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#2156152 - 09/23/13 12:29 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: Brian K.]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 414
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Brian K.
Very cool vids! Thanks for posting these. If you decide to make another video do you think that you could make one explaining how to relate keys together, using borrowed chords and whatnot. Maybe even throw in some examples of some non diatonic progressions or key changes. Thanks again!


already hankering to get out of a single key, aren't you? Good. ... yes I'll do this ....
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#2156451 - 09/23/13 09:13 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
Well ya...it's funny I've played guitar for years, and I know all about scales and chord construction and what not, but when it comes to smooth key changes and and when to use borrowed chords, I'm a bit of a mess. I know that you can use a 2-5-1 to change keys, but aside from that I'm kinda clueless. For instance, I was messing around with Layla the other day and I noticed that the intro is in D minor, then the verse is in C#m...which is a half step down. Weird, but it sounds so perfect with the A - C - C# movement. Then the A7 chord brings it oh so nicely back to D minor again. When I try to compose key changes I can't seem to get them to sound so smooth like that!
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#2156644 - 09/24/13 04:34 AM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
cmajornine Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/27/12
Posts: 14
Just to add to the debate

I would say it depends on the type of music you want to play by ear. I personally play by ear because I am a church musician and I need to learn songs fast In time for Sunday.

I use the number system as its suited to playing in this style.
A lot of the songs we play use similar chord patterns with a different melody sung on top. When I learn songs for church I only practice the chord patterns & harmonic structure & leave the melody for the singers or choir.

A lot of the progressions cross over into R&B and Jazz so they can be used for playing the harmonic structure for a lot of those songs too.

In my opinion one of the best exponents of this style is Jamal Hartwell whose excellent Set of DVD's "Play by Ear" 1 & 2 will teach you the chords & Patterns & his "No More Transpose download" will give you the chords & patterns in every key.

But I would only recommend using the system to supplement what you already know, and not as a replacement. Not every song fits neatly into the patterns or progressions so knowing other ways of learning songs is just as important.
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#2156833 - 09/24/13 12:46 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: Brian K.]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 414
Loc: California
funny you talking about A7 -> Dminor. I was planning to discuss secondary dominants in the next video.
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#2160488 - 10/01/13 01:36 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 414
Loc: California
Post 2160461: Creating bass lines in B minor by ear:

B minor bass lines
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#2218908 - 01/22/14 03:47 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 414
Loc: California
Playing by ear is a matter of being taught the structure of music and being shown how, within this structure, there are many choices available to you. To learn how to do this, you must refuse being shown "exactly what to play" and instead you are shown the general framework and it is up to you how to put the building blocks together.

To learn to play by ear, you have to get away from all forms of written music. This is crucial. You must be able to it down with nothing but you and the piano keys.

For example, you are taught a C major pentatonic scale. How you play these five notes, how you phrase them and create riffs, is up to you.

For example, you are taught a I IV V chord progression. You play these enough to where your ear is familiar with the sound of each chord in relation to the other. Later on, your ear allows you to apply this instinctively when appropriate.
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#2219210 - 01/23/14 12:51 AM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
"Learning music by ear is done by repeatedly listening to other musicians and then attempting to recreate what one hears. This is how people learn music in any musical tradition in which there is no complete musical notation. Many people in cultures which have notation still learn by ear and ear training, often through a musicianship course at a music conservatory or college, is common practice among those who use notation extensively.

Audiation involves hearing sounds mentally, although on a different level than just "hearing a song in one's head". In addition to mentally hearing rhythms and pitches the skill of reproducing those sounds involves melody, harmony (chords) and bass line.

In the West, learning by ear is associated with folk music, and pop styles including blues, rock, and sometimes jazz. But many classical music forms throughout the world lack notation, and have therefore been passed from generation to generation by ear.

The Suzuki method of teaching music has a highly developed focus on playing by ear from a very young age. In his book "Teaching from the Balance Point," Edward Kreitman, a US-based Suzuki teacher, clearly distinguishes "learning by ear" as a separate, completely different process from "learning by rote"

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#2219428 - 01/23/14 11:53 AM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
JamesPlaysPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 118
I definitely believe that playing by ear can be taught, and that much of what holds people back is simply a lack of instruction on what to do.

On that note, and since the OP asked about free resources that delved into theory and playing by ear, I thought I'd mention that you might want to check out my podcast, "The Better Piano Podcast." The tagline for the show is "the podcast all about helping you to be a better piano player, especially in the areas of improvisation, composition, and playing by ear."

You can find it here:

http://www.betterpiano.com/archives/category/podcast
or here (US page):
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/betterpiano.com/id570184527

There's currently some 13+ hours of free material there so far, covering a variety of levels and genres.


Best of luck in your quest! smile

James





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#2219468 - 01/23/14 01:07 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: exquisitemelody24]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
I find that getting very familiar with the Circle of Fifths is one of the best ways to learn to play by ear because it gives you a sense of typical chord movement and patterns/progressions that you can get to know and then play by heart. (BEAD-GCF)

Circle of Fifths:
http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/circle.html
http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/circleprogressions.html

"The Circle of Fifths [above] shows the most logical, natural movement of one chord to another in Western music".

Thousands of songs follow some form of the Circle of Fifths.






Edited by Elssa (01/24/14 01:34 AM)

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#2219526 - 01/23/14 03:15 PM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: Elssa]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
A good way to get familiar with the circle of 5ths/4ths is to practice scales according to the circle.
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#2220331 - 01/25/14 12:46 AM Re: learning how to play by ear [Re: daviel]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1566
Loc: NY
I guess that'd be good to do if you're not too familiar with scales. I just think it's more fun to practice the Circle with songs, like All The Things You Are, etc. Fly Me to the Moon is another good one. smile


Edited by Elssa (01/25/14 12:56 AM)

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