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  1. #1

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    Everyone knows that people can hear differently.
    I'm curious how hearing music affects the quality of playing?
    One thing is for sure - there are two things that are absolutely related to each other.
    What is more important ear training or playing an instrument?-big-ears-2-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Seems slam dunk for me: train your ears by playing an instrument...?

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB View Post
    Seems slam dunk for me: train your ears by playing an instrument...?
    +1
    ...or such a nuance:
    Train your ears and play an instrument or play an instrument and train your ears.

  5. #4

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    If you want to improvise, your ear tells you what to play, not your teacher, not a piece of paper, not anybody else. Training your ears and having an informed knowledge of what you're hearing lets you make choices to become more articulate in what and how you chose to express yourself. A trained ear is the way to break free from the habits your hands keep you safe in.
    That's the way I see it. That's the way I hear it.

  6. #5

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    In a word, we need to practice our hearing to control what we play.

  7. #6

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    It depends on what the balance is between your ear and knowledge / ability on the instrument. For the many guitarists I know the ability on the instrument far outweighs their ear. I'm in that camp generally but my ear is catching up and the largest reason being is because I spend generally 3 times the amount of time singing, transcribing, hearing melodies in my mind and checking with a keyboard, etc... I generally only pick up the instrument to check if I have any trouble translating what I'm hearing on the guitar.

  8. #7

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    Learn music by ear and play it on the guitar

  9. #8

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    Learn music by ear and play it instantly on the guitar!

  10. #9

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    ... but then. It'd be only a circus trick. Still gotta practice. To get it good and groovy.

  11. #10

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    I don't really understand the question. You can't get a gig with a great ear and no instrument. And you can't be a decent jazz player without a decent ear.
    So more "important" for what purpose?

    I would say just this.

    I notice that a lot of teenagers have good chops. I'm going to guess that they don't all have as-good ears, because developing a great ear is harder for most people. At least, that's my impression.

    So, I think, on average, if you had to warn a beginner about a potential pitfall, you'd suggest being careful not to overlook ear training. OTOH, having great chops is an advantage and you probably are best off if you form good habits from the start.

  12. #11

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    Easy question:
    Do the more time you spend practicing your hearing, the better you play?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I don't really understand the question. You can't get a gig with a great ear and no instrument.
    Well you can actually; transcribing music can be paid work. That was Vai’s first gig IIRC…..

  14. #13

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    And a certain Ludwig von contradicts anyone who claims you need a *working* good ear to be a world-class musician.

    For the rest, I'd say that "getting good chops" is something you need to do when you're young enough (I'm more painfully aware of that every day...) whereas developing your ear can a priori be done at any age. It might even get easier with age, and in fact can only be done after a certain (young) age if memory serves me well (in "normal" people that is).

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Easy question:
    Do the more time you spend practicing your hearing, the better you play?
    For me absolutely yes! For years my dream has been then when I play music it feels like I'm just having conversation… when others play I want to understand what they're saying and when I play I want to play what I am audiating. For almost two years I decided to remove the guitar from the equation because I already know where all the scale degrees are fluently (I've been working on that for 15 years). The bottle neck was having strong audiation recognition and strong enough relative pitch know what the melodies are in my mind with accuracy and at speed. So generally at this point my practice time is mostly spent practicing songs in my mind and checking my accuracy on keyboard. When I get something down mentally I can pick up a guitar and play that thing I'm mentally practicing in time and virtually flawlessly within the first or second try.

    Do I play better today than I did a year ago… In my opinion yes but the melodies that I am playing currently are much simpler than I used to play. I am not allowing myself to use the patterns and habits that are baked in to my hands to be played anymore. I had to slow down the tunes and go back to the easier tunes I know to make sure my ear can keep up but it is getting faster and faster. I am not gigging right now due to Covid so it has been a perfect time for me to go all in the playing only what I hear thing. I have been playing for 25 years in bands and I'm so excited to practice... I work on this shit more than I ever have (hours and hours a day) and I really like how its transforming what I can do as a musician.

    You may wonder if I have to play much simpler than before what is the payoff? Its the feeling that I am always in control of what is coming out and the musical coherence of the statements / lines you are playing. Hope that helps but I think I am coming from a very specific background and have a very specific goal.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB View Post
    And a certain Ludwig von contradicts anyone who claims you need a *working* good ear to be a world-class musician.
    Well the deafness did set in later in life. Actually as much as this was a joke, the whole subject is really rather fascinating. I was listening to a thing about how Beethoven composed his late music



    the paper is very interesting.