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#2303839 - 07/18/14 08:16 PM Help with hearing chord progressions
ttttcrngyblflpp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/14
Posts: 10
I'm looking for some advice on how to train my ears for transcribing for piano. I'm pretty good with hearing melodies as well any passagework or runs: basically if any given instrument is only playing one note at a time, I can hear what it is. When it comes to chords, however... I pretty much have little to no idea. The last transcription I did I ended up harmonizing the melody myself and comparing against the original recording to see if anything sounds weird, but this kind of goes against the transcribing philosophy and I think it would speed up the process significantly if I can actually hear the chord progression. My knowledge of chord progressions from the perspective of theory is also not the best.

I have Sibelius Auralia, but I don't use it nearly as much or as consistently as I should due to my busy schedule. While I recognize that there is no shortcut to acquiring aural skills, does anyone here have any advice to make this learning process as fast and as painless as possible?


Edited by ttttcrngyblflpp (07/18/14 08:17 PM)

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Piano & Music Accessories
#2304063 - 07/19/14 03:23 PM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: ttttcrngyblflpp]
champy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 140
My humble suggestion is... Try to hear the bass... (the lowest note of chords). If you can't hear the bass, you won't hear any right harmony... Bass is the root of harmony, in general.

One trick a lot of my friends use is using EQ. Put all the high frequencies down and maybe boost up the low-end a bit. Try to figure out what the bass part is, just like the way you transcribe melody... or even play along to check if it is correct.

Everything goes from there.

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#2304090 - 07/19/14 04:11 PM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: champy]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 450
Loc: California
Good advice, generally works. Just realize that sometimes the bass note does not correspond with the root of the chord

My advice is to train your ears to recognize the different harmonies: there are a handful of basic chords: you already know what they are: major, minor, dminished, augmented, etc.

There's an exercise you can do where someone else sits at the piano, they play you a major scale or a minor melodic scale. Then they play a random triad from this key and by ear alone you need to identify the flavor of the chord and the scale degree which is its root. A great exercise.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2304311 - 07/20/14 08:32 AM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: Michael Martinez]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 644
Loc: Louisiana

Hey TTT, I'd say click this link and listen to that youtube tape and what he has to say about it:


http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/2197001/Searchpage/1/Main/150520/Words/Anderson/Search/true/Re:_Piano_Magic_-_Michael_Ande.html#Post2197001
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2306807 - 07/25/14 03:36 AM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: ttttcrngyblflpp]
ttttcrngyblflpp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/14
Posts: 10
Thanks for everyone's advice.

I have been applying the `listening to the bass note' technique, and while it doesn't tell you the root of the chord, it usually gives big hints as to what the chord is when you take into account the melodic note/s.

I guess I will keep trucking at Auralia's Chord Recognition section. I've not actually thought about selecting all the chords from a single key... I have no idea why I didn't come up with this earlier, but Auralia's built-in lessons aren't exactly great I guess.

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#2306941 - 07/25/14 11:24 AM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: Michael Martinez]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Michael Martinez
There's an exercise you can do where someone else sits at the piano, they play you a major scale or a minor melodic scale. Then they play a random triad from this key and by ear alone you need to identify the flavor of the chord and the scale degree which is its root. A great exercise.


I've looked for something similar online without success. If you can recommend a site I'd appreciate it.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2307099 - 07/25/14 05:51 PM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: ttttcrngyblflpp]
36251 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/12/10
Posts: 765
I agree bass is important. So I've included a track here I was working on a while back. I could hear the chords but the bass is all over the place, so it's difficult to write out a chart, since sometimes I have no clue what the bass is doing.

_________________________
AG N2, CP4, GK MK & MP

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#2307132 - 07/25/14 07:29 PM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: TimR]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 450
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: TimR

I've looked for something similar online without success. If you can recommend a site I'd appreciate it.


Sorry, I don't know of a site, I wish I did. Usually this exercise is done with someone else sitting at the piano, while you sit across the room and attempt to identify the chords.
_________________________
Music Educator, Computer Engineer, avid reader of literature, enjoyer of the outdoors
http://www.michael--martinez.com/music/

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#2307259 - 07/26/14 04:39 AM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: TimR]
dire tonic Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1523
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: TimR

I've looked for something similar online without success. If you can recommend a site I'd appreciate it.


I'm not a candidate for this myself but it should be fairly easy to find an ear-test 'buddy'. Using Skype, each of you could reciprocate various exercises.

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#2313224 - 08/08/14 11:03 PM Re: Help with hearing chord progressions [Re: ttttcrngyblflpp]
RonDrotos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 82
Loc: New York City
Actually, far and away the best way to develop your ear is to sing. A lot. Work through an ear training sightsinging book. Play chords on the piano and sing the notes up and down the chord on 'la.' Buy a 4-part choral arrangement of a song you like, even jazzy, and sing every vocal part, over and over.

Whenever I teach vocal parts to choirs, I find that my jazz piano playing gets better, because my ears are forced to work hard, hearing each inner melodic line and the bass parts.

Good luck!
_________________________
Ron Drotos
rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com

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