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
53 members (AndreaH, anotherscott, AndrewJCW, 36251, Alex Hutor, BMKE, accordeur, 14 invisible), 713 guests, and 347 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 684
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 684
Up until now I have been working through various pieces of printed music but decided I would devote some time to playing by ear and structuring songs myself. This has really dumbed my ability to read and for the several weeks that I have been playing by ear I seem to play with less structure, less discipline and find that playing chords on the left hand na dmelody on the right hand - isn't really the best technique (or is it)?

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
The technique is to be organized and do a little of each every day. Easily said.

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,906
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,906
And integration of the two skills, kbk? If so, how as suggested strategy?

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 95
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 95
In my opinion, it really depends which genre of music you are playing...

Take classical for example...playing by ear impairs my reading ability A LOT...like I've mentioned in my previous post, I tend to take the short cut of listening to CDs, or listening to people play the piece that I am suppose to play...and I pick it up by ear...it results to me, being a clone of the CD/teacher...and ZERO ability to sight-read...or even learn a piece by score...I'm just too over-whelmed by the notes...

Ah, thank God I'm out of it...I still listen by ear...but I make myself read and prepare my piece first...before I am even introduced to any interpretation...

That was classical for me...jazz and blues are slightly different...I believe that each musician, will sooner or later develop their own feel and touch...attach different emotions to their playing...which is why playing by ear is important...scores are there to assist...but when it comes to 'searching one's soul', it hardly suffice...

By playing by ear for jazz swings...you will pick up licks by other music artist, say...Art Tatum and Herbie Hancock...mix a bit of both together...and you may find it quite satisfying!!...while looking at scores especially solos, for me...makes me feel quite redundant...and limited...as I may not understand the approach of every lick made by the specific artist...

Music scores, in jazz...are great for reference...and to pick on, when brains are dried...but other than that, I play by ear all the way...and transcribe licks that I like... wink

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 588
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 588
Hi,

I like to do both. I'm not sure than my non-reading playing actually impairs my reading. But it does seem to make me feel a little impatient and slow when I switch back. It tends to feel like harder work decoding all those dots, and working bar by bar through somebody else's instructions. I'm not a fast reader, so it always was a relatively slow process, compared to the freedom of choosing what I play and how. So I think that for me it's more like a reality check than an impairment. But as Keyboardklutz suggests, I try and keep a foot in both camps.

Cheers,

Chris


Who needs feet of clay? I can get into enough trouble with feet made of regular foot stuff...
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 40
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 40
I know I have a tough time doing both. At a band rehearsal earlier today, I played most of the songs with just chords. When I'm playing that way I don't exactly play by ear, but earlier today our lead singer needed me to play some melody to help her stay on track for a couple of the songs. So I was having to play more by ear than usual.
Then later I had the staff music for one of the songs, and I had a tough time shifting gears to play the notes as they were written.
I wonder if you use different parts of your brain when your playing by ear and when your playing by music. I know for me, it's tough to do both well.


Steve DeVane
www.stevedevane.com
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 140
H
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
H
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 140
No, most definitely not. As long as you keep reading sheet music every day and keep learning things by ear, you will not lose any of these skill sets.

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 340
W
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
W
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 340
It's the other way around smile

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 121
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 121
I have been playing by ear for a little while now. And being a jazz beginner I must say that I do listen to the songs I want to learn, before looking up the lead sheets just to get the chord progression right. Usually I have the main melody in my head already.

It also seems counterintuitive to try to get the jazzy, syncopated rhythm out of written scores. You are supposed to "feel" the groove, the beat, not counting it on page.

I guess I am quite biased on this matter. Perhaps on more complicated classical pieces accuracy from scores is more of a priority over one's "owning" the music.

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
If available practice time and energy were without limits, I'd say there would be no correlation between playing by ear and sight reading.

However, in the real world, both time and energy are very much limited.

Every hour you spend playing by ear represents time that could have been spent developing sight reading skills. Perhaps one is more important to you at the moment. Perhaps you view both as being equally important. Logic would dictate that if you have to divide your practice time into two pieces, the progress for each will be half as fast.

I think its great you've taken a well-balanced approach. Like with most things, there is a price to be paid.

Personally, I believe the more appropriate word is "impede," rather than "impair."

I could be wrong, but that's what I think. smile

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 73
Z
Zom Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Z
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 73
I've found that playing by ear has enhanced my ability to read. That is, playing by ear having improvised in all 24 keys and all their constituent chords and inversions for years...doing this gave me intimate knowledge of intervals and chords I might not have acquired otherwise. Thus it is easier to relate sheet music to shapes I know from improvising. Of course, I've been reading all along too. Perhaps what you need is to just keep it up...keep reading, and keep playing by ear. Nothing says you can't do both!

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 88
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 88
Playing by ear and reading music are two different skills. Both are wonderful and have to be practiced to keep at a certain level(unless you've reached a high level already). If you only play solely by ear and neglect your reading skills, your reading ability will be negatively affected - you'll be rusty. Since you're still learning, you need to do both.

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,297
C
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,297
Quote
Originally posted by Zom:
I've found that playing by ear has enhanced my ability to read. That is, playing by ear having improvised in all 24 keys and all their constituent chords and inversions for years...doing this gave me intimate knowledge of intervals and chords I might not have acquired otherwise. Thus it is easier to relate sheet music to shapes I know from improvising. Of course, I've been reading all along too. Perhaps what you need is to just keep it up...keep reading, and keep playing by ear. Nothing says you can't do both!
Absolutely, Zom. I think you're spot on. thumb
And I would add that reading can also enhance your ability to play by ear. It makes you familiar with patterns you may not have explored otherwise, and keeps reinforcing that symbol/sound connection. You don't just use your eyes when reading (read a note, push a key). The ideal is to use your ears always, whether reading or not. It all should go together to build up overall musicianship.


Du holde Kunst...
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4
Quote
Originally posted by mozartian18:
Playing by ear and reading music are two different skills. Both are wonderful and have to be practiced to keep at a certain level(unless you've reached a high level already). If you only play solely by ear and neglect your reading skills, your reading ability will be negatively affected - you'll be rusty. Since you're still learning, you need to do both.
I do both, but what I find very useful is to combine the two - taking the written music which I can play, and then using my ear to enhance that. This is especially useful where you are only supplied part of the music or a simplified version (or an overcomplicated arrangement which needs to be de-cluttered!) *** and need to produce something closer to what you or the listener would like to hear or is expecting if, like me, you are often producing covers.

I have got to the point now that I probably never play what is written the second time through and I really do think that is down to my ear. It also lets me put my own style on the performance. Of course, that means that sometimes it all goes wrong - but that doesn't matter as long as you can hide it!

I would want to emphasise that I consider this to be a reasonably advanced way of playing and you must have a good base skill. Your ability to play by ear (and improvise to an extent) will always be limited by your technical capability and this will probably improve more through playing from written scores.

[ *** If I had a penny for every time I have been presented music to play where they hasn't been a single note on the page I would be very rich. My favourite is TAB, especially if it indicates that the original piano part has been converted to TAB for guitar playing! Words and chords seem to be a regular think too, followed by the question - how does the melody go? ]

smile


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
Are these George Winston sheet music books legit?
by ShiroKuro - 08/10/22 10:41 PM
How old do you think this piano is? (from hammer felt wear)
by 88Key_PianoPlayer - 08/10/22 09:20 PM
what might exist (a keyboard view)?
by keystring - 08/10/22 05:49 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
Topics214,335
Posts3,215,368
Members106,057
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