely on what's written.

It takes longer to learn this way but I'd recommend doing it that way than writing it on paper and learning it.

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#1305289 - 11/14/09 06:35 AM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: etcetra]
ChicksfromCorea Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/21/09
Posts: 19
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: etcetra
katt,

yea, lately I've been learning solos without writing any of them down on the paper. The Matrix solo is tricky but it's still doable for me. I feel like I learn so much more that way.. because you really have to have them in your hands. If I write it down, I have the tendency to cheat and rely on what's written.

It takes longer to learn this way but I'd recommend doing it that way than writing it on paper and learning it.


Matrix along with the other tracks on " Now he sings, Now he sobs" are great for transcribing. I have transcribed both his solo´s from Matrix and Steps. You can really dig into his pentatonic ideas and I think his phrasing is really important.
Although I usually write solo´s down on paper I also like to transcribe without necessarily writing everything down. This can really train your musical memory.

For instance I recently transcribed this piano solo purely by ear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4-LlKefbBY&feature=related. Since my computer was in another room I worked through it by trying to sing all the phrases and then copying it to the keyboard afterwords. I usually don´t do this since I rely on my Mp3 player, but it really did help train my musical memory and accuracy of my singing. Of course you can´t do this with all piano solo´s, but for some it can really help you develop.

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#1305358 - 11/14/09 11:15 AM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: ChicksfromCorea]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
This thing, transcribing, is something
I am just never going to do, under
any circumstances. Maybe it can
be useful to some people, but to
me, this is like trying to carve
a wheel out of stone in order to
eventually fashion a crude cart
for tranportation, when you can
just get in an automobile and drive
to where you want to go. Why bother
with that when you can just dig
in any play by ear and get the
same results?

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#1305373 - 11/14/09 11:52 AM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Gyro]
beeboss Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1193
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Gyro
Why bother
with that when you can just dig
in any play by ear and get the
same results?


The thing is that you will not get the same results, it's as simple as that. Almost all jazz musicians say they have at some point transcribed lots of stuff, at least to the point where there ears are developed enough to do it quite easily. Maybe you are there already, at the point where you can just listen to a piece of jazz and work out the sequence that is being played and the various chord extensions and substitutions and melodic devices being used, the kind of stuff that all jazz musicians know, the stuff you have to know if you want to play good jazz. If you are there already then you will probably not gain too much from transcribing as you can just hear it as it's going on. If however your ears are not developed to this extent then you are really missing out big time by not working out the kind of thing that the great players play, by analysing in extreme detail exactly what is going on in the music. How can you hope to get the same results that the great players have if you deliberately turn your back on the route that they took to get there?

If all you want to do is make some noise for fun then it doesn't really make any difference if you study or not. If you actually want to learn and understand and play jazz that involves just a bit more work.

To quote Bill Evans..
“I believe in things that are developed through hard work. I always like people who have developed long and hard, especially through introspection and a lot of dedication. I think what they arrive at is usually a much deeper and more beautiful thing than the person who seems to have that ability and fluidity from the beginning. I say this because it’s a good message to give to young talents who feel as I used to.”
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/davebeeboss

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#1305383 - 11/14/09 12:14 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: beeboss]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I play my own brand of jazz. If you
don't think it's real jazz or good
jazz, that is of absolute zero concern
to me.

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#1305387 - 11/14/09 12:22 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Gyro]
Swingin' Barb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 889
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I play my own brand of jazz. If you
don't think it's real jazz or good
jazz, that is of absolute zero concern
to me.

Gyro, we have been through this many times - on this forum and on ABF. We are not condemning you for playing your "own brand" of jazz. For those of us who do want to sound like the master's, we are confident that transcribing is the way to go.
_________________________
A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com

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#1305392 - 11/14/09 12:34 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Gyro]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I play my own brand of jazz. If you
don't think it's real jazz or good
jazz, that is of absolute zero concern
to me.




Gyro, I understand, but many of us who study and play jazz piano are always working to advance our improvisational skills and transcribing is just one of many ways to achieve the same goal. What works for one doesn't work for another.

I get paid to play so I have to learn various tunes and blues, R&B, jazz standards, so I have to take songs off the record sometimes to get close to the arrangement. The other band members have to do their transcriptions as well. Playing for yourself is one thing, playing for pay is another and unless some band leader hands you written charts you have no options other than transcribing. And if you can't read music then what? I learned to play by ear first, then learned to read music at Berklee.

Anyway, all the great jazz musicians that inspired me all spent a lot of time transcribing and each one has an individual, unique sound. It worked for them and it works for me. But you are free to choose what works for you. There is no right or wrong way to achieve our goals to becoming better jazz pianists.

katt

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#1305396 - 11/14/09 12:43 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Swingin' Barb]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
Gyro,

Who else, besides yourself, would actually consider what you do as "jazz"? Just because it's improvised it doesn't make it jazz.

And what makes you think you are qualified to teach other people about jazz, (or 'your brand' of jazz) when most people here are actually interested in learning 'real' jazz?? Do you realize that 99% of the time your advice is irrelevant and/or misplaced?

beeboss,

I totally agree.. I've been transcribing for 10+ yrs and there are so much stuff that doesn't come easily to me. I wish I am at a point where I can listen to Chick's Matrix solo and work it out instantaneously, but it takes hours of works to figure stuff out and putting them into my hands.

I just don't see an end to it, its a lifelong process of development. Anyone can just play junk and feel good about themselves on their instrument, but it's the learning process that makes the playing rewarding.

ChicksFromCorea&katt

I usually don't write it down unless I am learning something that's too difficult to learn purely by ear.

What I am noticing about Chick's solo on Matrix is 1) his non-legato touch, and 2) all the other cool stuff he does besides the pentatonic stuff. He throws in a lot of ideas based on the diminished scale..and a lot of chromaticism too, I guess it's the combination of everything that makes his playing hip.

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#1305416 - 11/14/09 01:23 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: etcetra]
nitekatt2008z Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/08
Posts: 552
Originally Posted By: etcetra
Gyro,

Who else, besides yourself, would actually consider what you do as "jazz"? Just because it's improvised it doesn't make it jazz.

And what makes you think you are qualified to teach other people about jazz, (or 'your brand' of jazz) when most people here are actually interested in learning 'real' jazz?? Do you realize that 99% of the time your advice is irrelevant and/or misplaced?

beeboss,

I totally agree.. I've been transcribing for 10+ yrs and there are so much stuff that doesn't come easily to me. I wish I am at a point where I can listen to Chick's Matrix solo and work it out instantaneously, but it takes hours of works to figure stuff out and putting them into my hands.

I just don't see an end to it, its a lifelong process of development. Anyone can just play junk and feel good about themselves on their instrument, but it's the learning process that makes the playing rewarding.

ChicksFromCorea&katt

I usually don't write it down unless I am learning something that's too difficult to learn purely by ear.

What I am noticing about Chick's solo on Matrix is 1) his non-legato touch, and 2) all the other cool stuff he does besides the pentatonic stuff. He throws in a lot of ideas based on the diminished scale..and a lot of chromaticism too, I guess it's the combination of everything that makes his playing hip.


Wow, etcetra, if it takes you hours to transcribe difficult solos, now I don't feel so lame sometimes. I was concerned about the time and long hours I have put into takedowns and transcribing. But it's worth it though.

I have Keith Jarrett's first solo trio remastered CD, "Life Between The Exit Signs" and started doing some transcribing of "Everything I Love". Man, so modern and he released the original record in 1968. I have slowed it down 1x and 2x in QT Pro and IT"S STILL HARD TO HEAR, despite the fact Keith has that heavy duty classical background that gave him the technique to play anything, jazz/classical and perfect pitch to ice the cake.

BTW, I recommend this CD to other jazz piano players who want to explore a very modern piano style and great improvisation ideas.

katt

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#1305417 - 11/14/09 01:26 PM Play By Ear? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
Piano Nicola Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 10
Thanks for your replies, although I was hoping someone would just tell me the notes?

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#1305451 - 11/14/09 02:38 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Piano Nicola]
Othello Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 121
I think what people are suggesting is to transcribe it yourself, slowly at first.

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#1305462 - 11/14/09 03:04 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: nitekatt2008z]
etcetra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1446
katt,

yea its very time consuming because I am not writing any of it down.. so if I forget the next day, I will have to listen to it and learn it all over again. I got about 8 chorus worth of that solo done in 4days, so I must have put in 6-8 hrs on it already.

If i was to just right it down without playing it I can probably do it in like 2-3 days(provided that I have the patience to actually finish the transcription). Maybe I will write it down on the paper next time I am waiting in line for the DMV smile

I am hoping I can do one every week/2 weeks. I don't plan to actually learn the entire thing.. just enough to satisfy my curiosity(which is like 2-3min worth of it).

I did 2 chours of Ron Stout's solo on Hard Body Last week.
http://www.lastudiomusicians.net/ronstouttributepage.htm

Hopefully by next year I'd have enough solos done to actually feel like I've done my homework smile

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#1305581 - 11/14/09 07:49 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Piano Nicola]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1438
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Piano Nicola
I've just recently started teaching myself piano, so I can't play by ear yet. Therefore I was hoping someone who can play by ear, can tell me what notes this guy is playing? Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ImgCKvOXCU


To help you get started, the basic chord pattern is as follows:

Am7 F G (x2)

F C G Am (x4)

F C E7 Am

F C G Am .............

I only listened to the first minute or so, but it may help you to begin to work out the rest of the song, and fill in the blanks.
_________________________
Rob

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#1305877 - 11/15/09 05:56 AM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Gyro]
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/09
Posts: 873
Originally Posted By: Gyro
I play my own brand of jazz.





This I gotta hear!!!

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#1306015 - 11/15/09 12:09 PM Re: Play By Ear? [Re: Gyro]
Andy007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/09
Posts: 134
Originally Posted By: Gyro
This thing, transcribing, is something
I am just never going to do, under
any circumstances. Maybe it can
be useful to some people, but to
me, this is like trying to carve
a wheel out of stone in order to
eventually fashion a crude cart
for tranportation, when you can
just get in an automobile and drive
to where you want to go. Why bother
with that when you can just dig
in any play by ear and get the
same results?





You won't be able to drive the automobile very well..

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