2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
68 members (0day, ada d., Alex Hutor, brennbaer, astrotoy, Animisha, Carey, brdwyguy, 13 invisible), 1,054 guests, and 310 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
I've been thinking of this since I started memorizing a Scarborough Fair. laugh Do you think it makes any sense? Or do memorizers just remember things automatically without having to pay attention to the notes? I am paying more attention myself to the notes with the SF because I keep forgetting it and to go back to some reference I need to think of the fingering, but better if I help myself with the sounds in my head to remember if it is down or up the keyboard, for example. Better if I could recall the exact note, but I first learnt the fingering.

Are you a good memorizer and then also good at finding the notes by ear?

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
I would say everyone's ears are very good at remembering musical tones, sounds and chords if my ears are half way good at it. I'd bet the ranch most ears are better at remembering sounds than eyes, etc. are at remembering notes. One does have to transfer that information down to 10 fingers plus 1 foot or the physical aspect of being a musician.

When I first started tho, it wasn't with a SF, it was more like a TBM (Three Blind Mice) grin ... I'm one of these guys who had to perfect my crawling before tackling balance.

Last edited by Rerun; 12/08/16 07:32 AM.

Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Rerun, when I read you, you talk as if you just knew where the notes are on the keyboard from the beginning and that's why you can play by ear. I have to say that I think you've simply forgotten WHEN you learnt to relate the sounds with the notes! tiki smokin


Lucky you. It must be so natural now that you've forgotten how. smile smile smile Or maybe it's true and you just did it magically?

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
Originally Posted by Albunea
Rerun, when I read you, you talk as if you just knew where the notes are on the keyboard from the beginning and that's why you can play by ear. I have to say that I think you've simply forgotten WHEN you learnt to relate the sounds with the notes! tiki smokin


Lucky you. It must be so natural now that you've forgotten how. smile smile smile Or maybe it's true and you just did it magically?


No, I'm not a talented guy. I can hear stuff going on in music and hear some distinctions between rhythm, harmony and melody and whether melody is going up or down but most people can probably do that better than I can.

Plunking around on the keyboard got me half way familiar with where sounds were located like C chord, F chord and G chord and then I started to hear the relationship between those sounds.

There is a logical sequence to learning to play by ear that someone on this website told me where to go to to learn, I'm not talented enough to figure it out myself but a lot of people out there are. Also, at 60 yo, there's not a lot of time left to screwing around with it myself. grin

I might add that I'm not particularly opposed to shortcuts.

Last edited by Rerun; 12/08/16 09:21 AM.

Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Originally Posted by Rerun

Plunking around on the keyboard got me half way familiar with where sounds were located like C chord, F chord and G chord and then I started to hear the relationship between those sounds.


Ah...that! A lot of plunking! At least that's what I think it takes, a lot of it.

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Rerun, I've been now thinking that it works both ways: when we start "plunking", we'll also be using more our memories, to remember the little bits that are good. After some time, your musical memory might have been improved considerably, except that we won't remember it. laugh

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
Quote
... to remember the little bits that are good....


Ah ha, you nailed it ... the ears develop to where they easily make the distinction about what sounds pleasing and what doesn't. If one thinks the second chord, say F chord, sounds good in "Silent Night" in the key of C, then they haven't listened to what the G chord sounds like yet at that chord change.

You know what, you''re gonna be phenomenal at this stuff!!

Last edited by Rerun; 12/08/16 11:15 AM.

Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,301
5000 Post Club Member
Online Content
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,301
When I memorize something, I know that if I cannot hear it play back in my head, I cannot play it. My teacher had me do an exercise where I slowed the piece down so much that it no longer sounded correct in my head - and my memory failed at that point, even though I could play it from memory at faster speeds.

So there is a direct connection for me between hearing it as I play it and playing it from memory.

Sam


Back to School at 62: How I earned a BM degree in Piano Performance/Piano Pedagogy in my retirement!
ABF Online Recitals
ABF Recital Index
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,031
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,031
"when I started memorizing Scarborough Fair" looks / sounds like you intended to memorize the playing of this song.

From reading across PW and other places, I gather that people who memorize the playing of piano pieces are sometimes associated one and the same as players who play-by-ear. Perhaps there is logical reason for the two to often be found together but is not the case with me unless I misunderstand the typical definition of play-by-ear. I read music, poorly, but after a fashion read nonetheless. Every piece I've practiced and learned to the point of instructor deeming "mastered, move on" the past 2.5 years has been the result of pressing the keys upon reading the notation as scored in the book. Memorization happens but not intended and does not happen right away; some evidence - the very simple pieces in the beginning of book 1 did not become memorized, probably because it did not take weeks in coming to master them. As I've progressed through latter book 1 and much of book 2, I have hung onto some of the pieces (favorites) mastered, I play them nearly daily and this is my slowly expanding "repertoire". Occassionally I leaf backwards in the books and begin reading "playing" a past mastered piece only to find I can no longer play neither by sight nor from memory. Because I remember the melody I find that at some point reading shuts off and a few moments later I am plunking around the keyboard trying to see if I can play the old piece by ear but this does not work either........ so I ask myself, do I want to relearn?

A simplified traditional version of Scarborough Fair is in book 2, when I progressed past it last year - took about 3 weeks and I already knew the melody thanks to those modern 70's and Simon & Garfunkle - I was taken by how quickly this piece faded from my being able to play from recall after I stopped playing it daily.... some tricky combination of LH & RH sequences, note values and fingering. When I complete review of book 2 I intend to add this piece, along with House of the Rising Sun (traditional folk version) , to my recall repertoire ..... unless I run out of human bytes giga tera storage space ..... maybe by then I'll have become a better reader.


Last edited by drewr; 12/08/16 03:54 PM.

- Kawai MP7 and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
- DT770 Pro-80 and MDR-7506 phones
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,031
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,031
Originally Posted by Rerun
Quote
... to remember the little bits that are good....


Ah ha, you nailed it ... the ears develop to where they easily make the distinction about what sounds pleasing and what doesn't......




It seems likely there are eyes out there that can develop to where they make a distinction about what looks like it will sound good and what doesn't.....at least in theory.






- Kawai MP7 and LSR308 monitors
- Roland HP-508
- DT770 Pro-80 and MDR-7506 phones
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Originally Posted by Sam S
When I memorize something, I know that if I cannot hear it play back in my head, I cannot play it. My teacher had me do an exercise where I slowed the piece down so much that it no longer sounded correct in my head - and my memory failed at that point, even though I could play it from memory at faster speeds.

So there is a direct connection for me between hearing it as I play it and playing it from memory.

Sam


I thought of you in relation to this topic, Sam! smile But not in the style you are explaining now, since I didn't know this. What I knew is that you are a sight-reader and are working now on memory in your studies (your thread is very interesting).

Are you able to explain HOW is that hearing of the pieces that enables you to remember them? I find myself humming some of the little pieces I play, but I can't play them without the score. I only hum some part, obviously, since there are harmonies. I even wonder what it is that I hum. Are you able to hear them complete, both hands? I've never heard like that myself.

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,800
G

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,800
Originally Posted by drewr
...
From reading across PW and other places, I gather that people who memorize the playing of piano pieces are sometimes associated one and the same as players who play-by-ear. Perhaps there is logical reason for the two to often be found together ...

Yes, you're right and they are not the same thing. I had it worse growing up. I learned by rote, so couldn't read either so everyone (i mean everyone accept me and my teacher) thought I played by ear. Nope, wrong, it is just monkey see monkey do.

They help each other. No question. But they are separate. I memorize Chopin just like a Pop tune. They'll both fade quickly if not visited frequently. I've only figured out a few good arrangements by ear in my lifetime. So, I'm not an ear player. Can hardly read either. All together it is a mixed bag ... crazy

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,891
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 9,891
I do a lot of play by ear, but of late, I`ve used music since the nuances and quirky bits so often missed are easily accessible and of course, my style o` playing would not be evident.
Scarborough Fair has a Simon & Garfunkle version which would require me to use music.

But you can improvise and play by ear in your own style which would be readily accessible at any time once you`ve done and settled into this. It is fun, not demanding technically, and you explore all sorts of daft avenues along the way; the melody is soon forgotten in the mix.

Memorising a classical piece is different. I can, as long as I continue to practice it. (Yes, one is about it at the moment . . .and I messed up on that this morning. . . .)


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
drewr, I am like you in that I need to read, but I never memorize them to the point of being able to play without the score. I know I have it somehow memorized after some time, some muscle memory, but that's all, not enough to play it. An exception is, for example, one little Boogie that I find very logical: chord progression repeating C C F G F C. When people explain how to memorize, they tell us to study the score first, to look at the structure, and it makes sense to me. I remember the Boogie because I understand it. But I can't understand the Scarborough Fair, or the rest. laugh

I don't have one of my old books now so I can't check if I'd be able to play it now. I can play all the old pieces I have with me now though, but it's also true they are all part of my present repertoire. Hmm I must be playing like 30 different little things at the moment. laugh Most of them I haven't still perfected, and need the score with all. I am afraid the same will happen to me when I advance: that I will not be able to play old pieces. Now I can forget some difficult chord already, but practice it a bit and everything is back.

The Scarborough Fair is the first I am trying to memorize, to have a song I could play without a score and for the memorizing practice itself.

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,174
Originally Posted by drewr
Originally Posted by Rerun
Quote
... to remember the little bits that are good....


Ah ha, you nailed it ... the ears develop to where they easily make the distinction about what sounds pleasing and what doesn't......




It seems likely there are eyes out there that can develop to where they make a distinction about what looks like it will sound good and what doesn't.....at least in theory.


A few years back, there was a classically trained pianist from Israel at Piano Magic who read sheet music like I would read a newspaper and could do exactly what you said.

He was a member there because he wanted to teach his beginner students to play by ear prior to they're learning to read music and liked Mike's methods. I think the two worked together a bit developing something workable for kids. He had moved to France at the time to teach.


Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD


[Linked Image]



Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Greener, we'll all end up being a mix, I guess, but your case is not very normal. You learnt "by rote" looking at your father's fingers? That's absolutely difficult for me, but perhaps it's also not the most practical because it only teaches us technique (well, technique is a lot already).

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Originally Posted by peterws


But you can improvise and play by ear in your own style which would be readily accessible at any time once you`ve done and settled into this. It is fun, not demanding technically, and you explore all sorts of daft avenues along the way; the melody is soon forgotten in the mix.


Yes, that'd be fantastic, even if at a basic level. I can see how it'd be fun. I'll go on working with the melodies for now as a starting point.

What do you mean with your last sentence?: the melody is soon forgotten in the mix.

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,800
G

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014
2000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,800
Originally Posted by Albunea
Greener, we'll all end up being a mix, I guess, but your case is not very normal...

It was normal for me. grin

Just saying that assumptions were made because of it that were false. A mix sounds good.

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,146
R
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,146
Originally Posted by Albunea
I've been thinking of this since I started memorizing a Scarborough Fair. laugh Do you think it makes any sense? Or do memorizers just remember things automatically without having to pay attention to the notes? I am paying more attention myself to the notes with the SF because I keep forgetting it and to go back to some reference I need to think of the fingering, but better if I help myself with the sounds in my head to remember if it is down or up the keyboard, for example. Better if I could recall the exact note, but I first learnt the fingering.

Are you a good memorizer and then also good at finding the notes by ear?


I don't think I'm using my ears to memorize. I'm mainly using my ears to verify that I'm playing it right.

The reason that I memorize is because I know what I'm doing.
E.g. I know what key I'm in and what the sharp or flat notes normally are in that key, and if it deviates anywhere.

That I'm playing a diatonic scale from note A4 (which is the 5th in this key) and up to XX with a frill at the top...or not.
Then it comes down the same way and ends here, and with a certain frill and continues to this.
The L.H. chords are this and that and I remember the sequence for these 8 bars.

I can play the thing by either hand from memory separately, or together.
I have a somewhat photographic visualization of the key topology for this section. So that I can see it even away from the keyboard.
I can see the whole chord structure for the LH from beginning to end and in what bars the harmony repeats, and where it doesn't.

So, gradually it becomes a whole bunch of musical mnemonics.
It gets easier with time and after learning lots of pieces.
Even the fingering turns into a kind of mnemonic system.

You remember that the fingering is usually like this, but here it changes a bit to this because this follows, etc. Here I use 5 and 4 together with 1 even if it feels a bit awkward in the beginning. Because this way I'll be able to crawl up scale wise in legato fashion 3 chords in a row, using the 5th finger on the lowest note and not looking at the keyboard even.

I don't believe in muscle memory, it seems too uncontrollable to me and I don't even like the terminology.
E.g. if you drill for hrs on end and over days, a scale going up and down turns into an automatic action, and you're telling your brain that this is the way it should be done.
Which is true...but only for this particular mania that is going on.

When you later play the same scale in a composition where it needs a different fingering at the top or bottom, or even skips a note or two in some place, then you have a problem and need to unlearn.
The only good thing I can think about it, is that it helps in the feel of familiarity and comfort, and makes it easier to find hand positions. E.g. LH chord shapes.

Knowing musical theory and analyzing the piece helps a lot.
E.g. you know that this usually is followed by this in harmony, but in this case it doesn't...so that becomes an easy thing to know and understand. Hence, you have already memorized that without trying even.

So, I would say it all comes down to understood phrases/chunks/sections/bits/or whatever, played from a map in your mind.
The ear comes in verifying the result. If it's not right, then there is an immediate reaction.

This is the way I look at it today, anyway.
And it might look like a lot of the above doesn't have anything to do with remembering a piece at all, but for me it's what makes it possible.

But things evolve and change, with time and experience.


Will do some R&B for a while. Give the classical a break.
You can spend the rest of your life looking for music on a sheet of paper. You'll never find it, because it just ain't there. - Me Myself
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
A
Albunea Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
A
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,460
Yes, RaggedKeyPresser, what you've said sounds very advanced for me, but I do understand that the knowledge helps you remember the piece. I've found interesting what you said about scales. I was feeling I should practice them too, but there's only so much one can work at. laugh Thanks for sharing. smile

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Line outs recording vs USB recording
by PianoStartsAt33 - 08/10/22 09:33 AM
I'm playing in a special recital!
by Sam S - 08/10/22 09:25 AM
Great Piano Tutorial
by Bart K - 08/10/22 03:54 AM
Piano mindset
by pablobear - 08/10/22 01:37 AM
Boston UP-118S opinions
by skern49 - 08/09/22 11:13 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,326
Posts3,215,216
Members106,055
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
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 | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5