All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
Tutorials

Beginner Musical ear Vs hard graft...

Lorraine

Member
Messages
36
Hi All,

Coming along in leaps and bounds and despite having a nasty cold (which scuppered my New Year's Eve plans:() I have played my tenor every day since xmas(fortunately the Weltklang has quite a muted sound which is perhaps better for my poor old neighbours) -

I am finding that I have quite a musical ear. For example I picked up the Viscounts version of Harlem Nocturne easy enough. However, I am learning about transposing and my (excellent) book goes on about scale degrees - so I try transposing by writing down the numbers etc and can work out the tune in other keys but this takes ages and I find that if I just fiddle about with the sax I can transpose much quicker by ear. But this means I am not engaging with the theory of transposing - or improving my sight reading - only recognising the notes I am playing.

Is this cheating/helpful/unhelpful. - transposing and sight reading slows my progess so much it's frustrating.
I would like to know what others do/did. Ultimately, I want to be able to play in a band, or at least with other people -as soon as possible.
Cheers
Lorraine
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
It's not cheating.
It's learning some of the mechanics. Helpful and well done, I wish I would apply myself.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,622
Can't help feeling that the more you can do intuitively the better for your overall playing- having to actually think about transposing would certainly be slowing you up while playing...
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,007
What you are doing is great. You are thinking in terms of intervals that make up the song---something brass players have to do in order to play their instrument. Knowing your scales and keys really helps in taking a song you know to another key by ear.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
What you are doing is great. You are thinking in terms of intervals that make up the song---something brass players have to do in order to play their instrument. Knowing your scales and keys really helps in taking a song you know to another key by ear.
Amen to that :welldone

John:);}
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Music theory and writing things down in musical notation is nothing more than a crutch for those who can't do thing intuitively.

So it's actually the music theorists who are "cheating". ;}
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
2,146
As most have said, it's a good thing. If you've got a good ear you should definitely use it. The ultimate is to be able to play whatever is in your head in whatever key you wish without having to slow yourself down with mental gymnastics that are required for people without a good ear.

The exception here is if you are looking to work with others who are reading charts and want you to play in another key. Not likely, but more likely is reading a C chart and having to transpose. For tenor that's fairly easy. For Eb instruments a bit more difficult.

Having a good ear is something that should not only be enjoyed, you should push this to whatever degree is possible. There are several exercises I use. A simple one that exercises ear, scale/mode recognition and improvisation is to put on the radio to random music (not things you hear every day) and try to play along. Could be classical, pop, ethnic, etc.

Another is to try to drag out of your memory odd tunes and play them with random start notes. This exercise forces head hearing tune memory and then having to hear that tune in whatever key your start note gives you. Changing random start notes for the same tune is an extension of this. Another way to do this is to play a scale of a specific key then impose the tune (note that the start note is not necessarily the first or even the third or fifth of that key/scale). Lots of variations on this by jumping to 6th 4th etc. for the next play.

Those who can't hear what they want to play have had most teaching geared towards them. You are miles ahead, but shouldn't lose sight of also knowing theory and what you are doing.
 

Sweet Dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
505
Having a good ear is something that should not only be enjoyed, you should push this to whatever degree is possible..
Actually this is precisely where that IFR course comes in handy. For people who naturally want to go this route.

Lorraine, you should take a close look at this course, seriously. It's aimed directly at developing precisely the kind of natural musical skills you're talking about. And it's extremely reasonably priced too.

Improvise for Real
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Sounds as if you've got a gift that many of us would love. Keep at it and keep playing!
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
Messages
12,125
Practicing the way you are doing will slow down a bit your apparent improvements, but will give you a more solid background for whatever you want to do.

Please go on like this, and put your hand on a keyboard too if you have the opportunity.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Personally, if soloing, I don't think "I'll play this phrase", I just play.
Now my only conscious thoughts are, when to growl, buzz (my preferred term for humming), or bend the note. Apart from that, unless it's recorded, I haven't a clue as to what I've played.
But hang on, Is the subconscious in control :shocked:

John.
 
Saxholder Pro
Help!Mailing List
Top Bottom