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Author Topic: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music  (Read 9534 times)

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Lester

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2013, 01:42:39 PM »

Although I am starting to 'read' unconverted ABC as a sort of by-product of learning to transcribe tunes I wouldn't want to learn tunes this way routinely.  Do people really really learn tunes this way?

Yep!   ;)

Mr Happy

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2013, 01:45:22 PM »

 Ear
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2013, 02:14:01 PM »

What I can't do is hit named notes. If someone says play an A, I have to think - where's an A?

And yet you also say:

I suppose I should add that originally learnt straight from ABC, still do to some extent. But, probably for reasons noted above, it's a much slower process.

Which seems to imply that if you read an A in abc then you can find the note. Could you elaborate please?

Not at all contradictory  ;D ABC says "Play an A" so I then have to think "Where's the A", usually (but not always) getting the right octave. Then it says "B" so I think, where's the B? etc... Eventually getting the tune into memory.
So yes, I can find the note, but I can't just "hit" it. The process isn't quite as painful as I've made out, but it is still quite clunky. Hence the comment about it being a slower process.
Contrasted with:
 - Other musicians who, told to play an A, instantly play the right note.
 - Reading a score (dusty notes excluded) which happens much more quickly

Not seeking to make any particular point about myself, just observations on how my brain appears to me to do it.
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2013, 02:22:34 PM »

After three decades of playing I'm finally developing the ability to identify the sound of notes and relate them to a button but the dots remain the easiest for me in as much as they tell which note but more important, its position in sequence.

Learning the correct note and sequence by ear is great but when trying to play there comes the inevitable 'missing bit', there's nowt to refer to unlike learning from the dots.

I used to lug loadsa paper around now I just take one Tablet, very useful when the Brain goes into a teflon phase ;D
(or when a luggite musician says 'How does that start? :P )

If you are able to, the best method of learning tunes is a combination of both lugs'n'dots  8)
Whichever method (dotty or luggite), the only way to fix it is through practising frequently... good old fashioned Rote (memorization technique based on repetition).
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Orma

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2013, 02:28:33 PM »

Sheet music (which I can't follow whilst playing) with my own tab for the bones. BUT....... I have to have the tune solidly in my head before I can get it in my fingers. The original score has little resemblance to the tune a few sessions down the road....but that's another story.
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Sage Herb

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2013, 03:53:24 PM »

Mostly by ear, but I can read the dots though really only use them as a storage medium. Drawback of playing by ear is that it's easy to omit the detail of a tune.

Steve
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2013, 04:14:41 PM »

Yup, you can get in dire trouble playing by ear. It's called dire ear  :|glug

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2013, 04:38:13 PM »

I read music on mandolin, but I am not a great sight reader.  On BC button accordion I record tunes I want to learn and slow them down with Transcribe! (similar to Slow Downer) put them on a playlist on itunes, and try to practice them daily.  When I finally learn them, they graduate to a playlist of tunes played at full speed.  This process is glacially slow and drives my wife crazy. Charlie
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2013, 04:43:42 PM »

Both - whatever is the most convenient at the time!

It's probably in my genes.  My grandfather learnt the dots and could play piano by ear and from music; my father learnt the dots but played by ear, and my mother learnt the dots and kept to them!

I learnt to play piano and guitar, and taught myself how to play the melodeon.  (:)
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2013, 05:42:20 PM »

Neither and both. I can't read music fluently and learning a tune by ear takes me months.
But if i write down the buttons play it for a week then just go by audio i get best results. And helena i'm useless with note names too.
I'm really trying to work on picking up tunes i recognise by ear in sessions more.

Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2013, 06:18:19 PM »

Both.
I read dots, though it helps if I know how the tune goes!
I can also learn by ear.
 I also get ear worms, where if I've heard a tune I really like, I'll hum parts of it as I can't get it out of my head.  Then it means I'm already starting to learn by ear and need to get to a box before the tune goes so I can start to work it out on the keyboard. Sometimes the difficult bit is remembering the start, or a bit to get me into it so I can work the tune round to the start
Just discovered Audacity has a built in slow downer and have used it recently, which helps get it to a speed where you can work it out.

Only ever use abc to get a tune off the web, then get a converter site to change it to dots, possibly change the key too if I want whilst converting.
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

pikey

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2013, 06:23:10 PM »

By ear 99percent of the time. I can play from music, but if I do I record it then learn by ear :-)

Listening to the same tune over and over and over again, then playing along with it, is for me and a lot of others the best way to learn. Plus how most of the 'traditional' musicians did it.
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2013, 06:37:20 PM »

By ear 99percent of the time. I can play from music, but if I do I record it then learn by ear :-)

Listening to the same tune over and over and over again, then playing along with it, is for me and a lot of others the best way to learn. Plus how most of the 'traditional' musicians did it.

Well, I'm not 100% convinced of that; there are so many "traditional" musicians' tunebooks preserved that you have to think music-reading was surprisingly common even among "traditional" players.  A lot of "traditional" players would have been members of church or village bands and would probably have needed to play from written arrangements at least some of the time.

Just a thought.......

Graham
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2013, 06:51:34 PM »

I often learn a tune by playing it with my fingers on the pillow as I'm falling asleep. It's surprising how well this method works (for me).
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2013, 07:19:53 PM »

By ear 99percent of the time. I can play from music, but if I do I record it then learn by ear :-)

Listening to the same tune over and over and over again, then playing along with it, is for me and a lot of others the best way to learn. Plus how most of the 'traditional' musicians did it.

Well, I'm not 100% convinced of that; there are so many "traditional" musicians' tunebooks preserved that you have to think music-reading was surprisingly common even among "traditional" players.  A lot of "traditional" players would have been members of church or village bands and would probably have needed to play from written arrangements at least some of the time.

Just a thought.......

Graham

I reckon they wrote them down as aide memoires, rather than to read from. I do the same, in my Time Manager (yes, I know.....) I've got lots of tunes scribbled down on roughly drawn staves. These days I just hum the tune into my phone !   ;)
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martinpratt

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2013, 07:29:31 PM »

I can learn a piece by ear, but very much trial and error. Preferred method is to learn a tune by sight reading having heard it first to get "the feel" of it, but I can only play a piece really well when then playing from memory. Not enough brain cells to cope with sight reading and quick fingering at the same time.
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Pat.

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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2013, 07:36:03 PM »

Ear for me ,I am fortunate that I can do it with ease,just as well as I do not read music and the sort of music I play ITD mostly ,sits well as you have no choice but to put your own mark on it wich is the best way as far as I am concerned
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2013, 07:52:51 PM »

By ear. I really feel the limitations of this method & feel that I should make an effort to learn to read music, or at least the ABC.
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2013, 08:56:46 PM »

there are so many "traditional" musicians' tunebooks preserved that you have to think music-reading was surprisingly common even among "traditional" players.  A lot of "traditional" players would have been members of church or village bands and would probably have needed to play from written arrangements at least some of the time.

I reckon they wrote them down as aide memoires, rather than to read from.

I think you're both right.

It's a myth that village musicians couldn't read music. Some of them could, and the competitive market for "this years tune book" by the London music publishers in the 18th and 19th centuries suggests this too.

I've been told that John Clare "collected" some of his tunes by sneaking into the local bookshop when a new tunebook was in and copying them into his notebook.
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Re: Do you learn by ear or off sheet music
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2013, 09:17:02 PM »

How does everyone learn the tunes they play. Do you learn by ear or off sheet music?
Sheet music to get the tune then recordings/videos to get what it is supposed to feel/sound like. I'm usually impatient at workshops and learning phrase by phrase seems to take so long however I go to a french dance evening once a month and the tutor Mark Prescott (fiddle) surprised me, I'm usually hassling him for the dots, he made us all sing the tune till it was in our heads we then started from scratch to play all the way through, by about the third time we all had it, so something to be said for getting the tune in the memory.
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