I have been playing for over 2 years and decided to break my addiction. I got a teacher to try and help me but if he didn't show me note for note(string for string?) I wouldn't get it. I would get an mp3 of what we had gone over in the lesson, I wouldn't get it. I would put the mp3 in the slow downer, slow it to a crawl, I wouldn't get it. Up to this point I had considered myself a decent player but now the frustration is so bad I don't even want to play anymore. For those of you that have/had similar backgrounds is this normal? Do I have some form of audio dyslexia? Am I just not quite ready yet for learning by ear? Thanks for letting me rant.
3/31/2011 4:16:39 PM
Kirk have you tried the Murphy Method DVD's they don't use tab and I think they teach very well I have found you really got to have the tune in your head to play by ear I am not there yet but I have learned Cumberland Gap by watching the video and listening to the song numerous times havent looked at a tab for a month now
Kirk Jacobs says:
3/31/2011 6:09:45 PM
No I have not. I've tried similar approaches like banjophobic's LOTW and a couple of videos on line. Even with these I have to rewind over and over. Is it much different than tab when you have to copy note for note to play the song? I just don't have any reference to know if this is usual or if it's just me.
Kirk Jacobs says:
3/31/2011 6:42:57 PM
Nice job on your Cumberland Gap by the way. Nice little riff coming back down from the upper frets
3/31/2011 6:49:12 PM
I'm only a player of 14 months so I really cannot help you with your delima someone like John boulding would a good one to ask he's online a lot you can private message to him thanks for your kind comment on my video
4/1/2011 12:19:52 AM
kirk iam playing 5 years and in same boat it just means your ear needs to be trained i have only started this as well
dont give up bud youll get there in my opinion just take your time and youll get there
4/1/2011 5:44:37 AM
I don't have a lot of experience Kirk. All i can do is tell you that i have a system that seems to work for me: My teacher takes me through a section of a new tune, slowly note for note. He then spends ten minutes recording a video which i use to learn off. We never use tab. Maybe your teacher could try this. As Rick mentioned before The Murphy Method is really good for learning a new tune without tab. Nick
From Greylock to Bean Blossom says:
4/1/2011 6:36:18 AM
You might want to try a few lessons (skype) with John Boulding. He taught me the concept of reoccurring patterns in playing and now I have a better idea of how to relate and group what I hear.
When I played from tab it everything was hard to learn because everything seemed independent from each other and it seemed like I had to learn a lot to function for each song.
John teaches you to fish instead of giving you a fish (note for note).
4/1/2011 2:29:32 PM
thats what all instructors try to do,some takes a file to find that,when you get like that,lay it down a while or week if needed,then pick it back up,theres a lot of hard work in it,but when catch on,then you got it
Kirk Jacobs says:
4/1/2011 3:05:54 PM
To NickC: So it is not unusual to be shown note for note? I had guessed that there would be a bit of a learning curve, I just didn't realize that it would make me feel like I was starting all over again.
To Greylock: I think my teacher wanted to teach me to fish but I was the one that kept going; what is a hook? and the rod? and the reel? you do what with it?
4/4/2011 4:52:52 AM
I'm not sure what the 'norm' is really! I've been taught in 2 ways. With video (note for note) as an aid after being taken through note for note by my teacher and an mp3 file and tab after a lesson. Both seemed to work. but the video method suits me better as it forces you to memorise a tune! It was a bit of a shock when my new teacher said he wouldn't ever give me tab but i soon got used to it. Have you picked up any of the Murphy method DVD's? They work in the same way and they are great for learning individual songs. You do need a teacher though to give you the 'big picture'. hope this helps! Nick
4/4/2011 4:54:15 AM
oh. by the way Kirk i learn with my new teacher over Skype. It seems to work well.
Kirk Jacobs says:
4/4/2011 3:14:42 PM
NickC: No I haven't tried MM dvd's, I wasn't sure if it was going to be more of the same. I'm still playing but went back to my comfort zone(tabs) until the bruising goes down on my ego.
6/17/2011 4:17:41 PM
Try just noodling around, making up stuff to get used to the pitch intervals and associated fret locations. That helped me quite a bit in learning to play by ear.
I can usually play a tune I'm familiar with by ear right away, taking some time and practice to apply my style of playing. If I've never heard the tune before, sometimes I have to hear it many times before I get it; and don't get too hung up on getting each and every note exactly as you hear it. Try to get the tune in general. Mistakes and misinterpretations of performed music part of how tunes evolve!
8/24/2011 10:21:22 AM
You have had some good tips, I might add that breaking a song down bit by bit and maybe learning the scales might help. I generally pick around until i find the melody notes. Fred Sokolow and Pete Wernick slow it down on DVD to help with this. Good look , I hope you keep after it.
10/22/2011 4:40:00 PM
One thing that may be helpful, regardless of how you learn new material, is listening to the song till you have it in your head. Many students I have taught over the years develop problems trying to capture a new song simply because the don't really know how it sounds. Many players never take the time to listen to a song closely enough until it is in their memory. I'm from the old school(before tabs were really available like they are now). I use tablature only if I know how the song is supposed to sound. Give yourself a better chance of getting it right the first time by being familiar with a sonf before you learn it. It's like reading a road map. Once you've looked at the map, and coursed the directions, you know wher to go. Good luck, and don't ever give up pickin'
Kirk Jacobs says:
11/13/2011 1:21:06 PM
Thanks for all the advice. My ear is getting better about picking up things. In my heart I knew it was something I was going to have to work at(which I have). I had gotten a little frustrated because I thought I should've have been able to faster. The map says 10 miles but sometimes it sure seems more like 20.
8/27/2012 6:29:04 AM
Hey Kirk. I'm having similar issues. Try starting out by simply picking melody to an easy song such as "I'll Fly Away" etc. Don't worry about licks or rolls, just melody. Play that over and over and the rest will slowly start coming in over time.
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