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playing by ear

 
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alfonso



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 1258
Location: Sacramento

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:15 am    Post subject: playing by ear Reply with quote

Hi all,
Anyone on this site ever learn to play by ear, never really learn to read music and then realize that you don't know anything about music theory? Well that's me and now I struggle to figure out the two or four chord in almost every key, oh well it surely isn't the end of my jazz guitar playing. I was just wondering if anyone wanted to share their experience if they've gone through this. In my case I got me a good teacher and I'm working on it but, I should have taken care of this years ago and now it's very clear to me why i've quit playing so many times. peace Rolling Eyes
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Bjorn



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1037
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Practice... Reply with quote

Well, Alfonso....
Im a play-by-ear-musician, and I can tell you that the way up for us is longer than for for others....
From I was 7 - 17, I only played Metallica....
But when I switched to Jazz, I had to deal and fight alot with my ego, which didnt allow me to play all my cool licks.... Crying or Very sad
But if you just take your time and relax, it will come to you Im sure.

If I may give you a hint...
Do you have an Md? If so record this
progression for 5 minutes: F#m7-Am7-Cm7 Ebm7. Apply the Dorian scale for each of these minor chords and improvise....
Do this until you feel comfortable with them, then do the same with the Gm7-Bbm7-Dbm7-Em7 and last the G#m7-Bm7-Dm7-Fm7.
These three sets of four chords includes all 12 keys.
When you have finished this study you do the same with the V7alt chords, and finaly the IM7 chords.
By now, which will be after at least 2 weeks per set of chords = four and a half month for all, you will be destroying the ii-V-I progression.
Afterwards, do the same with iim7b5-V7alt-Im7 progression.

Goodnight, Bjorn...
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jj



Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Lyon, France

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bjorn
what's the logique behind the fact that your progressions shift by minor thirds?
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TELCO1



Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: playing by ear Reply with quote

alfonso wrote:
Hi all,
Anyone on this site ever learn to play by ear, never really learn to read music and then realize that you don't know anything about music theory? Well that's me and now I struggle to figure out the two or four chord in almost every key, oh well it surely isn't the end of my jazz guitar playing. I was just wondering if anyone wanted to share their experience if they've gone through this. In my case I got me a good teacher and I'm working on it but, I should have taken care of this years ago and now it's very clear to me why i've quit playing so many times. peace Rolling Eyes


Hi Alphonso,

I started taking guitar lessons at the age of 7, which didn't last too long. Throughout my playing years, I played by ear, and in time, got really good at it. I was able to pick up folk, rock, and blues tunes pretty easily. Wore out alot of vinyl records and steriofonic needles (oh, the good old days Smile). The only real music training was in school bands, so I could read music, but was very weak when it came to guitar.

I'm 48 now, and with my three daughters older and independant, I found that I had the time to devote to playing more. I always wanted to be a jazz guitarist, so for the last year and a half, I......like you, started taking lessons once a week with a wonderful teacher. When I first started the lessons, I felt like a rank beginner. especially when it came to theory. But I was motivated to work hard at it, and as a result, I'm playing the best and the most, I ever have. I still love playing the blues and jam with friends on a regular basis.

My "playing by ear" abilities have served me well. The theory has been important, but when you can really hear the tones, especially when improvising, it helps to accelerate the learning process, but it's still a challenge. My lessons have always consisted of working on Tunes, mostly jazz standards. We break down the each tune from a theoretical point of view. Where applicable, I'll work on the basic chords which improves my comping, then learn the head and/or melody which forces me to do some reading, then some chord melody for alternate voicings, then improvisation where scale work comes in. I make sure that I have the charts and jam tracks for each tune I work on. Today, my repertoire consists at least 20 tunes.

My friends and family think I'm playing great. My teacher can't believe how far I've come in a year and half. He still marvels at how fast I pick up a tune from scratch, but that's due to all the years playing by ear.

I still think I suck Smile

Lawrie
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Bjorn



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 1037
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jj wrote:
Bjorn
what's the logique behind the fact that your progressions shift by minor thirds?


Hi jj,
Well, besides that it sounds very good, there is no logic.
I find it nice to do because it gives me three sets of chords:1, E-G-Bb-Db 2, F-Ab-B-D 3, F#-A-C-Eb, to envolve all 12.

Instead of playing by the cycle of fourths where you only get back to the first chord after the other 11.

Its easier for memorizing, and then there is one other little thing.
Take two chords, in this case minor, Gm & Bbm, This is a great superimposing for the Em7b5-A7alt cadense.

Cheers, Bjorn...
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