Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!


SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Virtual Sheet Music
Download Sheet Music Instantly
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Sheet Music...
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Who's Online Now
75 registered members (alexcawley, alphonsus, bennevis, Beakybird, barbaram, Beemer, 15 invisible), 1,331 guests, and 9 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1313401 - 11/27/09 04:28 PM what does "Play by Ear" mean to you?  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 873
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member
Wizard of Oz  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 873
I want to ask what "playing by ear" means to you.

Describe the exact process of how you would learn a song only by ear. Go step by step.

To do this, try playing a song only by ear. Pick something fairly easy, like Fur Elise or Moonlight Sonata. A song that you know but haven't memorized before or know the sheet music to.

Or find one completely new to you, that you have a recording of, on CD, mp3, youtube... If you have the sheet music to it, you can verify how accurate you were after.

Just try the first section or theme. See how well you do.

Those who want to can post up results of their playing.

This method can be taught to complete beginners on the piano. I do it with my students exclusively.

I'll post how I approach it after hearing what others think.



(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1313404 - 11/27/09 04:33 PM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,567
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member
kevinb  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,567
Playing by ear means different things to different people. To me it means working out how to play something using only my memory and my understanding of the relationship between sound and finger movements. But it doesn't stop being `by ear' (to me) even when you've played it so many times that your fingers work on their own. But other people would disagree, I guess.

#1313406 - 11/27/09 04:38 PM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 222
Knabe26 Offline
Full Member
Knabe26  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 222
Northern California
I don't really have an answer for your, as I've always felt that I cannot play by ear. I can find a melody by "hunt and peck," but I don't hear a stream of intervals easily. I had no ear training as a child, (something I certainly include with my students!), and it's hard going as an adult. What I do notice, however, is that if I know a tune by ear (to hum or hear in my head), but have never before seen the score, my sight-reading of printed music will be much smoother than if I had never heard the piece before. That must mean that I'm doing some level of playing by ear, no? I would be interested to hear if others have that experience as well.


[Linked Image][Linked Image]
www.cameronparkpiano.com
Full-Time Private Piano Instructor
#1313472 - 11/27/09 06:44 PM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: Knabe26]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Playing by ear has a clear meaning and should not mean different things to different people. It means learning to play from pure straight-through and up-to-tempo listening to the music, and not from reading - but not from demonstration either. Learning to play by having it demonstrated to you bit by bit is called learning by rote, and is quite different because rote learning involves a teacher who keeps repeating little parts (or the whole thing) as necessary. Wizard: I suspect that perhaps you mean rote learning - unless you're just playing the song straight through & up to speed a few times and then saying "your turn".


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1313509 - 11/27/09 08:07 PM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: david_a]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member
dumdumdiddle  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,269
California
I sit down at the piano and someone can give me the name of a song that I've heard on the radio or elsewhere, and I can figure out the melody, then add a nice LH chordal accompaniment. To me, that is playing by ear.


Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild
#1313519 - 11/27/09 08:49 PM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,502
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R0B  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,502
Australia
To me, there are two different ways of playing by ear.

The first, is when I have to try to play along with a song, as I am hearing it for the first time. (the equivalent to 'jamming' with a band)

The second, is listening to a song and afterwards, working out how to play it.

This is something I do almost daily, mostly with guitar students, but often with piano.

My process is as follows:

1. Identify the key. Usually, listening for the lowest bass note played, helps with this.

2. Identify the basic chord structure, and bass line, listening out for predictable repeating patterns, modulations, etc.

3. Once I have the basic skeleton, and the melody is committed to memory, it is just a matter of putting it together, and polishing the piece.



Rob
#1313627 - 11/28/09 01:30 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: dumdumdiddle]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
I sit down at the piano and someone can give me the name of a song that I've heard on the radio or elsewhere, and I can figure out the melody, then add a nice LH chordal accompaniment. To me, that is playing by ear.
Exactly. Better styles of playing by ear involve making your accompaniment more like what you heard as well, and/or being able to manipulate the chords in nicer ways.

Last edited by david_a; 11/28/09 01:31 AM.

(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1313648 - 11/28/09 02:13 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: david_a]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,165
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member
currawong  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,165
Down Under
I'm assuming you mean something you know, in the sense of could sing, or could hear in your mind.
I think the process is something like:
- recognise that (for example) the piece begins with the tonic chord (minor) and the melody starts on the 5th (in the case of moonlight sonata).
- more or less randomly choose a key to begin in (as I don't have perfect pitch). Just as easy to play it in B minor, E flat minor etc as C# minor.
- play the chords and melody which my ear tells me to. That is, I imagine what the chords and melody should be and then play them. I suppose at one stage in the past it was trial and error, but (for straightforward things) I now go straight to it. Because I recognise what I'm hearing (in my mind), I can play it.
- refinements in accompaniment style and part movement as mentioned by david_a.

This is not the same as learning to play something by rote (and I don't know if that is in fact what Wizard means) - it's playing what you hear, even though in my case it may be in a different key, and I would generally use it for pieces that I "know" in the sense of "could sing it".




Du holde Kunst...
#1313680 - 11/28/09 03:11 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: currawong]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,048
AZNpiano Offline
7000 Post Club Member
AZNpiano  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,048
Orange County, CA
"Play by ear" means a person can play a piece of music on the piano without using the printed score. He hears the recording or watches the video many times, then tries to search for the notes on the piano. It works best for simpler melodies, or music with homophonic texture. I really can't imagine it being done to Bach Fugues.

As a classically-trained pianist, I did not get any training in playing by ear. I think it is an essential part of being a well-rounded musician. However, I think part of playing by ear should be music theory and harmonization of melodies, and maybe a little bit of improvisation, too.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1313682 - 11/28/09 03:18 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: AZNpiano]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,165
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member
currawong  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,165
Down Under
I might just mention one very useful aspect of playing by ear, and that's transposition. If I have to transpose an accompaniment of a song for a singer at first sight it can be challenging, depending on the piece. But if it's a song I know well in one key I just play it by ear in the other key, rather than transposing as I read. So rather than reading an E major chord and thinking, eg, "down a minor third" I just think of the song and play it by ear in the new key.


Du holde Kunst...
#1313686 - 11/28/09 03:28 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: AZNpiano]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,165
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member
currawong  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,165
Down Under
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
However, I think part of playing by ear should be music theory and harmonization of melodies, and maybe a little bit of improvisation, too.
I agree. They're interrelated.


Du holde Kunst...
#1313705 - 11/28/09 04:50 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: currawong]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 873
Wizard of Oz Offline
500 Post Club Member
Wizard of Oz  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 873
Perhaps a visual demonstration by two of the greatest living musicians in the world would help explain it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQaASwkqi9E

Go to 6:00. This is more "call and response", and both Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma are playing by ear, except Yo-Yo is just copying what Wynton is doing. Pretty cool though!


#1313722 - 11/28/09 06:07 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: Wizard of Oz]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keyboardklutz  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
When memorizing a piece I always play the 'tunes' by ear - it's instant.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#1313726 - 11/28/09 06:11 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: keyboardklutz]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,502
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R0B  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,502
Australia
When in Wales, I can play 'by 'ere', and also 'by there'


Rob
#1313748 - 11/28/09 08:05 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: R0B]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 275
Bhav Offline
Full Member
Bhav  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 275
I learnt to play these two pieces by ear without a score, though they are currently very unpolished, I've just memorised the RH melodies and still need to add some LH to them, but am focusing on Joplin too much to give much time to these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHr-1xmk-Vw

And this one I love to play on the Harpsichord voice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0to-Ls4XNA

With the more advanced Joplin music, I need to learn and memorise the melodies by ear, then learn the notes from score.

Last edited by Bhav; 11/28/09 08:06 AM.

Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1314104 - 11/28/09 11:10 PM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: Bhav]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member
david_a  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,913
Improvising is not the same as playing by ear. Improvising is composition. Playing by ear means what you are playing has already been composed and you are able to copy it note for note at will.

One special and odd way of playing by ear is playing right along with somebody copying him note for note on something you have never heard. It's hard for me but some people are very good at it.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1314174 - 11/29/09 02:40 AM Re: what does "Play by Ear" mean to you? [Re: david_a]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keyboardklutz  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Improvising is playing by ear what you have just composed.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.


Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


(ad)
Pianoteq
Grotrian Concert
Royal
for Pianoteq out now
(ad)
A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
What's Hot!!
Why Do You Play The Piano?
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
-------------------
Piano Classified Ads
New Topics - Multiple Forums
The biggest problem of performing and teaching
by Vladimir Dounin. 05/23/17 04:06 AM
Posting images
by BruceD. 05/22/17 11:29 PM
Looking for Carillon Bell Sound
by SoundThumb. 05/22/17 11:08 PM
Uneven Key - Casio CDP200R
by noodleq. 05/22/17 10:54 PM
(ad)
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics179,828
Posts2,628,928
Members87,852
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Report Problems With New Forums
Report Problems with New Forums Here!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0