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  1. #26

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    Sorry for this but accidentally I found this, I can not resist, my excuse it connected to the OP. (quote starts here):

    "You’re not Julie f*&%#*ing Andrews!

    "


    Original article:

    Play jazz lines and standards in all keys with these 4 jazz improvisation tips • Jazz Advice



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabor
    Matt, I completely understood that using and reclaiming instrument away time is a huge benefit,and I actually do it since years. My point was about exactly that, I reasoned about that you can develop inner ear in instrument dependent way when you are away and there is no need to have and instrument independent way. By internally imagine you instrument and your hands, and internally hear what you play your virtual instrument. I regularly do this on bus, or before sleep, both with chord progressions, both melodies practically improvising, or trying new things out. This is for playing by ear which is the OP about. And the very same true for ear training. When you listening, there is no need to translate it neither to solfage neither to C, it is also beneficial if you internalize know how would you play it in your instrument, and visualize it, then when you get home, you can check it. I emphasize the importance to not miss out the instrument from the process.

    My point was, that all in C is a very marginal benefit compared to solfage it is practically the same, and any abstraction layer which is instrument independent is an extra step to overcome when your goal is to learn play by ear on your instrument. Of course for inter musician communication we still need standard notation, solfage, etc. I do not want to explain and repeat all details of my original post, maybe it was not clear enough, or simply it’s my English, please decide.
    Speaking of abstraction, maybe check out a couple of the videos.

    It's very connected to the instrument , probably much more so than letter names. Using the instrument to visualize etc.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I think it’s good not to ear train intervallically exclusively, because intervallic ear training is not the most reliable route for tonal melodic dictation, and that’s a lot of what we are interested in, even in jazz.

    Interval leaps sound different depending on context.

    So by this I mean, you would hear the first two notes of Days of Wine and Roses not as an interval of a major 6th but as notes 3 and 5 of the key. So mi and sol.

    The app Jason uses, Meludia, does it this way.
    You know it reminded me when I was in choire, the director told me: Your 'E' here it is not false, I can't say it is false... bit it is out of key'

    By the way it was very painful becasue as a player and solo singer I was very sensistive to key and in a choire I found out it was much more difficult to intonate correctly...
    ..and choire turned out to be best ear training for me (at least if you do it conciously)

  5. #29

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    Just some other observations that still nag me.
    I completely agree and have experienced what OP said there in the topic of this thread. It also surely happens with any kind of training vs. any kind of real playing.
    So, if we consider this statement as plain and simple truth "you can do what you train", then it just means the ear training is not training the exact thing what we need to really play.. by ear.

    When training to identify the intervals and play them back, whats the actual level of mastery there?
    Can you do it instantly, remember and play 20 in a row, with harmonic background (any chords and modulations and what not)? ----> that's the level of the skill what you'd want to have to play in real time.

    Thing is, we don't think or identify much when playing by the ear. If anything, there can be a little brain-time left over and it can deal with a little abstract theory or whatever comes to mind but that's about it.

    The more we train&play and put more effort into improving the finger+ear connection, the more they will start to perform like vocal cords+inner ear. And that has NOTHING to do with identifying intervals at all. When trying to sing some tune, have you ever thought "this is M.6 here now, lets squeeze the cords from c to a, it takes x of... um.. volts through the throat nerves". No, jumping from c to a is a direct action without any pondering whatsoever. Much more to do with how a M.6 "feels" and supposed to "sound like" than "how much tension to use on vocal cords". Learning how the intervals FEEL is the key to sing them well and instantly. Fingers can catch up with this direct knowledge but damn slowly.

    This interval identifying-training helps but is only a very narrow skill by its own. Not useless, just useful in other situations.
    I bet OPs ears improved a lot but the training tasks were not the same that would be required to play by ear.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    Just some other observations that still nag me.
    I completely agree and have experienced what OP said there in the topic of this thread. It also surely happens with any kind of training vs. any kind of real playing.
    So, if we consider this statement as plain and simple truth "you can do what you train", then it just means the ear training is not training the exact thing what we need to really play.. by ear.

    When training to identify the intervals and play them back, whats the actual level of mastery there?
    Can you do it instantly, remember and play 20 in a row, with harmonic background (any chords and modulations and what not)? ----> that's the level of the skill what you'd want to have to play in real time.

    Thing is, we don't think or identify much when playing by the ear. If anything, there can be a little brain-time left over and it can deal with a little abstract theory or whatever comes to mind but that's about it.
    Yeah, I think that's the thing. Let me riff on this...

    Music, it is widely agreed, shares many characteristics with language. If I type out a sentence in a language you don't know you are not going to remember it as easily as a sentence in your native tongue. This is true even if we use the same alphabet.

    It's about encoding. When I say 'elephant', an English speaker understands the meaning (the analogy is not perfect) but at least something more famliar, something that fires up well worn neural pathways. That word is then understood, and read as a totality.

    The charcter string 'ghklsugh', less so.

    So, obvious example, 20 notes/intervals are easier to memorise when they form the melody of 'Happy Birthday' than when they form a random string of even diatonic notes. Why talk about memory? Well memory is what we use to recognise something. Recognising things by ear is what we want to do, no?

    Now, jazz is a musical language, it contains a great many phrases that have been used and reused over its life. The 4-2-#2-3 enclosure, the blues scale, the descending whole tone scale, you can probably think of loads. Charlie Parker is understood to have had a finite amount of melodic material that he used most of the time, and this formed the base language, for instance, of almost every 1950s jazz improvisor.

    So, you transcribe and you learn these musical 'words' - you hear them quicker. Unfamiliar language is harder to learn. But when you hear Rosenwinkel sequence 1-2-3-5 through a mode, say, you can play a drinking game with his 90s and early 00's recordings. That's how you learn to hear quick, at the speed of jazz, so to speak.

    Visually, that's how you learn to sight read. Not note by note.

    The more we train&play and put more effort into improving the finger+ear connection, the more they will start to perform like vocal cords+inner ear. And that has NOTHING to do with identifying intervals at all. When trying to sing some tune, have you ever thought "this is M.6 here now, lets squeeze the cords from c to a, it takes x of... um.. volts through the throat nerves". No, jumping from c to a is a direct action without any pondering whatsoever. Much more to do with how a M.6 "feels" and supposed to "sound like" than "how much tension to use on vocal cords". Learning how the intervals FEEL is the key to sing them well and instantly. Fingers can catch up with this direct knowledge but damn slowly.

    This interval identifying-training helps but is only a very narrow skill by its own. Not useless, just useful in other situations.
    I bet OPs ears improved a lot but the training tasks were not the same that would be required to play by ear.
    So I am very much inclined to agree ... except the work I do on ear training does tend to sharpen my ear generally for transcription and ear learning stuff. It's all non linear...

  7. #31

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    A thought ....

    if you know a tune enough to sing it
    baa baa black sheep or something ....

    you can sing it starting on different notes, fairly easily yeah ?

    this implies that one's music knowledge of tunes
    is not in 'absolute' as in CCGGABCAG etc

    but you know it as a sound shape in time

    I think what we need as musicians (what need) is to get
    familiar with lots of those shapes
    (and with harmony moving along with them too)
    and learn how to find them very quickly on our instrument

    ie 'learn tunes'

  8. #32

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    I had a guitar teacher who is a pro and regularly gigs with a various jazz ensembles in the area. I was working on ear training at the time and showed him how I could sing the intervals and the scales of ther various modes.

    He said, "wow, I can't do that."

    What he could do is play hundreds of tunes from memory and hear the changes of tunes he hadn't played really well. He might say something like this when hearing an unfamilar tune, "that bit there is just like the B section of fly me to the moon and then it does rhythm changes". He didn't necessarily rely on chord to chord or interval to interval of the roots, he was hearing whole chunks at a time and relating it to some song he already knew. He didn't do formal ear training he just learned and played a whole bunch of tunes.

    This made me realize that the formal ear training wasn't doing me much good.

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I had a guitar teacher who is a pro and regularly gigs with a various jazz ensembles in the area. I was working on ear training at the time and showed him how I could sing the intervals and the scales of ther various modes.

    He said, "wow, I can't do that."

    What he could do is play hundreds of tunes from memory and hear the changes of tunes he hadn't played really well. He might say something like this when hearing an unfamilar tune, "that bit there is just like the B section of fly me to the moon and then it does rhythm changes". He didn't necessarily rely on chord to chord or interval to interval of the roots, he was hearing whole chunks at a time and relating it to some song he already knew. He didn't do formal ear training he just learned and played a whole bunch of tunes.

    This made me realize that the formal ear training wasn't doing me much good.
    Yes that’s what I was trying to say. That’s how working jazz players hear.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Yes that’s what I was trying to say. That’s how working jazz players hear.
    To restate this in an overly extreme way ...

    Some formal Ear Training seems to be about labeling things, but labeling things is not all that helpful.

    The ability to name intervals seems largely irrelevant to the ear-skills I need to play jazz. Over decades of playing, somehow, I developed the ability to play a melody automatically, any key, any fret, any finger. I could effortlessly play things that I could not label. I'd have to think about my left hand to come up with the note names. Then, I spent some time with ear training (Ear Master, mostly) and this skill didn't improve or change at all.

    I also spent some time working on identifying chords and scales, again, with no discernible benefit to my playing. There was some benefit in my ability to talk about music, so, for example, if there was an error, I'd be able to identify it verbally a little more easily.

    It seems to be of some value to be able to label cadences of chords. So, for example, when I hear a 3625 turnaround or a rhythm bridge, it reduces anxiety -- because I know the next four chords. But, I didn't get that from ear training.

    I'm still working on improving that ability. My approach is to use IrealPro set for key changes by a fourth every chorus and comp 12 keys. Various standards. No labeling. Just being able to hear where things are going. I can already do it with melody -- my fingers find the notes. Now I'm trying to do with the changes to standards. It's working great. Next week, I hope to raise the tempo to 22 beats per minute.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar

    Some formal Ear Training seems to be about labeling things, but labeling things is not all that helpful.

    The ability to name intervals seems largely irrelevant to the ear-skills I need to play jazz. Over decades of playing, somehow, I developed the ability to play a melody automatically, any key, any fret, any finger. I could effortlessly play things that I could not label. I'd have to think about my left hand to come up with the note names. Then, I spent some time with ear training (Ear Master, mostly) and this skill didn't improve or change at all.

    I also spent some time working on identifying chords and scales, again, with no discernible benefit to my playing. There was some benefit in my ability to talk about music, so, for example, if there was an error, I'd be able to identify it verbally a little more easily.

    It seems to be of some value to be able to label cadences of chords. So, for example, when I hear a 3625 turnaround or a rhythm bridge, it reduces anxiety -- because I know the next four chords. But, I didn't get that from ear training.

    I'm still working on improving that ability. My approach is to use IrealPro set for key changes by a fourth every chorus and comp 12 keys. Various standards. No labeling. Just being able to hear where things are going. I can already do it with melody -- my fingers find the notes. Now I'm trying to do with the changes to standards. It's working great. Next week, I hope to raise the tempo to 22 beats per minute.
    I agree, and I would like to think I am on this way somewhere. I left the interval training. My conclusion was recognizing intervals is similar than recognizing letters, which has nothing to do to understand spoken speech and the ability of speech. Like an 5 years child has professional ability to understand and speak without knowing about letters. Later when read and write time comes the child must have learn a new abstraction level which btw could be very different system, like latin letters or Russian or Chinese.

    We always say jazz is a language, so treat it as language. First learn complete idioms, then learn assemble sentences either by modifying the idioms either taking smaller parts and put them creatively together and then ultimately express your thoughts. The few of greats then add new dimension to the language.

    Back to the ear training, there is a gray area, which are not the contextless interval, instead to hear the note over the chord. It is easy over static repeating chords, but may be challenging when the app throws random chords. Which again underlines the unusefullness of the contextless or meaningless context. I think recognizing the notes over chords is a formal ear training, but still can be useful, and could be more useful over no random chords, instead over typical jazz progressions, because hearing notes over those progressions is almost mandatory.

  12. #36

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    Ear training, just like technique, should be approached from the problem solving point of view. That avoids working on fixing non existent problems.

    For example if you're struggling to play Donna Lee at tempo but you want add that to your repertoire, you've identified a technical problem. Then you'd look deeper, is it position shifts that's slowing you down or is it string skipping etc. Then you isolate the problem and work on it.

    Ear is the same. Are you having trouble hearing the changes through the bass line and that's limiting your ability to perform with your band. Then you need to improve your ears in that area. Play and sing bass note patterns through the tunes you're working on, use bass only backing tracks to solo over tunes, listen to bass tracks on your way to work and try to identify the changes etc. etc.

    If you are required to identify and shout intervals as they are played, perhaps because you need to pass an ear training exam Then work on it otherwise may be it's not fixing a problem.

  13. #37

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    I think to represent where ear training can get you, it'd be good to hear from a Charles Banacos student (there is at least one floating around hereabouts.)

    It's interesting that Banacos focussed on functional ear training in greater and greater numbers of notes. Teh contextual ear learning, as I understand it, was then checking out the music, but with a good enough formal ear to tell what was going on right away in terms of the notes themselves.

    Since his students included many of the great and good of the past 50 years, his approach can't be dismissed.

  14. #38

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    I'm not sure that melodic and harmonic interval recognition should be dissed in anyway.
    Intervals are the most minute building blocks of melody and harmony.
    Multiple harmonic intervals = chords. Multiple melodic intervals = melodies.
    It is a reasoned starting point if one is building a curriculum.
    The only problem emerges if it is believed to be an endpoint and we cease to progress
    towards greater contextual complexity.

    Based on need and not a course of study in my early performing years, it was necessary
    to figure out chords and riffs to scores of songs, like Jason had to as a bass player.
    In the beginning, it was purely hunt and peck but after awhile, many sounds just revealed
    themselves, often at pitch. Still, probably due to the content of styles I was playing, there would
    be these other sound that felt mysterious that perhaps might be understood as a dominant family
    sound with some combination of crunchy notes or a major chord with something weird going on.
    These I would have to revert to finding the notes through trial and error.

    I found that later, by practicing inversions, interval scales, arpeggios that I improved greatly
    at hearing these sounds. It makes sense to me that what we play will become familiar over time.

    Ear training is a large undertaking. It is far more than completing a college curriculum.
    As improvisers, we are best positioned to respond to others if we recognize what is being
    said, the more detail, the better.

  15. #39

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    bako... I agree

    and any more or less fundamental ear training includes both contextual functional hearing and just intervals in - so to say - abstracy (I do not believe there is that abstracy but still during leaning process it is also important to have an idea of an interval just per se).

    Again I believe the choires with 4-5 voices can be a good school if you really do your job there. You both have contextual hearing there and often you may find that all you have to do is just to intonate interval. I heard very good choire directors say: that's not 4th, or that's a bad 4th.... and it was not about the key.... (even good singers may have problem sometimes)
    What I am trying to say in solfege there is still a notion about interval as it it.

    I believe in general this is not the thing that one can define once and forever.... it is changeing all the time.

    I think it is getting more and more subtle eventually...

  16. #40

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    I think it makes sense to focus on intervals as separate entities in the beginning. But one can really get carried away with that stuff. Is it really useful to train your ears to be able to hear melodies as sequence of out of context intervals and be able to instantly name them ascending and descending?
    I think sight reader trumpet/trombone players and singers naturally have that skill but is there a good application for in the context of jazz.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I think it makes sense to focus on intervals as separate entities in the beginning. But one can really get carried away with that stuff. Is it really useful to train your ears to be able to hear melodies as sequence of out of context intervals and be able to instantly name them ascending and descending?
    I think sight reader trumpet/trombone players and singers naturally have that skill but is there a good application for in the context of jazz.
    maybe just a bit)))

    I played trombone in the army. It did not work actually... yes you have to hear the pitch to play the note correctly ... your embouchure responds to it - if you draw a curtain to the position of E but think of F - most probably you will get nothing... becasue yoru embouchure will try to find F where it is impossible to get...

    but being musical we may hear the correct pitch without conciously systemizing and naming it... this was my case...
    In that sence it does not change anything much - yes you have good ear, yes you play correct pitch on trombone but still it does not mean you would recognize or sing interval)))
    It requires concious training...

  18. #42

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    Playing melodies, playing chord changes, recognizing what chord tone a melody note is...that's what a well trained ear can do almost automatically.

  19. #43

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    1) I spent an entire childhood in which my mother played the classical radio station all day. So before I learned any western harmony, I had heard it all.
    2) As a beginning guitarist, I recognized the sounds of chord progressions. I had heard them already. I also learned what an added note or alteration sounds like, one chord at a time as I heard them ("Oh, so THAT's what an E-6 sounds like.").
    3) Once a serious student, I would play major scales in all modes until I literally fell asleep in my chair. So I have Phrygian in my bones. And I know why anyone might bother playing a Locrian mode.
    4) I learned Jazz standards on the guitar, melodies, and chords with the melody on top. This taught me context...that is, what a minor 9 on a iv chord sounds like. I know what a tritone substitution sounds like. I know the conventional uses of a half diminished chord as opposed to a diminished 7.
    5) So, given 3 and 4 above, when I hear a minor chord, for example, I know if it's functioning as a vi, a iii, a ii, or as a minor tonic. I just KNOW what scale it's part of and I know what mode to play to it. And I know what it will sound like if I play a different mode (common example: Dorian over a minor tonic). I don't have to think, I just hear it. I know what a III7 secondary dominant sounds like and what the next chord will sound like whether it's major, minor, or whatever.

    I think that's a trained ear.