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Topic: Piano and ears  (Read 454 times)

Offline henrikhank

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Piano and ears
on: March 07, 2021, 05:04:29 PM
Hello fellow pianists!

Offline j_tour

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Re: Piano and ears
Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 10:37:09 PM
I find those who can play very well by just playing from a score to be very interesting. I have been jelous of them but on the other hand I want to be play without a score so I don't need to be them. I am not saying that I have good ears because I don't. Even when singing my ears suck at times.

What are your experiences with this?

There are several directions in your post.  And Hello to you to, Fellow Pianist!

Personally, I find it wretchedly difficulty to read especially "movements" from Bach that are rather slow without listening to a number of recordings, and playing with a mechanical metronome at the desk.  I'd be surprised if most mere mortal pianists approach such tasks very differently.

For other, through-composed music at a moderate tempo or above, assuming I'm roughly familiar with the composer, I don't feel the need to refer to a recording.  Although it's often enlightening after beginning to just "rawdog it" off the score, for comparison.

I do value ear-training and sight-singing (in so far as the latter is IMHO a necessary step to properly reproducing the notes in one's mind's ear:  BTW, my voice is terrible, but singing in exact pitches brings clarity to:



When I try to learn new tricks from semi-improvised music in various jazz idioms.  For those, I actually do write out transcriptions with pencil and paper, just so I can keep personal references for the future. 

The representation on the page often suggests to me some theoretical ideas or even "tricks" that may not be available to me by strictly copying by ear. 

And, in most cases, I don't actually want to perform or play the solo, even in practicing at home:  I'm just looking for different approaches.  I did do things like "Carolina Shout" or "Charleston Rag" and some others as a much younger person, but I only improvise that era (spanning many decades) for quite a number of years.

Same with bebop or post-bop:  I do occasionally inspect transcriptions, but looking at someone else's transcription doesn't really help me, since I can easily transcribe it myself, if desired.  No, I never play others' improvised solos, but I unabashedly steal ideas, from voicings to melodic fragments.

But, that all said, playing/copying by ear is a big part of how I approach improvised US folk music (jazz, country, blues, rock). 

However, there's not really a method I follow:  perhaps it's like one of those cartoons where somewhere straps a pile of records or books to one's head and calls it "learning by osmosis."

In short, given the breadth of your post and the topics you raise, I personally do both, pretty often at the same time:  using a score or even a lead-sheet, but also listening closely and reproducing in broad strokes the attacks of various artists/interpreters.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline lelle

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Re: Piano and ears
Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 10:44:20 PM
If I am not mistaken, the Suzuki method starts out with imitation and adds sheet music much later than other methods.

Playing well from scores - particularly a vista - is much about learning to recognize what patterns are in there though, so you don't sit and have to decipher it note by note, but ratherin larger chunks of many notes that you recognize from patterns you know. Knowing your music teory inside and out can be a very helpful tool in learning and knowing these patterns.

When playing classical music, you need the skill of playing from sometimes complex scores. Other genres may be more free.

I hope that answered your questions. Where there any specific things you want to know more about regarding this topic?

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