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Thread: How to learn by ear

  1. #1
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default How to learn by ear

    Here is the latest video I've done, with tips on how to learn by ear.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Bunnyf's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn by ear

    Thank you, Pete! I always look forward to your new videos and often rewatch old ones. I get so much out of them. I've been working on ear training for a while now and can't wait to see your take on it.

  4. #3
    Registered User Bunnyf's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn by ear

    Just finished watching the video and am doing very similar training myself. I haven't used the slow dower apps (I do know that youtube has a free slowdown feature built right into the video playback, located where the little "gear" symbol is) but I'm sure this will be very helpful. I'm concentrating right now on songs that I already know very well (Bury Me Beneath the Willow, Nine Pound Hammer, More Pretty Girls, etc) and picking out the melody by ear. I'm concentrating mainly on the most common key I play/sing in, for the moment (G). Knowing the scale for whatever key your playing in helps narrow down the hunt and peck process. Also. I also found it a great revelation that the song will usually start on the 1, 3 or 5 note (and it seems most often, the 3, if there's a pickup). This tiny bit of theory gave me a head start in finding the notes.
    With practice, I have gotten better and better at picking out a tune. I keep a little soprano ukulele tuned as a mandolin around at all times, and when I'm just sitting around watch TV, I will find tunes on the uke. Within a short time, I have seen a huge improvement.
    Thanks again Pete, for all your videos.

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  6. #4
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: How to learn by ear

    Will give this a try though I will have to alter some of the instruction as I can not sing back to myself a tune. I have no ability to sing. This in it's self requires me to learn the melody to a tune on a mandolin and not through voice. My playing, therefore is melodic with only bits of rythm.
    My general mode of learning a new tune is playing a song from notation and then improvising frills. Then after playing from the sheet music a tune perhaps a few hundred times I then can remember the tune with occasional lapses of memory. I often have a set list to help my memory with the Title, key, first few notes, and first few lyrics. I I don't even attempt to learn instrumental tunes lacking lyrics as my memory needs the lyrics in my head to give me a sense of timing.
    But, I will try anything to compensate for my lack of natural music talent.
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  8. #5
    Registered User archerscreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to learn by ear

    An often overlooked benefit of learning a tune by ear is that while you work through the trial and error phase of finding the notes from the recording, you also end up building a huge vocabulary of other great sounding licks to use when improvising.

    I'm working through the Tony Rice version of Stony Point now.

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