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I must acknowledge that I have a terrible ear. Now that I have been trying to play my first instrument ever for a year and a half, I feel like it is time to work on that. Ultimately I would like to pick out more tunes by ear.

What recommendations do you folks have for me? I have looked at a lot of apps but am not sure which might be the best for me. I like apps that work with my iPad best. But if there is a good website that would walk me though identifying the note I hear that would also be good. 

Any and all advice will be appreciated ,

Susan

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Listen, listen, listen!  Try to hum along.

Listen some more. Really hum along.

Listen some more. Try to hear the chord changes.

Keep listening ...

 

That's basically it!

Cheers,

John

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Hi John, 

That is what I am doing . In fact I have made a playlist of the tunes I am working on that I use when I ride my exercise bike. I also listen, then play alone , then try to,play with the tune and so on. In fact as I fall asleep I often hear a tune over and over in my head. I am getting better. 

I am hoping there is a little more I can do so I have an idea of what note I am hearing. 

Thanks so much, 

Susan

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The only thing I would add is to make up your own tunes however simple.  If it is born in your brain it will always be well received there.

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Posted (edited)

Think about learning to recognise intervals rather than notes. 

 

Learning to recognise an absolute note when you hear it is called perfect pitch and is a facility that few, if any, adults have unless they had it when they were children.  OTOH  recognising intervals, relative pitch, is something that adults can learn.  There lots of apps on the various App stores that purport to teach you relative pitch, most have a free version that you can try to see if it suits you.

 

Edited by Don Taylor
Typo

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Don Taylor, Thank you so much for that explanation. I really didn’t understand about intervals.now I think I do

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2 hours ago, mathhag said:

Don Taylor, Thank you so much for that explanation. I really didn’t understand about intervals.now I think I do

You are very welcome, but I did not really explain anything!

 

If you really are a 'mathhag' (math teacher?) then I think that you will enjoy learning music theory.  Take a look at https://www.musictheory.net 

 

Don.

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Thanks Don I didn't know about these pitch training videos. I have tried them and there is room for me to improve . 

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Susan, when I'm working on a tune, I put a recording of it on repeat---just the one tune. I have it on in the background while I work, for a few days. Then, when I sit down with the concertina, I'm just creating a finger map of a sequence of notes, kind of like a finger choreography. If the tune is already in my head, everything else is so much easier.

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Thank you to all, Halifax, Don Taylor, wunks. I guess I am just trying to move ahead faster. 

I do try to listen, listen , listen. Especially since many Irish Trad tunes are not familiar to me. I am getting better and continue to get great joy when I play. 

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11 minutes ago, mathhag said:

Thank you to all, Halifax, Don Taylor, wunks. I guess I am just trying to move ahead faster. 

I do try to listen, listen , listen. Especially since many Irish Trad tunes are not familiar to me. I am getting better and continue to get great joy when I play. 

 

One more thing....... I'm finding that marches and tunes with more space in general  (both time and pitch intervals) are easier for the ear to parse and the fingers to navigate.

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One more tip, Susan, I find when I write out the notes into a music manuscript notebook, I'm more likely to remember the note/button the tune starts on. If I've done my practicing (lots), and I know what note to start on, I can usually depend on muscle memory to take over.

 

Also, why did the pianist bang his head on the keyboard?

...

He was trying to play by ear!

 

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I would often try to get my students to copy problems, especially calculus. I am convinced that the act of writing helps our brains in ways we don’t really understand 

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Posted (edited)

I have used, sparingly, I'm afraid, a program called Functional Ear Trainer. There are other Solfege progs around too. My HS Chemistry teacher used to say Hear it, Write it, Say it, Remember it.

Edited by JimR
In this case Their is spelled There,

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On 3/8/2019 at 1:12 AM, Don Taylor said:

apps on the various App stores that purport to teach you relative pitch

mathhag,

Another great resource is nursery rhymes, or popular tunes that everybody knows. The first two notes will let you hear what a particular interval sounds and feels like. For example, "Baa-baa, black sheep" gives you an interval of a fifth; and the first two notes of Loch Lomond ("By yon") gives you a fourth. I'm sure someone has compiled a list of useful tune first notes associated with intervals.

I just happen to know those examples because I use "Baa-baa, black sheep" to tune my mandolin, and "Loch Lomond" to tune my guitar. 😎 As Don pointed out, it doesn't matter what note you start on - a fifth is a fifth. So the inerval between the 4th and 3rd strings, or the 3rd and 2nd strings, or the 2nd and 1st strings of the mandolin is always "baa, black".

 

Cheers,

John

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:58 AM, Anglo-Irishman said:

For example, "Baa-baa, black sheep" gives you an interval of a fifth; and the first two notes of Loch Lomond ("By yon") gives you a fourth. I'm sure someone has compiled a list of useful tune first notes associated with intervals.

 

And we all owe a debt of gratitude to Leonard Bernstein for filling in the gaps with the score for West Side Story. “There’a a Place for Us” gives us a minor 7th and “Maria” gives us the augmented 4th (tritone).

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On ‎3‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 8:02 PM, Halifax said:

One more tip, Susan, I find when I write out the notes into a music manuscript notebook, I'm more likely to remember the note/button the tune starts on. If I've done my practicing (lots), and I know what note to start on, I can usually depend on muscle memory to take over.

 

Also, why did the pianist bang his head on the keyboard?

...

He was trying to play by ear!

 

  

 

🤣…..

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