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Ear Learning

This group is for those interested in learning to play what they hear. All levels welcome - hope the advanced can help the beginners. TAB'ers are welcome too, whether looking to change their ways or simply interested in the discussions.

Members: 24
Latest Activity: Feb 15, 2014

Discussion Forum

So how do you memorise/internalise a pitch? 2 Replies

Subtly different from hearing a phrase and then finding it on the guitar - what about hearing a single note and 'knowing' what it is?That 'knowing' could either be being able to name the note…Continue

Started by Derek. Last reply by Ryan Kimm Sep 12, 2013.

Might as well forget it.... 17 Replies

No, not a verdict on this ear learning programme - but the title of Del's Ear Learning Phrase # 4. It's from a Bob Wills' CD and the song is "We Might As Well Forget It Anyway". When I heard the…Continue

Started by Derek. Last reply by ganon Jul 19, 2011.

Science and Ear Learning II 17 Replies

For a while I've wondered if the "ear learning" we are discussing is just another path to memorizing. But ganon's and Kathy's and Derek's posts kept me open to the possibility that it is an all…Continue

Started by Jim Wing. Last reply by Derek May 18, 2011.

Granger's Fiddle Tunes for Guitar 12 Replies

As promised, here are the 2-phrase tunes that I found. Thought short ones might lead to getting 'a few under the belt' quickly, but by no means feel limited to these. And, short does not necessarily…Continue

Started by ganon. Last reply by Derek Apr 27, 2011.

Comment Wall

Comment by mike emm on March 28, 2011 at 11:01am
count me in...you've convinced me that it is the right way to go. Thanks
Comment by ganon on March 28, 2011 at 11:13am

Just to get things started, and for those who have never tried - here is an extremely simple tune to try it out on, and a bit of blueprint to help reduce the search space. It is a 'fiddle tune' with standard AABB structure, but the A's and B's are only 4 measures long - so there are only two 4-measure phrases to learn. It can be played as a one chord song (D). The melody is played entirely on strings 3,4,5 and only uses frets 0, 2, 4. So, you can simply sit the left-hand at second position and flop your 1st and 3rd fingers around until you find the melody.

 

Shootin%20Creek%20150.mp3

 

Two suggestions

 

(1) listen and hum or sing along the melody 30 - 100 times before you even try to play it.

 

(2) When you try to play it, do it from what is your head, not from 'playing along'. If you don't get it, listen some more and repeat.

 

(bonus hint) the first phrase begins on the A note on the 3rd string (2nd fret), the second phrase begins on the open d string.

 

Have fun!

Comment by Derek on March 28, 2011 at 12:35pm
I'm up for this. I'm not too bad at transcribing with the guitar in hand, playing along to stuff, but doing it this way feels like it ought to be the way to go!
Comment by Doug Lindhout on March 28, 2011 at 12:43pm
I'm in.  I'm tired of being a slave to tab...
Comment by Kathy Barwick on March 28, 2011 at 1:46pm
Can I join too??? This is my favorite topic (thanks Ganon!)
Comment by ganon on March 28, 2011 at 4:37pm

All (and to those yet to join) - welcome, I hope we'll have fun and make lots of progress together.

@Kathy - you are more than welcome here, not only as an 'advanced ear', but as godmother of the group; without your wonderful guidance (and infinite patience) over last year, I never would have started the group. As a little enticement to others who may be peeking in, I'd like to put up a quote from you that I saved a while back:

'When I stopped using tab with my banjo students, in over 2 years of teaching solely by ear not one EVER wanted to subsequently learn to read tab, though I endorsed it as a source of information. Since they were largely able to rip stuff off from recordings, they didn't see it as useful.'

Comment by ganon on March 29, 2011 at 7:10am
Great comment Mike, we now have group symbol ;-)
Comment by Wayne on March 29, 2011 at 7:19am
I'll give it a try.
Comment by ganon on March 29, 2011 at 7:33am
Hi Wayne, good to see you here. Since you are quite familiar with my 'pre-ear' playing, I'll give you a reference point: My video of 'Corner House' was recorded 2 days after I started playing it, but after 3 weeks of intense listening/chording/and scat-singing or humming the melody. I am getting to that magic transition point where I can learn simple tunes faster by ear (if properly pre-prepared) than I can from a cold start with TAB). And the products are completely different beasts, no question which is better.
Comment by Kathy Barwick on March 29, 2011 at 8:28am
I saw a suggestion once that you learn a tune by ear for every one you learn via TAB... or some such. I think it was in a flatpick-l discussion.

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