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Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1874773
04/06/12 03:52 PM
04/06/12 03:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
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Starr Keys Offline
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Joined: Sep 2009
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california
Quote
Starr, looks like you're getting more of that understanding you've been looking for (knowing we're making the 6 minor chord major). Once you get back to playing, I'm sure all that thinking will show in your playing.


Thanks, Brian,for the reinforcement. I think one simple and key distinction that I recently became aware of that helped me is that flats and sharps have a different relationship to notation on the staff than they do to the numerical component of the chord notation. On the staff they can and often do represent accidentals (notes outside the scale) but they also represent notes in the scale, say a key signature for a minor scale, or even in a major key where earlier in a measure a note was "accidentalized" and is now returning to its natural position in the key.

But flats and sharps in the numerical component of chord notation are different, they always represent accidentals in the context of the alphabetical part of the chord notation in relation to the major key, even if the chord is minor. For example in the staff notation above which one found a CMin7b13, the b13 could be a natural scale tone in a minor scale and the Cminor key notation could use the same key signature as Eb Major. In this case, the Ab would be in the key signature and there would be no flat in the notation. It may seem like an academic point but I think it made a big difference to my reading of chord notation versus staff notation and how I visualize them in memory which I think can cause some confusion if not understood.

Last edited by Starr Keys; 04/06/12 04:18 PM.
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Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: Starr Keys] #1874978
04/06/12 11:53 PM
04/06/12 11:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Brian Lucas  Offline
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Originally Posted by Starr Keys
It may seem like an academic point but I think it made a big difference to my reading of chord notation versus staff notation and how I visualize them in memory which I think can cause some confusion if not understood.

It could be an academic point, but that doesn't mean not a valid one. That's why especially when you are dealing with out of key chords, it's sometimes easier to see the notes in relation to the chords and not the key you're in. For a simple example, if I'm in C and there's an Ab9 chord, I'm not going to see the nine as the flat 7 in the key. I'd rather think of it as a step above my root, Ab. Mainly because that's easier for me to see.

Everyone is different, so it's a matter of finding how your brain likes to visualize the theory. It then becomes what I call practical theory, knowledge you can apply at the piano. Definitely on the right track. The more "Ah-ha" moments you can have, the better your playing will be overall.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1874984
04/07/12 12:16 AM
04/07/12 12:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 63
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ChazG Offline
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I have been interested in ordering the piano ear secrets course; but I am not sure if this course will really teach me how to play by ear. It seems that I would have to memorize many complicated chords before I can play any piano by ear. I have been searching for a good play piano by ear course program that will me develop into a good pianist for a band or gathering setting.

Brian, you have very good insight in how to practice to develop good ear training skills.

Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: ChazG] #1875007
04/07/12 02:10 AM
04/07/12 02:10 AM
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Nashville, TN
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Originally Posted by ChazG
Brian, you have very good insight in how to practice to develop good ear training skills.

Thanks Chaz. I'd like to say there's an end game to all this, but I still listen to things and sometimes say "What was that?". Constant learning. The more you understand about music, the more you can play by just hearing it.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1875073
04/07/12 08:20 AM
04/07/12 08:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 878
Hong Kong
Weiyan Offline
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Hong Kong
Found some book about ear training.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Real-Easy..._0?ie=UTF8&qid=1333804167&sr=1-3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0793581931/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk

I am not sure whether they are helpful.

EDIT
http://www.earmaster.com/comparison.htm
A ear training software. The pro version has chord progression training. Very expensive compare to the books.

Last edited by Weiyan; 04/07/12 08:40 AM.

Working on:\

J.S.Bach Prelude in C Min: No. 2 from Six Preludes fur Anfanger auf dem
Am Abend No. 2 from Stimmungsbilder, Op. 88
60s Swing No. 1 from Swinging Rhythms
http://weiyanwo.wordpress.com
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1875105
04/07/12 09:35 AM
04/07/12 09:35 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,108
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
I'd like to say there's an end game to all this, but I still listen to things and sometimes say "What was that?". Constant learning. The more you understand about music, the more you can play by just hearing it.

+1 thumb

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1875199
04/07/12 01:15 PM
04/07/12 01:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,010
california
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Starr Keys Offline
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california
Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
Originally Posted by Starr Keys
It may seem like an academic point but I think it made a big difference to my reading of chord notation versus staff notation and how I visualize them in memory which I think can cause some confusion if not understood.

It could be an academic point, but that doesn't mean not a valid one. That's why especially when you are dealing with out of key chords, it's sometimes easier to see the notes in relation to the chords and not the key you're in.


Thanks, Brian. What I mean by academic is I must have learned it sometime in order to be able to read altered chords and notate them and now that I can, it's kind of a moot point. But somehow becoming conscious of the distinction while analyzing the music and the chords above it and trying to embellish from them, made me able to visualize and hear things better on the keyboard.

So maybe it's actually the reverse, it was only academic before because I didn't know the keys and chords well enough to make the distinction important. Now it's practical information I can apply--as in being able to recognize how those chords with numbered flats and sharps always sound a certain way or visualize them outside the pattern of other notes in the scale on the keyboard where before I was thinking more about their function in a certain progression or moving away from it.

As you say, you only have to learn the formula for an extended chord once to figure out the chord and recognize it in all 12 keys, but you have to know twelve major scales and their seven triads before you can see, hear and remember easily the chords built from them in every key.

Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: Starr Keys] #1875974
04/09/12 12:41 AM
04/09/12 12:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Brian Lucas  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
Originally Posted by Starr Keys
As you say, you only have to learn the formula for an extended chord once to figure out the chord and recognize it in all 12 keys, but you have to know twelve major scales and their seven triads before you can see, hear and remember easily the chords built from them in every key.

Yeah, that is true. It's like a lot of little parts have to come together and then you suddenly see it more clearly. I remember many conversations in college trying to analyze this song or that progression. All in an attempt to understand what it is we're hearing. Same process as reading music or a chord chart, just in reverse.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1876066
04/09/12 07:06 AM
04/09/12 07:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 51
China
RandomPianist Offline
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China
Looks highly unreliable. Wouldn't buy it.


"Just practice diligently and you will do very well. You have five fingers on each hand just as healthy as mine."
~ J.S. Bach
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: ChazG] #1876087
04/09/12 07:51 AM
04/09/12 07:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,524
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Originally Posted by ChazG
I have been interested in ordering the piano ear secrets course; but I am not sure if this course will really teach me how to play by ear. It seems that I would have to memorize many complicated chords before I can play any piano by ear. I have been searching for a good play piano by ear course program that will me develop into a good pianist for a band or gathering setting.

Brian, you have very good insight in how to practice to develop good ear training skills.


Keep in mind, that playing jazz is primarily an aural tradition, and so this is usually what people mean when saying "play by ear". But it also requires a lot of memorizing the pattern of chords and how to voice them. This takes a lot of drilling to be able to do in any key and to be able to draw upon it when figuring out how to arrange a piece/song. So this is just one guy's way of organizing these chords for himself, but it may not work for everyone. Nor if you want to do this legitimately will it be a short-cut. Sure you can choose from his book what to play, but how is that different than just taking a written-out score and playing it? Where does your own creativity come in?

I really don't believe that those who really want to play piano - whether by ear or reading notation or both - can do so "in a flash" or whatever. Those who want immediate gratification can probably fool themselves or others into thinking they can play, but really they end up being a one-trick pony. Sorry if I offend, but that's MHO.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: Morodiene] #1876151
04/09/12 10:10 AM
04/09/12 10:10 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,132
Pennsylvania
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dmd Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Sure you can choose from his book what to play, but how is that different than just taking a written-out score and playing it?


Well, to be fair ... it does differ a little from a written-out score. With a book of "voicing options" you have some control over the "sound" you are developing throughout the piece.

It is sort like playing by ear at a very (and I mean very) slow pace.

Also, I suppose if you pay attention to the voicings and try to understand where they are coming from you will tend to come to "know" them and utilize them without the lookup needed. That would be the ideal, of course.



Don

Kawai MP11SE, Casio PX-160, SennHeiser HD 555 Headphones, Apple iPad Mini, Spacestation v.3 Powered Stereo Monitor, Focal CMS 40 Monitors
Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: dmd] #1876498
04/09/12 08:58 PM
04/09/12 08:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,524
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted by dmd
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Sure you can choose from his book what to play, but how is that different than just taking a written-out score and playing it?


Well, to be fair ... it does differ a little from a written-out score. With a book of "voicing options" you have some control over the "sound" you are developing throughout the piece.

It is sort like playing by ear at a very (and I mean very) slow pace.

Also, I suppose if you pay attention to the voicings and try to understand where they are coming from you will tend to come to "know" them and utilize them without the lookup needed. That would be the ideal, of course.



My point was more that it's not really a short-cut unless you're looking to play only a piece or two, since it's very ungainly to look up each chord as you are trying to play through a piece. You basically have to memorize the patterns. How is that playing by ear? To me, that's more memorizing.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Play Piano By Ear Secrets [Re: Morodiene] #1876551
04/09/12 10:42 PM
04/09/12 10:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Nashville, TN
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Brian Lucas Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
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Nashville, TN
Originally Posted by Morodiene
My point was more that it's not really a short-cut unless you're looking to play only a piece or two, since it's very ungainly to look up each chord as you are trying to play through a piece. You basically have to memorize the patterns. How is that playing by ear? To me, that's more memorizing.

I agree with you. It's like preplanning your arrangement and then just reading it through. Not really by ear. The only way you would know what they sound like is with lots of repetition. I'd also challenge that guy to change keys and see if he could play the same arrangement.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
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My Music
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