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Learning By Ear - The next step -Beyond Sheet Music


StephenTx
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I agree with everything above, and also offer a different approach:

 

Each of the seven notes of a scale has its own identity, and plays a specific role in the shape of a melody. Work toward making these notes your friends, so you can recognize them when you hear them.

David, Darn I know what your saying is very important and I do understand the concept but what I would not give to Skype with you for awhile for a demo and futher discussion. I loved the graphic vocation and avocation. Did you do that for me as it hits the nail on the head as I am a CRNA (anesthetist) by vocation....

Stephen Tx

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Stephen,

I have been playing the English concertina for a year and a half now. At first I just used sheet music to play (mostly folk songs). Recently I have tried to play by ear or memory. I

 

Mary, Seem like I'm running about 6 months behind you. I wish I had a group to play with who are slightly above or at my level with a tutor above each of us....you know with the new Skype you can do a group...I keep thinking with the right folks this would be fun." I love San Diego and thinking about moving there...to retire.

Stephen Tx

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David, Darn I know what your saying is very important and I do understand the concept but what I would not give to Skype with you for awhile for a demo and futher discussion. I loved the graphic vocation and avocation. Did you do that for me as it hits the nail on the head as I am a CRNA (anesthetist) by vocation....

Stephen Tx

 

Stephen-

 

I'm not set up for Skype. Never tried it, don't know how to use it. But what I would suggest is that you check out the nearest college and see if you can take an evening course in music theory. There's so much they can teach you that I can't include in posts like these, and it's their "vocation." This is just my "avocation."

 

I have used that ASCII art sig for many years, since (for instance) the days when all e-mail readers displayed incoming mail in monospaced fonts, so you could actually count on the elements to line up correctly. Not so here, unless you use the "code" command, which I did.

 

I did not know you were a nurse anesthetist. If you click my name and look at my user page, you will see that I am an anesthesiologist. You might be the only one here who got the joke. The concept originated many years ago (pre-internet) when I was out in a local park playing for my morris dancers and I recognized someone in the crowd of spectators as another doctor from my hospital. So while I was playing, I turned my concertina sideways and started playing up and down like a ventilator bellows. It got a good chuckle out of him. Now many of the anesthesia machines we use are piston driven and don't even have bellows. The joke may soon go the way of Barnert's First Law of Anesthesia:

 

1) The ideal anesthetist has three hands and one foot: a hand on the bag, a hand on the mask, a hand doing everything else, and a foot to raise the table when the surgeon asks... Many of my colleagues and all of my students and residents have never seen a pedal-operated table. It's all push-button electric now.

 

And, just for you, since we're getting wa-a-ay off topic now, the rest of Barnert's laws of anesthesia:

 

2) It is never in the patient's best interest to have more than two members of the anesthesia department in the room at any time (unless one is diluting dantrolene). And, of course, we all know folks who count as three all by themselves.

 

3) A little pain never hurt anybody (sometimes the wisest thing to do is not try to treat everything).

 

4) If you can talk, you can breathe (the answer to "I can't breathe").

 

5) VIP treatment is the kiss of death. (The bum off the street gets the best anesthetic I know how to give. If I do something different for the chairman of the board, it's something different from the best anesthetic I know how to give, and I'm liable to leave something out or confuse those around me because the routine is broken.

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....David, I've resisted for a couple of years to also comment about how much I enjoyed your "signature"--it is the perfect blend of vocation and avocation! I suspect "hanging" with anesthesiologist might be pretty entertianing "Shelly" Michelle (RDh--registered dental hygienist)

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David, colleague...really is ironic as I too introduce myself as avocation and vocation in the same way you do albeit without the graphics. I have been in surgical anesthesia administration for many years, prior to moving to Texas I was the Executive Director of Corporate Operating Rooms, Anesthesia Services for Columbia Presbyterian. I am not with The Joint Commission for the past 7 years, 5 of which were a full time Surveyor and presently I am the Associate Director of Standards Interpretation a Chicago central office job albeit I am able to telecommute most of the time and I speak around the country once a month.

 

I have taken the music theory course, the issue is remembering and incorporating it all into playing. How long have you been playing the concertina? It is getting late, more later. PS I agree with your anesthesia wisdoms, I was a Director (founder) of a School of Nurse Anesthesia at The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu in the late 70's and 80's, I was with Queens (home) for 25 years prior to moving to Columbia.

More later

 

 

Stephen-

Edited by StephenTx
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How long have you been playing the concertina?

About 25 years. I've been playing other instruments (cello, classical guitar, recorders, hammered dulcimer, banjo) longer, but since I started with the concertina the hammered dulcimer and banjo have moved to the back burner.

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Incidentally, I received my 1865 Wheatstone EC Baritone yesterday and I LOVE IT.

Stephen Tx

 

 

Congratulations on your new acquisition, Stephen. But I thought your baritone serial number dates it to 1854, the same year as mine, not 1865, as you have put above. Has it got younger crossing the Atlantic, perhaps? :unsure: Anyway, I hope you get hours of enjoyment playing it. :)

 

Chris

Chris ....you know I have looked through the ledgers the serial # is 5180, what is yours? I have been unable to find the exact entry, but I only went through three ledgers. What is yours serial #? Man I love playing it more each day.

 

Kautilya

Another variant -the A4 sheet of paper approach (before switching to ear only!

the file name should be learning not earning; but may be busking also improves yr skills faster!

 

Kautilya, Is the A4 sheet of paper approach the diagram contained in the link? The diagram sums it up as practice (20 minutest a day), I think I probably play 1 hour a day. My challenge now is not to play the songs I can read fairly well but to work on the ear training. Bottom line in the article which is so true: "find what works for you". Well Stephen get to it you have received one helluva lot of great advice.

Stephen Texas

 

 

Hi Stephen

My baritone's serial number, is 5199, just 19 different from yours. The serial numbers in the early ledgers, are not in strict numerical order like in the later ledgers, so it can be difficult to locate a particular serial number without wading through lots of pages. I have found yours. It was originally purchased by a Mr Graham Moir. This is the ledger page link. http://www.horniman.info/WNCMARC/C1049/PAGES/C5P0010S.HTM Just scroll down to the entries for 27th March and you will see it. Despite recent intensive searching, I have not found one, 5199, yet, though a C.net member did find it for me a few years ago and I have lost the link he gave me.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Drinkwater
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Blood, sweat and tears....lots of tears. I'm still trying I get the odd notes but I can't memorise a new tune learning by ear on the concertina.

 

I find it easier on the melodeon. I just find concertina has too many options (I say this as a anglo player). I have been known as 'practice' to make a playlist on my ipod - choose shuffle- and try to play along with tunes as they play.

 

 

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If I'm having trouble picking out a tune I sing it first, and it is surprising how often I find I don't actually know the tune after all. A little time experimenting until I can whistle or hum it precisely sorts that out, then I can pick up the instrument again knowing what notes I want to hear.

 

So I'd back up the others who said sing it first. Make it a 2 stage process. Get to the point of whistling or humming it accurately, then pick up the 'tina.

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I can't sight read music and doubt I ever will to any degree where I could read & play. So a lot of my learning has been by ear. Here's my thoughts 3 years in with an Anglo concertina.

Start with simple tunes you know- it doesn't matter what they are, i found nursery rhymes, simple hymns from my childhood we're so ingrained I know them by heart. Don't worry if the tune in your head doesn't match the dots on the page. Forget the dots.

Sing, hum whistle the tunes.

I would say, initially, don't try to play along with a recording, you may not be able to match/ keep up with it- this will add to the frustration.

Don't worry about playing the tune from start to finish- I tend to " find" a familiar section, a bit of chorus, b part whatever! on the buttons and then fill in the blanks! ( it makes it a fun puzzle as well as programming the brain to find the right note/button place on the box).

Most of all, relax & enjoy it! If you're getting angry or frustrated, put the box down & go and do something completely different.

Keep a box handy if you can. I have one by the coffee table in my lounge ready to grab when a tune pops in my head either randomly or maybe through something on the tv or radio!

I have found that the more I do this, the better my ear seems to be getting tuned in to the sounds to the point that on two occasions I've grabbed the box and played a (new) simple tune through note perfect- once! Brain on autopilot everything fine, then I think about what I've done and disaster. But at least I know something is working in the grey matter! And it's getting better, slowly.

I also think a relaxed attitude to learning by ear helps, not too much regimented learning time, more " go with the flow" or maybe that's just me.Oh and did I say relax & enjoy it! smile.gif

 

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