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Originally Posted by Simon_b
You may be right about the majority of musicians, as that would include non-western musicians. In the western world I doubt that's the case.
I was born and lived in Latvia, which, together with Estonia, was the most western in spirit republic (of course, very relatively). I began to study classical music in the early 50s, and it was only by sheet music. From the second year I began to be interested in light music , boogie-woogie, music from films, music from European radio programs - and only by ear ; in a situation unfamiliar to you, where there were no teachers, no notes, no vinyls; and so it went on for over ten years. Gradually, local radio programs appeared, sheet music, like little fake books; at the age of 16, I received a tape recorder as a gift, which allowed me to record music from the radio and then study; and all this is BY EAR . It was the same with my Latvian friends and colleagues. I saw the real fake book only after moving to Israel in 1972; and I think that the current young generation of musicians is spoiled beyond measure, which leads to an excessive search for printed .

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Hi Nahum

I didn't discover fake books until the 1990s/2000s! Only once the internet came of age did I realise such things existed, and by then I was about 40. I agree I think younger musicians are spoilt to a degree now.

In another thread I said that not everyone has the talent or the willpower to learn to play by ear. It never even occurred to me that you could do that (when I was younger), and when I tried I found it slow and tedious, and crucially I didn't get to play as much.

I wanted to play, and be in a band, and the quickest way for me to do that was to practise playing and study theory. With that combination, and what limited talent I have, it enabled me to achieve more than I ever thought possible when I first started playing the Piano at the age of 9 in 1970.

I'm not against playing by ear. I admire people who can do it, especially those that do it well, which isn't everyone who tries! But it didn't, and never has worked for me.

Cheers


Simon

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Originally Posted by Simon_b
I'm really not sure what your point is with regard to somebody like myself who mostly doesn't play by ear. If you're trying to make me feel inferior it's not worked.
Well I wouldn't have known that about you anyway. I meant to say somewhere in that post that it was only one way of viewing matters. I wouldn't be recommending people to learn that way, and I don't myself. Just wondering what if.

For me I think the primary goal with music should be to strive to be able to play what you feel. Funnily enough I think there's a lot of people out there who enjoy playing music very skillfully, who can't play what they feel, or who don't really feel anything! A lot of guys who have a fantastic ear for music but have know heart.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
The overwhelming majority of musicians in the world play exclusively by ear.[/quote]

Thank you.

I know this is a piano forum, but let's reiterate "musician" also means a mirad of players of other instruments.

Sometimes I think, if someone is having difficulty learning piano by ear, switch to violin or guitar. Violin particularly, because there are no frets to determine pitch. Imagine playing a piano where it's up to the operator to determine the intonation. (This is actually why I chose a DP and stayed away from pianos for years)


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Originally Posted by Farmerjones
(This is actually why I chose a DP and stayed away from pianos for years)
What's DP?

Last edited by Visalia; 12/27/21 08:45 AM.
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Originally Posted by Visalia
Originally Posted by Farmerjones
(This is actually why I chose a DP and stayed away from pianos for years)
What's DP?
Dp = Digital Piano
But I stayed away from all pianos for years, through my own ignorance. In hindsight, years better spent on violin anyway.


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Originally Posted by Farmerjones
But I stayed away from all pianos for years, through my own ignorance. In hindsight, years better spent on violin anyway.
My experience has proven that it is worth spending years on both the violin (viola, cello) and the piano.




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Originally Posted by Farmerjones
Originally Posted by Nahum
The overwhelming majority of musicians in the world play exclusively by ear.

Not sure I would agree, maybe, maybe not. I played clarinet for about 20 years. Then a year or two on sax. Later on a few years on accordion. I always played by note and never by ear. Now in retirement I tried guitar and my old hands won't allow it, too much pain so I now play Ukulele's, Guitalele, and Piano and I still play by note.

I started on clarinet at age 10 and learned to read music. Later on little by little I have learned some music theory, scales, chords. I started learning to play pop piano in my sixties. Now I am almost 84 and still play by note.

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Originally Posted by john fh
Originally Posted by Farmerjones
Originally Posted by Nahum
The overwhelming majority of musicians in the world play exclusively by ear.

Not sure I would agree, maybe, maybe not. .
Apparently, they exist in a different space than you. I played for 11 years in symphony orchestras where everyone knew the sheet music; but also oriental music in wedding bands, where practically no one knew the sheet music.

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Well, do we or don't we agree, a majority of guitar players, play by ear?
Now, Google annual guitar sales vs. annual piano sales. (millions vs. hundreds of thousands, respectively)

I believe the statement was not exclusive to piano.


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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by Farmerjones
But I stayed away from all pianos for years, through my own ignorance. In hindsight, years better spent on violin anyway.
My experience has proven that it is worth spending years on both the violin


Nahum,
Thanks again. No bigger fan of Steph Grappelli, than me.


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Originally Posted by Nahum
... My experience has proven that it is worth spending years on both the violin (viola, cello) and the piano.

...

Hasn't the same been said about learning Saxophone or Drums along side piano?

If you already have it, great. I am sure there are benefits, but if learning a second instrument is solely for the purpose of improving your ear at Piano, take up singing.

You should develop your ear as you learn to read and play, and most people do, even if they don't realize it. It would take a very specialized teacher to teach you all the important aspects of playing, just relying on your ear and no score or lead sheet ever involved. Most students would fall way behind.

If the majority of the world plays by ear, they do so very badly.

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I have had several acquaintances that could read music but played piano mostly by ear. Many of the younger ones play from lead sheets and would not be able to play strictly by ear. Most guitar players I have known did not read music. I wouldn't know whether most of the world plays by ear or not.

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As a good ear training exercise, take the song 'She's Gone' by Hall & Oates. Listen for the very first lead guitar note which comes in over a B/A (chord that starts song). Having played the chord lower down, look further up the piano, and see can you tell which note it is relative to that chord!

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